Plain Spelt Muffins (2 Versions)

Assortment of Muffins

Assortment of Muffins

By Cat, Jun 2008 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Now, I have to admit the idea of simply plain muffins doesn’t do much for my palate.  But you can use a basic, plain, muffin recipe and add things to it to make them simply wonderful. See list of ideas below the recipe

I decided to include a plain muffin recipe because one came on a bag of whole wheat spelt from Bob’s Red Mill.  I’m learning how to modify recipes to use spelt instead of wheat flour, so I thought starting with a basic recipe might help build a good foundation for later experimentation.

About Ingredients

Spelt is an ancient type of wheat, resembling soft wheat (as used for pastry flour), so is a good choice for soda-risen recipes. However, it needs less moisture than wheat, and its gluten works up faster than wheat.  The first version uses whole grain spelt flour. The second version uses pre-soaked whole grain spelt flour; see Pre-soak flour (as for baked goods) for details. See also Soaking/Sprouting Grains, Legumes, Nuts & Seeds (Intro).

Sweetener: The original Bob’s Red Mill recipe uses ¼ cup brown sugar or honey. I provide amounts for several alternatives. Local honey is a good choice, but I don’t recommend brown sugar as it is highly processed; Rapadura is a better choice than brown sugar. Since I’m avoiding sugar, I use stevia extract powder with a small amount of honey, Grade-B maple syrup, or malted barley syrup.

Malted barley is new to my sweetener repertoire; about half as sweet as sugar, you need twice as much. For this reason, I prefer to combine it with stevia. It is made by sprouting (malting) barley, which breaks down barley’s starches to maltose, a disaccharide of glucose.

Alternately, you could use Rapadura sugar or the original brown cane sugar. I do not recommend regular white sugar, as it is likely made from GMO sugar beets.

Variations & Additions for Plain Muffins: The following can be added to any plain muffin recipe to add flavor and interest:

  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • mix of dried fruits to total 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 cup shopped fresh apple (with peel)
  • mix of apple and walnuts or pecans to total 1/2 cup

— If making whole-grain muffins, dredge the fruit/nuts in 1 -2 Tbsp of the flour. Then mix into the liquids along with the flour (or stir into the sifted flour, before adding to liquids).

— For presoaked spelt muffins, dredge the fruit/nuts in 1 – 2 Tbsp of the next-day flour, then add to remaining dry ingredients.

If you like a more moist muffin, add a bit of apple sauce or pureed apple with the other liquids (if using a presoak method, you can add this to the presoak mixture).

Whole-Grain Spelt Muffins

This recipe is adapted from a Bob’s Red Mill package of whole spelt flour. I’m learning how to modify recipes to use spelt instead of wheat, so I thought this would be a good place to start. Spelt vs Wheat in Baked Goods & Pasta is a compilation of my learnings.

Makes 12 – 14 muffins, depending on size of muffin cups.

Ingredients & Equipment:


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.  Grease and flour  muffin cups (or fill cups with muffin papers).
  2. If adding fruit or nuts, dredge in 1 -2 Tbsp of the flour; then stir into sifted flour.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into large bowl. If using stevia, Rapadura or brown sugar, add it too. Make a well in center of the bowl.
  4. Beat together the honey, maple syrup or malted barley syrup (if using), milk, eggs and oil in a smaller bowl; pour into the well of flour.
  5. Stir just until moistened.
  6. Fill muffin cups ⅔ full (fill empty cups with water).  Sprinkle crumb or nut-crumble topping over muffins, if desired.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 17 minutes, or until light brown in color.

Pre-Soaked Spelt Muffins

This recipe is adapted from Bob’s Red Mill recipe above. I’ve not yet tested this version.

For more about Pre-soaking grains to improve their nutritional value, see

Instead of using all 1 ¼ cups milk for the soak, I recommend starting with just 1 cup clabbered milk, then adding more whole milk, 1 Tbsp at a time until mixture is just stir-able.

Makes 12 – 14 muffins.

Ingredients & Equipment:


  1. Day Before, Soak Flour:
  2. Add vinegar/lemon juice to 1 cup milk in measuring cup and let rest about 5 minutes until it thickens (clabbers).
  3. Stir clabbered milk into the flour in large bowl until well blended. If mixture is too stiff to stir, add more milk (not clabbered), 1 Tbsp at a time, up to 1/4 cup, as needed.
  4. Press a sheet of waxed paper against the flour mixture, to cover entire surface.  Let sit on counter 12 hours or overnight.  Next day, scrape any batter stuck to the paper back into the bowl.
  5. Next day, muffin batter: Preheat oven to 425°F.  Grease and flour 12 muffin cups (or fill with muffin papers).
  6. If using stevia powder, stir it into 1 tsp lemon or orange juice until it dissolves.
  7. If adding fruit or nuts, dredge in 1 -2 Tbsp of the flour.
  8. Meanwhile beat eggs in medium bowl until fluffy. Add dissolved stevia (if using) and remaining wet ingredients. Beat until just mixed, then add to soaked flour, stirring until just combined.
  9. Sift dry ingredients together, add dredged fruit/nuts (if using), then fold into the batter, just until moistened. If batter is too thick, add more whole milk 1 Tbsp at a time until batter as needed.
  10. Bake: Fill muffin cups ⅔ full (fill any empty cups with water). Sprinkle crumb or nut-crumble topping over muffins, if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 17 minutes, or until light brown in color.

About Cat

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