Sunday, July 21, 2013

Citrus-Scented Ricotta Berry Muffins

Ricotta adds protein and calcium, giving the muffins a profundity they would otherwise lack. Tart berries enlivened by orange zest perk the palate, and chocolate lends a sybaritic note. These sturdy goods are best for breakfast, when you can enjoy the crackly give of the oat-flecked top and awaken to the marriage of fruit and chocolate in the interior.

makes 6 jumbo muffins or 12 regular ones


1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar 
2 eggs
8 oz ricotta cheese (I used fancy artisan whole-milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 grated orange rind

1 cup white flour
1 cup oat bran
some healthy shakes of ground flaxseed
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

raspberries and blackberries
2/3 of a cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

splash of Grand Marnier
juice of an orange
enough buttermilk to turn this melange into something resembling muffin batter


Preheat oven to 350.

Mix the wet ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients in a different bowl. Gingerly mix both together. Add the berries and chocolate, then add the rest of the moistening ingredients.  Mix until batter is just consistent. Pour into muffin tins.

Bake for 20–30 minutes, depending on muffin size. Test obsessively with a knife to see if done. Normal took 20 minutes for me; jumbo, 28.


  • After years of making leaden fiber bombs that no one wanted to eat, I've determined that half whole-grain and half white flour is the perfect combo when you want a wholesome pastry that doesn't taste like a punishment. But you could go with all white flour and be fine.
  • You don't really need flax. I like adding it to everything and pretending that it negates the butter content.
  • I usually add too many berries, creating bloated muffin monsters that billow and threaten to collapse under their own weight. One small carton's worth should be fine.
  • I don't like overly sweet baked goods. 3/4 a cup of sugar is just right for me, giving the muffins a gentle sweetness without clobbering me over the head.
  • These are best enjoyed steaming hot out of the oven, where you can almost fool yourself into thinking you're eating pie.


3.5 stars. You won't be able to binge on them, but you will look forward to eating the next one.

The oat bran and ricotta give these muffins some density. If you prefer a lighter baked good, you may want to reduce the volume of these ingredients.

1 comment:

  1. Looks great -- complex flavors and not too sweet. Plus, it's hard to go wrong with raspberries and chocolate chips!