Muffin, Sweet

Banana “‘Nana! ‘Nana!” Muffins

Oh dear, I’ve been very lax in writing the past few weeks.  With the post Christmas lull and my ‘get slim before 30’ diet (I’m hurtling towards my 30th birthday in August!), my mind has been otherwise occupied.

I have still been baking, a little, despite not having many left who aren’t on diets to eat my baking.

The littlest baker is now 15 months old and learning new words at an alarming rate.  Two of her current favourites are:
Din-dins meaning dinner.  It is best shouted any time you think someone is even thinking about making something to eat, just in case they don’t bring you some. 
Nana meaning banana.  This is squealed in delight at the sight of this yellow fruit. Also combined with pointing and saying word repeatedly till you receive… a ‘nana.

Unfortunately, as you are probably more than aware, bananas ripen at a ridiculous rate and even a small bunch becomes over ripe very quickly.
So to counter this I’ve made the over ripe bananas into banana muffins.

It’s a staple recipe that every baker probably should have made but I never have.  Although this is my first time making them they have come out very light and tasting of banana.

The littlest baker might not automatically shout “nana!” upon sight of them but they should make a nice little treat for her.


This is the recipe I used but I only had 2 smaller bananas so I reduced the flour to 8.5oz instead of 9oz.
I did not add any nuts to this either.

BBC Banana Muffin

Muffin, Sweet

Cherry and white chocolate muffins

A few days ago me and my husband were shopping in TK Maxx and they often have quite a few bits of really good baking stuff there. This time they had these muffin cases with little snowmen on them. I do have a love of cupcake and muffin cases and the prettier the better – so I had to buy them.

Since I bought them home I had an idea that I wanted to make white chocolate muffins and as I had left over cherries from my Christmas cake I thought these would go nice in them.

I don’t often need an excuse to bake but as me and my husband were going out with my sister and brother-in-law, my brother in laws mom very kindly offered to babysit the smallest little baker. I decided this would be a good occasion to bake some of these muffins as I could make them as a present to say thank you.

If you make this recipe you have to remember that muffins aren’t like cupcakes where they are very light, these make quite a dense cake which is perfect with a nice hot cuppa tea or coffee.


Cherry and white chocolate muffins

This recipe makes 6 gigantic, 8 big, 10 good size or 12 small muffins – I actually made 15 this time!

300g (10.5oz) plain flourWhite Chocolate Cherry muffins
75g (3oz) caster sugar
4 tsp baking powder
2 medium size eggs
225ml (8fl.oz) milk
110g (4oz) butter or margarine
1 tsp Vanilla Extract 75g
100g white cooking chocolate
3/4 pot of Glace Cherries

Preheat oven to 200C, Gas Mark 6

In a bowl put all of your dry ingredients, these are flour, sugar and baking powder. Mix your butter/margarine into the dry ingredients till all of the butter is blended in.

In a separate bowl measure your milk and vanilla then beat into the milk the two eggs.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir till they just come together to make a sticky mix then stir in the chopped chocolate and cherries.  Remember at this stage not to overwork the mix.

Separate your mix into however many muffins cases you like, making sure you fill them about 2/3rds of the way up the cases.

Bake in the oven till a skewer comes out clean. The time needed to cook them will depend on the size, use this as a guide and always bake for 20 minutes before opening the oven door: Small (12) – 20 – 25 Minutes Good size (10) – 25 – 30 Minutes Big (8) 35-40 Minutes Gigantic (6) 40 – 45 Minutes

Let them cool on a wire rack, the bottoms will feel a little soft when hot but they will set when cooled.

I dusted these with icing sugar afterwards… walking in a winter wonderland.

Muffin, Sweet

Christmas Cake Muffins

Today my husband was doing his work so I decided that I would use the time to make some very quick muffins. Usually I make my triple chocolate chip ones but this time I thought I would try a different flavour combination.

Looking around at what I have in the house I was originally going to do some lemon muffins, but I quite fancied them with poppy seeds in and I don’t have any, so I had a thought about making muffins that taste like Christmas cake.

I get pretty excited when it comes to Christmas and since the heating has just gone on, it was a very cold and rainy day, I was feeling kinda Christmassy!

Unfortunately my husband said he couldn’t really taste too much in these muffins but he currently has a cold so I’m hoping that when he gets his full taste buds back then he will enjoy them better.  I thought they did taste a bit like a Christmas cake and I was really pleased how they worked. I think next time I might also add a little bit of Amaretto liqueur to the mix or some brandy.


Christmas Cake Muffins

11oz plain flour
4 level tsp baking powder
3oz Dark Brown sugar
2 medium size eggs
225ml (8fl.oz) milk
4oz butter or margarine
1tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 splash of your Christmas liqueur (I used dark rum this time)
4oz Mixed Fruit

Preheat oven to 200C, Gas Mark 6

In a bowl put all of your dry ingredients, these are flour, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and baking powder.
Mix your butter/margarine into the dry ingredients till all of the butter is blended in.

In a separate bowl measure your milk and beat into the milk the two eggs.  Add your splash of liqueur.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir till they just come together to make a sticky mix then stir in the mixed fruit.  Remember at this stage not to overwork the mix.

Separate your mix into 12 muffin cases, making sure you fill them about 2/3rds of the way up the cases.

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or till a skewer comes out clean.

Let them cool on a wire rack, the bottoms will feel a little soft when hot but they will set when cooled.

Muffin, Sweet

One for the boys: Easy triple chocolate muffins

My husband has been complaining that recently I never bake him any cakes to eat; so after deciding to make a lemon drizzle cake for work I thought I would surprise him with one of his favourites… Chocolate muffins.
He has said that muffins are for men and the cupcakes for the ladies and I can kind of see his reasoning as muffins are heavy and usually undecorated and cupcakes are light, fluffy and beautifully decorated but as yet I haven’t found anyone to turn a cake down solely due to their gender!

I love to make muffins as they are so uncomplicated, easy to throw together and great for any time of the day… especially breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea…

I have been making this chocolate muffin recipe for a while now as it is so easy and simple to do and (as far as I can tell) impossible to get wrong. When making muffins, don’t be scared if the mix looks a little lumpy and isn’t smooth as a normal cake mix because this is completely fine. Try not to over work the mix as it will make the muffins a bit heavier, just mix enough till all of the ingredients combine – no need to beat the mixture for a while as they will still rise perfectly.
As they are triple chocolate muffins you need to use two different types of chocolate chips in it, usually it’s milk and white but sometimes it is dark and milk chocolate, whatever is your preference.
This time I decided to cut up half a small bar of dark chocolate to put into the mix, as I know it’s my husbands favourite type of chocolate and used milk chocolate chips.

For muffins, I like to use tulip wrappers as they give them quite a professional look. You can buy these from most shops now or eBay but I believe it is just as easy to make them yourself from a square of parchment paper pushed down into a muffin tray. Try and fill them up about 2/3rds. It is fine if they spill over the top when cooking as I think it is better to have really big muffins than small dainty ones.
When I was in Australia on holiday last year I was very impressed with the cakes they had there, especially the muffins – they were HUGE! I decided from then onwards that if I ever get to open my cake shop then the muffins will be just like the ones I had there.


Triple Chocolate muffins

This recipe makes 6 gigantic, 8 big, 10 good size or 12 small muffins – I usually make 10.

275g (10oz) plain flour
4 level tsp baking powder
4 tbsp cocoa powder
75g (3oz) caster sugar
2 medium size eggs
225ml (8fl.oz) milk
110g (4oz) butter or margarine
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
75g (3oz) milk or white Chocolate Chips
50g dark chocolate roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 200C, Gas Mark 6

In a bowl put all of your dry ingredients, these are flour, cocoa powder, sugar and baking powder.
Mix your butter/margarine into the dry ingredients till all of the butter is blended in.

In a separate bowl measure your milk and beat into the milk the two eggs.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir till they just come together to make a sticky mix then stir in the chopped chocolate and chocolate chips.  Remember at this stage not to overwork the mix.

Separate your mix into however many muffins cases you like, making sure you fill them about 2/3rds of the way up the cases.

Bake in the oven till a skewer comes out clean.
The time needed to cook them will depend on the size, use this as a guide and always bake for 20 minutes before opening the oven door:
Small (12) – 20 – 25 Minutes
Good size (10) – 25 – 30 Minutes
Big (8) 35-40 Minutes
Gigantic (6) 40 – 45 Minutes

Let them cool on a wire rack, the bottoms will feel a little soft when hot but they will set when cooled.

Muffin, Sweet

Courgette and lime muffins

Sometimes I like to have a go at using a recipe or ingredient mix that most people wouldn’t think about trying together.

Yesterday whilst chopping up vegetables for my ratatouille dinner I thought how nice it would be to make sweet courgette muffins.

I have made cakes and muffins using vegetables before like carrot and beetroot cakes so why not courgettes? I know that some people worry that the cakes are going to taste like a vegetable (my husband included) so often are really nervous about trying them; however, all the vegetable does is increase the texture of the mix to make it lovely and moist.

Courgettes can be pretty plain on their own so I wanted to add another taste in there as well. By grating the courgette with the skin on it would leave flecks of green in the final cake, so using the colour as a good starting point, I decided on lime – I always have lime juice in the fridge.

As I didn’t have a fresh lime, adding the rind wasn’t a possibility, though next time I would definitely grate the rind and add it into the mix – and I would recommend you do to.

I thought that a nice sharp icing would be the best way to get the flavour of the lime without overpowering the muffin so I decided a lime drizzle would be best.

In the end the recipe I decided on was Nigella Lawson’s, only without raisins and the cream cheese topping. Cream cheese is lovely, but when the muffins are going to have a car journey into work, I though they might get a little messy!


Courgette and Lime muffins

250g grated courgettes (about 2-3)

2 eggs

125ml / 4 fluid oz vegetable oil

150g caster sugar

225g self raising flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarb of soda

Grated zest of a lime (optional)
Icing sugar mixed with lime juice – enough to create a runny icing.
Pre-heat oven to gas mark 4 (180c)

Grate the courgettes and either leave to sit in a colander or gently squeeze in a clean tea-towel to drain off excess water.

In a mixing bowl add the dry ingredients of sugar, flour, bicarb of soda and the baking powder. Give them a little stir to mix. In a separate bowl mix together the oil and eggs then add to the dry mix. Give these a stir together until mixed – don’t worry if the mixture looks a little lumpy, this is a good look for muffins. Once nearly mixed add the courgette and lime zest (optional) and gently mix in.

Divide the mix into 12 muffin cases and bake for 20-30 minutes. Check after 20 minutes with a skewer and if it is clean then they are done.

Cool the muffins on a wire rack and then drizzle with icing sugar mixed with lime juice.

I might also try this recipe as a cake baking it in a 8” round tin. When cooling, poke it with holes, heat up sugar and lime juice till the sugar dissolves and then drizzle all over.