Sunken muffin tops: I made Dorie Greenspan's Corniest Corn Muffins and they sank miserably.

I did not open the oven until just before they were done. I didn't have buttermilk, so I hacked some using whole milk and some lemon juice (just a tiny bit left from an already lightly squeezed half) plus about a teaspoon of cider vinegar (didn't measure). I'm wondering if the buttermilk was too acidic, which caused an over-reaction with the baking powder + baking soda. What do you think? The muffins tasted great, by the way. (I doubled the nutmeg.) Thank you. ;o)
Here is the recipe, FYI: http://smittenkitchen.com...

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HalfPint
HalfPint August 14, 2015

@AJ, usually sunken middles indicate that the recipe has too much leavening. It could be that the buttermilk is too acidic or there might be too much baking powder.

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Shuna Lydon
Shuna Lydon August 14, 2015

I'm sorry but I can't agree with this statement - it's too vague. Baked goods sink for many many reasons. If something shuffles quite a bit and then sinks that's different from never rising at all. I wrote something about this sinking business a while back :http://eggbeater.typepad.com/shuna/2009/02/why-do-cakes-sink.html

My first guess would be too much liquid - meaning milk is not as viscous as buttermilk, although not all buttermilks are created equal! When I don't have buttermilk I tend to use yogurt, because thicker is usually a better direction to go than thinner. I LOVE the dried buttermilk idea! For you who has a little meteor of dried buttermilk - if you have a food processor that can usually help the clump issue.

Smaug
Smaug August 14, 2015

Don't know about the muffins, but I've always found dried buttermilk a handy thing to have around the kitchen. Works great for baking, and it keeps pretty well in a tightly sealed jar- it does tend to absorb moisture and turn to rock, which is surprisingly hard to reconstitute.

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Susan W
Susan W August 14, 2015

AJ, I've made those muffins and they had a beautiful dome, so I think you're onto the not quite right buttermilk.

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames August 14, 2015

Thank you, everyone! Those muffins were such a hit, I was asked to make them again soon - and to try a variation adding blueberries -- so I plan to buy some good buttermilk this weekend and make another batch early next week.
Thanks for the reminder, oldunc, about the buttermilk powder. I can get it in bulk, so I've made a note to buy a small quantity for emergencies just like this one.
Have a great weekend, all of you!
Cheers. ;o)

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