I began making these a couple of years ago when I couldn’t get tasty hot cross buns at a reasonable price. Seemed like the choices were cheap and nasty mass-produced soggy lumps from the supermarket or expensive, and still not so nice, too-large buns from the speciality bakeries. I even tried making my own buns but that was quite time consuming and still not that great. I decided that I didn’t really like the bun thing so went exploring and modifying and came up with this recipe for Easter Muffins. I don’t make large muffins any more, preferring to have more small ones. Better for the waist line, and you get more of the crunchy top.
Hot Cross Muffins (cross is optional)
Makes about 24 medium-sized muffins. Cooking time 10 mins at 210°C and 20 minutes at 185°C so get the oven on, prepare the wet and dry ingredients and the trays and wait to combine the ingredients until the oven reaches temperature.
- 3 cups plain flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- total of approx 2 cups of things to add – sultanas, dates, raisins, candied peel, dried cranberries, lemon zest, orange zest (add fruit juice to the liquid mix)
- 2 eggs
- 450 ml of a combination of yoghurt, kefir, whey, melted butter, light oil, milk, buttermilk, juice to your taste or what is available (I usually use yoghurt (needs a bit of bitter – add lemon juice if not using yoghurt), rice bran oil and milk)
- 4 tsp orange or lemon juice mixed with enough sifted icing sugar to make a smooth drizzling consistency and drizzle a cross on each cooled muffin.
Mix together the dry ingredients and the fruit stirring so the flour coats the fruit pieces and break up clumps.
Mix together the eggs, vanilla and liquid mix.
When the oven has reached temperature stir the wet and dry ingredients together – quickly, about 8 stirs, do not over mix. Fill the patty cases in the prepared trays and put in the oven for 10 minutes at 210 then 20 minutes at 190.
When done remove pan from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes then turn out to cool on a rack – they fall apart if eaten too soon.
Add the cross if required.