Raspberry Muffins – A Battle for Berries

Fresh Alaskan berries are a hot commodity in my house, and if you don’t squirrel away your portion of the berries as soon as you get home from picking you’re likely to find that someone has eaten your portion before you know it! Luckily, after years of bickering over disappearing berries, and countless disagreements about what to use our prized frozen cache of berries on in the winter months, we came across Todd’s recipe for Blueberry Swirl Muffins and collectively fell in love with how well the recipe paired with tart Alaskan berries. Since our discovery of this recipe, we have experimented with various berries we’ve picked, but one of my favorite variations have been the raspberry muffins.

Raspberry Muffins
(Adapted from Todd’s Blueberry Swirl Muffins)

Ingredients and Instructions

Streusel Topping
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup of flour
2 1/2 tablespoons warm melted butter

Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, and flour. Mix together thoroughly before adding to melted butter. If particularly wet, mix in alternating teaspoons of sugar and flour until drier. Mixture may seem too thick to crumble, but don’t worry! After making the berry topping, and prepping the muffin mix, the butter should have cooled enough to make the streusel topping easy to break apart into crumbles with a fork. If it isn’t, add an extra teaspoon of sugar to it.

Raspberry Topping
1-2 cups of raspberries
2 tablespoons of sugar

Although you only really need one cup of raspberries to make the topping, having an extra half cup or doubling the amount of berries is recommended to prevent the tragedy of running out of berry topping in the middle of muffin making. There are few things sadder than a single muffin lacking fruit topping among a beautiful bounty of decorative looking muffins.

Place berries and sugar in small saucepan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes (If frozen berries, keep over heat for an extra 3-4 minutes.), mashing and stirring berries until a thick mash forms. If chunky, continue to mash until it is of uniform texture. Set aside to cool.

Muffin Mix — Makes 12-16 muffins
1 cup of raspberries cut into halves*
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons of butter melted and cooled
1/4 cup vegetable oil**
3/4 cup plain yogurt***
1/4 cup of milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

*Halving the raspberries prevents the muffins from becoming overly soggy, but if you have small raspberries,, it may not be necessary.
**(I often like to substitute more butter for the oil if I have enough.)
***Greek yogurt tends to make thicker and denser muffins! If you use Greek yogurt you may have to add a little extra milk to thin the muffin mix out.

Preheat to 425 degrees F.
Thoroughly mix flour, salt, and baking powder in bowl, before setting aside. Whisk eggs and sugar together in separate small mixing bowl, before adding the remaining wet ingredients one at a time. Then slowly incorporate the dry ingredients mixture until the thick, clumpy muffin mix is formed.

Place 2 halves of a raspberry at the bottom of muffin cups. Add muffin mixture on top so they’re about halfway full. Place another 2-4 raspberry halves on top of muffin mix, and cover with additional muffin mix until it is level with the top of the muffin cups. (While you can just add the raspberry halves into the mix as you incorporate your dry ingredients, I like to make sure that every muffin has at least two raspberries in it!)

Spoon raspberry topping on muffins. Be careful not to be too overzealous and pour any topping down the side of the muffin cups, as it can lead to messy muffin mayhem and extra work scrubbing your muffin tins!
Optional — Take a fork and swirl the berry topping into the muffin mix before adding the streusel. I have found it isn’t very effective for raspberry muffins, but it can be a worthwhile effort for other berries.

Stir up cooled streusel topping with a fork to break into small chunks, and crumble streusel mixture on top of muffins. Bake for approximately 17-19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Gauging their doneness is best done with a toothpick, as the berry topping and darker color of the streusel may make the muffins appear “done” before they are fully cooked.

Eat them when warm and enjoy!

Although I’m sharing this recipe adapted for raspberry muffins, it is just as excellent with blueberries- especially tart Alaskan blueberries!

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