Happy Accident: Mini Blueberry Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Muffins

Things are going well these days.  On the book front, my editor told me my book, Soup Day, has sold out of its first printing.  Yay!  That means I’m closer to my goal of selling the 9,000 or so copies I need to sell to get a sequel (which I’ve already written.)  Please support me in the effort and buy a copy for that young chef in your life and encourage them to join you in the kitchen!

Today, Amy Zavatto, a wonderful food and wine writer, wrote a lovely piece about spending a day with her niece and cooking on her Barnes and Noble food blog.

I’ll be part of the November Picture Book Bonanza at Books of Wonder in Manhattan this Sunday (11/21) from 1-3.  There will be so many amazing authors and illustrators there – James Howe, Wendell Minor, Dan Yaccarino, Lenid Gore, and a bunch of others!

And if you are in the Naperville, IL area, I would love to meet you at Anderson’s Book Store Tuesday (11/23) at 7.  I’ll be visiting schools in the area during the day and then doing the book store event at night to kick start my Thanksgiving holiday with my family. 🙂

On the food front, I flubbed a recipe big time, but sometimes mistakes can turn into a nice gift – isn’t that how pot stickers were invented?  The legend goes that the chef was cooking for the emperor and he burnt the dumplings on the bottom.  He didn’t have time to make a new batch, so he served them and called them “Pot Stickers”. The emperor loved them, and pot stickers were born.  Mine wasn’t as revolutionary but shared the same spirit!

Last weekend we had a brunch to go to, and I decided to try a new blueberry muffin recipe.  Here is the original source.

Photo by Mrs. Unrath

The problem was that I was in my 5:50 am pre-coffee state of mind.  My plan was to divide the recipe in half and make mini muffins.  I made the unfortunate (or fortunate?) error of halving everything except the butter.  Oops!  Oh, also the vanilla.  And I was too lazy to grate nutmeg, so I substituted cinnamon.

Additionally, I tweaked the recipe by adding the dry ingredients together, rather than the order in the original recipe and used demarra sugar instead of granulated for the topping because it’s prettier.  I was working on auto pilot…

But lo and behold – when the little treats came out, they were the most delicious blueberry muffins I have ever tasted.  A growling stomach may have had some influence, but I am sure the double dose of butter didn’t hurt!  Even with the extra serving, they weren’t greasy at all – just moist and heavenly.  The demarra sugar gave the tops a nice crunch, and the cinnamon was a perfect complement to the blueberry.  Even Picky #1 and Picky #2 said they were “the best muffins” they’d ever had — which is saying a lot!

Even though they were a bit more decadent—they are very small, so it is a mini indulgence. I felt like I was channeling my inner Ina Garten and Paula Deen writing up this recipe!

The only thing I would change next time is to bake them in paper liners so they are easier to remove from the muffin pan.  Try my recipe as is – or if you want to be a little health conscious, cut the butter in half.  If you do, let me know how they turn out!

Best Blueberry Mini Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar Topping


1 cup flour, plus 1 tablespoon for dusting

1 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of kosher salt

½ cup butter (1 stick) softened at room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup milk

1 ¼ cups fresh blueberries


1 tablespoon demarra sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray and line with mini cupcake liners
  3. Whisk 1 cup flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.  Set aside
  4. Cream butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Add sugar and beat until pale and creamy.
  5. Add egg and vanilla.  Beat to combine
  6. With lowest setting running, add ½ of the flour, then ½ of the milk.  Mix to combine.  Repeat.
  7. Toss blueberries with 1 tablespoon flour to coat in a small bowl.  Add to muffin batter and stir gently with a spoon.
  8. Heap tablespoons of batter into cupcake liners.
  9. Mix topping ingredients together in a small bowl and sprinkle about ½ teaspoon on muffin tops.
  10. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a tester inserting in center comes out clean
  11. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.
  12. Remove muffins from pan to rack and cool a bit.

Yield: 24 small muffins.



Filed under Breakfast

6 responses to “Happy Accident: Mini Blueberry Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Muffins

  1. Congratulations again on Soup Day!!! I wish Austin was on your tour. Those muffins look so cute. I’m still trying to get Fuzz to eat muffins with cooked fruit in them. She’ll eat cinnamon, chocolate or chocolate chip, but she doesn’t like the texture of good blueberry muffins.

  2. Hi Melissa,

    I’m so excited for you about your book! Congratulations! 🙂 I have yet to order a copy but I’m wondering how I can purchase one and then have you sign it for us. 🙂 Your blueberry muffins look amazing. I tried a recipe a while ago but I didn’t love it. Next time, I will try this AND I love mini muffins! My only problem is that I only have one tin so I would have to bake for a while… Perhaps investing in additional pans would be worthwhile.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving / book tour. Let me know if you are in LA for a book signing or event. Bebe and I would love to come out and see you.

  3. Congratulations on your book doing so well!! And the best things in life are sometimes accidents and in this case, these little mini muffins are a BEAUTIFUL accident!

  4. Thanks you all — I wish I could travel all over and do book events in your towns! Especially in the warmer weather! 🙂

  5. These are adorable!! I love the idea of making these mini!!

  6. This looks great! I think it taste yummy even if it so small. LOL. Maybe I can add some cream cheese frostings with sprinkles on the top to make it colorful and attractive for the kids.

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