The No-Fail, EASY Basic Muffin Recipe

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themuffinformula

By Emma Chow

Perhaps you’ve been looking for this home made muffin recipe your whole life; just a cup and a teaspoon is all you need, and no weighing of ingredients.

If you measure things out in the right order, you can get away with using one cup, without having to wash in-between. To any non-mama, this may seem like a petty sort of thing to worry about. But when you’ve got the ever increasing issue of tired dish-pan hands, a tottering pile of washing and someone screaming for you every minute, fewer dishes is gold.

Once you’ve knocked this recipe together a few times, you should be able to remember it pretty easily.
This should yield 1 and a ½ dozen muffins from your average muffin pan. These muffins should be moist and delicious and last a week if tightly covered.

Ingredients

2 cups flour (use a mix of plain white flour and wholemeal or alternative flours)
1 cup sugar (use a mixture of dark and light sugars – golden caster sugar and coconut sugar is good)
½ cup butter
1 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 cups of other mix-ins (sweet or savoury it’s up to you)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Prepare a muffin pan with papers or just grease it really well with a bit of butter or oil. If you don’t have muffin papers you can also press squares of baking paper into the tins. They make fine makeshift papers.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, measure out your sugar, then butter and cream together. Add the egg, beat it in thoroughly. As with every batter, scrape the bottom to ensure that there are no clumps and beat to combine. Gently fold through the dry ingredients and buttermilk or yogurt alternatively.
  4. Finally stir in your mix-ins (don’t over mix).
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Press in the centre of one of the middle muffins; if it springs back, you’re good to go.

Notes:

  • With mix-ins, try to keep them small. Bite size pieces of fruit, no more than 2 centimetres wide and preferably around 1.5. Pieces that are too big may not cook properly or release too much moisture into the batter and the muffins with have wet spots. Fresh apple, stone fruit, pear, berries, and banana cook just fine in the batter without having to precook the fruit. Try to use no more than 1/5 cups of fresh fruit in your muffins or they will be too wet. Dried fruit, seeds and nuts are great mix ins. Chocolate chips and coconut flakes are also delicious. You don’t need a full 2 cups of mix-ins, but I would use no less than 1 cup and no more than 2.
  • With spices like cinnamon, add no more than 1 teaspoon.
  • To make chocolate muffins, add a couple of tablespoons of good quality cocoa powder.
  • Buttermilk substitutes:  Natural yogurt is a fine substitute for buttermilk – which is not as accessible in Australian supermarkets as it is in the US.  If your yogurt is quite thick, you can thin it with a little milk. Alternatively home-made version of buttermilk (from kitchn.com:
    • Measure 1 scant cup of milk. Stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar.
    • Combine the milk and lemon juice.
    • Let stand 5-10 minutes. Let the mixture stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. …
    • Use the buttermilk. Use this substitute (including curdled bits) as you would buttermilk in your recipe.
  • Freezing: very well – up to a month.

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Comments

  1. Sarah Foskett says:

    Hi there,
    I’m curious – the instructions mention adding cream but it’s not in the ingredients list?

    • Hi Sarah,

      Gosh, sorry to have missed your comment!

      I just re-read the recipe….I thought it needed cream too! I know see that Emma is referring to creaming the butter and sugar together.

      Karen.

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