I’ve been fascinated with muffins and cupcakes for as far back as I can remember. Summer vacations, weekends and every free moment I had as a child were filled with Enid Blyton’s books so it’s a small surprise that my head was full of images of cold chicken salad, tomato sandwiches washed down with lemonade or ginger beer. For my sweet tooth, I had images of treacle pudding, jam tarts, fresh fruit cakes and scones of course. For some reason I always imagined the fruit cakes and scones to be the size and shape of muffins.
When my mother bought me my first baking tray, I was almost disappointed to see that it was for a regular cake. It took me several years to finally buy a muffin tray – I actually bought a book of muffin recipes before I bought the tray! I finally made my first batch of muffins last weekend, over 15 years after I made my first cake.
Here are the recipes for the first two batches of muffins I’ve made. I have a feeling that I’m to make many more muffins, so feel free to drop by for tea one of these days!
Banana Cinnamon Honey Muffins (adapted from the original here)
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 pinch salt
1 cup flour
1 tbsp honey
1 mashed banana
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup milk
Beat together the egg, sugar, honey and mashed banana. Pour in the oil mixing lightly. Gradually fold in the baking powder, baking soda, flour, salt and cinnamon powder. Add the vanilla essence and milk and mix well.
Spoon the mixture into the greased muffin pan (make sure not to fill them to the top or else the muffins will spill over when they start cooking and rise) and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180° C for 20 minutes.
Spicy Fruit Muffins (adapted from a recipe I found in the Muffins Bible)
½ cup sugar
1 grated apple
¾ cup flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp cinnamon powder (I love cinnamon so I increased the quantity from the original ½ tsp)
½ tsp mixed spice (or as I did ¼ tsp each of nutmeg, cardamom and clove powder)
¼ cup raisins / candied cherries (I used a mix of the both)
¼ cup vegetable oil (the original uses 50g butter)
2 tbsp water
Beat together the egg with sugar. Stir in the apple. Gradually add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and the spices. (sifted together before hand) The mix will probably resemble a dough by now. Pour in the oil, followed by the water and mix lightly.
Fold in the sultanas and candied cherries. Fill greased muffin pans – make sure not to fill them to the top or else the muffins will spill over when they start cooking and rise – and bake at 180° C for around 20 minutes.
Did you know that muffins date back to the 10th or 11th century Wales, but muffins as we know them today have their origin in America?
The word “muffin” comes from the French word “moufflet” meaning soft bread of the German word “muffe,” a kind of cake.