Simply Sinful Cinnamon Muffins: a real square deal

Simply sinful.

Now if that’s not a culinary come-on, I don’t know what is.

Considering this signature spice’s spicy/sweet, fiery nature, is it any wonder that “sin” and the first syllable of CINnamon are homonyms?

In fact, scientists have compiled data showing the aroma of cinnamon is a powerful male aphrodisiac. (I think I’ll just leave it to you to decide what to do with THAT particular bit of information…)

It’s also well-known that the cinnamon-y smell of an apple pie in the oven is a wildly effective home-sales tool; brokers often advise those having an open house to throw a pie into the oven just as prospective buyers start knocking on the door.

Bottom line: who can resist the smell and flavor of cinnamon? Particularly top-quality Vietnamese cinnamon, whose higher-than-normal oil content gives it over-the-top flavor, and the ability to thoroughly permeate anything to which it’s added.

Think apple desserts. Snickerdoodles. Coffeecake. And, of course, these tender, buttery muffins. With cinnamon in their topping; rich, thick cinnamon filling, plus cinnamon chips in the batter, they’re a veritable cinnamon-y symphony.

Want to bring every guy in the house into the kitchen? Bake up a batch of these babies, and see what happens!

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake papers, or grease it lightly.

Let’s start with the streusel topping and the filling.

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Mix the following ingredients until crumbly:

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup diced pecans
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup (2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3 tablespoons soft butter

I like to put topping into a measuring cup once it’s mixed, so I can easily see how much I should sprinkle onto each muffin. Looks like just about 1 1/2 cups topping – which would be about 2 tablespoons topping per muffin.

Now, how come there’s no cinnamon in the topping, if these muffins are supposed to be all about cinnamon? Well, there can be, for sure; add 1/2 teaspoon if you’re a true cinnamon devotée. But I find the “plain” streusel is a nice counterpoint to the rest of the cinnamon-rich muffin.

You have two choices for filling.

First choice: 1/2 cup Baker’s Cinnamon Filling combined with 3 to 4 tablespoons water, enough to make a smooth paste. This makes a rich filling, heady with aromatic Vietnamese cinnamon; think the filling you find in top-quality cinnamon buns.

If you don’t have any cinnamon filling in your pantry, give it a try sometime; you’ll fall in love with it, I promise. But in the meantime, you can make an approximation by mixing 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon. That’s it; don’t add any water.

Next up: the batter.

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Combine the following in a large bowl:

1 3/4 cups (7 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup rolled oats, old-fashioned or quick
2 tablespoons Signature Secrets culinary thickener or cornstarch
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup cinnamon chips or butterscotch chips

In a measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the following:

1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) melted butter
3/4 cup lukewarm milk
2 large eggs

Add the liquid mixture to the dry, stirring just until combined. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate any sticky residue.

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Divide half the batter evenly among the muffin cups. A heaped tablespoon cookie scoop (photo, top left) is just about the right amount for each cup.

Dollop 2 teaspoons cinnamon filling onto each muffin; a teaspoon cookie scoop, filled level, works well here.

Rather than drop it onto the batter in a big lump, as I did, use the teaspoon scoop as a measure, then crumble the filling over the surface of the batter. That way, you’ll get more edge-to-edge coverage.

Top the muffins with the remaining batter, spreading it to cover the filling if necessary.

Notice the square muffin pan I’m using here; it’s slick – both literally, and figuratively. I lined some of the cups with paper liners, to see how a round liner would do in a square cup. The answer is: just fine.

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Sprinkle generously with the topping, pressing it in lightly.

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Bake the muffins for 20 to 25 minutes…

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…or until they’re golden brown. Remove the muffins from the oven, and wait 5 minutes before transferring them from the pan to a rack to cool.

OK, hold on – what’s with the other muffin pan in the oven?

Just another test I was doing. Is the capacity of this square pan the same as a standard muffin pan? Yes.

And, do paper liners make a difference? In the standard pan, liners make the muffins a little bit easier to get out of the pan; they don’t make any difference in the square pan.

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And here they are, in two delicious incarnations.

You know what they say – it’s hip to be square!

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While it’s totally optional, a drizzle of icing atop the cooled muffins is a felicitous final touch. Mix 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon milk, or enough to create a pourable glaze. Spoon/drizzle it over the cooled muffins.

Simply sinful? You bet!

Please read, bake, and review our recipe for Simply Sinful Cinnamon Muffins.

Print just the recipe.

 

 

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Dianne Nutzman

    I’m glad you brought this recipe around again this Fall! The recipe printed in the September and October 2017 catalogs needs a correction. The 1/4 cup (7/8 ounce) of Organic Rolled Oats used in the topping should not weigh the same as the 1/2 cup portion in the batter. The weight is correct for 1/4 cup.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for pointing that out, Dianne. We apologize for the error and have checked to make sure the online version is correct. One of our greatest assets has always been having detail-oriented customers like yourself keeping us on our toes. We appreciate your keen eye. Kye@KAF

  2. Barbara

    Just like Sara, I wondered too about making these in a large muffin pan, the Hamburger Bun Pan is the one I am talking about. Also, I can’t eat nuts, would I just double the amount of oatmeal in the topping?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Oops, we’re so sorry we missed Sara’s question initially! The recipe will yield about 6-8 jumbo muffins, depending on the size of the pan that’s used. The baking time will need to be extended by 5-10 minutes, and we recommend checking for doneness using a toothpick inserted into the muffins to ensure it comes out mostly clean. You can omit the pecans in the topping (don’t double the oats or else it will be too dry), or consider using something else yummy and flavorful like our Cinnamon Sweet Bits instead. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

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