Totally Muffins


(The following is provided by Celestial Arts)


Muffins are a 150-year-old tradition combining the secret leavening powers of baking soda and powder with the sweet strains of fruits, syrups, and spices. Totally Muffins provides 40 recipes for every muffin mode: Classic (banana walnut, carrot raisin, applesauce spice), Health (whole wheat, granola, sunflower wheat), Party (chocolate sour cherry, orange marmalade) and Savory (fig aniseed, chile corn, toasted walnut gorgonzola). Prepare your tins for action!

About the Authors

Helene Siegel is the author of the Ethnic Kitchen Series (Harper Collins, 1992-1994) including Italian, Chinese, Mexican and French Cooking for Beginners and co-author of Mesa Mexicana (Morrow, 1994), City Cuisine (Morrow, 1990) and Ma Cuisine (Random House, 1988). She is a contributor to the Los Angeles Times, The Times Syndicate, Bon Appetit and Fine Cooking magazines and has appeared on numerous radio and television shows. She is a member of the Southern California Culinary Guild and International Association of Culinary Professionals and resides in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons, and a well-fed dog. Previously she produced children's pop-up books, and was production director for Workman Publishing.

Karen Gillingham is a popular Los Angeles food stylist. She is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she also wrote a syndicated column, "Quick and Classy."

  • Totally Muffins
  • By Helene Siegel and Karen Gillingham
  • $4.95, 95 pages (paperback)
  • Celestial Arts
  • ISBN 0-89087-756-4
  • Publication Date: January 10, 1996

On Mixing

Muffins need very little stirring to achieve the proper consistency. Three or four strokes with a big wooden spoon for the final combining is generally enough. If you can no longer see streaks of white flour, it is time to stop, even if the batter looks lumpy. The aim of muffin mixing is not to beat in air, as it is with cake mixing. Over mixing leads to tough muffins.


Chocolate Sour Cherry Muffins


These are so rich and chocolatey you can get away with serving them as cupcakes for children's party. Dust the tops with confectioners' sugar for special occasions.

  • 3/4 cup dried sour cherries
  • 1/4 cup kirsch
  • 1 stick butter
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease muffin tins or line with paper cups.

Combine dried cherries and kirsch in small saucepan. Cook over low heat until liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool.

In medium heavy saucepan, combine butter and chocolate. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until both are melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.

With electric mixer, beat eggs with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in sour cream. Then pour in chocolate mixture and stir to combine.

In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and soda. Add to the chocolate mixture and mix just until flour disappears. Gently stir in cherries and fill muffin cups to top. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until tester comes out clean.

Makes 12


Raspberry Cheesecake Muffins

A pretty addition to the morning bread basket

  • 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen, (unthawed)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin tins or line with paper cups.

In small bowl, beat cream cheese with 1 egg, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Set aside.

In saucepan, combine milk, butter, and remaining teaspoon vanilla. Stir over medium heat until butter melts. Cool until warm to touch, then beat in remaining 2 eggs.

In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Add milk mixture and stir just to blend. Fold in raspberries. Divide batter equally among muffin cups. Spoon about 2 teaspoons cream cheese mixture on top of each muffin. Pull knife through each top to swirl slightly. Bake about 20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched.

Makes 12


Fig Aniseed Muffins

Our idea of waking up in heaven—fig jam or a fig muffin. No butter needed.

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons anise extract
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoons aniseeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped, dried figs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease muffin tins or line with paper cups.

In large mixing bowl, whisk together egg, milk, oil, and anise extract.

In another bowl, combine flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and aniseeds. Stir evenly moistened. Stir in figs and spoon into muffin cups. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Makes 10


Provided by


  • Totally Muffins
  • By Helene Siegel and Karen Gillingham
  • $4.95, 95 pages (paperback)
  • Celestial Arts
  • ISBN 0-89087-756-4
  • Publication Date: January 10, 1996

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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