These moist muffins are filled with sweet cherries and have a lovely almond scent.
Each time one of my beloved fruits are in season (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, or cherries), I buy stocks of them and make our all-time family favorite desserts. The last time strawberries were in season, it ended before I knew it. By the time I went to the grocery store to buy some, the worker told me, “No, miss, no more strawberries.” I was not pleased.
So for this cherry season, I was prepared. Every corner in my fridge is filled with cherry boxes, attached with a small note: “Do not touch!”
With this excess of deep red deliciousness, and since I love muffins so much, today’s recipe was an easy choice.
These muffins are fluffy and moist with a bread-like texture. They are amazing with fresh cherries, but you can definitely replace them with one cup of dried ones. I use yogurt as the liquid in this recipe, which makes the muffins moist and gives them a tangy yet subtle taste. I also use oil instead of butter to keep the muffins fluffy and because these muffins are already so flavorful that butter isn’t necessary for extra taste. You can, of course, use melted butter (75 grams) if you prefer, they’ll still be just as tasty.
The muffins are made using the muffin method, which means mixing dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl, then combining the two into one lumpy butter. Be careful not to over mix the batter as that will make your muffins tough.
Once you cut the cherries, use them right away to prevent staining the batter. If they’re too juicy, soak up the excess liquid with a towel. You can also toss the cherries in a little sugar or flour – just enough to coat – to prevent them from bleeding. Once added to the batter, fold gently and as little as possible. Alternatively, you can use frozen cherries for this recipe, and if you do, do not thaw them before adding; simply mix them in frozen.
Now, about the almond extract – I know not all of you have this ingredient at home, and although this is what gives these baked goods their heavenly flavor, you can leave it out and enjoy amazing cherry muffins instead. The almond is just a bonus, and while I prefer it, these muffins are delicious as-is. I also have a recipe for an almond cherry cake (that doesn’t call for almond extract) which is another family favorite.
You can read more about muffin baking here.
- 1¾ cups (250 grams/8.8 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup (150 grams/5.3 ounces) granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 1 cup yogurt
- ⅓ cup canola oil (or vegetable, safflower)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract*
- 1½ cups (300 grams/11 ounces) cherries, halved and pitted**
- ½ cup slivered or sliced almonds (better if toasted), plus extra (not toasted) to sprinkle on top
- Preheat oven to 425F/220C. Butter 12 muffin cups or line with liner papers.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add sugar and mix to combine.
- In a medium bowl, mix egg with yogurt, oil, vanilla, and almond extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula just until combined. Do not over mix. The batter should be quite thick and lumpy. Fold in almonds and cherries gently to prevent staining.
- Divide the mixture between the muffin cups, filling almost fully to the top. Sprinkle with sliced almonds if desired. Bake for 3 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375F/190C. Continue to bake for an additional 12-17 minutes for standard muffins, or an additional 22-27 minutes for jumbo muffins. They are ready when a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. If they start to brown too much, cover them loosely with aluminum foil. Cool for 10 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Muffins are best the same day they are made, but can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for an additional 1-2 days. Muffins can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
**Refer to the above post for more information about frozen and dried cherries, and how to prevent cherries form bleeding into the batter.