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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5 Comments

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)
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
Shuna L. 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.
 
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