Marathon Muffins

breakfast, Dairy Free, quick breads and tea cakes

(flowers by Corinna)

Yesterday our downstairs neighbors hosted a brunch in honor of Patriot’s Day and the Boston Marathon. People lingered over delicious little salmon-dill sandwiches, homemade quiche, fruit salad, coffee (my friend Corinna, brews the best pot of coffee I have ever tasted, hands down), and these blackberry muffins that I contributed to the occasion. After eating and shmoozing, we walked down to Beacon Street and watched the runners go by, including my friend Ryan, of Tea and Limpets, who completed the marathon in 2 hours and 39 minutes!!! Giving him 201st place in a marathon that sees over 26,000 runners!

Although baking these muffins was not quite as great an accomplishment as running 26.2 miles, the preparation was a lot easier and they lasted a tad longer than our view of Ryan, shooting by us in little shorts and these very strange running shoes. I think you’ll like them, and now that he can indulge in sweet breakfast treats again, Ryan will probably enjoy them too.

Blackberry Muffins with Crumble Topping, adapted from Nick Malgieri’s, Modern Baker

This was originally a blueberry muffin recipe and is a bit unusual in that it uses a “cake method” (creaming butter and sugar, adding eggs, then mixing in your dry ingredients and milk, alternately), as opposed to a “muffin method” (mixing all liquids in one bowl and all dries in another, and combining them in a few swift strokes). If you cannot find blackberries that are on the smallish side, I would go ahead and use blueberries, they will distribute more evenly in the batter.


crumb topping

1 cup all purpose flour (or 1/2 cup all purpose and 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons butter or vegan margarine

1/3 cup light brown sugar

muffin batter

2 1/2 cups flour (I used 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour and 1 cup of all purpose)

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 salt

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

8 Tbs (1 stick) butter or Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, softened to room temp

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 milk or soy milk

1 pint blueberries or small blackberries


Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 F. Line a 12-muffin tin, with paper liners.

For the crumb topping, combine the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl and stir well. Melt the butter/margarine in a small pan. Remove from heat and add the brown sugar, stirring to combine. Scrape the butter-sugar mixture into the flour mixture, stirring until the whole thing is evenly moistened. Set aside and prepare the muffin batter.

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl and stir will to mix.

Combine the butter/vegan stick and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (a handheld mixer will work fine as well). Beat on medium speed for about one minute, until it has slightly lightened in color. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.

Decrease the mixer speed to low and add half the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Add the milk and combine, then mix in the remaining flour. On very low speed mix in the berries, mixing for just a few seconds. Scoop batter into paper-lined tins and top each one with a spoonful of the reserved crumble topping (you will have to break it apart a bit with your fingers). Bake for approximately 30 minutes, before transferring to a cooling rack.

2 thoughts on “Marathon Muffins

  1. Ari! Hey, thanks for the shout out. I’m afraid I didn’t see you yesterday, but maybe I heard you – were you on Beacon St. between Washington Square and Coolidge Corner (or was that another one of my adoring fans that I just haven’t tracked down yet)?

    No but seriously, thanks for coming out; and by the way, these muffins sound delicious! The recipe looks great and I’m a big fan of the cake method – keeps things nice and fluffy. We will definitely try these out (of course I’ll substitute chocolate for the fruit – because that’s just who I am). Hope to see you soon.

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