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May 27, 2007 08:18 PM

Your best recipes for muffins, quickbreads, or other brunch treats?

I have family coming in from out of town, and I would like to prepare a nice spread of baked goods for them. They all get in around 10 AM, so I am thinking brunchy stuff would be a nice welcome. I already have a good banana bread recipe, but I would also like to prepare a couple of kinds of muffins or something else along those lines...that's where you come in! Please share your best recipes for brunch-y baked goods. Thanks!

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  1. Are you looking only for sweets? I think Galley Girl's pear tart would be good for brunch, pretty and easy to do. If you do a search, you'll find quite a few threads on it, some with pictures. I haven't tried the Sir Gawain's cake (there's a recent thread on it) but it looks similar and is on my list of things to make.

    I like these donut muffins from this thread (It makes a lot so it's perfect if you're having a big group):

    My favorite muffins are from the Best Recipe for blueberry muffins.

    3 Replies
    1. re: chowser

      i tried to google for galley girl's luck, can someone post the link? danke.

      1. re: lollya

        Click on the first chowhound link in my post above.

        1. re: chowser

          HA! How did I miss that. Seriously. Thanks!!

    2. Scones are a "different" brunch baked good. I used to make these when I was working as a baker in a coffee shop. They are very good, very EASY, and there are a lot of variations.

      Cream Scones
      Makes 8

      2 cups flour
      1/4 cup sugar
      1 TBSP. baking powder
      1/2 tsp. salt
      2/3 cup dried fruit*
      1-1/4 cups heavy (or "whipping") cream---DO NOT SUBSTITUTE!
      1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
      Coarse sugar, such as Sugar in the Raw

      Preheat oven to 425F. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, stirring well with a fork. Add dried fruit. Stir together the cream and vanilla extract; stir in to the dry ingredients, using the fork. Still using the fork, mix to a rough mass, then turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead BRIEFLY (about 1 min.) until it all holds together. Pat into a 7" circle. Brush the top with cream (there's probably enough left in the cup you used earlier---just scoop it out with your finger and run them over the top of the scone circle!), then sprinkle with the coase sugar. Cut into 8 wedges. Separate wedges and place on a parchment-coated baking sheet. Bake approx. 15-20 mins. until golden brown. Best eaten while still warm!

      *Dried fruit can be currants (for a classic scone), raisins (I like to add about 1 tsp. cinnamon to dry ingredients when I make them with raisins), dried cranberries, dried apricots snipped into 1/4" pieces, etc.


      Pecan Praline: substitute brown sugar for the white sugar. Substitute coarsely chopped pecans for the dried fruit.

      Chocolate chip: substitute chocolate chips for the dried fruit. THIS WAS OUR MOST POPULAR SCONE!

      Coconut: substitute sweetened flaked coconut for the dried fruit


      11 Replies
      1. re: Anne

        Your recipe looks good -- I was planning to try Ina's scones this morning, but her recipe calls for 3/4 pound of butter! That's daunting.

        Then I was curious about butter content in scone recipes hunted around on epicurious. It looks like the butter-free scones are British, and lighter (of course) and then served with lots of butter on top :) The usual ratio is 1/2 butter to flour?

        1. re: foxy fairy

          I tried Anne's recipe last year and it was very good. At the time, I was trying to recreate the scones of my favorite bakery, the only clues they gave me were: 1. no butter, only cream, and 2. brown sugar. Believe me, you are not sacrificing any deliciousness by loosing the butter...and they don't need butter on top, either. ( Cream = liquid butter as my baker friend pointed out.)

          Said bakery has recently begun making ham and cheese scones. I'm normally a "sweets" girl, but these things have actually won me away from the choc chip scones. Bits of choped ham and cheese are folded in the batter, and then a bit more cheese melted/baked on top. The scone is still slightly sweet: gorgeous with the salty ham and cheese. Thank God I live 30 min. from that bakery.

          1. re: danna

            I'd like to try those ham and cheese scones! I'm more of a savory girl, but I usually bake for my sweety, who has quite the sweet tooth! But for me -- savory all the way. I'm wondering what kind of cheese would be best here -- do you know what they use at your favorite bakery?

            1. re: foxy fairy

              It's swiss. And I *think* there may be a little pamesan in the crusty part on top. I'l try to remember to ask.

              1. re: danna

                I made Anne's recipe last week with lemon zest and tart cherries. Mmm. These are the best scones I've ever had -- moist, ethereal. I'm so glad I didn't glop up the batter with three sticks of butter the way Ina suggested!
                danna -- thank you! I am going to make a batch this morning -- well, half savory (prosciutto/fontina), half sweet (blueberry-lemon cream). That way I can indulge both my savory craving and my sweety's longing for sweets*

        2. re: Anne

          Anne-- here's my second batch. I can't believe how fast they vanish! These are blueberry lemon cream scones with my new heart cutter* I used the frozen wild Maine blueberries. Lovely color, and I much prefer this combination to the dried tart cherries I tried last week.

          1. re: foxy fairy

            Beautiful! I'm sure they were delicious---I'll have to try that combination! By the way, did you end up making the prosciutto/fontina ones? I've not tried a "savory" version of the recipe, but your combo sure appeals to me.

            1. re: Anne

              Yes! I realized after posting that I forgot to mention those. WOW. They're delicious -- a totally different creature from the sweet scones, of course. We ate them midafternoon, so the savory ones were great in a late luncheon or tea style, or maybe for a late brunch. I think the sweet ones are more appropriate for morning, and the perfect complement to coffee.
              Both are just delightful and yours will certainly be my scone recipe from now on, Anne. I'm excited to add in various goodies, although my sweety is so attached to the blueberry lemon creamies that I don't know if I'll be able to sneak anything else into the dough. For sweet scones, they're just perfection, and for a salty craving, the prosciutto/fontina scones are excellent too. Thanks again! ;)

              1. re: foxy fairy

                Glad to hear they worked out. Did you just leave out the sugar and vanilla when you made the prosciutto/fontina scones? I wondered if they would brown attractively as the sweet ones do. Did you make any other adjustments? Sounds like they were tasty!

            2. re: foxy fairy

              The fontina holds? How do you incorporate the cheese into this scone? I would love to try this!

            3. re: Anne

     scone recipe is almost exactly like this one. The family favorite includes: chocolate chips, chocolate covered toffee and toasted walnuts. In fact, my eldest child recommended making them for Daddy on Father's Day. I highly recommend them with clotted cream.

            4. This Orange Poppy Seed Cake works very well for brunch, although it can also be served as a dessert. It is really easy and I always get requests for the recipe when I serve it:

              Orange Poppy Seed Cake

              1/2 cup butter
              3/4 cup sugar
              2 eggs
              1/2 cup sour cream
              1/3 cup poppy seeds
              1/4 cup orange juice
              1 tbs grated orange rind (lemon can be substituted)
              1 tbs vanilla
              1-1/4 cup flour
              1/2 tsp baking powder
              1/4 tsp baking soda
              pinch salt (omit if use salted butter)

              1. Preheat oven to 350.
              2. Cream butter & sugar.
              3. Add eggs, beating well after adding each.
              4. Add sour cream, poppy seeds, orange juice, orange rind & vanilla, and beat well.
              5. In separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
              6. Add flour mixture to wet mixture and stir until combined well, but don't overstir.
              7. Pour batter into 1 qt. bundt or tube pan.
              8. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
              9. Let stand in pan for 5 minutes, and then remove & cool on rack.
              10. Can be served plain, or sift confectioners sugar over top, and sprinkle with poppy seeds.

              1. I like this pineapple upside-down muffins - they're fun and the sweet sticky bottom (top?) compensates for the fact that they are "healthy" muffins.

                A big fruit salad would be great too.
                Don't forget the protein - how about a quiche or frittatta? (both baked brunch items!)

                1 Reply
                1. These suggestions all look great--thanks so much! Can't wait to try them out.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Nicole

                    I love this banana walnut chocolate chip bread. I usually make it as muffins instead of as a loaf. Also, I follow others' suggestions and cut down the amount of sugar and chocolate chips. I also use half wheat flour. They are divine!


                    I also have a great recipe for blueberry muffins from America's Test Kitchen if you are interested.

                    If you're looking for something "more healthy" - these muffins are perfect. This came from the Washington Post:

                    Oat Bran Muffin With Walnuts and Blueberries
                    12 servings
                    Wrap the finished muffins individually in plastic and seal them in a freezer bag.
                    1 1/2 cups oat bran
                    1 1/2 cups flour
                    2 teaspoons baking soda
                    2 teaspoons baking powder
                    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                    1/2 teaspoon salt
                    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons applesauce
                    2 eggs, lightly beaten, or 1/2 cup egg substitute
                    1/2 cup orange juice
                    2 tablespoons canola oil
                    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                    1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
                    1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnut pieces
                    1/4 cup rolled oats
                    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a standard 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray oil. (If using paper liners, insert them in the tin and spray lightly with nonstick spray oil.) Set aside.
                    In a large bowl, mix the oat bran, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a medium bowl, mix the applesauce, eggs, orange juice, canola oil and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to blend well. Fold in the blueberries and walnuts.
                    Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin. Sprinkle rolled oats over the tops of the muffins. Bake about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.