Easter baking: Hot Cross Muffins

Hot Cross Muffins

Hot Cross Muffins
These muffins have all the flavour of hot cross buns without the effort of rising & kneading the dough (and without the waiting for the buns to be ready).  Cinnamon, mixed spice & ground cloves add plenty of spice.  I have used currants but you can use raisins or sultanas or even chocolate chips if you must.

Hot Cross Muffins
The recipe calls for buttermilk – if this isn’t something you have on hand in the fridge you can make buttermilk by adding 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to slightly warmed milk and letting it sit for 5 minutes until it thickens slightly.  I have also used sour milk and yoghurt (thin runny yoghurt) successfully in these muffins.

I usually have to make two batches as one disappears before I manage to pipe the lemon icing on the top.  I am not in the habit of icing muffins but seeing as they are Hot Cross Muffins, they sort of seem unfinished without the lemon crosses.  They do taste just as good without it though.
Hot Cross Muffins
Hot Cross Muffins

187 g (1 ½) cups plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
100 g (½ cup, well packed) brown sugar
45 g (½ cup) wheat germ
140 g (1 cup) currants
2 medium apples, grated
2 large eggs
83 ml (1/3 cup) grape seed or rice bran oil
187.5 ml (¾ cup) buttermilk, sour milk or thin natural yoghurt
62.5 ml (¼ cup) sweet apple syrup
60 g (½ cup) icing sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Preheat oven 180ºC (350ºF), and grease or line 12 muffin tins.
Sift flour, baking powder, spices and salt into a large bowl.
Add sugar and wheat germ, stirring to combine dry ingredients.
Stir in currants & grated apple.
Place eggs, oil, buttermilk & apple syrup in a bowl and whisk to incorporate the ingredients.
Make a well in dry ingredients, pour in the liquid mixture then mix until just combined.
Spoon into prepared muffin tins and bake 18-20 minutes until cooked.
When cool, prepare icing by combining the icing sugar and lemon juice.  Pipe into a cross shape using a piping bag.
Makes 12


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