I think muffins are my new favorite food. Save for the rainbow cookies I made for Pride Parade (I ruefully have yet to document), the only thing I’ve been baking in this first month of summer have been muffins, which is probably a testament to the amount of berries I always have on hand during the warm months.
That said, I’m always looking for muffin recipes that use less butter but still taste good. Never an easy task, mind you; replacing butter with other fats like yoghurt or oil often creates a more spongy texture that I really don’t love. Let’s face it: butter makes most recipes more delicious.
Then I found this recipe on wholeliving.com that calls for zero butter, but still has that dependable muffin texture. I wanted to work coconut flakes into the mix, so I changed it around a bit to fit those, and a couple other ingredients I had at the ready. I went with sweetened coconut flakes because that’s what I had, and it turned out to be a great choice. When the coconut on the tops of the muffins were roasting in the oven, the sugar on the flakes seemed to crystallize, which made for a nice, glittery effect. Making muffins pretty isn’t something I would typically try to do (I have yet to complete Beautiful Baked Goods 301 at the Domestic Goddess Academy), so this was a nice surprise.
The original recipe called for a shorter bake time at a higher temperature, but I’m pretty sure I used more strawberries, which made for some pretty juicy batter.
These muffins ended up being quite delicious, and they’re surprisingly sin-free (if butter is your sin, that is). If you’re interested, give the below concoction a whirl. Also, let me know if anything is confusing; I don’t always make note of the things I do while baking, so writing about it after the fact might be unclear.
15ish strawberries (about 1 ½ cups), sliced or quartered
1/3 cup sugar
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup plain soy milk
¼ cup light olive oil or vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup plus a few handfuls coconut flakes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees (you’ll be bringing down the temperature after 9 minutes of baking). Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Toss together strawberries and 1/3 cup sugar. Using a potato masher, lightly mash berries; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a glass 2-quart measuring cup or a medium bowl, combine buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla; whisk to combine.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk mixture and the berry mixture (with juice). Fold just until combined, then fold in ½ cup of coconut flakes. Using an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, divide the batter among the muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops with extra coconut flakes.
- Bake about 9 minutes, then reduce the oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 12 more minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.. Cool 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.