Muffins are kind of perfect when you want something warm from the oven but don’t have hours to dedicate to making that happen and/or don’t want to trash the kitchen. They honestly take about 10 minutes to throw together by hand, another 25 or so to bake, a few minutes to cool enough to handle and then less than a minute to eat.
Mixing by hand with muffins is key to your success. You don’t want to mix muffin batter much, just enough to make it come together and not have any big clumps of flour. This method is actually called the Muffin Method. I have seen some muffin recipes that cream butter with sugar…meh. Thats more like a cake. And I do love cake. But cake is not a muffin.
The Muffin Method means, in a nutshell, all the dry mixed quickly with all the wet. Sounds simple because it is. Whisk all the dry in one bowl, mix all of the wet in another bowl, combine and fold. It probably took me more time to type this paragraph than it takes to mix up a batch of muffins. I KNOW it took longer to chop up the strawberries than it did to mix them.
I like the rich tang the buttermilk brings to the party but it isn’t necessary, just substitute regular milk evenly if you don’t have it. I prefer to use almost overripe fruit when baking with it, same with the strawberries. I diced them up into medium dice-sized pieces and macerated them in 2 Tbsp of sugar while I got everything else together, sweetens them up some and adds some strawberry juice to the mix that is delicious! I saved back some nice ones to slice and put on top of each muffin to make it pretty.
This is a good, flexible fruit muffin base recipe; you can add spices, fruit zest or juice, any kind of fruit you like, preserves, etc. Make your best call on whether whatever you are adding will require an adjustment to the milk, but as long as the liquid to dry ratio stays around the same the muffins will come out perfect.
Preheat your oven as soon as you decide to make muffins, sometimes that takes longer than making the muffins does for real. Get your pans ready before you start mixing, whether you are lining with cups or spraying; I totally use cups…whenever I remember to buy them, so half the time if I’m lucky. Add your fruit to the wet ingredients before folding the batter together, you want to mix this as little as possible.
I tend to overfill my muffin pans ~ the top is the best part!
Strawberry Buttermilk Muffins – makes around 12 big muffins
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1/2 cup Butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp Vanilla
- 1/2 cup Buttermilk
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 1 Egg
- 1 cup Medium Diced Strawberries mixed w 2 Tbsp Sugar
- zest of a lemon or orange (optional by yummy)
Preheat the oven to 400, your pans prepped, the strawberries chopped up and mixed with 2 Tbsp of sugar.
In a decent sized bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, salt, sugar – until completely combined.
In a separate bowl, I use a big glass measuring Pyrex thing, whisk together all of the wet – buttermilk, milk, eggs, vanilla, melted butter, zest – until completely combined. Add the strawberries and any juice right before adding to the flour mixture.
Make a well in the center of the flour with a rubber spatula. Pour the wet ingredients into the well. Use the spatula to fold the wet with the dry, should take around 12 turns with the spatula. Be careful not to over mix, you just want to fold until there are no huge clumps of flour, it will be uneven and rough.
Scoop into the prepared muffin cups, about 3/4 full. Top each with a sliced strawberry, sprinkle with some sugar and get into the oven. Bake for 20-24 minutes, they are done when golden brown and the centers are firm and spring back when touched.
When they come out let them sit in the pan for about 10 minutes, until you can easily touch the pan is safe, then remove and let cool. Or eat if you can’t resist. I promise the strawberries will be HOT.
I take some when they are out of the pan and roll then in melted butter then cinnamon sugar, I love the spicy sugar crust. They are delicious both ways!
Go! Bake muffins! You’re family or friends will think you were all Betty Crocker, I won’t tell them a word otherwise!