Healthy muffins that are actually delicious! A copy-cat of the raspberry bran muffins from Sydney’s beloved Bowan Island Bakery, these breakfast muffins are a nutritious, convenient breakfast option that’s far better for you than take-away on the way to school or work.
Up-and-go Breakfast Muffins
Being a savoury gal, I’ve always been partial to savoury muffins for breakfast (proof here, here and here). But a breakfast muffin with a sweet slant has been on my list for a while. I’m talking about the type that doesn’t make you feel like you’re eating cake for breakfast, a muffin that is just sweet enough but still good for you and good to eat.
So here it is!
Why these muffins are better for you
Low fat – just 1 1/4 tsp coconut oil per muffin
Lightly sweetened – Just 2 teaspoons honey per muffin
Extra dietary fibre – keeps your insides….err….moving, shall we say ☺️ as well as keeping you full for longer and stabilising your blood sugars.
Convenient – Grab and go! No need to reheat, eat on the move.
Long shelf life – These last for 4 to 5 days, and are freezable.
Easy to make – One-bowl batter mixed with just a wooden spoon
Add-ins of choice – dried fruit and nuts, oats, fruit, choc chips!
Ingredients in breakfast muffins
Here’s what you need to make these breakfast muffins. Add-ins are flexible – see below for suggestions.
The key ingredient in this for goodness and flavour is wheat germ. Good-for-you extra fibre that gives these muffins a fabulous nutty flavour and lovely warm brown colour!
Wheat germ (sub wheat bran) – The good-for-you extra fibre boost! Found in either the cereal aisle, health food section or flour aisle or grocery stores. While both wheat germ and wheat bran work, I think wheat germ is nicer. It has lovely nutty flavour because it’s the seed inside wheat kernels. Whereas wheat germ is the exterior of wheat kernels so it gives the muffins a slightly earthier flavour. Both have similar nutrition characteristics – high in dietary fibre as well as other nutrients. Better for you than plain flour!
Wholewheat / wholemeal flour – In keeping with the better-for-you spirit of these muffins, I’ve opted for wholemeal rather than plain white flour. It has more nutrients because it’s less processed, plus it enhances the nutty flavour of these muffins.
Baking powder AND baking soda (bi-carbonate) – These both make things rise but baking soda is 3x as strong and they each have different rising characteristics. For this recipe, using a combination of both delivers the muffin top shape and crumb texture I want.
The baking soda can be substituted with more baking powder but the crumb is not quite as soft. See recipe card notes for quantity.
Cinnamon – For flavour!
Salt – Brings out the other flavours in the muffins, doesn’t make it salty!
Honey or maple syrup – For sweetening! We only use 1/2 cup across 12 muffins which equates to 2 teaspoons per muffin. See commentary below on why honey is better for you than sugar.
Coconut oil – This is the fat in the muffins. I like to use unrefined / virgin coconut oil which adds a lovely very subtle coconut flavour into the muffins. By no means would anyone call these “coconut muffins”! Use the type that is firm like butter and needs to be melted to mix into batters, rather than the pourable type.
Note: There is also refined coconut oil which is stripped of all coconut oil and aroma. This and other oils will work in this recipe but will not add flavour. If you opt for another oil, I’d suggest doubling the vanilla and adding extra cinnamon. 🙂
Yogurt and milk – This is the wet in the batter. Using yogurt serves two purposes. Firstly, it has acid in it which gives the baking soda a rising kick start. Sometimes I use a teaspoon of vinegar in recipes to serve the same purpose, like in my Magic Stay-Moist Apple Muffins.
Secondly, yogurt is not as watery as milk. So it adds wetness to batters without making it as loose which means less flour needed = muffin more moist!
Egg – Just one, to hold the muffins together. Using only 1 egg makes a massive difference to the moistness of the crumb of muffins as the more egg you use, the sturdier but drier the crumb gets.
Vanilla – For flavour.
Why is honey better than sugar?
Because honey is:
sweeter than sugar so you can use less in recipes;
lower GI so your blood sugar levels won’t spike as quickly – which keeps you feeling full for longer; and
more nutritious than sugar which is “empty calories”. That is, sugar literally just contains sugar and nothing else! Honey contains nutrients such as amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals.
Add-ins of choice!
I’ve used raspberries in these because they were on special. However, you really can add any add-ins you want. See suggestions below.
Raspberries or blueberries, other berries – 250g/8oz, 2 heaped cups
Chopped fruit like apple, pears, cherries, grapes. (Not overly juicy fruit like oranges, peaches etc as they will leech too much liquid into the batter)
Dried fruit – sultanas, apricots, cranberries, apple, mango – anything goes!
Nuts and seeds
Chocolate chips – I mean, the rest of the muffin is healthy. So this tips the scales back to neutral? 😈
How to make breakfast muffins
It’s as easy as 1-2-3:
Mix wet ingredients
Mix in dry ingredients
Fill muffin holes and bake!
I like to reserve some raspberries to decorate the top, but this entirely optional – for visual purposes only. I know some people prefer more INSIDE the muffins!
Whisk wet – Melt the coconut oil in a microwavable bowl. Then whisk in all the wet ingredients: egg, yogurt, milk, honey and vanilla.
Mix in dry ingredients – Scatter across the surface (incorporates easier) then whisk in. Once you can no longer see flour, stop! Don’t get too enthusiastic with mixing as it will make the muffins tough.
Add-ins – Fold through the raspberries or whatever add-ins you’re using.
Divide between 12 holes. I used liners but it’s not essential, you could just spray with oil.
Top with reserved raspberries, if using.
Bake for 25 minutes at 190°C / 375°F (170°C fan) or until golden brown on the surface. Cool then devour!
Other matters of Up-and-Go Breakfast Muffins
Breakfast on the run – I’ve named these breakfast muffins as such because they are a great grab-and-go breakfast that doesn’t need heating and can be literally eaten on the run. More filling and less sweet than than muesli bars which I personally consider to be more suitable for a snack rather than breakfast.
Storage – These will keep for 4 to 5 days without going stale because they are more moist than typical muffins thanks to the coconut oil and yogurt. If it’s hot where you are, best to keep them in the fridge, otherwise just keep them in the pantry in an airtight container. They will also freeze for 3 months.
And with that, I think I’ve said all I need to on the matter of these breakfast muffins! Just to reiterate, these are less sweet than your usual muffins. To me, they are the perfect sweetness to have as breakfast without feeling like you’re being naughty and eating cake. And they are just sweet enough to have as a morning tea treat. In fact, people who often find Western cakes and cookies too sweet will probably find these the perfect level of sweetness.
Hope you give them a go! Love to know what add-ins you use if you do. – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Up-and-go breakfast muffins!
- 1/3 cup coconut oil , virgin or unrefined (normal oil also works but not as tasty, Note 1)
- 1 large egg , at room temperature (~55g/2oz)
- 2/3 cup milk , at room temperature – full fat best (low fat and non-dairy ok too)
- 1/3 cup yogurt , plain/unsweetened
- 1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups wheat germ (best) OR 1 1/4 cups (80g) wheat bran (Note 2)
- 1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour (sub ordinary flour – Note 3)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp baking powder (Note 4)
- 1 tsp baking soda , sifted if lumpy (or 3 tsp extra baking powder) – Note 4
Add ins – CHOOSE ONE:
- 250g / 8 oz raspberries , 18 set aside and cut in half to decorate top if desired
- 2 cups diced fresh fruit (not watery) – like apples, pears
- 1 1/4 cups dried fruit, nuts, choc chips etc
- Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F (170°C fan). Line a 12 hole standard muffin tin with muffin cases OR spray generously with oil.
- Whisk wet – Place coconut oil in a microwave proof bowl. Microwave for 45 seconds on high or until melted. Add remaining Wet ingredients, whisk until smooth.
- Mix in Dry – Sprinkle the Dry ingredients across the surface in the order listed. Mix just until combined.
- Raspberries – Gently stir in the whole raspberries or other add-ins of choice.
- Fill muffin tin – Divide batter between the 12 holes using an ice cream scoop. Decorate top with halved raspberries.
- Bake 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
Life of Dozer
While I’m in Melbourne for the Good Food & Wine Show, Dozer is with the golden retriever boarder and apparently not showing any signs of separation anxiety. Hmmph!