If you saw a photo of these glorious muffins last weekend on my Instagram, I apologize for not posting them sooner! New Years Eve, going back to work, and a peanut butter-caramel-snickers recipe got in the way. Sorry?
I put a new muffin pan to good use recently. I received a nonstick, 6-cup, heavy duty muffin tin for Christmas and couldn’t wait to use it upon returning home. I made some enormous, over-sized, XXL muffins – the giant kind you see in a bakery with perfectly domed tops and pretty sparkling sugar.
Today we’re going back to the basics. A traditional blueberry muffin was the variety of choice to break in my new pan. But these aren’t your ordinary mediocre-sized breakfast confection. They are big, bakery-style muffins full of fluffy soft crumbs and rich buttery bites. Crunchy sugared tops and plump, juicy blueberries.
Go big or go home. Super large and in charge.
I don’t know about you, but I am always envious of the texture, size, and beauty of the muffins I see in coffee shops, bakeries, and cafes. I wanted to recreate that same mass appeal in my own kitchen, so I rolled up my sleeves, broke out the flour, and got to work.
This muffin batter recipe is something I like to call a “Master Batter.” It is a powerhouse batter – a wonderful starting point for creating your own custom masterpiece muffin. The batter bakes up muffins that are tender and light, but still sturdy enough to hold copious amounts of fresh fruit, chocolate, nuts, spices, etc.
I have a similar “master” recipe for cookies as well. I’ve made 5 different types of cookies using this “soft-baked style” basic cookie recipe. And a few more variations I have yet to share on the blog! Stay tuned.
Whatever you like in a basic muffin can be added to today’s master batter recipe. It will make 6 giant bakery size muffins, 12 standard size muffins, or 24 mini muffins. Let’s see how my blueberry muffins were born.
Not only is today’s recipe a convenient starting point for most muffin varieties, it is an easy starting point as well. The recipe is quite straightforward. Begin with the familiar dry ingredient suspects: all-purpose flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Let’s note the amount of baking powder – 4 teaspoons. Yes, that may seem like a lot for 6 giant muffins, but you need a lot in order to achieve the huge lifted domed muffin top.
As the only leavening ingredient in the recipe, you’ll need all 4 teaspoons of baking powder to create a significant rise against the oil, milk, and eggs in the recipe. I’ve tested with using baking soda, baking powder, or a mixture of both in my muffin recipes over the past year. I prefer baking powder if I am looking for a significantly high domed top.
My Sky-High Apple Pie Muffins use 3.5 teaspoons of it. There is no acidic aftertaste from 3-4 teaspoons of baking powder in this recipe or in today’s recipe.
Whisk the dry ingredients together lightly for about 20 seconds. You are looking for even disbursement of the salt and leavener amongst the flour.
Moving along to the rest of the ingredients. More typical muffin ingredients are present: eggs, oil, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract. Let’s note the oil. I’ve used both butter and oil in my muffin recipes over the past year – depending on the texture and taste for which I am looking. I’ve also used applesauce, bananas, or yogurt if I’m looking for a lower-fat option (see here and here).
Oil gives muffins, cakes, and cupcakes a soft and tender texture. A more moist consistency than butter. With the cinnamon, vanilla extract, and juicy blueberries, I did not miss the flavor of butter by using oil as the fat in this recipe.
Mix the wet ingredients by hand (no mixer needed today!). I made sure the eggs and milk were at room temperature, which allows them to be more easily incorporated with the rest. This does take some planning ahead – I placed the 2 eggs and 1 cup of milk on the counter about 30 minutes before starting the recipe.
You may use any type of milk here – skim, almond, soy, whole, 1%, or rice. You’re just looking for a creamy liquid agent and any variety will work.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Do NOT overmix. Tough, hard, and overly chewy muffins will be the result of an overmixed batter. Fold the wet and dry ingredients together until all the flour is off the bottom of the bowl and you don’t have any big pockets of flour floating around in your batter. The batter will be VERY thick and somewhat lumpy – that is ok.
Finally, fold in the add-ins. Only 1 and 1/4 cups of add-ins. No more, no less. Frozen blueberries work just fine here. Because the batter is so thick, your blueberries will not sink to the bottom of the baked muffin. Thin batters are the culprit of said sinking.
Once the wet and dry are evenly incorporated together, fill the muffin tins with every last drop. If using a giant muffin tin, your batter will fill 6 tins. 6 LARGE tins. Fill the tins all the way to the top. I’ve talked about the importance of high filling in my post about creating sky-high muffin tops.
Sprinkle with a lil’ course sugar. I found these course sugar sprinkles in the baking aisle of my local grocery store. It gives my muffins their sparkle.
5 minutes at 425F degrees, then about 25 minutes at 375F degrees. Why the high initial baking temperature? Setting the oven to a high temperature burst lifts the muffin top up quickly and creates a tall crust. Typically, muffins are baked at 350F – 375F the whole time, but set the oven to 425F initially, then bring back down to 375F.
We want TALL, perfectly sugar crusted, delicately cracked tops here, K?
Plate up (or not) and dig in!
The muffins are moist, fluffy, and soft; they quite honestly give any bakery blueberry muffin a run for its money. You really cannot beat the taste of a homemade muffin or sweet roll over a store-bought or mass produced version.
Plain and simple, you need this Master Batter recipe in your kitchen. I began with blueberries and baked two more luscious versions using this master recipe. I can’t wait to share them soon.
I love how pretty the pop of blue looks against the soft white interior and golden sparkly tops! A show-stopper muffin indeed. Let me know how you enjoy the recipe and if you use any clever add-ins.
*make sure to read above for details and rationale for baking temperatures, quantities of ingredients, temperature of ingredients, and amount of ingredients.
makes 6 jumbo muffins // 12 standard muffins // 24 mini muffins
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 eggs, room temperature preferred
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup milk (skim, 1%, almond, rice, soy are all ok - room temperature preferred)
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- course sugar for sprinkling (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Spray your muffin tin of choice with non-stick spray or line with muffin liners. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, gently toss together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until all dry ingredients are combined - a 20 second toss to disburse everything together. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until combined. Mix in milk, oil, and vanilla. Mixture will be pale and yellow. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix everything together by hand. Avoid overmixing. Gently mix until all the flour is off the bottom of the bowl and no big pockets of flour remain. The batter will be VERY thick and somewhat lumpy. Fold in the blueberries.
- Pour batter into prepared muffin tins, filling all the way to the top. Top with a sprinkle course sugar, if preferred. Bake at 425F degrees for 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 and continue to bake for 25-26 minutes until tops are lightly golden and centers appear set. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in pan before enjoying.
- Muffins taste best fresh the same day. Store muffins at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Muffins freeze well for up to 3 months.
*Use additional add-ins like nuts or fruit. Do not go over 1 and 1/4 cup TOTAL add-ins.
*For standard size (12 count) muffins, reduce baking time to 18 minutes with the 5 initial minutes at the 425F temperature stated above. For mini muffins, bake for 12-13 minutes at 375F the entire time.
RECIPE SOURCE: SALLYSBAKINGADDICTION.COM
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Muffin science talk.
I used 3.5 teaspoons of baking powder and lower fat options in my Sky-High Apple Pie Muffins. They are ultra tall muffins that won’t wreck your diet resolutions.
My Banana Muffins with Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Streusel are cakey, lighter textured, and dessert-like muffins. I used a mix of baking soda & baking powder for leavening and creamed butter as the fat source. This recipe makes 16 muffins and they do not rise as high as today’s muffins, but are overloaded with buttery taste, texture, and streusel.
Gingerbread Muffins with Sweet Lemon Glaze taste like very dense, individually proportioned flavorful gingerbread. Butter is melted with molasses and baking soda is used for some lift. A light and zingy lemon glaze makes these gingerbread muffins taste like dessert.
Also tasting like quickbread are my Chocolate Glazed Banana Bread Muffins. I use melted coconut oil as a healthier alternative to butter or canola oil. A mix of baking soda and baking powder give the muffins their lift. Their texture is dense with all of the bananas, 2 eggs,whole wheat flour.
My Mini Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Muffins taste like cakey little donut holes. Melted butter is used as the fat here, but flavorless canola oil would work just as well since there is so much flavor in the pumpkin and cinnamon sugar coating.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Muffins call for 3 teaspoons (aka 1 Tablespoon) of baking powder. They have beautifully risen tops and a light texture due to the sour cream in the batter. They are very soft and fluffy with a gorgeous and necessary chocolate drizzle on top. I love this recipe!