In search of the ultimate muffin recipe…

I consider myself an amateur muffin connoisseur… (with tongue firmly in cheek!) Muffins are my morning tea of choice at the majority of cafes I frequent, and yet, in all my years of muffin eating, I have only eaten a few that I would class as ‘really good muffins’. That goes for baking muffins too, I have tried loads of different recipes – sweet and savoury – and yet none of the recipes I have tried are recipes that I would pass onto people and say ‘Try these, these are great!”.

So what’s up? Muffins aren’t HARD to make… they are generally considered an easy thing to bake, and would be something that first time bakers are pointed to as a recipe to try out first. Just mix wet ingredients with dry (but don’t over mix), add some flavoursome addition, and you’re off – so why are they never any GOOD?

By good I mean light but with a close cake-y crumb, sweet and moist and full of fruit etc (if sweet), or salty and cheesy and full of veges/meat etc (if savoury). Most muffins I come across tend to be dry and heavy, with nothing much inside, and a faint but awful aftertaste of baking powder. Even the muffins I make (and can tinker with the ingredients somewhat) are never quite right – I seem to get moist and heavy, or light and dry… it’s like one cancels out the other.

So does anyone have a great muffin recipe they would mind sharing? Or any hints or tips? I would truly overjoyed to finally find a great muffin recipe after all these years of searching – and no doubt, my waistline could also benefit 😉


7 thoughts on “In search of the ultimate muffin recipe…

    1. Yes, you’re right… my requirements are specific (some may say down right picky!). But when it comes to healthy muffins, those look great. I really love bran and wheat germ, however using those ingredients does mean you have to forfeit the ‘lightness’ in texture. I can live with that though if it means less sugar and other rubbish! I’m guessing they’d be great in lunchboxes… I’ll try them out on my girls. One question though – when you say applesauce, is it just cooked apples mushed up, or are there other ingredients in the apple too? Thanks Barb 🙂


      1. Yep, basically you’re right. Sometimes there’s sugar and/or cinnamon in applesauce, but it’s not strictly necessary. Just cook the apples for about 25-30 minutes, and smoosh them (or buy a jar of applesauce in the store! LOL).


  1. You’re a star! Thanks Barb.

    P.S. New Zealand stores don’t generally have applesauce… just one of those strange differences between countries I guess 😉 I’m always so envious of the fantastic things you are able to buy in the US!!


  2. I feel the same way about muffins. I have to say, though, somewhere along the line my mom found this wonderful recipe for Featherlight Muffins. They are very basic, just flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg, but this is a great base for adding whatever you like! I’m actually going to be making two batches of these for a playdate tomorrow – the only trouble with them is, they don’t carry over well to the next day.

    But they have that wonderful light texture you’re talking about!I’m working on a variation with almonds and blueberries – hopefully they’ll work out for me in the morning! I’ll be posting up both recipes on my blog this coming week!

    Hope you’re doing well! Still haven’t gotten to the gingerbread – I’m waiting until my family comes in town for Thanksgiving in a week!


  3. Well, I made a new muffin recipe last week to use up some extra cranberry sauce. And you know what? They may have been the very best muffins I’ve ever made. Banana Cranberry Muffins. Highly recommended.

    I don’t usually cook with shortening, so maybe that’s what gives them their lightness? There’s no liquid in the recipe, so you’d think that they’d be heavy, but not at all. I don’t know what it is about the recipe that makes it so darn good, but I will tell you that there aren’t ANY left. My kids snarfed them up faster than I could keep track of.

    How scary is it that when they came out so well, I immediately thought of you?


    1. Oh Barb – you are TOO kind!! Can’t believe you thought of me and my quest to find the perfect muffin recipe 🙂 I’m going to try out your recipe for sure, and I’ll let you know the results… Thanks so much!


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