In my home, anything baked doesn’t last more than two days on the counter. We just gobble up muffins and breads. Muffins are a great grab-and-go snack, or delicious paired with a smoothie or some oatmeal for breakfast. If you are striving to buy less convenience foods from the grocery store and make more food from scratch, it can be a daunting and intimidating idea. You have to start somewhere, so why not start with baking? Instead of reaching for a boxed muffin mix at the store, it is much more cost effective to make your own simple muffin mix that can sit in your pantry instead. You also have more control with what ingredients you are putting into your muffin mix. Some box mixes may have extra ingredients you can’t even pronounce. Keep some glass jars full of this simple base muffin mix on hand. Then you can add in your additional mix-ins and try out different combinations of ingredients. You’ll never have to buy a boxed muffin mix from the store again!
To make the muffin mix:
- 8 C flour (I like organic unbleached all-purpose)
- 3 C sugar
- 3 TBS baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp salt
Whisk together until well blended and store in containers in a cool dark place. This recipe makes about 4 batches of a dozen muffins.
To make muffins:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a large bowl, whisk together one egg, 1/2 C melted butter, and 1 C whole milk
Add 2 3/4 C of the muffin mix and stir just until moistened.
Fold in your mix-ins (ideas listed below)
Fill muffin tins (with paper liners) about 3/4 full.
Bake 19-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Add one mashed ripe banana for banana muffins
- Fold in 1/2 C to 1 C fresh or frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
- Any kind of nuts add a delicious crunch and protein (pecans, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts etc)
- Chocolate chips (mini or regular morsels, dark chocolate or semi-sweet)- add in about 1/2 C or more
- Dried fruit such as craisins, shredded coconut, cherries, and berries (about 1/3- 1/2 C)
- Grated apples or applesauce are a really yummy add-in
- Pumpkin puree is a go-to in our home in the Autumn. Add 1/2 C to your batter. This is a good one to add chocolate chips to as well. Add in 1/2 C of chocolate chips.
- Lemon poppyseed is a fresh combination that we enjoy in the warmer months. Add 1 tsp poppy seeds and 1 tsp lemon extract to the batter
- To make almond muffins, add 1 tsp almond extract and mix in slivered almonds
- Raspberry almond muffins- Add 1 tsp almond extract and 1/2 C to 1 C raspberries
- Cranberry orange is another wonderful flavor combo. Add 1 TBS orange zest and about 1 1/2 C fresh or frozen cranberries.
Another way to switch up your muffins is to add a crumble or oat topping. My family loves a good crunchy and sweet oat topping.
To make an oat crumble muffin topping :
In a small bowl, add…
- 1/2 C rolled oats
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbs brown sugar
- 2 Tbs melted butter
Mix well with a fork. Once the muffin batter is in the muffin tin/ paper muffin liners, top each muffin with the oat crumble topping. Gently press the crumble in and bake as directed.
There are so many muffin variations and different flavor combinations you can try. If you keep the base muffin mix stocked in your pantry, you can add in whatever ingredients you have on hand to jazz it up. (Though the base muffin mix is really quite delicious on its own!) My kids really like the plain muffins, especially when I make them into mini muffins.
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