If you’ve never swirled jam into muffin batter, what are you waiting for? You must do it. It’s about the easiest way to add fruity flavor all year long, especially in the dead of winter when it seems like there’s no such thing as fresh, in-season fruit. This recipe was born out of my desire to create a cardamom-scented muffin. It’s an intriguing, very unique spice and I had a jar sitting in my pantry begging to be used. Did you know cardamom is the world’s 3rd most expensive spice? Vanilla and saffron come in 1st and 2nd. Interesting little foodie fact. Anyway, blueberries were an obvious choice; Cardamom somehow makes blueberries taste more like blueberries, but a little goes a long way, so don’t be heavy-handed. I found 1/8 teaspoon to be just right. I wasn’t sure how my kids would feel about the spice, but judging by the way they wolfed these down, still warm from the oven, I’m thinking they approve.
The glaze is totally optional. If you follow along here or on Instagram, you’ll know I’ve been mildly obsessed with using freeze-dried fruit in my recipes. Well, here’s another example of my obsession. I pulverized some freeze-dried blueberries and made the most gorgeous, naturally purple glaze. You could also use some blueberry jam in your glaze if you don’t have the freeze-dried berries. Or just forget the glaze because these little cakelets need no adornment.
A few muffin tips and recipe notes:
- As with all recipes, read the whole thing before you begin any prep work.
- Always mix dry and wet separately and add wet to dry. I don’t understand the science behind it, but this makes a huge difference.
- Don’t over-mix your batter. The lumpiest, ugliest muffin batter makes the lightest, moistest (yeah, I said it) muffins.
- Grease the heck out of your tins, or use muffin liners (unless you plan to invert them and glaze the bottoms like I do!). Baking spray such as Baker’s Joy is perfect for this.
- If you let your batter sit for about 20 minutes before you bake your muffins, they will get higher, straight-out-of-the-local-bakery domes.
Blueberry Cardamom Jam Muffins
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup flavorless oil such as grapeseed
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- blueberry jam for swirling (about 1/2 cup total)
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- teeny, tiny pinch of cardamom
- 1/2 cup finely crushed freeze-dried blueberries or 2 tablespoons blueberry jam
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
To prepare muffins:
Prepare muffin tins by spraying with baking spray or lining with paper muffin liners.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, set aside
Mix wet ingredients in a medium bowl or large, spouted measuring cup
Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix gently until just combined. I use a large fork for this and then scrape around the sides and bottom with a soft, rubber spatula to finish. Remember, lumpy, ugly batter is a good thing here.
Fill muffin cups half way with batter.
Add one teaspoon of jam to each muffin cup.
Fill muffin cups with remaining batter.
Top each with one more teaspoon of jam, and using a chopstick or skewer, swirl jam from top to bottom and side to side.
You can bake them right away, or let them sit at room temp for 20 minutes before baking to get an even higher rise.
Place in preheated oven for 16-18 minutes until puffed, golden, and set. (this is a good time to make your glaze)
Remove muffins from oven and let cool slightly before transferring to parchment lined surface (cookie sheet, cutting board, large platter).
To prepare glaze:
Place all glaze ingredients in a small bowl and add just enough milk to make a smooth, pourable glaze. Add more confectioner’s sugar if it’s too thin, or more milk if too thick. You want it thin enough to pour, but thick enough so it doesn’t all just run off the muffins.
Spread or pour glaze any way you like. I like to flip the muffins upside down (Make sure not to use paper liners if this is your choice) and pour the glaze right in the center so it drips down the sides.
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