The Only Muffin Mix Recipe You’ll Ever Need
BY JULIE VAN ROSENDAAL, DINNER WITH JULIE
Feb 22, 2018
A good muffin is a great thing.
Although they’re most often thought of as quick coffee-shop fare, a batch of muffins is infinitely versatile, easy to stir together and quick to bake. With a basic template to use as a starting point, they’re perfect for using up soft or overripe berries and fruit, for baking in the morning for breakfast or packing into lunch boxes and they’re often overlooked when you need something warm and savoury to serve with soup, stew or chili. Scrap the sugar, add some fresh herbs and cheese and you have something warm and freshly baked to round out your meal.
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The only important thing to remember when mixing up a batch of muffins is not to overmix the batter, or they could turn out tough; blend the batter together by hand as quickly and gently as you can, just until it’s combined, and don’t worry about getting all the lumps out. A rubber spatula is the best tool for gentle mixing — it enables you to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as you stir and use a minimum number of strokes to combine your ingredients.
Since all muffins are more or less the same when you take away the extra ingredients, a basic recipe to play with is the best starting point. To this basic, not-too-sweet batter you can stir in all kinds of additions to suit your taste — try a cup or so of fresh or frozen (unthawed) berries or chopped fruit, a handful of dried fruit like raisins, cranberries or chopped apricots, chopped nuts, grated cheese, chocolate chips or even grated apples, carrots or zucchini. You can also play around with flavourings like cinnamon, citrus zest and different extracts beyond vanilla — really, you can create any type of muffin you like.
If you want to give yourself a head start, whisk together the dry ingredients and keep your homemade muffin mix on a shelf — multiply the quantity as many times as you like — and start with 2 1/2 cups of your mix for ultra-fast muffins from scratch.
The Only Muffin Recipe You’ll Need
Use this formula as a basic template and add what you like to suit your taste — swap 1/2 cup cocoa for 1/2 cup of the flour for chocolate muffins, add a mashed banana for banana muffins, experiment with whole grain flours, or add 1/2–1 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats for a nubbly muffin. For savoury cheese muffins, omit the sugar and toss 1/2 cup grated aged cheddar with the dry ingredients before adding the wet.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (or use half all-purpose, half whole wheat)
- 1/2-3/4 cup sugar (white or brown)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup melted butter or mild vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1/2-1 cup additions, such as fresh or frozen berries, chopped fresh fruit, dried fruit, chopped nuts or chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 400 F and line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, stir together the milk, melted butter or oil and egg.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Gently stir with a spatula and add any extra ingredients you like after you’ve stirred a few strokes. Mix the batter just until it’s combined.
- Fill the lined muffin cups almost to the top and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the muffins are golden and the tops are springy to the touch. Makes 8-12 muffins.