Some recipes are humble yet so reassuring that they need not change. They are kept in your pocket, ready for the moment you crave comfort and simplicity. This is one of those recipes.
“My Aunt Cheryl has been baking these muffins for literally decades now,” Brian Hart Hoffman says, “and I never knew about the recipe until just a few months ago when she called me up to chat and she happened to be making these muffins.”
“I ﬁrst made these muffins at age 12 in my home economics class,” says Brian’s Aunt Cheryl Hoffman. “This recipe has always been my favorite easy muffin recipe. I bake them especially when craving a muffin at home.”
The handwritten recipe, titled simply “Muffins,” is recorded on a white, ruled index card that has slightly yellowed around the edges, with the occasional splatter here and there. There’s a star drawn to the right of the title, indicating it’s become Cheryl’s go-to muffin recipe over the years.
“My husband of 43 years, who doesn’t like many muffins, has always loved these. He prefers eating them hot from the oven with lots of butter if made without the jam. If they’re made with jam, we both eat them as baked,” Cheryl explains. “Since there are only the two of us, he loves having leftovers the next day split in half and toasted with butter.” Cheryl always pushes herself in the kitchen to bake new things, but she never forgets the importance of essential recipes like this and that sweet moment when she ﬁrst discovered her passion for baking.
- 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons (20 grams) baking powder
- 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
- 1 cup (240 grams) whole milk
- ½ cup (112 grams) vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs (100 grams)
- ¼ cup (80 grams) blueberry and/or strawberry fruit spread* (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together milk, oil, and eggs. Add flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon about 3 tablespoons batter (about 52 grams) into each prepared muffin cup. Spoon 1 teaspoon fruit spread (about 6.5 grams) (is using) in center of batter in muffin cups. Spread about 2 tablespoons batter (about 35 grams) onto fruit spread.
- Bake until golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan; serve warm.
If not adding fruit spread to batter, fill each muffin cup with about ⅓ cup (about 90 grams) batter.