I like writing about basic recipes, you know the type, which you can customize and adapt as you see fit (or as your toddler sees fit, whichever is less stressful).
Like in the basic waffle recipe, this muffins recipe is suitable for little hands from the moment you introduce solids, up to pre-school lunchboxes and beyond.
I came across it in a baking book by James Morton, which talks about how baking works and lays the basics for every baked good you can think of. He gives variation ideas too, and in one of them he had reduced the sugar amount to half.
What I did was reduce this even further to…. 0.
Some people might not agree with this and will strongly miss the lack of flavour in the batter, but when it comes to baking for kids, I will advocate flavour alternatives like fillings, toppings and the like. You can do a great job, especially with fruit (for sweet versions) or grated cheese (for savoury versions).
What is it with muffins and kids?
The shape is quite kid-friendly. Not too small to be a choking hazard, not too big to not be easily held with one hand.
As such, I find my kids tend to stuff their mouths sometimes, so it is worth keeping an eye on them while they eat. Even if it’s just to gently remind them not to bite more than they can chew.
Whenever you feel like making something nutritious and quick, I’d say muffins are a great option as they can be grabbed and eaten as quickly as you can say “dinner time!”.
What can you fill your muffins with?
I’ve given some clues above, but here is a complete list for you to keep in mind.
- Mashed bananas – you cut down the liquid by 50g and mash 3 bananas to add to the batter
- Other fruits – all sorts of berries work well. If you halve the amount of flour you get the amount of fruit you can use. Or add by the handful.
- Veggies – Grated vegetables like carrots, parsnips, courgette, beetroot. You can add about 300g in total and remember to squeeze the moisture first if necessary (I’m looking at you, courgette/zucchini!)
- Surprise centre – you can scoop something in between alternating muffin batter, for example cream cheese or homemade jam.
Can I make some substitutions to this basic muffins recipe?
If you want to change their colour, you can add carob powder to make them similar to cacao muffins. Or you can use 50g of cacao if you’re comfortable or have older kids. I tend to avoid cacao for its stimulating ingredients. Just remember to reduce flour amount by 25g.
If you want to substitute the milk, you can do so with buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream for more flavour.
I would love for you to give this recipe a try and experiment with various fillings and such. Please drop a comment and let me know what you chose to fill them with. I’m always curious how others adapt these recipes. I tend to quickly run out of ideas or get stuck on making only one variety.
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More muffins recipes:
- 250g plain flour (2 cups)
- 3 level teaspoons baking powder
- 1 egg
- 200g milk (0.82 cups)
- 100g oil (1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons)
- Grease your muffin tin well. Preheat oven to 170c(fan)/190c(electric)/375F/Gas 5.
- In a bowl, weigh your flour, then mix in the baking powder and any fillings.
- In another bigger bowl, mix your wet ingredients: the egg, milk and oil.
- Bring the dry over the wet ingredients and DON'T overmix. Stop when you can't see anymore dry bits.
- Spoon your batter evenly between the muffin holes.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. You can check them by pressing down with your thumb or a finger and watch to see if they spring back. If they do convincingly and quick, they're ready. If there is a delay or you leave an indent, give them 3-4 minutes more.
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