Thursday, December 5, 2013


What to do on a cold, cold day?
Bake muffins, of course!
At least that's what I did.

The wind was blowing and the temperature dropping as arctic cold pointed it's icy finger right at Lincoln, Nebraska! We didn't even get a blanket of beautiful, white snow to gentle the harsh view of barren trees and dying grass. Just wind. And cold.

I  looked out through my window and shivered.

Definitely a day for baking. I decided against buttery, sugary, calorie laden cookies and pulled up my favorite muffin recipe. The recipe calls for buttermilk and fresh fruit, so I figured I'd at least get some calcium and good vitamins with my calories.

I split the recipe in half and made two batches. The kitchen warmed up, the house smelled heavenly, and I made a lovely mess while listening to country music on the radio.

Here's my recipe. It starts with a basic recipe to which you add your own favorite fruit.

Fruit Muffins with Buttermilk
I get 2 dozen muffins, but my ancient cupcake pans are smaller than the new muffin pans. 

Start with this basic recipe. I've suggested some variations at the end.

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk 
  • 1 cup of *prepared fruit (see variations below)

Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Blend in vanilla extract. 

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 

Stir flour mixture into creamed mixture with a wooden spoon. Gradually add buttermilk stirring just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. *Stir in fruit. 

Spoon batter into prepared cupcake or muffin pans, filling each cup  2/3 full. Sprinkle the tops with coarse granulated sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Gently move muffins onto a wire rack to finish cooling. 


Blueberry Muffins: *Add 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries. A teaspoon of grated orange or lemon peel is also delicious with blueberries.

Strawberry Muffins: *Add 1 cup of chopped fresh or frozen strawberries.

Apple-cinnamon muffins: Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the flour mix. *Add 1 cup of freshly grated apple, skin included.

Pear-walnut muffins: Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the flour mix. *Add 1 cup of chopped fresh pears and 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts. 

Pineapple muffins: *Add 1 cup of drained, crushed pineapple.

Invent-your-own muffins: You get the idea, I'm sure. Toss in a cupful or your favorite fruit and add any flavorings you like. Be creative!

I think I'd like to try cinnamon-raisin with streusel topping. Maybe substitute brown sugar for half of the white sugar.

Oh, and zucchini! Wouldn't that be fun!

Dates? Might need to reduce the sugar a bit. Maybe with orange zest.

What else? Send your ideas to me here:

Turn on some happy music and sing along as you fill your kitchen with warm, appetizing fragrances, and banish winter's chill from your home!

Happy Baking!!

I think I'll bake bread tomorrow. 

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