Kombucha Muffins From Jerrelle Guy

October  6, 2020
10 Ratings
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Makes 12 muffins (see Author Notes)
Author Notes

These ultra-light, whole-grain muffins are perfect for people who think they don't have time to make muffins. In fact, they whisk together in about 5 minutes, and bake in about 10—all thanks to a boost from a joyful ingredient I'd never thought to use in baking. Thank goodness Jerrelle Guy did.

Jerrelle writes in her cookbook Black Girl Baking , “I’m obsessed with kombucha, the fermented tea drink. I drink it like I used to drink soda as a kid: at least once a day. I crave the feeling of that cold, carbonated liquid hitting my chest, giving me the sensation it’s opening my lungs for the first time that day…it’s addicting. I love watching the agitated bubbles rise to the lip of the bottle, too. I can tell it’s going to be a gusher when the cap is bulging before I even open the bottle. I thought I could use the carbonation and acid to make some kind of quick bread or breakfast muffin. So this is my tea-twist on the Irish soda bread I come across so often here in Boston.”

Note: If you are sensitive to the taste of baking soda, you can reduce the baking soda to 2 teaspoons—the muffins will still be fluffy, just not quite as fluffy. If you choose honey, the warm, sweet flavor of honey will come through most prominently. If you use agave, the flavor will be more neutral and you may be able to taste the baking soda more—a flavor I don't mind at all (think: pretzels!), but some people are more sensitive to. Whatever size your muffin cups are, don’t fill them much more than three-quarters full, and adjust the baking time accordingly. (For example, in my small muffin cups, I got 23 muffins and they baked in under 10 minutes.) Jerrelle notes that, to make these muffins vegan, you can use melted dairy-free butter or a neutral oil like grapeseed, safflower, sunflower, or canola oil, and use the agave option rather than the honey.

Recipe adapted very slightly from Black Girl Baking (Page Street Publishing, February 2018).

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What You'll Need
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Kombucha Muffins From Jerrelle Guy
  • 3 cups (360 grams) white whole-wheat flour or spelt flour
  • 4 teaspoons (10 grams) baking soda (see Note above)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (112 grams) unsalted butter, melted, or neutral oil, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 3/4 cup (180 milliliters) agave or honey
  • 1 (16-ounce [470-milliliter]) bottle plain kombucha
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F (220°C or gas mark 7). Oil the wells of a muffin tin and have it nearby.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Pour the melted butter and agave over the dry ingredients, and then pour in the kombucha. Whisk the mixture until just combined. Don’t mix beyond this point or your muffins will be tough.
  3. Immediately scoop the mixture into the muffin wells, and bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C or gas mark 5) and finish cooking for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. The initial high heat of the oven will make sure the muffins pop out over the edges of the pan. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm with more softened butter, if you like.

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25 Reviews

bmac January 28, 2024
I added cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, 2 T poppy seeds, 2 T sesame seeds, and half a cup of toasted walnuts to up the nutritional value, used avocado oil, and opted for maple syrup for sweetening. I used three teaspoons of baking soda because I added weight (nuts and seeds) to the batter. I also used ginger kombucha because that is what I had. They came out perfectly, with a nice, high cap, great texture, and fluffiness. Not sweet at all, but I ate one with grass fed butter and honey while it was warm. I had batter left over after filling a 12-muffin tin to the brim. We made pancakes with the leftover batter, which were pretty yummy. I would make these again and think you could achieve the lift using a good cider vinegar, shrub, or beer. I also think adding the spices and nuts made these more interesting and flavorful than the original recipe. These could easily be made into a savory muffin to eat with soup.
meta_cook February 6, 2022
Baking soda mis-measurement aside (supposed to be 2 tsp!), this recipe is fab.

The sweetness is perfect for breakfast with coffee. The ingredients are really forgiving and you can use almost any kind of flour, oil or sweetener you have and it'll work good enough. I like to add cardamom, pulverized freeze dried strawberries, orange blossom water, or whatever else I have on hand.
ahbramey January 15, 2022
I've made these twice now, the first time I believe I stuck close to the recipe as written using my homemade kombucha. The result was good, but quite plain, and I didn't really enjoy eating them. The second time, I made a few changes. I had some very overfermented homemade kombucha to use up (practically kombucha vinegar). Because I was worried about how sour it was, how plain the muffins were last time, and the fact that I didn't want to use all my honey on these, I used 1/2 c honey and 1/2 c sugar. I also added some cardamom and salted roasted pistachios chopped finely. I used whole wheat flour instead of spelt (which is what I used initially). I think the result was so much better this time. They actually have a flavor - sweet but tangy, hint of spice and a nice nuttiness. Another thing I will say about this recipe is I think I have standard size muffin tins, but I always end up with extra batter! I had to pour the remainder in a loaf tin to make a very thin little cake. If I didn't make my own kombucha, I would probably never make this recipe because as other commenters said, it's a waste to buy a bottle of kombucha and use it for this purpose. I see it as a way to creatively use excess kombucha a homebrewer has, or kombucha vinegar.
ahbramey January 15, 2022
Oh, also, both times I followed the comments and used 2 tsp of baking soda.
Leslie S. January 11, 2022
These muffins are exceptional. I made them this morning exactly as written, with a rose infused kombucha. They’re exceptionally fluffy, sweet but not overly so. This is my first foray into using spelt, and certainly the first time using kombucha other than just guzzling the bottle. The recipe would lend itself well to variations, in flour used, kombucha flavors, sweeteners, etc. One of the best things I’ve made in awhile and a lovely way to start the day, thank you.
Iwornum November 30, 2020
I like this recipe because unlike most vega/eggless muffin recipes these muffin get nice and fluffy. As other reviews have said you do need to adjust for the baking soda. I only use 2 teaspoons. I also do half honey or maple syrup half coconut sugar to up the flavor. I also added blueberries and lemon extract 1 tspn and zest of 1 lemon. This recipe can be the base for any fluffy muffins you want to make.

I have also made pumpkin spice muffins with this recipe. Using 2 tspn pumpkin spice and sub in half molasses and half maple syrup.
Sara M. November 4, 2020
Why would you literally waste a bottle of rather expensive kombucha since the heat of the oven kills any health benefits of the kombucha? Since it calls for an unflavored kombucha, just use a pale ale. If you want to add a little flavor, I bet a Summer Shandy or Blue Moon would be delicious.
Iwornum November 30, 2020
She uses it for the carbonation which combined with the baking soda makes the muffins nice and fluffy.
Alla Z. October 24, 2020
Horrible recipe! Way too much baking soda! All muffins went straight to trash.
Melissaiwai October 24, 2020
When I weighed the baking soda it was 1/2 the amount in the recipe (10 g = 1 teaspoon not 2 teaspoon as written).
Melissaiwai October 21, 2020
These were Ok. I used Trilogy Kombucha and honey. I weighed the baking soda and it was less than described in recipe. I halved the recipe because I want sure if we'd like these. It still made a dozen muffins!
The flavor was OK. Very plain. Much better with berries or jam. My husband and son were not huge fans. I still have five more so I think I'm going to freeze them because they won't be eaten fast enough. I think with berries it would be better. And maybe using half honey, half maple syrup and adding cinnamon for more flavor.
Melissaiwai October 21, 2020
Wasn't sure.
Melissaiwai October 24, 2020
Update : these tasted better the next day and then after. The honey flavor developed. We ate them all. Delicious with berries.
booglix October 19, 2020
Also wanted to say that I used 2 t of baking soda and they came out just fine: texture was fluffy, and they did not taste of baking soda.
booglix October 19, 2020
These were soft and fluffy, though quite plain in flavor (I used a flavored kombucha and honey, but didn't add other flavorings). Texture was so soft that it was difficult to spread anything on them, even toasted. Overall, I found them ok—certainly a delicate crumb and an interesting use for kombucha—but not memorable.
Sonoko K. October 18, 2020
Hi, I made this with three different flour, AP, almond flour&coconut flour as Kristen suggested, and Mochiko. It was very interesting. AP was perfect, off course. Mine looks more mountain shape. Mochiko was super soft Mochi, also yum. But unfortunately, almond mixture was crumbly. It Still tastes yum. Thank you for the recipe! It was good experiment. So many ways to try!
serina October 10, 2020
Will this work with almond flour or coconut flour or a combination. Interested to make this as I have never baked with kombucha
Kristen M. October 12, 2020
Hi Serina, it might take a little experimentation, but a combination of those flours could work nicely—based on this recipe, I think I'd start with a ratio of 3:1, or about 270g almond flour to 90g coconut flour. If you try it, please let us know how it goes!
serina May 30, 2021
Hi Kristen, its been months but I finally made these kombucha muffins and i used a combination of almond flour, coconut flour and ground flax-- it came out wonderfully. Of course it was slightly crumblier but still held together. The nutty taste of the almonds mixed well with the kombucha (I used a ginger lime flavor). I also made a kombucha chickpea flour vegan loaf bread with pretty much similar ingredients...Also a winner! Thank you for this wonderful recipe and the idea of using kombucha for baking.
Barb V. October 8, 2020
I have not made this, but it is on my radar. Please tell me if you normally go by cups & tsps, or by grams (the rest of the world). Also, please tell me how to add 4-6 overripe brown speckled bananas and some nuts to this recipe for my banana nut loving hubby.
Kristen M. October 8, 2020
Personally, I tend to weigh flours, since the weight of a cup of flour can vary so much, as well as other ingredients in larger amounts, but measure smaller amounts of powerful ingredients like leaveners in level teaspoons, since my scale at home doesn't show detail beyond the gram amount. I haven't experimented with adding banana but since the batter is so light and mashed bananas are so dense, I think I'd mix the bananas with a small amount of batter first to lighten them up, then fold them in. If you try it, please let us know how it goes!
Patti S. October 7, 2020
I'm gonna make these, but, my family isn't big on plain. They like flavors. So, whaddya think of using flavored kombucha or maybe adding fruit, nuts, chips, streusel topping, etc? And what about pancakes and waffles?
Kristen M. October 8, 2020
All sound great—this is a perfect base recipe for mixing in any fun doodads you like (I'm going classic blueberry on my next batch), and flavored kombuchas would be fun to experiment with, too.
YY October 11, 2020
So I just tried these and it was as easy as described. I substituted quinoa flour, ginger kombucha, and maple syrup. I also added blueberries and baking spices for flavour. They turned out moist and very fluffy as described except that with 4 teaspoons, the baking soda flavour is overpowering. Not sure they will be eaten. If anyone has had success with less baking soda, would love to hear of your results. I love the concept of this recipe but as it is, not enjoyable for us.
Iwornum November 30, 2020
I used 2 tspn and just as fluffy without the overwhelming flavor.