Essential Baking Ingredients: How to Stock Your Pantry

Essential Baking Ingredients: How to Stock Your Pantry
A comprehensive list of essential baking ingredients, broken down into “must-have” and “nice-to-have” lists, for stocking your pantry.
READ: Essential Baking Ingredients: How to Stock Your Pantry

Essential Baking Ingredients: How to Stock Your Pantry

A comprehensive list of essential baking ingredients, broken down into "must-have" and "nice-to-have" lists, for stocking your pantry.

READ: Essential Baking Ingredients: How to Stock Your Pantry

The Basics: Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder

The Basics: Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder
Baking soda and baking powder are both very common chemical leaveners used in baking; below you will learn about the key differences between them, when you should use each, and how to make substitutions. Let’s …

The Basics: Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder

Baking soda and baking powder are both very common chemical leaveners used in baking; below you will learn about the key differences between them, when you should use each, and how to make substitutions. Let's flex those baking muscles!

READ: The Basics: Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder

The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Baking (New Email Series)

The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Baking (New Email Series)
[pictured above: Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodles] I’m super excited to announce a new (free!) email series that I just launched called The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Baking. You may have seen a new n…

The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Baking (New Email Series)

[pictured above: Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodles] I’m super excited to announce a new (free!) email series that I just launched called The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Baking. You may have seen a new notification about it when you visited my site and I wanted to take a moment to tell you all about it. So, what’s […]

READ: The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Baking (New Email Series)

How to Make Buttermilk (4 Easy Substitutes)

Did you forget to pick up buttermilk at the store? Once you know 4 easy methods for how to make buttermilk, you’ll be able to whip up a quick and easy substitute in just a few minutes. Do you ever just get a dessert craving and have to make something right then? Obviously I’m a …

The post How to Make Buttermilk (4 Easy Substitutes) appeared first on My Baking Addiction.

        

Did you forget to pick up buttermilk at the store? Once you know 4 easy methods for how to make buttermilk, you’ll be able to whip up a quick and easy substitute in just a few minutes.

homemade buttermilk substitute comes together in 5 minutes and requires only 2 ingredients. Skip the grocery store and make your own!

Do you ever just get a dessert craving and have to make something right then?

Obviously I’m a little baking obsessed, so it shouldn’t surprise you that I will often decide to make something randomly. 

Whether it’s Fresh Strawberry Bread, Moist Banana Cake, or The Best Chocolate Cake, there’s nothing more disappointing than getting halfway into making a recipe and realizing that I’m out of buttermilk.

It’s even worse when it happens after I have put on my comfy clothes for the evening and do NOT want to go to the store.

Luckily, I’ve got a few quick and easy buttermilk substitute tricks in my back pocket just for times like this. Once you know how to make this tangy baking staple, you’ll be able to whip up any number of baked goods on the fly no matter what you have in your fridge!

(more…)

The post How to Make Buttermilk (4 Easy Substitutes) appeared first on My Baking Addiction.

        

Easy Scones – Baking Basics

A classic scone is the perfect tea-time snack, served with clotted cream (or salted butter, as I prefer!) and jam. These little delights are a kind of quickbread (similar to soda bread) so rely on a chemical raising agent, not yeast, and come together extremely quickly. From Mary Berry to the BBC, every scone recipe will vary slightly but the ratios are usually pretty similar and rely on the simple ingredients of plain flour, milk, butter and baking powder. You can play around with add-ins as well, folding in grated cheddar cheese for a cheese scone or some soaked sultanas for a fruit scone. I like the addition of eggs to my scone dough as I think they produce a cakier texture and help the scones stay softer for longer. Some people like using buttermilk but, as it is often hard to find, I prefer to simply thin some natural yoghurt with water (in a 50:50 ratio) to use instead of milk sometimes. Can scones be frozen? Yes, this is a great way to make scones way in advance. Freeze the cut rounds of scone dough on a lined baking tray. Once frozen, slide the scone dough rounds into a […]

The post Easy Scones – Baking Basics appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

a classic scone, halved and filled with strawberry jam and clotted cream

A classic scone is the perfect tea-time snack, served with clotted cream (or salted butter, as I prefer!) and jam. These little delights are a kind of quickbread (similar to soda bread) so rely on a chemical raising agent, not yeast, and come together extremely quickly. From Mary Berry to the BBC, every scone recipe will vary slightly but the ratios are usually pretty similar and rely on the simple ingredients of plain flour, milk, butter and baking powder. You can play around with add-ins as well, folding in grated cheddar cheese for a cheese scone or some soaked sultanas for a fruit scone. I like the addition of eggs to my scone dough as I think they produce a cakier texture and help the scones stay softer for longer. Some people like using buttermilk but, as it is often hard to find, I prefer to simply thin some natural yoghurt with water (in a 50:50 ratio) to use instead of milk sometimes.

classic scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam and a cup of tea

Can scones be frozen?

Yes, this is a great way to make scones way in advance. Freeze the cut rounds of scone dough on a lined baking tray. Once frozen, slide the scone dough rounds into a resealable food bag and freeze for up to 3 months. You can bake the dough straight from frozen, at the usual temperature, for 20-25 minutes.

You can also freeze already baked scones in a resealable food bag for up to 1 month. Pop them into a 100C (200F) oven for about 20 minutes to defrost & warm them up.

Can scone dough be made in advance & refrigerated?

Yes, you can make scone dough the night before you want to bake them. I think this works best if you roll & cut out the scones, pop them onto a lined baking tray and then chill for up to 24 hours (instead of chilling the un-cut dough). You can then glaze and bake as usual straight from the fridge – the chilling shouldn’t really impact the baking time much. This can actually provide a better rise to your scones as the flour has more time to absorb the liquid in the dough, plus the buttery bits in the dough re-solidify, which both help produce a better texture. Don’t leave the scone dough in the fridge for more than 24h though as the baking powder will start to lose its efficacy meaning your scones won’t rise as much!

Why is scone dough so wet?

The texture of scone dough should be quite wet and sticky as this loose texture really helps to produce the lightest, fluffiest texture once baked. The drier your dough is, the less ability the dough has to rise in the oven and the denser your scones will be. If you’re finding the scone dough is too wet to handle, pop it in the fridge to chill for about 30 to 60 minutes. Make sure you’re using a lightly floured work surface and dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Also, try to handle it as little as possible to prevent it sticking! Do not try to mix more flour into the dough as you’ll throw off the ratios of ingredients in the recipe resulting in dry, dense scones.

Tips for the best scones

  1. Scone dough is not kneaded – instead it is gently stirred and then patted and folded in half a few times (this is called ‘chaffing’ the dough), trying to work it only until the dry ingredients are incorporated. This is because kneading the dough will develop the gluten structure in the dough past where we want it to be, which leads to a tough, dense scone. On the other hand, chaffing the dough incorporates some air into the dough and encourages formation of distinct layers which help the dough rise AND give a natural ‘fault’ line to your scone meaning you should be able to split it in half by simply pulling the top and bottom apart.
  2. Only stir the batter together until the liquid is just about incorporated – the chaffing step after mixing is where the dough properly comes together so don’t worry if it looks like a complete mess when you tip it out of the bowl. By finishing the mixing job when you’re folding the dough on the work surface, you prevent overworking the dough and ensure you get nice flaky layers in your scones.
  3. Re-roll the dough as few times as possible – you will need to re-roll the scraps if you’re cutting out circles but try your best to do this only 2 or 3 times max. This will ensure you don’t overwork your dough!
  4. Have cold butter and milk – this will help give the scones a light and ‘short’ (crumbly) texture as the cold fat and milk will somewhat inhibit gluten development.
  5. Roll the dough THICK – I like to cut my scones from dough which is about 3cm thick. You’ll probably look at the dough and think ‘that dough is too thick!!’ but it’s not!! It’s probably the most vital part to ensuring your scones rise up tall.
  6. Don’t twist the cutter – when you punch each circle out of the dough, use a straight down & up motion, no twisting!! The twisting effectively seals the cut edges of the circle which means it won’t rise as well.
  7. Don’t let the egg/milk glaze drip down the sides of the scone – again this kind of seals that cut edge of the scone and will prevent it rising.

Can I make these scones with self-raising flour?

Yes, just replace the plain flour and the baking powder in the recipe with 360g of self-raising flour

Can I make these scones without egg?

Yes, they’ll have a slightly less spongey texture but you can replace the eggs in the recipe with an extra 75ml (1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp) of milk.

Easy Scones

Easy Scones

Yield: 8 to 9 scones
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Big, fluffy scones made with plain flour, milk, butter & eggs. Delicious served with strawberry jam and clotted cream.

Ingredients

  • 360g (3 cups) plain flour (all-purpose flour)*
  • 50g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine table salt
  • 100g (7 tbsp) unsalted butter, cold, cubed
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 100ml (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) cold milk*

Glaze (optional):

  • 1 egg, beaten OR 2 tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C fan (400°F fan) / 220°C non-fan (430°F non-fan). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir together. Add the cubed butter and used your fingertips to rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks kind of sandy and shaggy with some pea-sized lumps of butter remaining.
  3. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture. Crack the eggs into the centre and pour in the milk. Stir together very briefly to form a messy, sticky dough with some floury patches remaining.
  4. Tip the contents of the bowl out onto a work surface dusted lightly with flour. Pat the shaggy dough out into a rough rectangle about 1.5cm (1/2-inch) thick. Fold the dough in half and rotate 90 degrees. Pat out again and fold in half then rotate 90 degrees. Do this a couple more times until there are no floury patches remaining. You want to work quickly & lightly here - don't overwork the dough or the scones will be tough.
  5. Now dust your dough rectangle with flour on top and underneath. Roll out gently until it's around 3cm thick - it'll look super thick but this is key to getting tall scones!
  6. Dust a 5 or 6cm (2 or 2.5-inch) round cutter (or water glass) with flour and use to cut out rounds of dough. Make sure you're using a simple down-up movement with the cutter (i.e. DON'T twist the cutter as this will seal the cut edge and prevent the scones rising).
  7. Pop the rounds out onto the lined tray. Gently gather the scraps and re-roll, cutting out more rounds from the dough until it's all used up. You should get 8 or 9 scones total.
  8. Brush the tops of the scones with a thin layer of beaten egg (or milk) - try to make sure the glaze doesn't drip down the sides of the scone as this can prevent them rising.
  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating the tray 180-degrees when they're halfway through their cooking time. They should be well-risen and golden all over.
  10. Serve warm with clotted cream, or butter, and jam.

Notes

*Using self-raising flour: If you don't have baking powder to hand, just replace the plain flour & baking powder with 360g (3 cups) of self-raising flour.

*Using yoghurt in place of milk: I sometimes use a mixture of water and natural yoghurt (50ml of each) in place of milk. It depends on what I have in the fridge and what flavour I'm going for (yoghurt adds a bit more of a tangy flavour to the scones).

Dairy-Free Scones - use a dairy free block butter (like Stork or Naturli) instead of the butter. Use a dairy-free milk (I like oat milk).

Freezing scones before baking - you can freeze the rounds of scone dough before baking on a tray. Once frozen, slide them off the tray into a sandwich bag and pop back into the freezer for up to 3 months. They can be baked from frozen at the same temperature as usual for 20-25 minutes.

Freezing baked scones - cool scones to room temperature then pop into a sandwich bag and freeze for up to 1 month.

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

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Egg Substitutes – for vegan recipes & baking

A lot of the time when developing vegan baking recipes, I prefer to start with a standard recipe and make plant-based substitutions. One of the main things I find myself experimenting with are different vegan egg substitutes. Have you ever wondered what ingredients could be used as an egg substitute in baking? and which of those substitutes work best in different situations? Below you’ll find quite a comprehensive list of common ingredients you can use instead of eggs, how much to use to replace 1 egg & which applications each one is best for. Eggs have many properties which we use in cooking & baking (binding, aeration/rise, spongey texture, creaminess, thickening, browning, stabilisation) so each substitution provided usually covers some but not all of those properties – hence needing different substitutes for different recipes. Even if you’re not vegan or allergic to eggs I think it’s useful to know a few of these substitutes for if you’re ever in a situation where you don’t have/can’t get eggs. You can pin the graphic above (or even save it) for future reference! Baking soda + vinegar Ground flaxseed Chia seeds Mashed banana, applesauce, pumpkin puree Greek yoghurt Chickpea flour Aquafaba Oats Silken […]

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a graphic table showing vegan egg substitutes for baking and cooking

A lot of the time when developing vegan baking recipes, I prefer to start with a standard recipe and make plant-based substitutions. One of the main things I find myself experimenting with are different vegan egg substitutes. Have you ever wondered what ingredients could be used as an egg substitute in baking? and which of those substitutes work best in different situations? Below you’ll find quite a comprehensive list of common ingredients you can use instead of eggs, how much to use to replace 1 egg & which applications each one is best for.

Eggs have many properties which we use in cooking & baking (binding, aeration/rise, spongey texture, creaminess, thickening, browning, stabilisation) so each substitution provided usually covers some but not all of those properties – hence needing different substitutes for different recipes.

Even if you’re not vegan or allergic to eggs I think it’s useful to know a few of these substitutes for if you’re ever in a situation where you don’t have/can’t get eggs. You can pin the graphic above (or even save it) for future reference!

Baking Soda + Vinegar

An interesting combination which provides the lift and browning to vegan cakes missing from not including eggs. This is very limited in application but works extremely well for certain recipes.

1 egg = 1 tsp baking soda + 1 tbsp vinegar

  • Method: Unless you are confident in making changes to recipes I would only use this substitute in recipes which have been specifically developed using it. These types of recipe are easy enough to find by googling!
  • Best for: chocolate cakes, other fluffy layer cakes and cupcakes, pancakes
  • Benefits: most people will have these already to hand, cheap
  • Example recipe: Caramelised Banana Buckwheat Bread

Ground Flaxseed (Linseed)

Flaxseeds can come whole or pre-ground. If they’re pre-ground and you live in a warm climate, store in the fridge or freezer to prevent it going rancid. If you have whole flaxseed, use a spice grinder or blender to blitz them into a fine powder before using as an egg substitute.

1 egg = 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp (45g) warm water

  • Method: Mix the flaxseed and water together in a small bowl and set aside until the mixture becomes slightly thick and gelatinous (around 5 minutes). You can now use it in your recipe as you would an egg.
  • Works best for: Muffins, cakes, quickbreads, cookies
  • Benefits: high in fibre, high in omega 3 fatty acids, neutral taste, easy to find
  • Example recipe: Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds come either as black or white small seeds. You can choose the white ones if you don’t want to see black speckles in the final product. They are used whole so remain kind of crunchy in the final bake and can get stuck in your teeth. Once mixed with water the chia seeds form a fibrous, mucilaginous (slimy!) clear liquid.

1 egg = 1 tbsp whole chia seeds + 3 tbsp water

  • Method: Mix the chia seeds and water together in a small bowl and set aside until the seeds have formed a gelatinous goop around them and thickened up a lot
  • Works best for: muffins, quickbreads, cookies (& sometimes brownies)
  • Benefits: high in fibre, high in unsaturated fats, high in protein, no need to grind before using

Mashed banana, applesauce, pumpkin puree

These all work in a similar way with a smooth, slightly thick but watery texture. They can impart a flavour (mashed banana) or a colour (pumpkin puree) but the most neutral is plain, unsweetened applesauce. They can make things have a slightly denser texture so are best used for heartier bakes.

1 egg = 1/4 cup (60ml) mashed banana or applesauce or pumpkin puree

  • Method: mash/blend banana until very smooth (use smooth, unsweetened applesauce/pumpkin puree) and mix into recipe as you would an egg.
  • Works best for: heartier bakes such as pancakes/waffles, muffins, quickbreads
  • Benefits: easy to access and use
  • Example recipe: Vegan Sourdough Banana Bread

Greek Yoghurt

Very similar to how you would use mashed banana/applesauce/pumpkin puree (but not vegan!). Youghurt can help provide a tender texture so is best for cakier products. As it’s high in protein and contains some sugars, it can also give your bakes a lovely golden-brown appearance.

1 egg = 1/4 cup (60ml) Greek yoghurt

  • Method: use as you would an egg in your recipe.
  • Works best for: quickbreads, muffins, pancakes
  • Benefits: easy to access, provides some tenderness, high in protein, helps with browning
  • Example recipe: Lemon Yoghurt Pot Cake

Chickpea Flour (Gram flour)

A pale yellow, fine flour, commonly used in Indian recipes. This flour has a distinctly ‘beany’ scent and can make the batter of your bakes taste a bit earthy. Don’t worry though, once baked the flavour is lost. This can even be used to make vegan ‘scrambled eggs’ or ‘omelettes’ – you just need to incorporate some salt and spices/herbs into your chickpea flour ‘batter’ and fry with some oil in a frying pan.

1 egg = 1 tbsp chickpea flour + 3 tbsp (45ml) water

  • Method: Place the flour in a small bowl and
  • Works best for: cakier products like cakes, quickbreads, muffins, deep frying (egg substitute for when you’re breadcrumb-coating things), French toast batter, crepes/pancakes, scrambled ‘eggs’/ ‘omelettes’
  • Benefits: high in protein, high in fibre, imparts a golden colour to bakes, has a neutral flavour once cooked
  • Example Recipe: Butternut Squash & Caramelised Shallot Tart

Aquafaba (Chickpea Water)

The brine which is usually drained away and discarded from a can of chickpeas (or even black beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans) can be used as an egg white substitute. It whips up just like egg whites do, although tends to take longer to reach stiff peaks, and can be used for similar applications. Unlike egg whites, the foam produced by aquafaba will not solidify once cooked so it needs sugar (or something else like melted chocolate e.g. if using for a mousse) to be whisked into it in order to stabilise it.

The viscosity of aquafaba can vary from brand to brand (as well as if you’re using water from beans you’ve cooked yourself) – if you tried whipping it and it doesn’t seem to work, reduce the liquid down by 50% by gently simmering it in a small pot on the stove.

1 egg = 1/4 cup (60ml) aquafaba

  • Method: either use straight from the can or reduce (as described above) if needed before using. Can mix straight into batters/doughs or whip it up in a stand mixer (with or without sugar, as you would meringue) until you get thick, white fluffy foam just like whipped egg whites.
  • Best for: things where egg whites are used like meringues, mousse, Swiss meringue buttercream. Also can be used for cookies, waffles/pancakes, deep frying (egg sub. for breadcrumb coating things), and cakes.
  • Benefits: uses something you’d usually throw away, can be frozen for use in the future, light fluffy texture.
  • Example recipe: Vegan Molten chocolate cakes

Oats

When oats are combined with boiling water they thicken and become a bit gloopy (i.e. porridge!). This can then be used as is (or blended to form a sticky, smooth paste) and used as an egg substitute.

1 egg = 2 tbsp oats + 3 tbsp boiling water (fine/instant/porridge oats work best here – not old fashioned oats)

  • Method: Place the oats in a small bowl, cover with the boiling water and set aside until thickened and cooled. This mixture can then be blended into a smooth paste if having a slightly oaty texture in the finished bake isn’t desired.
  • Best for: cookies, muffins, quickbreads, pancakes/waffles
  • Benefits: common pantry ingredient, cheap, high in fibre
  • Example recipe: Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Silken Tofu

This tofu is usually shelf stable so is normally found on supermarket shelves (i.e. not in the chilled section). It has a wobbly and very soft texture. Once blended into a smooth paste it can be used in place of eggs in baking. Or it can also be mashed with the back of a fork and used as a ‘scrambled egg’ sub, if fried with some spices and dried herbs. You can blend up a whole block and store in pre-measured 1/4 cup (60ml) portions in the freezer so you don’t end up wasting any.

1 egg = 1/4 cup (60ml) blended silken tofu

  • Method: blend with a hand blender, food processor or blender until smooth. Measure and then mix into your recipe as you would an egg.
  • Best for: cakes, muffins, quickbreads
  • Benefits: provides a light texture so good for cakes, high in protein, shelf stable
  • Example recipe: Marble Cake (vegan option)

Cornstarch (cornflour)

As cornstarch thickens into a clear-ish gel when heated, and can set into a firmer, jelly-ish texture when cooled, it does a great job at thickening liquids instead of eggs. This is mostly useful for custards and pie fillings so is great for making eggless custards, creme patissiere, pudding and vegan ice cream. Other starches will work in a similar fashion too (tapioca, arrowroot, potato starch).

1 egg = 1 tbsp cornstarch + 3 tbsp (45ml) water

  • Method: mix in a small bowl to form a slurry. If using in something that gets baked (like a cake), just stir straight into the batter/dough. If using for custards/pie fillings, mix with the remaining liquid in the recipe and then cook on the stove over a low heat, stirring until thickened.
  • Best for: custards (ice cream, creme patissiere, pudding), pie fillings (e.g. pecan pie), lemon curd
  • Benefits: easy to use, accessible & cheap
  • Example recipe: Pistachio Ice Cream

Bonus: Egg wash substitutes

Vegan substitutes for egg washes (for glazing things like pastries and breads before baking) are one of the trickier things to get right. Usually, egg wash provides 3 things: stickiness (to adhere seeds or seal pastry), sheen and a golden-brown hue. There are a few different types of vegan egg washes that I like to use depending on the situation & what I have to hand.

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup + 1 tbsp soy milk
    • This egg wash does provide a slight sheen & darkening but not super effectively (although will do in a pinch)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup + 1 tbsp non-dairy milk + pinch of bicarbonate of soda + pinch of xanthan gum
    • Whisk together until combined.
    • This one is my favourite. Thanks to the xanthan gum, this is thicker than just maple syrup + soy milk alone so it adheres to the dough a lot better. The bicarbonate of soda aids in browning.
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup + 3 tbsp non-dairy milk + 1 tbsp cornflour
    • The cornflour here helps to thicken up the glaze so it adheres but can make the glaze appear more matte.

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New Email Series: The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Thanksgiving Dinner Easy as Pie!

New Email Series: The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Thanksgiving Dinner Easy as Pie!
I’m super excited to announce a new (free!) email series that I just launched called The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Thanksgiving Dinner Easy as Pie. You may have se…

New Email Series: The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Thanksgiving Dinner Easy as Pie!

I’m super excited to announce a new (free!) email series that I just launched called The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Thanksgiving Dinner Easy as Pie. You may have seen a new notification about it when you visited my site and I wanted to take a moment to tell you all about it. So, what’s this […]

READ: New Email Series: The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Thanksgiving Dinner Easy as Pie!

How to Blind Bake Pie Crust

How to Blind Bake Pie Crust
Blind baking your pie crust can feel intimidating but this simple process can help you get the perfect pie just in time for the holidays!
READ: How to Blind Bake Pie Crust

How to Blind Bake Pie Crust

Blind baking your pie crust can feel intimidating but this simple process can help you get the perfect pie just in time for the holidays!

READ: How to Blind Bake Pie Crust

How to Make Vanilla Extract

How to Make Vanilla Extract
This homemade vanilla extract is made from just two ingredients (vanilla beans and vodka) and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. Let it sit for at least one month (longer is better!) and it’ll be ready to use for baking …

How to Make Vanilla Extract

This homemade vanilla extract is made from just two ingredients (vanilla beans and vodka) and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. Let it sit for at least one month (longer is better!) and it'll be ready to use for baking or to give as a gift.

READ: How to Make Vanilla Extract

Blueberry Muffins – Baking Basics

My mum (who’s American) was the blueberry muffin baker in our house. She’d sometimes make that internet-famous ‘Jordan Marsh from scratch’ recipe for weekend breakfasts and – between the 4 of us – the whole dozen would inevitably be gone by Sunday afternoon. She taught me how to make them as well and through my own trials and internet reading, I’ve come up with my best blueberry muffin: soft & fluffy (not tough), not too sweet & packed with blueberries but not soggy!!! I’ve got a few secret ingredients up my sleeve too which make these taste SO blueberry-y (almost like a Starbucks muffin?!). Lastly, they’ve gotta have the crunchy cinnamon-sugar on top (DUH!) – fun fact, that’s the reason my site is called Top with Cinnamon – it’s because I loved the cinnamon topping on blueberry muffins (and coffee) so much. My secret ingredients for these blueberry muffins: This muffin recipe contains all the usual suspects – plain flour, butter, eggs & granulated sugar. I use baking powder & soda to leaven them but you can just use self-raising flour instead if that’s what you’ve got. I make them without vanilla extract as I find it redundant when using […]

The post Blueberry Muffins – Baking Basics appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

a halved bluebery muffin

My mum (who’s American) was the blueberry muffin baker in our house. She’d sometimes make that internet-famous ‘Jordan Marsh from scratch’ recipe for weekend breakfasts and – between the 4 of us – the whole dozen would inevitably be gone by Sunday afternoon. She taught me how to make them as well and through my own trials and internet reading, I’ve come up with my best blueberry muffin: soft & fluffy (not tough), not too sweet & packed with blueberries but not soggy!!!

I’ve got a few secret ingredients up my sleeve too which make these taste SO blueberry-y (almost like a Starbucks muffin?!). Lastly, they’ve gotta have the crunchy cinnamon-sugar on top (DUH!) – fun fact, that’s the reason my site is called Top with Cinnamon – it’s because I loved the cinnamon topping on blueberry muffins (and coffee) so much.

a halved blueberry muffin on a plate and some whole blueberry muffins on the side

My secret ingredients for these blueberry muffins:

This muffin recipe contains all the usual suspects – plain flour, butter, eggs & granulated sugar. I use baking powder & soda to leaven them but you can just use self-raising flour instead if that’s what you’ve got. I make them without vanilla extract as I find it redundant when using my secret flavour boosting ingredients (however if you’re not adding the secret ingredients, you can whack 1 tsp of vanilla extract in the batter!).

I use a couple of secret ingredients which really enhance flavour of the muffins (but which can also be easily replaced, although the substitutes just won’t give as much flavour).

  1. My first flavour enhancer is frozen wild blueberries – I know these are common in America but in the UK I’ve only just discovered them. I’ve seen them in Whole Foods (so only available if you’re in London) but have found out that Picard (a French frozen food brand) sells them on Ocado (the supermarket delivery service). Anyway, wild blueberries are smaller, so you can pack more into each muffin, and they have a more concentrated flavour. If you can’t get them, just go for standard frozen blueberries which will also be delicious.
  2. My second special ingredient is blueberry yoghurt – It’s only a small amount of yoghurt in these (100g) so you don’t get TOO much blueberry flavour but I find that this really is the KEY to adding the most blueberry-y flavour in an easy way. It happens because the yoghurt contains a natural blueberry flavour extract so, when stirred into the batter, it really boosts these muffins to the next level. I’ve used Liberté blueberry yoghurt (it’s a 0% fat one, but works perfectly here) in mine. If you can’t get blueberry yoghurt, go for a plain yoghurt, sour cream or even buttermilk.
  3. My last special ingredient is ground coriander seed – I found this trick via Stella Parks on Serious Eats and also from the River Cottage. The flavour of the coriander seed enhances the flavour compound found in blueberries. That’s some cool food science for ya! If you’re not keen, just leave it out!

Fresh or frozen blueberries – which is better?

I always opt for frozen blueberries when baking muffins. You need to mix them into the batter still frozen (so DON’T thaw them!). I like frozen ones for a few different reasons:

  1. Frozen blueberries are a LOT cheaper in the UK than fresh ones. I know this may not be the case in some places so go with what fits your budget better. You can always freeze the fresh blueberries.
  2. Frozen are great quality all year round. They’re usually harvested in season and then frozen and stored for months so you get a great flavour from them.
  3. They mix into the batter a lot more easily. The frozen bluebs hold up to the mixing motion so they don’t all get smushed when you stir up the batter.

Now all that said, you CAN use fresh blueberries in your muffins. You just need to follow the directions in the heading below.

How do you stop the blueberries bleeding when mixing into the batter?

A lot of the time when you’re stirring blueberries into batter, they’ll ‘bleed’ causing the batter to discolour and turn purpley-blue. You can remedy this by tossing the blueberries in a bit of flour before mixing them in and ALSO by stirring gently. Using frozen blueberries helps too as they’re less likely to squish when stirred. However’ I’ve found that even if they do bleed when mixing, the purple batter will usually revert back to a cake-y colour once baked so don’t panic if your batter turns blue!

How do you stop the blueberries sinking?

A common myth is to toss the blueberries in flour to stop them sinking. This doesn’t actually work, it mainly prevents them bleeding into the batter (see above). To prevent them sinking you need to have a thick batter (like this recipe)! And/or layer your blueberries into the batter instead of mixing them in – to do this, half fill the muffin cups with batter, sprinkle on half the blueberries, top with remaining batter and finally remaining blueberries.

a whole blueberry muffin

Ingredient substitutions

  • If you want to make these with self raising flour: replace the full weight/volume of plain flour with self raising flour. Do not add the baking powder/baking soda.
  • If you want to make these without yoghurt you can use milk (cow’s or non-dairy) with 1 tsp of vinegar added so it can curdle before using it in the batter.
  • If you don’t have frozen blueberries (only fresh): don’t fold the fresh blueberries into the batter – the batter is THICK and if you try this, the fresh blueberries will end up smashed. Instead, half-fill each muffin case with the plain batter. Sprinkle half your blueberries over the batter in the cups. Top with the remaining batter and sprinkle with the remaining blueberries, pressing them down slightly into the muffin batter.
  • If you want to use vegetable oil or coconut oil: instead of the butter, use 100g (3.5 ounces) of melted virgin coconut oil or vegetable oil. You’ll also need to add an extra tablespoon of water to the muffin batter.
  • If you want to use oats: oats can add a nice texture to these muffins. To use them here, replace 60g (1/2 cup) of the plain flour with 40g (1/2 cup) rolled oats.

Are these vegan/can they be veganised?

Whilst this muffin recipe isn’t vegan (it contains eggs & dairy) you can easily veganise it. Replace the butter with melted vegan block butter. Replace the yoghurt with a soy-based, dairy-free yoghurt. Replace the eggs with 2 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 6 tbsp hot water, mixed in a small bowl and left until gelatinous, before adding to the batter.

Storing/freezing blueberry muffins:

You can store blueberry muffins at room temperature overnight – they’ll last like this for up to 4 days. Just keep them in an airtight tupperware box and they’ll stay moist & delicious. You can even warm them up in the oven (180C/350F for 5 minutes) or microwave if you prefer.

As for freezing them, just pop them into a resealable sandwich bag and freeze for up to 3 months. You’ll want to let them defrost at room temperature overnight before eating, though.

Other muffin recipes:

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Yield: 9 muffins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

These blueberry muffins couldn't get any easier! A simple batter to mix up by hand to make moist & fluffy muffins, packed with blueberry flavour (just like Starbucks!).

Ingredients

  • 230g (2 cups minus 1 tbsp) plain white flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 160g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1/2 tsp fine table salt
  • 115g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 100g (1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp) blueberry yoghurt (or plain yoghurt if you can't get blueberry)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200g (1 3/4 cups) frozen blueberries, preferably wild

Sugar topping:

  • 2 tbsp caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) fan. Line a standard muffin tin with 9 paper muffin liners.
  2. Place the flour, sugar, coriander seed, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Stir with a whisk to combine.
  3. Pour in the melted butter and stir with the whisk until the mixture becomes too clumpy to stir. Then use your fingertips to rub the butter into the dry ingredients until you have a sandy mixture with a crumbly texture (try to break up any large clumps of mixture).
  4. In a medium bowl whisk the yoghurt, water and eggs together until smooth. Pour this into the crumbly mixture in your large bowl. Stir together well until combined (try to make sure there are no large clumps of the sandy mixture remaining). The batter should be quite thick!
  5. Add the frozen blueberries and fold into the batter. They will most likely bleed and make the batter turn purple but this is absolutely fine! Just try not to smash up the blueberries as you fold.
  6. Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Mix the caster sugar & ground cinnamon together in a small bowl and sprinkle the mixture over the top of each muffin. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cracked on top - a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin should come out without any batter attached to it (but will probably have some blueberry juice on there).
  7. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before eating.
  8. To store: keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days. To freeze, pop into a resealable sandwich bag and freeze for up to 4 months, letting them defrost overnight at room temp before eating.

Notes

No butter? use 100g vegetable oil or melted coconut oil instead and add an extra tablespoon of water to the batter

No baking powder/soda? Use self-raising flour instead of the plain flour

No yoghurt? Use buttermilk or sour cream instead. If you don't have those either, use an equal amount of milk mixed with 1 tsp vinegar and let it sit until curdled before adding to the batter.

Vegan: use melted vegan butter, use a soy-based yoghurt & use 2 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 6 tbsp hot water instead of the eggs.

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

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