Winter is upon us – it’s time for some delicious muffin magic

Apple and Walnut Muffins
Apple and Walnut Muffins

You can’t go past the scent of fresh baking, and a batch of home-cooked muffins really is as good as it gets; fruity, savoury or decadently chocolatey, there’s a muffin out there just waiting to be devoured by you and your crew. 

Whilst muffins are the essence of simple baking, there are a few guidelines to follow to ensure magnificent muffins every time; number one is to always make a double batch as they inevitably get scoffed in two seconds flat. By the children, of course.

The final mixing of muffins needs to be quick and light, so planning ahead is important. Before starting, prepare the muffin pans by lightly oiling or lining with paper liners. Preheating the oven to the correct temperature is also vital. Muffins like a hot oven to rise well, then you can adjust for longer cooking if required. 

Read the recipe before you start in case it calls for cooked, pureed or chopped ingredients. Combine both dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls before mixing them together. When mixing, work quickly but gently and take care not to over mix. The mixture should be just combined and don’t worry if you can still see the flour, this adds to the texture of the muffin.

Fill the muffin pan to the top, as this will produce a good looking muffin top. It’s best to bake muffins in the centre of the oven and to turn during cooking if necessary. Leave the muffins to cool in the pan after baking. They should be removed once the pan is cool enough to handle – a wire rack is excellent for thorough cooling.

Flavour combinations can be as creative as your seasonal ingredients on hand. It’s a great way to use up the fruit in the fruit bowl at the end of the week, when picky eaters are less attracted. Spotty bananas or softening pears and apples are great ways to add natural sweetness and create a light and moist texture. Savoury muffins loaded with lingering vegetables will transform packed lunches to a super delicious and easy alternative to boring sandwiches. 

Muffins should be stored in an airtight container and can also be frozen successfully – so you can make large batches at a time and have fresh muffins on hand. That’s if they last long enough to get to the freezer!

Try these easy muffins to get you inspired. 

Orange and poppyseed muffins

Preparation: 15 mins; cooking 20 mins; makes 12

  • 2¼ cups plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 2 teaspoon orange zest, finely grated
  • ¼ cup fresh WA navel orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds 

Preheat oven to 200ºC. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in large bowl. Add lightly beaten egg, milk and melted butter. Fold in orange zest, juice and poppy seeds. Mix all ingredients together but be sure to leave quite lumpy as this will help rising. Divide mixture into a greased or lined 12-cup muffin pan. Bake for 15–20 minutes. Garnish with fresh WA orange slices.

Spicy apple and walnut muffins

Preparation: 10 mins; cooking 35 mins; makes 12

  • 2½ cups SR flour
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 apples, grated or diced
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 250g mashed ripe banana
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup canola oil

Pre-heat oven to 180ºC. Mix flour, oats and allspice in a bowl. Fold in grated apple and nuts. Combine sugar, milk, mashed banana, eggs and oil in a small bowl or food processor. Add the wet mixture to dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Spoon into lightly greased or lined muffin tins. Bake at 180°C for 35 minutes or until golden.

Kiwifruit, lime and coconut muffins

Preparation: 10 mins; cooking 25 mins; makes 12

  • 2 cups SR flour
  • ¼ cup raw sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime rind
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup low-fat milk 
  • (or a combination of milk and yogurt)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 4 kiwifruit peeled, sliced crossways
  • ½ cup shredded coconut

Pre-heat oven to 180ºC. Mix flour, sugar, lime rind and coconut in a bowl. Combine milk, eggs and oil in a small bowl or food processor. Add the wet mixture to dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Spoon into lightly greased or lined muffin tins. Top with kiwifruit and sprinkle with shredded coconut. Bake at 200°C for 25 minutes or until golden. Dust with icing sugar to serve. 

Vegetable and tuna lunch muffins

Vegetable Tuna Lunch Muffins
Vegetable Tuna Lunch Muffins

Preparation: 10 mins; cooking 25 mins; makes 12

  • 4 cups chopped, lightly cooked vegetables (pumpkin, potato, carrot, sweet potato, onion, corn etc) 
  • 1 cup red lentils (cooked) 
  • 2 cups chopped lightly steamed green veg (broccoli, cauliflower, beans, cabbage) 
  • 425g can tuna in oil, undrained 
  • ½ cup chopped parsley 
  • 4 eggs, beaten 
  • 1 cup wholemeal SR flour 
  • 2 teaspoon curry powder 
  • ½ – 1 cup grated cheese 

Combine all ingredients except cheese. Spoon mixture into 12 greased and lined large muffin pans. Top with cheese.

Bake at 180°C (fan assisted) for 25 minutes. 

Freeze in air tight container. Reheat two minutes in microwave for a super easy snack or light meal.