Posted on by TYPICAL MIND

American-style muffins have seen an increase in popularity over the last few years, especially with the spread of the large coffee chains throughout the country. They have a distinctive shape - rather mushroom-like - and are usually a little less sweet than more traditional small cakes. They're very easy and quick to make, and the ingredients can be as simple or as exotic as you like.

What are Muffins?

First of all, there is a need for clarification as to the difference between English muffins and American muffins.

English Muffins

An English muffin is made with a yeast-based dough whose flavor and texture is more like a bread. They are generally about 20cm/4-inches in diameter and although they can be served with jams or conserves, they are often just split open, sometimes toasted and buttered.  

American Muffins

An American muffin is a different affair altogether and these are the subject of this editorial.

American muffins are individual cakes, similar to a cupcake but larger (sometimes three times the size) with a more open moist texture. They can have various ingredients added including fresh fruit, nuts, and sweet spices but can also be savory.

Once baked, the mixture should have doubled in height, and the muffin should feel light for its size and have a symmetrical and domed top which is bumpy.

Muffins were traditionally served plain and warm for breakfast,  however today they are often eaten at teatime (or any time) and can be decorated with icings.

How to make American muffins

General instructions for making American muffins

Muffins were traditionally baked directly in a muffin tin which is similar to a patty tin only with larger and deeper holes, however today they are also often baked in paper cases.

Many traditional US muffin recipes use plain flour (all-purpose) and the raising agent baking soda, the consequence of which meant an acid needed to be added to ensure the baking soda was activated. This was often in the form of buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt which added a certain twang to the flavor. However, the advent of self-raising flour or double action baking powder has done away with the absolute need to use these ingredients.

Raspberry Muffins

2 cups plain flour (10oz or 300g)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup natural yogurt (8fl oz or 240ml)

1/4 cup butter, melted (2oz or 56g)

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1/2 cup caster sugar (4oz or 110g)

1 1/2 cups raspberries, fresh or defrosted (8oz or 225g)

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Grease the muffin tray or prepare the cases.

Sieve together the flour, salt, baking powder and bicarb. In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, yogurt, butter, vanilla. Add the sugar and re-sieve the flour mixture on top. Mix quickly and lightly.

Fold in the raspberries. Pour the batter into the Muffin Tray. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until well-risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack.

 

Double Choc Muffins

8 oz or 225g plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 tablespoons cocoa

6 oz or 175g caster sugar

5 oz or 150g chocolate chips

8 fl oz or 240ml milk

3 fl oz or 90ml vegetable oil

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Extra choc chips for decorating

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Grease the muffin tray or prepare the cases. (If using a fan oven reduce the temperature by 20°C.)

Sieve together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, and cocoa. In a separate bowl mix together the milk, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add the sugar and chocolate chips and then re-sieve the flour mix on top. Mix quickly and lightly.

Pour the batter into the muffin tray. Sprinkle extra choc chips on top and bake at 200°C gas mark 6, for 18-20 minutes or until well-risen. Cool on a wire rack.

 

Apple Muffins

1 cup plain flour (5oz or 150g)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice

A pinch of salt

2 tablespoons white sugar

4 tablespoons brown sugar

1 egg

1 cup milk (240ml)

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1 large Bramley cooking apple

1/4 cup sultanas (1.75oz or 50g)

1 tablespoon oats

1 tablespoon Demerara sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Prepare a muffin tray.

Core, peel and roughly chop the apple. Stew it gently over low heat for about 5-10 minutes until softened.

Sieve together the flour, baking powder, mixed spice, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, egg, milk and melted butter. Re-sieve the flour onto this mixture and fold it in lightly. Fold in the sultanas and cooled apple.

Pour the batter into the muffin cases. Mix together the oats and Demerara sugar and sprinkle over the tops of the muffins. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until well-risen and firm. Cool on a wire rack.

Try other fresh or dried fruits.

Chopped nuts make a tasty topping.

Try lemon or almond essence.

Vary the taste with plain, Milk or White Chocolate chips.

Combine raspberries and chocolate or apple and cinnamon.

 

American-style muffins have seen an increase in popularity over the last few years, especially with the spread of the large coffee chains throughout the country. They have a distinctive shape - rather mushroom-like - and are usually a little less sweet than more traditional small cakes. They're very easy and quick to make, and the ingredients can be as simple or as exotic as you like.

What are Muffins?

First of all, there is a need for clarification as to the difference between English muffins and American muffins.

English Muffins

An English muffin is made with a yeast-based dough whose flavor and texture is more like a bread. They are generally about 20cm/4-inches in diameter and although they can be served with jams or conserves, they are often just split open, sometimes toasted and buttered.  

American Muffins

An American muffin is a different affair altogether and these are the subject of this editorial.

American muffins are individual cakes, similar to a cupcake but larger (sometimes three times the size) with a more open moist texture. They can have various ingredients added including fresh fruit, nuts, and sweet spices but can also be savory.

Once baked, the mixture should have doubled in height, and the muffin should feel light for its size and have a symmetrical and domed top which is bumpy.

Muffins were traditionally served plain and warm for breakfast,  however today they are often eaten at teatime (or any time) and can be decorated with icings.

How to make American muffins

General instructions for making American muffins

Muffins were traditionally baked directly in a muffin tin which is similar to a patty tin only with larger and deeper holes, however today they are also often baked in paper cases.

Many traditional US muffin recipes use plain flour (all-purpose) and the raising agent baking soda, the consequence of which meant an acid needed to be added to ensure the baking soda was activated. This was often in the form of buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt which added a certain twang to the flavor. However, the advent of self-raising flour or double action baking powder has done away with the absolute need to use these ingredients.

Raspberry Muffins

2 cups plain flour (10oz or 300g)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup natural yogurt (8fl oz or 240ml)

1/4 cup butter, melted (2oz or 56g)

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1/2 cup caster sugar (4oz or 110g)

1 1/2 cups raspberries, fresh or defrosted (8oz or 225g)

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Grease the muffin tray or prepare the cases.

Sieve together the flour, salt, baking powder and bicarb. In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, yogurt, butter, vanilla. Add the sugar and re-sieve the flour mixture on top. Mix quickly and lightly.

Fold in the raspberries. Pour the batter into the Muffin Tray. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until well-risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack.

 

Double Choc Muffins

8 oz or 225g plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 tablespoons cocoa

6 oz or 175g caster sugar

5 oz or 150g chocolate chips

8 fl oz or 240ml milk

3 fl oz or 90ml vegetable oil

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Extra choc chips for decorating

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Grease the muffin tray or prepare the cases. (If using a fan oven reduce the temperature by 20°C.)

Sieve together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, and cocoa. In a separate bowl mix together the milk, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add the sugar and chocolate chips and then re-sieve the flour mix on top. Mix quickly and lightly.

Pour the batter into the muffin tray. Sprinkle extra choc chips on top and bake at 200°C gas mark 6, for 18-20 minutes or until well-risen. Cool on a wire rack.

 

Apple Muffins

1 cup plain flour (5oz or 150g)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice

A pinch of salt

2 tablespoons white sugar

4 tablespoons brown sugar

1 egg

1 cup milk (240ml)

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1 large Bramley cooking apple

1/4 cup sultanas (1.75oz or 50g)

1 tablespoon oats

1 tablespoon Demerara sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Prepare a muffin tray.

Core, peel and roughly chop the apple. Stew it gently over low heat for about 5-10 minutes until softened.

Sieve together the flour, baking powder, mixed spice, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar, egg, milk and melted butter. Re-sieve the flour onto this mixture and fold it in lightly. Fold in the sultanas and cooled apple.

Pour the batter into the muffin cases. Mix together the oats and Demerara sugar and sprinkle over the tops of the muffins. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until well-risen and firm. Cool on a wire rack.

Try other fresh or dried fruits.

Chopped nuts make a tasty topping.

Try lemon or almond essence.

Vary the taste with plain, Milk or White Chocolate chips.

Combine raspberries and chocolate or apple and cinnamon.