The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


breadsong's picture


*Updated 4/16/11 for a sourdough variation (below) 
*Updated 5/29/11 for a spelt variation (below)


I love to make muffins, using the recipe featured in Fine Cooking Magazine #77. Fine Cooking's information is also available as an interactive, create-your-own-recipe web tool at:

After using the selection tool to choose your ingredients, the recipe will display.

I find this one-pound-of-flour-based recipe makes 12 large, crown-topped muffins using crown muffin pans. I have two 6-cup crown muffin pans that I purchased from Williams Sonoma, but they don't sell them any more. Chicago Metallic makes a 12-cup crown muffin pan, but I'm not sure how widely available it is (a restaurant equipment might be another option for these crown muffin pans?). Here's a link to Chicago Metallic's website:

Here's a better picture of a 6-cup crown muffin pan (compared to what's shown on the Chicago Metallic site):

A single, one-pound-flour recipe will also make 72 mini-muffins (using Ecko Baker's Secret mini-muffin pans), with a little batter left over.
I bake for about 14 minutes.

There are so many ways to flavor these muffins, using whatever fruits, nuts, spices etc. you have on hand.
I have also varied the base muffin batter with good results: 

  • - Oatmeal muffins: combine 10 ounces flour, 6 ounces quick oats (by weight) in a food processor and process until fine; substitute for the 16 ounces flour in recipe
  • - Banana muffins: use 1.5 cups mashed banana, ¾ cup sour cream, 5 ounces (by weight) vegetable oil and substitute for milk, sour cream and butter called for in recipe; substitute brown sugar for white sugar
  • - Pumpkin muffins: use 1 cup pumpkin puree, 1/3 cup sour cream, 2/3 cup milk and substitute for milk and sour cream called for in recipe
  • - Chocolate muffins: substitute 76g of flour called for in recipe with cocoa
  • - Orange muffins: substitute 1.5 cups sour cream and ¾ cup orange juice for milk and sour cream called for in recipe; reduce butter to 2 Tablespoons; increase orange zest from 2 teaspoons to 1/3 cup
  • - Applesauce muffins: I simmered ¾ cup chopped dried apple in 1 cup apple cider until the cider was mostly absorbed and reduced (about 15 minutes), and when cool drained and used in place of fresh apple. I used chunky applesauce (made with Transparent apples - so tasty) in place of the sour cream. I added the remaining reduced liquid from simmering the dried apples too for extra flavor. I reduced the sugar to 1 cup as the applesauce had been lightly sweetened.
  • - I've substituted buttermilk for regular milk if I've had buttermilk on hand.

I make about half the amount of glaze and I find it's enough for my taste. A streusel topping or spiced sugar sprinkled on prior to baking are also good too. Cream cheese (sweetened/flavored) is a great topping too. Here's a picture of a Pumpkin muffin (trying to be a "Starbucks" muffin), baked in the crown muffin pan:


*Updated 4/16/11: Sourdough Carrot Muffins (with coconut, pineapple and walnuts)

Floyd posted about sourdough carrot cupcakes awhile back - they looked absolutely lovely!
This got me thinking about the possibility of a sourdough muffin.

Here's my adaptation of the KAF Sourdough Carrot Cake recipe, for muffins, and a picture of how it turned out:


Sourdough Carrot Muffins (with coconut, pineapple and walnuts)
(makes 12 muffins using crown muffin pans)

Line muffin pans with baking paper; spray lightly with cooking spray.

Preheat oven 325 convection. Put a handful of shredded or ribbon coconut on a baking sheet and toast lightly (watch carefully - mine toasted in only 3 minutes). Remove from oven and set aside to cool; the toasted coconut will be reserved to garnish the muffins after baking and glazing.

Preheat oven to 350F.
Grate 2 cups of carrot.
Drain a 14-ounce can of crushed pineapple (reserve juice).
Chop ½ cup of walnuts.

In a large bowl, whisk to combine:
330g all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a few grinds of fresh nutmeg

In a separate bowl, whisk to combine:
9 ounces (by weight) of 100% hydration white sourdough starter
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup (packed) brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 ounces (2/3 cup) vegetable oil

Add to wet ingredients: 
2 cups grated carrot
drained crushed pineapple
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
Stir the wet ingredients and carrot, pineapple, walnuts and coconut together, to combine.

Add wet ingredients to dry, and fold gently with a rubber spatula just until dry ingredients mostly moistened. You may still see a few streaks of dry flour.
Using an ice-cream scoop, fill the muffin pans.
Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes, or until done. Rotate the pans partway through the bake, if needed, for even browning.
When finished baking, remove from oven and place pans on a cooling rack.
Let muffins cool, in the pan, for 10-15 minutes.

While cooling, mix up the glaze:
1 cup approximately - sifted icing sugar
a (tiny) pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons reserved pineapple juice
a capful of Malibu coconut rum, if you so desire!
(adjust consistency as needed to achieve a spreadable glaze)

Remove muffins from pan and place on cooking rack.
Using a pastry brush, glaze the tops of the muffins.
While glaze is still wet, sprinkle on toasted coconut.


*Updated 5/29/11: Spiced Spelt Muffins with Anise, Fennel, Blueberries, and Hazelnuts 

Karin posted about her Dinkel-Walnussbrot, a spelt bread flavored with anise, fennel and walnuts.
This bread is so delicious with the spices; these muffins are based on the flavors in Karin's wonderful bread:

Ingredients used:
6 ounces spelt flakes, ground in the food processor
10 ounces whole spelt flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/3 cups brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon anise seeds, crushed with mortar and pestle
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed with mortar and pestle
2 eggs
1 cup (242 grams) sour cream
1 cup (242 grams) milk
5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 generous cup frozen blueberries
1 generous cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts



Happy baking everyone!  Regards, breadsong


pmccool's picture

I'll have to give that (or the other tools at the bottom of that page) a try.



highmtnpam's picture

Breadsong,  Really like this idea.  I get so tired of looking for different muffin recipes. This way I can just decide to bake muffins and see what is in the cupboard.   Pam

BNLeuck's picture

Like the previous poster, I get absolutely sick and tired of tracking down muffin recipes and hoping they're good. This makes it easy. Thank you!

belle's picture

I have been scouring the web for over a year to find a 'clone' recipe for Starbuck's Pumpkin cream cheese muffins...don't know if you have had them - they are divine.   They top the cream cheese with delicious pumpkin seeds too...any suggestions where I may be able to find something very close to the real thing?   The many recipes I found on the web have come somewhat close but definitely nothing as good as the Starbuck's muffin...thanks for your help.


breadsong's picture

Based on a great suggestion on this thread I tried to find a way to replicate the Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin and make the ingredients fit into Fine Cooking's master muffin formula.
Here it is. I hope everyone likes it. To the lady who suggested flavoring the cream cheese topping with maple, Bravo! It's delicious :^) !!!

An attempt to replicate the Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin!
For 12, Crown-Muffin-Pan muffins

Cream Cheese

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon maple extract and a dash of pure vanilla extract
Using an electric mixer combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extracts until smooth. Cover and chill, or freeze, until firm.

Candied Pumpkin Seeds

3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Spray large baking sheet with cooking spray. Heat seeds in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, 5 minutes or until the seeds begin to pop. Add sugar, and stir constantly about 1 minute or until sugar begins to liquefy and caramelize; add cinnamon and salt. Spread seeds on prepared baking sheet, and cool. Break apart the seeds that are stuck together, once they have cooled.

Pumpkin Batter 

1 pound or 16 ounces by weight all-purpose flour       
4 teaspoons baking powder              
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Mix together in big bowl with whisk until well combined.

2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup or 242g canned pure pumpkin puree
5 ounces (10 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
2/3 cup milk + 1/3 cup sour cream - or - 1 cup buttermilk

In a separate bowl, whisk all the wet ingredients together until combined.

Add wet ingredients to dry, and fold with rubber spatula just until the dry ingredients are mostly moistened. The batter will be lumpy but there should still be quite a few streaks of dry flour.

Line muffin cups with paper liners. I spray around the inside crown pan edge with Pam too. Fill muffin cups. After filling muffin cups and before baking, add approximately 1 tablespoon of cream cheese mixture to the top of each muffin and press cream cheese down into the middle of each muffin cup of batter. Sprinkle muffins with candied pumpkin seeds.

Bake at 350F or 335F convection for 25 minutes or so, or until done. I start checking at 25 minutes.

Regards, breadsong


highmtnpam's picture

Breadsong,  Those sound soo good. Love the idea of candied pumpkin seeds.  Pam

hanseata's picture

I use that Fine Cooking master formula for quite a while. I love this versatility, being able to put together ingredients I like, and not needing a different recipe for every one!

Two days ago I baked Plum Muffins (with Italian Prune Plums and toasted almonds) and they were so good, that none of them survived the day. Before I tried Raspberry Muffins with Walnuts - also great.

Fine Cooking also has a great master formula for cheese cake and for bread pudding.


breadsong's picture

Hello hanseata, I too enjoy being able to bake these based on what's fresh or available. I have seen your lovely breads here on TFL and just took a peek at your blog...I love what you did with pumpkin seeds for your Tyrolean Pumpkin Seed Mini Breads!  I was going to get pumpkin seeds anyway for muffins, and am now very happy to find another beautiful way to use them - thank you for writing about these and your other loaves! Regards, breadsong

hanseata's picture

it is so nice to share your ideas and good recipes with others who appreciate them!


belle's picture

Can't wait to try the Pumpkin cream cheese muffin recipe...I have tried the cream cheese recipe suggested but it cooks all the way through.  The Starbucks muffin is creamy on top..wonder how they do that???

breadsong's picture

Hello belle,

I found someone else's method for adding the cream cheese, after taking a look online:
"Shape it (the cream cheese mixture) into a long log. Put it in the freezer while you mix and fill the pans, up to an hour. Unwrap and cut with a sharp knife. If the disks are too big around, cut thick slices and then cut them in half. This keeps the cream cheese in one big lump, and also lets you push it down into the batter."

Perhaps freezing the cream cheese delays it setting up, so it still remains creamy by the time the batter is finished baking? 

Regards, breadsong

belle's picture


Thanks so much for the delicious pumpkin cream cheese recipe and helpful hint for preparing the cream cheese.  I tried these out over brunch with some friends yesterday and they were a hit!  I place of milk, I used 1/3 cup of buttermilk along with the 1/3 cup of sour cream..they ere extremely moist  (I may not use the sour cream next time...)  In addition, I found another recipe for the cream cheese that included 1 tsp of maple extract.  This really added a nice flavor to the cream cheese.  Freezing the cream cheese for an hour first really did the trick!  Thanks so much for taking the time to look into this for me and for the great recipe.

All the best to you...


belle's picture

Breadsong...thanks so much for the Starbuck's clone...I am so glad you liked the maple extract...these will be an autumn favorite from now on...

Happy Fall..


Cathryn K's picture
Cathryn K

Hello breadsong!

Thanks so much for the delicious-sounding recipes!  Now about those pans. I can find 6-cup Popover Pans by Chicago Metallic, so are those the same as what you are using? Even the search bar doesn't show exactly what you were calling Crown Muffin Pans. I'd really like to make some just like yours -they're beauties!

breadsong's picture

Hello Cathryn,

I edited this post to remove reference to - they must have stopped selling or sold out of the pans. The pan is called a Crown Muffin Pan and is different from a popover pan (I found a picture of the actual pan I use and posted it above).

Chicago Metallic still makes crown muffin pans - here's the site:

I hope you are able to locate these pans! When I first wrote about these pans I didn't anticipate they would be difficult to find!

Regards, breadsong

Cathryn K's picture
Cathryn K

Thanks for the link,breadsong!!


hanseata's picture

I'm very happy to hear that my Dinkelbrot served as inspiration for your newest muffin idea, Breadsong. You are very creative - this would have never occured to me.

I put the recipe in my MacGourmet and will try it next time when I "need" muffins again (which happens on a regular base).




breadsong's picture

So glad you saw these, Karin! :^)
Thanks so much for the inspiration!