Food52 in 5

This Game-Changing Muffin Mix Is the Key to Better Breakfasts

You'll want to make a triple batch.

by:
February 27, 2019
Photo by Rocky Luten

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In my head, I’m the type of person who makes warm breakfasts every morning and tucks muffins into my kids’ backpacks as they go off to school. In reality, we eat cold cereal for breakfast, and my kids take some rotation of Pirate’s Booty, bananas, and granola bars as their school snacks. And I’m mostly okay with that, except for one thing: I love to bake, and I’d love to do more of it.

My baking usually happens late at night, after dinner is cleaned up and the kids are in bed. In a tired state, I usually end up with flour all over my pajamas and a sink full of dirty dishes to contend with the next morning. It recently occurred to me that to bake more often (and at a reasonable hour!), I need to take more shortcuts, just like I’ve been doing for weeknight dinners.

So I created this Game-Changing Muffin Mix. It takes inspiration from my Game-Changing Pancake Mix, a jar of which I always have on hand for emergency dinners and easy weekend brunches. The mix also takes some cues from Stella Park’s Top-Shelf Muffin Mix in Bravetart. Now, in the amount of time it’d take to assemble the dry ingredients for just one batch of muffins (so, about five minutes), I can make enough mix for three batches (or ten!) and store it in the pantry for weeks.

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Top Comment:
“I always prefer to have weights for baking, because volumes don't seem to produce results as consistently for me.”
— Kay
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I had three main things in mind when creating the recipe:

1. Flavor

To ensure super-flavorful, richly textured muffins, I used a combination of flours (all-purpose, whole-wheat, oat, and rye) and brown sugar in the mix. For the liquid ingredients, I turned to olive oil for its savory richness and sour cream for its tanginess.

2. Easy Assembly

To make assembly quick and easy (both the mix and the muffins themselves), I included weights in grams for all of the ingredients—even the olive oil—so you can skip measuring cups altogether. (Thanks to Kristen Miglore’s Genius Desserts for this game-changing way of writing recipes!)

3. Adaptability

And because of the gram weights, the recipe is endlessly adaptable. Don’t have rye flour? Double up on the whole-wheat flour. Have Greek yogurt on hand? Use it in place of the sour cream. Even better, the basic recipe lends itself so well to virtually any type of add-ins—from lemon-blueberry (my son’s favorite) to cinnamon–chocolate chunk (my daughter’s favorite) to orange, currant & poppy seed (my favorite).

In the last few months, the mix has lived up to its name. It’s made freshly baked muffins simple, attainable, and consistently delicious, even on busy weekdays. My family’s muffin consumption has happily skyrocketed as a result.

One of the first times I baked muffins using this mix, I made sure to tuck one into each of my kids’ backpacks. “Mommy, can you please bake muffins more often?!” They asked after coming home from school.

Knowing that I had a big batch of the mix on hand, I proudly answered: “Of course!”

What's your go-to, 5-minute breakfast? Share with us in the comments!

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EmilyC

Written by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

10 Comments

Launa V. June 9, 2019
I've a bread recipe that I use a lot (I make communion bread for my church). I weigh the flour and use a measuring cup/spoons for everything else as the other ingredients are not as variable as flour (scoop and scrape? sift/scoop/scrape? etc.) but I need to have the correct amount of flour. I'm now vending at a farmers market each month and shall translate more recipes to scaling.
 
Kay April 16, 2019
DIFFERENT Kay!
I appreciate the weights. Years ago I (quasi)experimented with dry ingredients. Here in the Richmond, VA area, it can make a HUGE difference on different days or different times of the year. I think the humidity might have something to do with it, but that's just a guess. Plus, different brands can vary ever so slightly in grinds, I think. I always prefer to have weights for baking, because volumes don't seem to produce results as consistently for me.
 
Kay March 7, 2019
This is a good, adaptable recipe, and I've used it several times. A question, though - why on earth do you think weighing things in grams is easier than measuring? I am an American, not a European (where they are used to weighing, I guess), and to weigh in grams I need to get out the scale, put the ingredient in some kind of container, figure tare weight, then weigh it - adding and subtracting till I get to whatever weight I'm supposed to have. And there will still be containers to wash. Unless there is some kind of magic involved, why is fussing with all that easier than getting a cup of flour?
 
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EmilyC March 8, 2019
Hi Kay -- My digital scale has a tare button that allows me to reset to zero between every addition, so adding large amounts of multiple flours is really easy. I literally pour the flours straight from the container or bag into one bowl, resetting the scale each time. (For me, this is SO much faster, easier, and accurate.) I included volume measurements, though, because I realize that not everyone owns a scale, or likes to use one. Boils down to personal preference, I suppose! : )
 
Rosalind P. March 17, 2019
Feel your pain, Kay. But from the opposite direction. As an American baker of (ahem) many decades, I was firmly in the volume tradition. But a very hit-and-miss baker. And it was always even harder to measure when I got to the bottom of the flour or sugar or cocoa or whatever. I finally stumbled on the weight approach when visiting my daughter in London, and for me -- all thumbs with volume -- it was an epiphany. It really is more accurate, especially given the variation in dry ingredient volumes. So I have a digital scale which is always out; it has a tare feature so can reset to zero for adding ingredients. And I yearn for weight measures in all my baking recipes. If you're an expert and used to volume, then I can see the frustration in getting only weights. But it turned me into a sad but laughable baker to an acceptably competent one.
 
caroline0ne April 16, 2019
I WOULDN'T BOTHER WITH ALL THAT TRANSLATING. IT WOULD BE WAY TOO TIME CONSUMING.
 
Launa V. June 9, 2019
A cup of flour can vary in quantity because of the air to particle distribution. If you sift/scoop/scrape, the amount of flour would be different than if you scoop/scrape. If you jiggle the measuring cup, you'll have to add more flour to the cup before scraping. The great thing about scaling is the consistency because the weight is the determining factor - not the volume. A scale is still useful if using imperial measures: 16oz still weighs 16oz regardless of how much stuff is in the measuring cup. As a Canadian, I had to forget all I know of the metric system when I moved to the USA. I find the metric system a more accurate means of measurement. If you can count to 100 by 10's, you can use the metric system.
 
Jane March 3, 2019
Has anyone measured more add ins? Maybe something with carrots or dates? I need a week’s worth of variations
 
Author Comment
EmilyC March 3, 2019
Hi Jane: I've never done carrot-date muffins, but I suspect about 3/4 to 1 cup of shredded carrots and 1/2 cup of chopped dates would work nicely. In general, when using fresh fruit (blueberries, raspberries, diced pears or peaches), I usually add 1 cup to the batter. With dried fruit, no more than 1/2 to 3/4 cup, and same with nuts. Hope this helps!
 
BerryBaby February 27, 2019
Easy my Breakfast Crunch and Munch...
BB