Make Ahead

Marion Cunningham’s Bridge Creek Fresh Ginger Muffins

September 20, 2016
Photo by Alpha Smoot
Author Notes

You can use whatever tool you prefer—Cunningham suggests a food processor or a knife; a Microplane would work well, too. All make quick work, though it’s helpful to remember that the finer the grind, the stronger the flavors will be. Note: The Breakfast Book version called for a temperature of 350, but in subsequent versions she increased to 375, so that's what I used here. Adapted slightly from The Breakfast Book (Knopf, 1987). —Genius Recipes

  • Makes 16 muffins
  • A 2-ounce piece unpeeled gingerroot
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (from 2 lemons), with some white pith
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
In This Recipe
  1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Grease the muffin tins.
  2. Cut the unpeeled ginger into large chunks. If you have a food processor, process the ginger until it is in tiny pieces, or hand chop into fine pieces. (You should have ¼ cup. It is better to have too much ginger than too little.) Put the ginger and ¼ cup sugar in a small skillet or pan and cook over medium heat until the sugar has melted and the mixture is hot. Don’t walk away from the pan—this cooking takes only a couple of minutes. Remove from the stove and let the ginger mixture cool.
  3. Put the lemon zest and 3 tablespoons sugar in the food processor and process until the lemon peel is in small bits; or chop the lemon zest and pith by hand and then add the sugar. Add the lemon mixture to the ginger mixture. Stir and set aside.
  4. Put the butter in a mixing bowl and beat a second or two, add the remaining ½ cup sugar, and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the buttermilk and mix until blended. Add the flour, salt and baking soda. Beat until smooth. Add the ginger-lemon mixture and mix well.
  5. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins so that each cup is three-quarters full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.

See Reviews

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Rachel Becker Wilson
    Rachel Becker Wilson
  • Angela Dahl
    Angela Dahl
  • JOEY
  • Marisa
  • Kristen Pierce
    Kristen Pierce
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink cooking tropes. They're handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacy. They get us talking and change the way we cook. And, once we've folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius too. Watch for new Genius Recipes every Wednesday morning on our blog, dug up by Food52's Creative Director Kristen Miglore.