They’re nothing cozier than the scent of vanilla and cardamom-spiced muffins wafting through the kitchen on a rainy Monday morning. Well, maybe there is – if it’s plum and cardamom muffins.
With the plum season just beginning, my trusted fruit and vegetable vendor sent me a nice, juicy box of them. And I had an intense urge to bake with them. I’m so enamored by the combination of plum and cardamom that I’ve made a popsicle out of it!
The plum and cardamom muffins have all the joy of a sweet, satisfactory tea cake without any heaviness. So, they make for a great breakfast companion or healthy snack.
Plus, making them is an absolutely hassle-free experience. You don’t need any special technique or equipment – a bowl and some pantry ingredients do the trick. Tender, fragrant, and pillowy-soft, with a crumbly streusel crown, they are a delightful bake.
How to make plum and cardamom muffins?
I worked with the basic muffin recipe I’ve used a countless number of times. Threw in a handful of diced plums in the cardamom – vanilla-flavored batter sprinkled some streusel and topped with some more sliced plum. By the time I cleared the kitchen, these fellas were out of the oven. That quick!
You can watch how simple these muffins are to make in the video below.
Making the streusel and buttermilk
- While your oven preheats, get the streusel ready by mixing a little bit of flour with sugar, cardamom powder, and coconut oil.
- When the mixture feels like wet sand, it’s ready.
- To make buttermilk, mix vinegar with milk and then set it aside for around 5 to 6 minutes.
Buttermilk gives muffins more body and a soft, buttery texture. It is my secret to making moist muffins. Don’t skip it.
Making the muffin batter
- For the batter, sift baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, more cardamom with the flours.
- Separately, whisk Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and coconut oil with buttermilk.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry with a gentle hand and fold in diced plums with a spatula.
- Your batter should be thick, almost lumpy, and scraggy. And no, the muffins will not turn out to be dry with a cardboard-like taste. The plums release their juices as they bake, turning the crumb superbly juicy and jammy.
No matter what add-ins your muffin recipe has, always fold them in gently. That’s the trick to a soft interior.
Also, never overmix the batter. When everything looks well moistened, stop mixing.
Greek yogurt does excellent work at making the batter viscous, lending the muffins the iconic crown. If you use regular yogurt, strain it until it’s nicely thick.
Baking the plum and cardamom muffins
Muffin batter comes together super-fast. Once it does, don’t dawdle. Immediately put it for baking. Keep the batter hanging, and the leavening agents, along with buttermilk and Greek yogurt, lose their efficacy. You don’t want that chemical chain reaction to fizz out.
- Pour the batter into your lined muffin tray.
- Sprinkle the streusel and really jam it in liberally. I wish I had gone heavy with it, but there’s always the next time.
- Top the batter with slices of plum and then bake for 20 to 22 minutes.
- Do a skewer test. It should come out clean with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Tips for baking muffins
- For a mess-free clean-up, always line the muffin cups with paper or silicone cups. Or you can grease them with a heavy hand.
- If the batter is not sufficient to fill all the muffin cups, pour water into the empty ones. It’ll make sure they don’t burn. The water should be enough to fill half of each cavity.
- No one loves a muffin with a soggy bottom. So, always cool them on a wire rack before you serve.
Serving the plum and cardamom muffins
A cake-like crumb, sweet-scented with cardamom, finds a perfect counterpoint in the juicy tart plum bits and a crunchy crust. The bright and fresh muffins will stop you in your tracks and savor each bite.
While they are best eaten the day they are baked, because of all that fruit in the batter, they stay (refrigerated) perfectly moist the next day as well. I happily tucked in one for breakfast as well because of the low sugar and healthy flours.
Variations of plum cardamom muffin recipe
As I said, the recipe is basic. You can twiddle, twist and tweak it as you like.
- Just in case you’re out of cardamom (though that’s not likely), use more vanilla
- Want a bit of a crunchy mouthfeel, gussy the batter up with nuts.
- If you don’t have raw sugar, try cane, palm, or regular white sugar.
Which flour to use for baking muffins?
I blended whole-wheat, all-purpose, and amaranth flour. The latter lends more texture and, of course, makes the muffin a touch healthier.
You can use 100% all-purpose, 100% whole wheat, or go half and half. Substitutes for amaranth flour are:
- Buckwheat flour
- Almond flour
- Oat flour
Is butter or oil better for muffins?
Both work equally well. I used coconut oil, but you can use any neutral-tasting oil. If butter is your preference, then make sure it is melted and cooled.
How to make vegan muffins?
The only change you need to make in my recipe is to switch to a plant-based yogurt. All the other ingredients I use are vegan-friendly.
Can you use egg in the recipe?
Absolutely, replace the yogurt with egg.
What milk is best to bake muffins?
Any milk works like a charm. I’m just partial to coconut milk. Use whatever you have at hand.
More delicious muffin recipes:
- Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Muffins
- Eggless Chocolate Protein Muffins
- Vegan Blueberry Lemon Muffins
- Mango Coconut Muffins
- Nutella Banana Muffins
- Quinoa Orange Muffins
- Chocolate Muffins
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Plum & Cardamom Muffins
- 1 cup Wholewheat flour
- 1/2 cup All purpose flour
- 1/2 cup Amaranth flour
- 1/2 cup Raw sugar
- 1 tsp Baking soda
- 2 tsp Baking powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Cardamom powder
- 1 cup Coconut milk
- 1 tbsp Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Yogurt
- 1/3 cup Coconut oil
- 1 tsp Vanilla bean paste /extract
- 1/2 cup Plums, diced Plus extra for decoration
- 1/3 gms Whole wheat flour
- 1/4 gms Raw sugar
- 1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
- 3-4 tbsp Coconut oil or melted butter
- Preheat oven to 180 C. Line a 12 – cup muffin tray with paper liners.
- Make the streusel: Combine the flour, sugar, cardamom powder with coconut oil, or melted butter with a fork in a small bowl. You should get a grainy mixture like wet sand. Set aside.
- Mix 1 cup milk with 1 tbsp vinegar and let it sit for 5/6 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine all the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and crushed cardamom seeds.
- In another bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, vanilla, and oil.
- Pour the wet mixture onto the dry mixture and stir gently to combine. Fold in the diced plums.
- Fill the batter evenly in the muffin cups using 2 spoons or an ice cream scoop. Sprinkle with the streusel. Place one or two pieces of sliced plum on top and press them down gently.
- Bake for 20 -25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pan.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!