Strawberry Cinnamon Sugar Muffins
I’m slowly emerging out of lemon territory now that berries are starting to show up in our market. Organic strawberries are finally arriving (yay!!) and it’s so nice to have a new fruit to play with in the kitchen (the Ithaca Farmer’s market started last weekend, and while I am thrilled to have it back, selection at the moment includes potatoes, more root vegetables, and some herbs. Delicious, no doubt, but nothing muffin-worthy fruit-wise yet.) When I saw the strawberries, I knew that I would make these muffins — they’ve been a long time coming.
I’ve been thinking about them ever since I posted about the oatmeal cinnamon breakfast bread, and waxed poetic about how my mom used to make all kinds of muffins growing up. It got me to thinking: of all the kinds that she made, one of my favorites was a strawberry muffin that had cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top. It only made one or two appearances; pumpkin and zucchini were more our standbys (and that was fine by me) — but I haven’t ever forgotten those strawberry muffins. The way the strawberries just melted in your mouth, and the gentle crunchy tickle of the cinnamon sugar on top…they are a great taste memory of mine. I was telling B about them the other day and decided I’d try to recreate them for us, and for my mom too.
I used the basic muffin recipe in the Joy of Cooking, tweaking it to use buttermilk for the liquid, adding some cinnamon to the batter, and using half white whole wheat flour (I know, I know, I just can’t resist that substitution sometimes!) I also rubbed the zest of a lemon into the sugar, just because I love lemon and strawberry together.
After folding in some diced strawberries, I used my dough scoop to fill my cheery little silicone muffin cups…these were a gift from a friend, and every time I see them I think to myself “I really need to make muffins/cupcakes more often.” Nothing like a little color in the morning to wake you up before you’ve had your coffee!
After sprinkling a little cinnamon sugar on top, into the oven they went.
And about 20 minutes later, we had beautifully puffed, tasty strawberry cinnamon sugar muffins. I sent this recipe along to my mom, so I hope she enjoys them as much as we did!
And — you probably won’t be surprised to see this — I spooned some lemon curd on mine.
I’m also sending these muffins (well, not literally) over to Michelle for this month’s Snackshots event — the theme is muffins! Yum!
Strawberry Cinnamon Sugar Muffins
If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use milk or yogurt. If you’re using milk, omit the baking soda (keep the baking soda if you’re using yogurt.)
2 cups all-purpose flour (can substitute up to 1 cup white whole wheat flour, or whole grain pastry flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup diced strawberries
cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or silicone muffin cups.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground nutmeg, and ground cinnamon.
In a separate large bowl, use your fingers to rub together the lemon zest and sugar until the sugar is moistened and fragrant. Add the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and whisk together until blended. Add the melted butter and whisk until thoroughly combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold together with a rubber spatula. Add the diced strawberries and fold in, just until distributed.
Spoon the muffin batter into the muffin cups. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of each, then bake for 15-18 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger.
Makes 12 muffins.