Berries and Spice Muffins

by on July 4, 2007
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There’s something about the idea of a recipe “getting away” from me that makes it irresistibly attractive. Twice in the past couple of weeks I’ve found myself sitting in a doctor’s waiting room frantically scribbling down recipes from magazines I don’t subscribe to. (Not that I subscribe to any food magazines; I’d never finish reading an issue of The Nation or The New Yorker if they had to compete for my time with Saveur.) A few weeks ago, while waiting for E. in the orthodontist’s office, I actually asked the receptionist if I could borrow a copy of Gourmet that had too many interesting recipes for me to copy down, and when she said “Just take it–you don’t have to bring it back,” I felt like I’d won the lottery.

Then last week, before the dilating drops had time to blur my vision for the next 6 hours, I managed to copy down two recipes from my eye doctor’s months-old copy of Southern Living. Now, I used to subscribe to SL, and during that entire, unfortunate year, I don’t think I found two recipes worth photocopying, much less transcribing in my rusty longhand. But something about a recipe that might escape sent me digging in my bag for a pen and a crumpled program, upon which I proceeded to scribble semi-legibly over every inch of white space.

Berry-Spice Muffins

Berries and Spice Muffins is my adaptation of one of those two Southern Living recipes. It’s from the section of the magazine devoted to healthy cooking, so I didn’t have to change the fat content too much, though I did veganize it and change the berries from blueberries to a mixture of blackberries and blueberries (I didn’t have enough of either one on its own). The result was very good; in fact, D. said they were “the best muffins ever.” When I tried to pin him down about what was so good about them, he said it was the spice, not the berries, which were “kind of weird.” I had the opposite experience: I thought the berries were nice but found the muffin itself on the dry side. When I make them again (and I will) I’ll experiment with ways to moisten the crumb without adding more fat and I’ll make them a little sweeter.


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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Megan August 12, 2009 at 5:00 pm

I used frozen raspberries (on sale at the co-op!) and it came out wonderful! At first I thought I used too many berries… but more is better!

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2 Anonymous November 18, 2009 at 3:53 am

It is rather interesting for me to read that post. Thank you for it. I like such themes and everything connected to them. I would like to read a bit more on that blog soon.

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3 Nlovin January 11, 2010 at 11:56 pm

I've just tried this recipe. DELICIOUS! THEY were a BIG HIT even amongst the (non-dieting) omnivores. However, I did make a few adjustments due to low supplies. Substitutes: no lemon juice = 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, rice milk (soy allergy) and I also added vanilla essence for flavor and apple sauce for additional moisture. YUM!

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4 Jennifer February 16, 2010 at 5:58 pm

I made these with a couple tweeks and they were great! So light and fluffy! I used all whole wheat pastry flour, agave instead of sugar (same amount), no allspice, less cinnamon, no topping, and no flax. Thanks so much for your fabulous blog!

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5 April May 20, 2010 at 10:10 pm

These sound wonderful. I have found that if you take apart the paper muffin cups from the tin (the ones that are double and don’t require a muffin pan to bake) the muffins pop right out of the tins, after cooking.

Also, I use my blender to mix the batter in and pouring is quite simple and clean up takes no time at all. Just be sure to not run a full cycle (for blendtec) or else the muffins may get tough, like you mentioned above. Just ‘pulse’ a few times to make the batter moistened.

Thanks for the recipe.

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6 Jenn May 26, 2010 at 9:36 am

Anyway these muffins could be frozen? I am baking them in bulk for an event and it would be really helpful if I could freeze them :)

Thanks so much for this recipe and the blog in general! I cannot eat eggs and have now become lactose intolerant, so while I do still eat meat (horror of horrors, I know), I cannot have eggs or milk! No baked goods, no nothing! This blog has helped so much. I can be healthy and eat at the same time! Thanks!!!

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7 SusanV May 26, 2010 at 9:48 am

Jenn, I haven’t tried freezing them, but I can’t think of any reason why they couldn’t be. Good luck!

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8 Jenn May 27, 2010 at 3:23 pm

So, I just baked six batches of these muffins, adding a cup total of unsweetened applesauce and some vanilla from the home country. I was a little generous with the sugar due to some of the comments (and because this is for a tea of not necessarily ‘healthy’ eaters), but I still call it 2 cups :P THEY ARE DELICIOUS. First time in years I have tasted something I baked from the oven. Oh, so good. Thanks, Susan, for this tremendous recipe. Going to go freeze them now…

As a note: Some of you might be thinking ‘two cups of sugar? A whole cup of applesauce?’ Remember, I multiplied this recipe by six. Do the math :)

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9 Danni August 6, 2010 at 8:13 pm

These were amazing! I’ve never even liked blueberry muffins until I decided to make them on a whim. I made them without the topping and they were still super delicious. I will be making them again soon! Thanks for an amazing recipe :)

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10 Azahara August 12, 2010 at 9:52 am

These were lovely. I used half raspberry half blackberry, agave instead of sugar, a drizzle of vanilla extract and 1 tsp cinnamon. I also omitted the topping and the allspice, but the muffins turned out very tasty nonetheless.

Thanks, Susan!!

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11 Lauren August 24, 2010 at 12:34 am

amazing! I left out the flax and added a bit more cinnamon and about 1/4 cup applesauce. They were scrumptious.

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12 Megan September 3, 2010 at 7:21 pm

I made these a few nights ago. The topping was AMAZING straight out of the oven. I agree that the muffin might need a little extra sugar (and probably accompanying salt) for those who want a more bakery-style muffin, but I think these were fantastic. Everyone at work has enjoyed them too!

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13 Sasha October 7, 2010 at 8:17 pm

I made these the other day, and my kids, husband, and I loved them! I used a combination of blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries, and I left off the topping. I agree with others that they weren’t that sweet, but in my opinion that just amplifies the taste of the berries.

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14 Vivaroo February 18, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Thanks Susan these are really good but most importantly passed the kid test. I think this will be my ‘go to’ muffin recipe from now on. I grated 1 peeled royal gala apple in the mix and found them to be lovely and moist. Daughter was quite liberal with buttering the muffin tins!

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15 Allyne April 30, 2012 at 11:39 am

Mmm thank-you, what a great recipe! I used half quinoa flour and half whole wheat flour…..delicious and moist! Although I should invest in the silicone muffin liners…..saw your comment a little too late, they really do stick well to paper liners!

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16 Tom July 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I just made these and the changes I made to the recipe are:

Used brown sugar in the muffins and upped the amount to 2/3 cup of sugar.
Used vanilla almond milk in place of the soy milk.
I added 2 Tbsp of applesauce.
Used all white flour.
Left out the allspice.
Used one half cup marionberries and one half cup blueberries.
I greased the muffin tin pretty well and let them cool for ten minutes. They came out perfectly. The texture is good and the taste is divine. The tartness of the better and the sweet crunch of the topping are a great contrast, a great recipe!

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17 Amy October 7, 2012 at 12:57 pm

These are dangerously good! Given the fall weather, instead of berries, I used a large pear (peeled and chopped into small pieces; a bit over 1 cup), and I doubled the spice mixture. I accidentally (for fortunately?) misread the topping and added 2 tbsp water instead of just 1 and no margarine. They came out like a pecan roll that became a muffin and incorporated pear cider. So yummy!

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18 angelica January 31, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Could you post nutrition facts not including the pecan topping? thank you!

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19 Tom May 31, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Just made a gluten free version of these! I subbed brown rice flour, left out the lemon juice and allspice, only put in a tiny bit of cinnamon and subbed a cup of mixed carob and chocolate chips I needed to use up. I also doubled the sugar(coconut sugar) and added 2 Tbsp of plain soy yogurt. They are fantastic, tasty and somewhat fluffy, which is hard to achieve with gluten free!

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