The best base recipe for muffins


I’m back in Seattle and loving it. I haven’t straightened out my kitchen since I unpacked it, so this week’s recipe is an oldie but a goodie.

It’s based on Joy’s classic muffin recipe, which can be easily tweaked or added to in order to create different flavors. It is the best muffin recipe I’ve ever tried, and I’ve stuck to it ever since. The original says you can use vegetable oil instead of butter, and cream instead of milk, but I’ve found the combination below works best. Take out the poppy seeds and the lemon zest, and you’ve got the base recipe. Have fun creating your own flavors.

Next week, I’ll have a new recipe to share. In the meantime, enjoy.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a standard 12-muffin pan or line with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, butter, vanilla and lemon zest. Add to the flour mixture and mix together with a few light strokes, just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not overmix; the batter should not be smooth. Divid the batter among the muffin cups.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from the pan.

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