Although I hear that some people don’t like bacon, to me, it’s a food group all of its own, along with Diet Coke and good coffee. What follows is another delightful recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the third and final in this series for summer hospitality and easy back to school non-sandwich lunches. These cheesy, bacony, and very pretty muffins are fluffy and so eatable. The recipe below produces 12 and costs less than $6 to make.
- 1 tsp oil
- 100g streaky bacon, cut into 1cm pieces
- 1 red onion, finely diced (I used a regular brown one)
- 250g wholemeal self-raising flour (I used plain white flour)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 80g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 200ml buttermilk (replace with yoghurt, sour cream or ordinary milk if need be)
- 1 tbsp finely chopped chives (optional, I like chives so put in 3 tablespoons)
- 150g strong cheddar, grated
- Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6 and line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
- Warm the oil over a medium heat and fry the bacon in it until just crisp. Lift the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. In the same fat, sauté the onion until just softened, about five minutes, then set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
- In a jug, whisk the eggs, butter and buttermilk, stir them into the flour mixture with a spatula until just combined, then fold in the cooled bacon, onion, chives, if using, and two-thirds of the cheese until just evenly distributed.
- Spoon or scoop the mixture into the muffin tins, sprinkle on the rest of the cheese, and bake for about 18 minutes, until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
Recently while grocery shopping, I was sucked in by the cover of Donna Hay magazine, which was adorned with the most gorgeous looking muffins. And despite needing to keep one good eye on reality (the deal-breaker for me was the feature in the middle of the mag which promised to help me pull off a wintery family picnic by the sea at which even the kids would eat freshly caught crab and indulge in home-made lemon jelly desserts – each with a fresh sprig of thyme), I have enjoyed reading the issue. Just for fun, yesterday I thought I’d have a go at making some of Donna’s made-over front cover muffins, but unsurprisingly, there were no chia seeds or ricotta cheese in my stores, so I gave Donna’s muffins a middle of the road make-over of my own, swapping chia, ricotta and lemons for oranges, poppy seeds and sour cream. These freezer friendly muffins were simple and affordable to make and the result was lovely fat and tasty, moist, fluffy and delicate muffins, which took about 10 mins to get in the oven and cost around $4.
- 2 ½ cups self raising flour
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- ¼ cup poppy seeds
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup greek yoghurt
- ½ cup vegetable oil (I use rice bran)
Orange Drizzle Icing
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees and distribute muffin cases among a 12 hole muffin tray (I like to use baking paper for this – just cut into squares, turn a small glass upside down and mould each paper square with 2 hands around the glass to get the needed shape).
- Mix the first four (dry) ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Mix the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl and then combine with the dry, mixing until combined, but only just.
- Divide batter among lined muffin holes and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- While muffins are baking, mix sugar and juice together to make the drizzling icing. When muffins are brown and spring back slightly when touched, remove from oven and drizzle icing all over, glazing each. If you prefer the icing thicker and more like a topping, wait for muffins to cool before drizzling.
Sometimes you just need recipe for a big batch of something sweet – church morning teas, a terms worth of kids’ little lunches in the freezer or munchies for a group weekend away. These fudgey muffins hit the spot in many ways are super easy to make. You’ll notice this recipe deliberately calls for home brand choc-chips – this is because they are much smaller than the more expensive ones and go much further through the batter. Which results in much more chocolatey muffins overall – and they just happen to be the cheapest option! Using the quantities below, this recipe makes 70+ muffins and costs $17 to make, which is under 25c per muffin. Enjoy!
- 7 1/2 cups self raising flour
- 1 1/2 cups cocoa
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 3 x 250g packets home brand dark choc chips
- 1 x 375g packets white choc melts
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups milk
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees (170 degrees if fan-forced) and distribute muffin cases among two 12 hole muffin trays.
- Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl or a large, plastic all-purpose basin.
- In a separate bowl, combine eggs, vegetable oil and milk with a whisk and pour into the dry ingredients.
- Mix the dry and wet ingredients together, but don’t over-mix – everything should be only just combined.
- Use two dessert spoons to half fill each muffin hole and place trays in oven for 20 minutes – although if you, like I do, prefer them a bit uncooked in the middle, start checking earlier.
I saw this recipe floating around on Facebook a couple of weeks ago and it really grabbed me – who wouldn’t want to try a recipe promising muffins that taste like cinnamon doughnuts? These muffins delivered on their promise in taste, were simple to make from basic pantry ingredients that are readily on-hand and cost no more than $1.50 to make. Make these quick and easy muffins for last minute friends dropping by or for a quick solution for empty lunch boxes at the end of a busy week. Like all muffins, these don’t have an especially long shelf life, but they are freezer friendly and if you’re eating them after a day or two, a quick zap for 10-20 seconds in the microwave brings back a fair bit of freshness and restores them to something more like a warm cinnamon doughnut. For those avoiding sugar, simply replace the caster sugar measure for measure with dextrose (available from the beer brewing section at K-Mart or Big W). If you’re not too heavy-handed with the mixture it will make 12 muffins. Enjoy!
- 1 3/4 cup plain flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil (I use rice bran)
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and distribute 12 paper cases in a 12 hole muffin tray.
2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix liquids in separate bowl or pyrex jug. Add liquids to dry ingredients and combine together well, without over beating. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tins using two soup spoons (but don’t overload them). Bake for 15 mins though start checking at 10. When muffins spring back a little, they’re ready.
3. While muffins are baking prepare sugar topping: combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and melt butter in yet another bowl. As soon as muffins come out of the oven, dip each one into melted butter and roll into sugar & cinnamon mixture, or brush with butter and top with sugar mixture if muffins are too hot to handle.
More often than not these days, I find myself in need of inexpensive and simple recipes that can be made in massive quantities. I’ve realised this is because I don’t have enough time to bake or cook for just one purpose: whatever is on the go has to meet the need of a freezer requiring a terms worth of school little lunches, morning tea for church or suppers for Bible study. I also find it’s much more cost-efficient. So when my friend Kim gave me this bumper recipe for 60 banana choc-chip muffins I was over the moon. Now that bananas have come down in price (it seems it’s not too hard to get them for $2 per kg), now is a great time to make these moist and fudgey treats. If you don’t need 60, this recipe is easily halved. An important tip about these muffins: feel free to use homebrand choc-chips. They’re much smaller than their more expensive counterparts and actually work better in this recipe. Depending on the price of bananas, all up this huge batch of deliciousness costs approximately $20. Thanks for sharing, Kim!
- 15 very ripe bananas (approx. 4kg)
- 3 1/2 cups sugar (700g)
- 5 eggs, slightly beaten
- 375g butter, melted
- 5 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 7 1/2 cups self raising flour (1.2kg)
- 4 x 250g packets choc-chips (1kg)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and distribute muffin cases across as many muffins trays as you have and will fit in your oven.
- Put all the bananas in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until creamy.
- Put all dry ingredients in a huge bowl or plastic 6L all-purpose basin (see picture).
- In a large mixing bowl combine mashed bananas, sugar, eggs and melted butter. Tip this wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until combined, but don’t over do it.
- Using two dessert spoons, dollop one heaped spoon worth of mixture in each muffin case. Bake for 15-20 minutes until brown and cooked through. Enjoy!
Above: Original Blueberry Muffins
Below: Sugar Free Blueberry Muffins
I have been using this Blueberry Muffin recipe by Nigella Lawson for years as my basic muffin recipe, morphing the flavours to suit what is desired – raspberry and white chocolate, chocolate chip and berry flavoured. Recently I’ve needed to modify it to be made on Stevia rather than sugar and it still works quite well. Below you’ll find the original recipe and the version of it I use when making them sugar free. Please don’t go to the shop to buy buttermilk, I’ve only ever used the yoghurt and milk replacement and it work fine. These are fast to make and will cost you no more than $3-4 depending on your choice of filling.
- 75g unsalted butter,
- 200g plain flour
- ½ tsp bicarb of soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 75g caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 200ml buttermilk (or 100g yoghurt and 100ml milk)
- 1 large egg
- 200g blueberries (I often use less to reduce cost)
- 12 hole muffin tray lined with 12 paper cases
- Preheat oven to 200C/gas mark 6.
- Melt the butter and set aside to cool a little.
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and in a measuring jug beat together the buttermilk (or yoghurt and milk), egg and melted butter.
- Using a wooden spoon and a light hand, pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix gently to combine. Don’t worry about lumps, the important thing is the mixture isn’t over-worked.
- Fold in the blueberries, again keeping mixing to a minimum.
- Spoon into the muffin cases and bake for 20 minutes, by which time the muffins should be risen, golden and firm on top.
For sugar free blueberry muffins: increase flour to 300g and replace sugar for 40g granulated Stevia.
I really can’t tell you how much I love this cheap, versatile and easy recipe. These cheese and bacon savoury muffins are flavoursome, light and fluffy and quick as can be to make. I have used this recipe for a variety of purposes, including: a sugar-free and filling morning tea for the kids’ lunch boxes, mini-muffin sized ones for church morning teas and regular muffin sized numbers to pull out of the freezer to eat with soup (they freshen up beautifully after a few minutes in the oven). Unlike lots of savoury muffins these aren’t heavy and scone-like, they’re puffy and light. If you’d like to add other things such as grated carrot and zucchini, this recipe can certainly handle it if you add a little more milk to your mixture (the mixture should be quite a wet mixture that’s not over-mixed). When I made the ones pictured, I had little bits of un-eaten cheese in the fridge (cast-offs of swiss cheese, parmesan etc…) and so I used them all up to total the cheese component. The end result was a yummy mix of cheese flavours that would have otherwise ended up in the bin. These work really well as plain cheese muffins too, just leave out the bacon.
- 1 1/2 cups grated tasty cheese
- 200g bacon, thinly sliced
- 2 cups plain flour
- 4 teasp baking powder
- 1/4 teasp salt
- 1/4 teasp dry mustard (if you don’t have dry, just use dijon or whatever you’ve got in the fridge)
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds (optional)
- chopped herbs such as spring onion, dill or parsley (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and grease a 12 hole muffin pan using cooking spray
- Place grated cheese and bacon in a large bowl. Sift in flour (or not, if you couldn’t be bothered), baking powder, salt, mustard and pepper. Add herbs and sesame seeds if desired (or save the seeds to sprinkle on top).
- Lightly beat eggs and milk together in a jug. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add the eggs and milk. Mix together gently using a knife with a cutting action so as not to over-mix.
- Place one heaped dessert spoon of mixture in each muffin hole and bake for 12-15 mins until muffins spring back when lightly touched. Makes 12.