It’s hard to convince my mom to ‘buy-in’ when I have a plan to make muffins. She doesn’t seem to like them much, and her simple reason is ‘I prefer cupcakes’. Let’s see, what is the difference between the two anyway?
- Cupcakes are more often made with butter, which requires creaming at the start, and that means waiting for the butter to soften (of course, there are exceptions, like the red velvet I made). On the other hand, muffins can be made with oil.
- Cupcakes are topped with lashings of frosting as it is often the star of the show, which means you have to make the frosting too. Muffins usually contain additions like fruit, chocolate chips, etc. which are mixed into the batter.
- I haven’t really seen cupcakes made with other types of flour, except maybe almond meal for the coeliacs, whereas muffins are commonly made with wholemeal flour.
- Muffins often take a shorter time to prepare (no creaming, remember?), with less utensils involved, so you don’t have to assemble, dismantle, wash and reassemble your mixers and food processors.
- You have the option of making muffins healthy by changing the flour, adding fruit and reducing the sugar content, whereas it’s definitely a bit more difficult to do so with cupcakes. Also, muffins can be more wholesome as a light breakfast or lunch option, especially with savoury muffins.
- Muffins can be reheated in the microwave for 30 seconds and they’ll taste absolutely divine. I wouldn’t advise you to do that with cupcakes lest the frosting… dies. Or something.
I had a real craving for muffins though, so I knew how to convince her: ‘what if I make the apple muffins with crumble on top?’
That worked! Thank goodness my mom’s an absolute crumble lover. I was sure that by now, someone on the Internet must have made up a recipe for apple streusel muffins based on the cake of the same name. And so, I found one and made the changes that would suit me. I don’t like using my measuring scale because it’s so inaccurate that I often wonder why it’s still in the cupboard, so I’ve changed the measurement of most of the ingredients listed into cups and tablespoons. Also, I changed it to soy milk as I wanted a more nutty flavour to go with the streusel, but I did omit that part of the story to the crumble lover. If you’re anything like me, you will reach the stage where you’re ready to beat the eggs when you realise that unless you have hens in the backyard, this is not happening.
Everyday I’m grateful that the supermarket is a 5-minute walk away.
Oh, and the crumble lover approved, although she asked for me to put more streusel on next time. But then, if she had it her way, I’d have to ask her this: ‘Would you like some muffin with your streusel?’
And I’m pretty sure the answer would be ‘no’.
Soy and Apple Streusel Muffins
Adapted from My Cooking Hut
- 2 cups + 2 tbsp plain flour
- 3 apples, peeled and chopped into cubes
- 250 ml soy milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 90 ml oil
- 1 cup raw sugar
- 1 tbs baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 5 tbsp flour
- 35 g butter, chopped into cubes
- 1 1/2 tbsp raw sugar
- pinch of salt
For the streusel. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Add in the cubes of butter, and cut into the flour mixture using a fork. When it resembles coarse and even lumps of sand, set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
In a large mixing bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and combine. Toss in the sugar and mix. Repeat with the apples.
Combine the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla essence in a jug.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and pour in the eggy mix. Fold everything together until just combined.
Pour the batter into the muffins cases right up to the brim. Top with a layer of streusel.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden.
Let cool in the tin for 5 minutes before removing to cool on a rack.