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Simple Muffins For The First Time At Home

Basic and Blueberry-Lemon Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

I like big muffins and I cannot lie . . . occasionally.  For me, a quiet Sunday presents the perfect opportunity to make a batch of home-made muffins for breakfast.  Nothing like pouring over the Sunday papers with a strong cup of coffee while absent-mindedly tugging at bits of a warm muffin to toss in your mouth.  I’ve been making this basic recipe for many years and the base can easily work for sweet or savory varieties.  

I add a bit of whole wheat flour to my base recipe because I like the heartier combination of all-purpose and whole wheat flours.  Don’t worry if you don’t have whole wheat flour on hand, just make the muffins using all, all-purpose flour; it works just fine this way.  Additionally, I’ve used whole milk for the buttermilk, and on occasion (when I’ve not had milk or buttermilk on hand), I’ve used Greek yogurt, thinned with water to the consistency of buttermilk.  Just remember to keep the ingredient volume the same as indicated in the recipe.

I often use the convenience of frozen fruit to make my muffins, especially off-season.  However, I encourage you to use fresh diced fruit when available. Try mixing up your flavors, for example I like the combination of fresh diced plums and orange zest.  Or go more traditional with diced apples and cinnamon, or pitted chopped cherries and ginger . . . When using fresh fruits, try your best to not over mix the batter. Crushing the fruit will change the color of the muffin (blueberries when crushed in the batter will make for a delicious tasting but not-so-pretty-looking grey muffin). 

You’ve got three recipes here:  The basic plain muffin, and the basic plain muffin customized for a blueberry-lemon muffin, and a Cheddar-scallion muffin.  The base recipe easily supports substitutes. For example, maintain the same volume of frozen blueberries and substitute frozen chopped peaches, or frozen chopped strawberries, or frozen diced mango (frozen diced mango and lime zest would make a winning combination).  Or sub out diced banana for the blueberries and add some chopped, toasted pecans. The same goes for the savory muffins. Keep the same volume of ingredients, but perhaps you’ll consider subbing out Manchego cheese for Cheddar, and diced chorizo for the scallions. You get the idea.  You’ll experiment on your own and develop a favorite your friends and family will crave and you’ll make over and over.  

The muffin batter can be made the night before and portioned into prepared muffin tins and placed in the refrigerator overnight (the finished product is actually better when done this way).  In the morning simply take out the muffin tray and let stand at room temperature while your oven heats, and then bake as directed. I like to make 6, large muffins using this recipe and will over-fill a standard muffin tin with batter.  Be careful. These can spill over during baking and make a mess of your oven if you’re not careful. I always place the muffin tin on a baking sheet before baking to avoid a burnt on oven mess.

Let me know what muffins you’ve created, I’d welcome some of your thoughts.

Basic Muffin Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups (282g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (92g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon (11.5g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (3.5g) salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (35g) UP TO ¼ cup (70g) sugar (depends on how sweet you want the muffin)
  • 1 egg (46g)
  • 1 cup (253g) buttermilk
  • ½ cup (100g) vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Heavily grease with butter, or lightly spray muffin tin with vegetable oil or line muffin tin with paper liners.  Set aside.
  2. Whisk the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly blended.  Set aside. If adding diced fruit, chopped vegetables, toasted nuts, shredded cheese, etc. toss them in this dry mixture to coat.
  3. Blend together egg, buttermilk and vegetable oil in a tall jar using an immersion blender (or use a regular blender) until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and fold together until batter just comes together, about 10 strokes.  
  5. Portion into prepared muffin tin using an ice cream scoop.  Bake until muffins are golden brown and spring back slightly when gently pressed on top, about 25 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool until warm, about 15 minutes. Gently turn tin over and let muffins release from muffin tin and serve.

Blueberry-Lemon Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups (282g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (92g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon (11.5g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (3.5g) salt
  • ¼ cup (70g) sugar 
  • 2 Tablespoons (7g) lemon zest (zest of 1 large lemon)
  • 1 ½ cups (210g) frozen blueberries
  • 1 egg (46g)
  • 1 cup (253g) buttermilk
  • ½ cup (100g) vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon (4.3g) pure vanilla extract
  • Sugar for garnish

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Heavily grease with butter, or lightly spray muffin tin with vegetable oil or line muffin tin with paper liners.  Set aside.
  2. Whisk the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and lemon zest together in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly blended.  Add blueberries, and gently toss to coat the blueberries with the flour mixture. Set aside.
  3. Blend together egg, buttermilk and vegetable oil in a tall jar using an immersion blender (or use a regular blender) until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and fold together until batter just comes together, about 10 strokes.  
  5. Portion into prepared muffin tin using an ice cream scoop, sprinkle each muffin with some sugar, just to lightly coat the top of the muffin.  Bake until muffins are golden brown and spring back slightly when gently pressed on top, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool until warm, about 15 minutes.  Gently turn tin over and let muffins release from muffin tin and serve.