I harp on and on about simple recipes being the best, but when you can be delving into warm, fresh-from-the-oven muffins in under an hour, who can blame me? These might just be my favourite muffins I've ever made; all the flavour of a hot cinnamon bun in a quarter of the time and effort. You can use whatever nut you have to hand instead of the almonds.
My little trick for perfectly domed, light muffins is simple: add steam! Creating a moist environment in the oven stops a crust forming on the top prematurely, so the muffins can expand fully before browning. You don’t need any fancy equipment to achieve this either – simply fill one or two holes in your muffin tin with boiling water and bake.
Cinnamon Swirl Muffins
Recipe written by Martha Collison for Waitrose Weekend
275g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
75g caster sugar
1 Waitrose British Blacktail Medium Free Range Egg
150ml natural yogurt
175ml whole milk
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
FOR THE CINNAMON FILLING
75g light soft brown sugar
75g almonds, chopped
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with 10 muffin cases and preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and caster sugar in a large bowl, and make a well in the centre.
3. Whisk together the egg, yogurt, milk, oil and vanilla in a jug, then slowly pour the wet ingredients into the well in the dry ingredients. Use a balloon whisk to gently mix the ingredients together until they are just combined, then stop stirring, as overmixing the batter will make your muffins tough.
4. In a bowl, combine the soft brown sugar with the chopped almonds and cinnamon until well mixed. Spoon a teaspoon of muffin mixture into each case, then sprinkle a teaspoon of the cinnamon sugar over the top. Repeat, alternating the mixtures, until the batter is used up. Sprinkle any remaining cinnamon mix over the top of each muffin.
5. Fill the tin’s 2 remaining holes with boiling water (this will create steam in the oven that helps the muffins rise) and bake the muffins for 15-20 minutes, or until risen and golden brown on top. Allow to cool briefly before enjoying warm. These muffins will keep for up to 2 days, but are best eaten straight away.
What are your go-to muffin recipes? Let me know if you decide to give these a go!