These maple walnut muffins are filled with the flavours of warm, buttered pancakes. Made with a nice bit of whole wheat flour, toasted walnuts and sweetened only with real maple syrup.
I have been enjoying these maple muffins for several years, since finding them in the Sarabeth's Bakery Cookbook. I love the crispy tops and tender middle. I love their rich butter and maple flavours, balanced against the toasted walnuts. And finally, I love the wonderful aroma they spread through the house when they are baking. These muffins are a treat!
Maple Syrup - You'll want to use pure, maple syrup for these muffins. Grade B maple syrup will provide the richest and strongest maple flavour. Grade A will work just fine, but with a bit lighter maple flavour. I do know that maple syrup is unavailable in some places, but unfortunately, there really isn't a decent maple syrup substitute that I can suggest.
I also know that even when maple syrup is available, it can be very expensive in some places. In that case, I would suggest that you make just a 1/2 batch for a first try, just so you can be sure that you enjoy these muffins, before jumping in with a large amount of maple syrup.
Flour - this recipe uses both all purpose and whole wheat flour. For the all purpose flour, unbleached is recommended, if you have it. Otherwise, regular bleached is fine. If you don't have whole wheat flour, you can simply add more all purpose flour, in the same amount as specified for the whole wheat flour. I haven't tested using all whole wheat flour in these muffins. I suspect that while it would "work", it will produce quite heavy muffins.
Butter - While the recipe specifies unsalted butter, you can use salted butter if that's all you have. Simply reduce the added salt by 1/4 tsp. And while I think the butter flavour is one of the nicest part of these muffins, if you prefer not to use butter at all, you can try substituting an equal amount of a neutral-tasting oil such as vegetable or canola.
Milk - whole (3.5% b.f.) milk is recommended, though a 2% milk should work fine here. For a non-dairy alternative, I suspect a dairy alternative milk should work here, though I haven't tested it myself.
Walnuts - the combination of maple and walnut is a classic, though pecans would also work here, if you prefer.
You will also need - salt, baking powder, eggs (2).
This is a summary of the steps to make this recipe. Always refer to the complete instructions in the Recipe Card below.
- If you love a nutty muffin, you can increased the chopped walnuts in these muffins to 1 cup.
- As with most muffins, once you combine the wet and dry ingredients, you want to mix, with a spoon, only until the flour is incorporated. Scatter the walnuts in when there is only a bit of flour showing, to avoid over-mixing when adding the walnuts.
- I always use baking spray to grease my muffin cups and have never had an issue with these muffins sticking. So I recommend baking spray if you have it. If not, to be sure you don't have issues, you may wish to use muffin liners.
- If you're adventurous, try these variations: Switch up the walnuts with pecans. Or raisins. Or try chopped, cooked bacon for a maple bacon muffin!
- These muffins are best enjoyed freshly baked warm with butter. They will keep well in an airtight container or freeze for longer storage.
Bakery Style Maple Walnut Muffins
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour ((285g))
- 3/4 cups whole wheat flour ((90g))
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp fine salt (reduce to 1/4 tsp if using salted butter (2.5ml))
- 12 Tbsp unsalted butter (melted and cooled slightly (170g))
- 1/2 cup whole milk (cold (118ml))
- 1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup (Grade B for best flavour or Grade A (355ml))
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (toasted (60g))
- Preheat oven to 350F. Scatter walnuts onto a baking sheet. To toast, place in preheated oven for 5-8 minutes, watching closely and stirring regularly, until fragrant. Remove from oven and remove from baking sheet to a clean plate to cool.
- Raise oven temperature to 400F. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with baking spray. Set aside. *if you don't have baking spray, you may wish to use paper liners to avoid sticking.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add the melted (and slightly cooled) butter. Add the cold milk, maple syrup, the whole egg and the egg yolk. Whisk to combine. *The mixture may be a bit lumpy, as the cold milk and/or maple syrup may cause the butter fats to solidify. That's fine.
- Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a spoon just until the flour is incorporated. Add the cooled, toasted walnuts and stir just to combine.
- Using a 2 1/2-inch diameter scoop or a large spoon, divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups.
- Bake muffins at 400F. for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375F and bake an additional 12-14 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean.