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Their real name is muffins, but I like calling them mini cakes, which are single-serve, fluffy delicacies, fast and easy to prepare. They are definitely mouthwatering and worth making for family and friends.
Everyone has their own Achilles’ heel in the kitchen—for example, something you have been trying to cook for a long time again and again but you have never been able to make properly. I always blame the oven or bad luck for my culinary failures. My Achilles’ heel is muffins. I had never succeeded in making them well, but today of all days, a day to truly remember, I have just baked my best ones ever. I am so proud of myself.
Muffins are best for those who don’t have much self-control because they are small, single-sized portions. If you fancy a healthy sweet breakfast, try this recipe.
Choose the fruit very carefully:
- Apples: Pick a good baking apple, such as Granny Smith, Jonathan, Braeburn, Honeycrisp. The key is cutting them up into very small pieces.
- Cranberries: They are delicious and not too sweet. Their slightly acidic taste balances the sweetness of the apples. If you can get them at your local health store, that’s best because they will be more natural with less sugar.
A few secrets in baking wonderful mini cakes:
- Dice the apples so the muffins cook more evenly.
- Mix all the ingredients at room temperature, and when the batter is well combined, immediately divide it among the muffin cups and pop them into the oven. The rising process should take place while baking.
- For a smooth batter: substitute 1 cup (50g) of flour with 50g of starch.
- If using Teflon or silicone muffin pans, butter and slightly flour them before pouring the batter. You don’t have to butter or flour paper muffin cups, but you must place them in aluminum muffin tins so that they keep their shape. Only fill them 2/3 full as they will expand.
- Don’t use a convection oven. Do not open the oven at all until the end. Otherwise, you’ll end up with flat, sad mini cakes. At the end, turn off the oven and let the mini cakes rest for about 5 minutes with the door opened halfway before taking them out of the oven.
Easy and fast small mini cakes with pears and chocolate
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour (300g)
- ½ cup + 1 tbsp of butter (120g)
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 130 g of 2% milk
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup of dried cranberries (150g)
- 2 apples diced in small pieces
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract (4g)
- 2 tsp of baking powder (9g)
- Chopped almonds, pecans, or walnuts, or any nut you prefer for the tops
- Melt the butter completely in the microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat;
- Mix these ingredients in order: softened butter, eggs, sugar, and the room-temperature milk with a hand mixer on medium until the batter is light and fluffy;
- Whisk together the flour, vanilla extract, and baking powder and add to the butter mixture;
- Add the cranberries and apples. The batter should be quite liquid;
- Divide it among the muffin pans, filling only 2/3 way up;
- Add a few chopped nuts to the tops of the muffins before baking;
- Bake in pre-heated static oven at 350°F (180°C) for 20 minutes. Do not open the oven until the end;
- Then switch off the oven and open the door; let them rest in the oven for 5 minutes;
- Take them out and let them cool on a cooling rack;
- Combine them with some fruit and hot drinks for a delicious start of the day.
How can you store the mini cakes?
They keep fresh in an air-tight glass container at room temperature for up to 4 days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.