Monday, October 7, 2013

Cinnamon Blueberry Muffins #MuffinMonday

A basic muffin recipe is a great thing to have in your repertoire.  Once you have the essential liquids and dry ingredients in place, flavor changes are easy to make by swapping the fruit or adding zest, extracts or even chocolate chips.

Have you ever taken a class, whether when still in school or outside the classroom environment, where you have learned so much that when you get home, you feel like the information must be pouring out of your brain through your ears?  That’s how I felt on Saturday evening.

A couple of months ago I signed up for one-day Food Bloggers Connect workshop right here in Dubai.  Two wonderful experts would teach an eager cohort about photography, recipe development and how to improve blog appeal.  There would be individual blogs critiques and hands-on food photography sessions.  We were asked to bring our cameras, naturally, and any props we wanted to use, so I decided to bring a cake stand.  Suddenly, in the middle of the night before, it occurred to me that I couldn’t just bring a cake stand!  It needed to have something on it, right?  Who takes photos of just the stand?  Also, one of my personal challenges is always how to make photos of my muffins look interesting week after week.  So maybe I should take some of those.

Early that morning I mixed up a quick batch of cinnamon blueberry muffin batter.  I baked half in a six-cup muffin pan and half in a small tube pan.  And, powdered sugar sprinkler in hand, I raced off to class.

As it turned out, the organizers had ordered a bunch of fancy cakes for the exercises so my cake wouldn’t have been necessary but I am pleased to say my small group used it for one of the photo sessions, bless them, and another group chose to set up the muffins.  And I came away simply bursting with information about photographing food and how to improve my blog that I am still trying to absorb.

The cake, as we set it up for the photo session.
As you can see, this muffin recipe is extremely versatile, working just as well for 12 muffins as it does in a regular cake pan as a coffee cake. (Or half and half!)  Just increase the baking time to 35-40 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean, if you are making a whole cake rather than muffins.

2 cups or 250g all purpose flour
3/4 cup or 170g sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup or 240ml milk
1/2 cup or 120ml canola oil
2 large eggs
1 generous cup or about 175g fresh or frozen blueberries. (Mine were frozen.)

Optional: powdered sugar for decoration when serving

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your muffin pan by greasing it or lining it with paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, the sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and stir well.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, oil and eggs.

Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold them together until just mixed.

Your wet ingredients will be lovely and yellow, like this. 
Fold in your blueberries.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

If you are only making muffins, use a 12-cup pan! 

Bake in the preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a rack for a few minutes and then remove the muffins to cool completely.

Sprinkle with some powdered sugar, if desired.

This was the quick photo I took before rushing off to class Saturday morning.
The one at the top of the post was taken during the workshop. 



  1. I definitely understand the 'brain overload' feeling after attending a class or workshop. It is both wonderful and overwhelming! Glad that you've had fun though... I love the bundt/ring cake photograph, the composition is fantastic. Re your photographs, I've always loved the in-process ones the most. There's just something about letting food speak for itself... the glossiness of a muffin mix, the translucent nature of egg white. Gorgeous. Love the look of these muffins... blueberries and cinnamon are two of my favourite things. I look forward to seeing more applications of your workshop knowledge over the next few weeks. Exciting! xx

  2. How funny that you should say that, Laura, because during the critiques, they both suggested that I drop the step-by-step photos. I stuck to my guns though. I understand that not everyone needs them (and cooking and baking take much longer, not to mention editing that many more photos, so I would be doing myself a favor) but showing folks how to achieve the finished dish is important to me. Thank you so much for your words of affirmation! They mean even more to me since I know you don't need the step-by-step!

    The first thing I've already added, from Martha's suggestion, is the head note in bold italics. Just a little blurb to set the stage for the recipe.

  3. The photos enhance your blog. My first thought was, "Wow, what kind of camera does she use?" and second thought was, "Dang, I'm hungry....those muffins look fabulous."

    My husband always says, "The eyes have to eat, too!"

    The blog looks beautiful....

  4. Check out this awesome idea to create new and very unique cake stands Mary

  5. Thank you for the encouraging words, Mary. I really appreciate them. Your husband is absolutely right: Feast for the eyes then feast for the mouth. :)

  6. Just beautiful and what a great idea! Thank you for sharing.

  7. Lovely blueberry muffins...but it's your ring cake that really caught my attention! Gorgeous!

  8. Beautiful muffins, but I agree with Liz: I really fell in love with the ring cake. It sounds like a very fun day and a great way to connect with local bloggers!! Your photo came out really lovely.

  9. Thank you, Liz. It is really a plain little Bundt pan, possibly meant as a ring mould actually, so I will take that as a compliment for our staging. As I mentioned, my group set that one up. Another group set up the muffins and I just grabbed a quick photo of those.

  10. Thank you, Susan. It just goes to show what a couple of props and a pretty concrete floor can do. :) It was a great day and the best part was meeting more of my fellow bloggers and spending time with those I already knew.

  11. Muffin action doesn't get any fancier than this! Your Blueberry studded irresistible muffin is such a stunner!

  12. Thank you! They are pretty tasty too.


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