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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

My Two Muffin Tweaks This Summer

Yum, blueberry muffins for a summer morning. 

Our blueberry bushes are past the peak in berry production for the year. So I'm making the most of what we have left. I made blueberry pancakes the other morning. And on Tuesday, I made another batch of blueberry muffins. 

I've been fiddling around with my scratch muffin recipe this summer, trying to waste less as well as conserve our egg supply. For my last couple of batches of muffins I've left out the usual 1 egg called for. To compensate for the leavening the egg provided, I increased the ratio of baking powder (or my substitute -- baking soda plus vinegar) to flour. To do this, I cut the flour amount from 2 cups to 1 1/2 cups but left the baking powder amount as originally called. The oil, sugar, salt, and milk remained the same as before. The first time I made muffins omitting the egg I was afraid the finished muffins would be too crumbly. As it turned out, they were just as muffin-y as I would expect. I'm now wondering what types of muffins actually need that egg. Perhaps muffins that are naturally more crumbly, like bran muffins. But for the rest, as long as I'm short on eggs, I'll be leaving the egg out of my muffins. The only drawback to this egg-less muffin technique is my new batch now makes 9 muffins, whereas the old batch made 12, due to reducing the flour by 1/2 cup. I could always do the math and figure a new recipe based on a greater amount of flour.  But that would be work. Some day, when I have nothing else to do and want a little math problem . . .

The other change I've made this summer is to skip the muffin papers. It has always annoyed me that so much of a muffin is lost due to sticking to the little paper cup. Simply greasing the muffin tin was never enough either. Instead of some of the muffin sticking to the paper, a thin layer of muffin crumbs stuck to the tin. After our conversation about greasing and flouring cake and loaf pans I decided to try greasing and flouring the muffin tin wells. This works amazingly well. Not only do the muffins not stick, but they come cleanly out of the tin, no crumbs left behind. Yes, it is work to grease and flour the tin. I can imagine there will be more times in the future where using the muffin liner papers will be the simpler choice. But for now, I'm really pleased to waste less of the muffin.

So those are the two tweaks I've made to my scratch muffins this summer, leaving the egg out and greasing and flouring the tins.


  1. Yes to blueberry muffins. We spent a weekend at the "cottage" which is my son's house near the lake to babysit his cat while he was gone and we went to a blueberry farm and though we didn't pick (too wet) we did buy some fresh blueberries. I made one small batch of blueberry muffins at the "cottage" and then a week later another small batch. We happened to go back there this past weekend and needed another 2 lb. pkg. of blueberries so I think muffins sound good again. But I use the liners because they are fairly cheap but I have silicone liners that might be a choice to use.

    Would love to hear which muffins work with or without eggs as I'm sure you'll be experimenting in the future. Eggs are expensive but on the way to the "cottage" there was a roadside stand with farm fresh brown eggs for $2 a dozen which is a decent price so we stop whenever we're in the area.


    1. Good price on eggs, Alice. $2.00/dozen is a great price for farm fresh eggs, around here any way. They are usually $4-5/dozen. And the cheapest ones in the stores are around $2.50/dozen. However, they are still an inexpensive source of protein.

      I usually get to pick blueberries from my sister's patch, but it was an off year, so we didn't get any from there this year. A disappointment, but such is life in the garden world.

    2. Hi Alice,
      that sounds like a wonderful weekend you had, a little mini vacation. With blueberries and farm-fresh eggs to boot! What's not to love?!
      I'll have to look into silicone liners. Do the muffins come clean from those liners?

    3. Hi Live and Learn,
      Sorry about your sister's blueberry patch not producing much this year. We have those years, too. Always a disappointment, but that happens.
      This will be an off year for our Italian Prune plum tree. We count on home-dried prunes for a good deal of our winter fruit supply. But there's nothing we can do about the plums. We can, however, pick more than usual blackberries this year to compensate.
      I hope you've had your fill of blueberries from another source, though.

  2. So funny you posted this. I made blueberry muffins today. I used this recipe: but with fresh blueberries (about 25 minutes of baking time with fresh rather than frozen, if you were wondering). Averie, who creates these recipes, prefers not using muffin liners as she thinks they look prettier without .... but I like the ease of the liners. BTW, my family ends up scraping the liners with a spoon to get all the delicious little pieces!

    1. Hi Kris,
      Thanks for posting that link. The muffin recipe looks like it would produce very moist muffins, with the addition of sour cream. Do you ever sub yogurt for sour cream in quick breads? I don't often have sour cream on hand but almost always have yogurt.
      I agree with Averie -- for the most part, I think muffins look prettier without the paper liners. The exception is those specialty liners that look like petals of a flower or other artistic-looking liners.
      We've been known to scrape the paper liners with the blade of a table knife while eating muffins.

    2. I almost always sub in yogurt for sour cream and I should have mentioned that. I used Greek yogurt for this recipe but I think your homemade would work fine if you strained off any extra liquid. I feel like it's a nutritional win to use yogurt and I can't taste the difference.

  3. I have used aquafaba( bean juice in cans, mainly from chick peas) It has worked well.
    Also have done flax eggs.

    1. Hi Teresa,
      I keep meaning to try liquid from garbanzo beans as an egg substitute. I cook beans from dried. Do you think the liquid from cooking chickpeas/.garbanzos from dried (not canned) would also work as an egg substitute? I use bean-cooking liquid in soups or pour onto soil under trees and bushes outdoors. I'd like to find other ways to use this liquid.
      I've done ground flax seeds as well as soy flour as egg substitutes with success. The increase in baking powder was just a simpler choice for me in the moment, as I was already adding baking powder and just had to increase the amount. The hardest part, I think, is overcoming years of following recipes a certain way.

  4. We started making loaves instead of muffins and figured maybe a slice is equal to the volume of a muffin?

    1. Hi again, Teresa,
      You're probably right on your equivalency of slices to muffins. When my kids were little and muffin papers seemed expensive for my budget, I baked muffin batter in 8 X 8 inch pans, like a coffee cake, and cut into squares. We called these "muffin squares." The few times we needed to make these portable, I wrapped each muffin square in half a paper towel each, as we'd need some sort of napkin anyway and the paper towel served as a muffin paper to hold the crumbs while eating.
      Making a loaf would certainly make greasing and flouring the pan simpler than doing the same to individual muffin wells.


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