You know the muffins you see in every coffee shop? The giant ones with crunchy tops and moist cake-bread centers? Today I want to share with you a fabulous recipe for these classic bakery style chocolate chip muffins.
As a little girl, I’ve visited the United States at least once a year. I LOVED IT. What fascinated me the most about the place was that everything was HUGE. The stores, the streets, the buildings. THE MUFFINS! They were so big and tall and crunchy. I liked sitting at coffee shops in the mornings, watching businessmen and women, wandering in and out, getting their coffee with a giant muffin. Those are such sweet memories!
So far I have tried many different muffin recipes, searching desperately for just the right one. Most of the recipes produced more of a cakey texture, which is also delicious, but nothing like the real thing – the ones we love to snack on at our favorite bakery or coffee shop. Perfect both in texture and taste. Many argue whether there is a difference between a muffin and a cupcake (if you eliminate the frosting). The thing is, no matter what the texture is, if you bake it in a muffin pan, it’s a muffin. Only if it has frosting, can you call it a cupcake. So let’s not be petty about the name for a second and just talk about the texture. There is the cakey-texture muffin and the crunchy-top bread-cake muffin (which is the one we talk about today). When I make cupcakes I use a recipe that produces a tender, moist cake like texture. However, when I make a classic muffin, I imagine creating a product which is half bread – half cake and not too sweet.
A recipe that produces traditional, crunchy-top muffins goes like this:
1 3/4 – 2 cups flour
Leavening agent (baking powder or baking soda)
1/3 – 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 – 1/3 cup oil/melted butter
3/4 – 1 cup liquid* (milk, buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream etc.)
*What liquid should you choose? It depends. When I make classic chocolate chip muffins I like the mild taste of milk, because buttermilk, yogurt and sour cream give more of a bitter taste than milk. However, all of them make much moister muffins than milk does. The muffins will also keep longer and better due to the moisture. Believe me, I’ve tried them all 🙂 When the muffins contain fruits or other add-ins with a dominant flavor, I would definitely use buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream for more moisture.
In many recipes you will find that there are more eggs and more oil/butter than in this recipe, but with similar amounts of flour and liquid. More eggs and oil/butter will produce a prettier, richer, cake-like texture with a smoother top.
Making classic muffins is easy! You will need two bowls. In one put all the dry ingredients (including sugar), and in the other combine the eggs with the milk and oil/butter. Then add it to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula or a wooden spoon. Mix as little as possible-just until the ingredients are combined, otherwise your muffins will turn out tough, heavy and flat. The batter will look lumpy and unattractive, which is exactly how it should be. Try to imagine how a muffin from a bakery looks like – its crusty top is lumpy and uneven. This method of mixing is the reason why. Last thing is to add your chocolate chips/fruits or whatever it is you choose to add to the batter– about 1-1 1/4 cups total. Mix just until combined.
And I have a few more notes and tips for you:
- Fill your muffin pans with batter almost all the way to the top.
- In order to get pretty domed muffins, start by baking the muffins at a very high temperature (about 425F) and after a few minutes lower it to the temperature that the recipe suggests. This way, the muffins rise quickly and the outside edges will set faster than the center, causing the muffin to have a peak. I’ve had my share of flat, spreading (batter spreading to the sides instead of rising up) muffins and after a little research, starting with a higher temperature has helped me solve this issue for good.
- If the muffin tops start to brown too fast on the outside but are not fully baked yet, open you oven and cover the pan with aluminum foil.
- Fill any empty tins in the muffin pan half full of water for even baking.
- Don’t over mix the batter. I know, I’ve mentioned it already, but it’s important. Mix just until all the ingredients are fully combined. For this recipe, the batter should look a bit lumpy. Lumpy is good!
- Baking time differs if you make mini muffins (8-12 mins), standard muffins (15-20 mins) and jumbo muffins (25-35 mins). You’ll know it’s done when a toothpick comes out clean, but not dry.
- 1¾ cups (250 grams or 8.8 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ⅔ cup (135 grams or 4.8 ounces) granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 1 cup milk
- ⅓ cup canola oil (or vegetable, safflower)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips/chunks
- Preheat oven to 425F/220C degrees. Butter 12 muffin cups or line them with liner papers.
- In a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add sugar.
- In a medium bowl, mix the egg with the milk, oil and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula just until combined. Do not overmix. The batter should be quite thick and lumpy. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Divide the mixture between the muffin cups almost all the way to the top. Bake for 3 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 375F/190C and continue to bake for an additional 12-17 minutes (this is for standard size muffins. See post notes for jumbo and mini muffins baking times) until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
-Muffins are best the same day they are made.
-Muffins can be frozen for up to 2 months.