Blackberry Mini-Muffins or Mini-Cupcakes – You Decide!

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on May 27, 2010

Blackberries. I love their sweetness and their tartness.  I grabbed a few packages for a buck at the store last week. And I just had to make some muffins, or are they cupcakes?

I’m not sure what to call them.  Because they really could be both. They are that versatile.

I love how when berries bake, their little juice pods pop and the juice runs all over!  Mmm.

Now scroll through the delicious-ness and then help me figure out where these little goodies belong in the next cookbook!

Ingredients

½ cup butter or margarine, softened ($.80)
½ cup white sugar ($.05)
2 eggs ($.20)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract ($.10)
1 cup milk ($.10)
2 cups white flour ($.40)
1 teaspoon baking soda ($.03)
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups blackberries, halved ($1)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice ($.10)
2 Tablespoons sugar ($.01)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 24 mini-muffin tin with cooking spray.

2. Slice the blackberries in half and place in a bowl with the lemon juice.

3. Add the sugar and toss away. But do so lightly.  You don’t want to hurt the blackberries!

4. Try your best not to eat ‘em up!

5. Prepare the batter in a stand mixer or mixing bowl with hand mixer by beating the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and milk until smooth.  Then add the flour, baking soda and salt and beat until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour some batter into each of the mini muffin wells.  Fill about 1/4 full.

6. Add 2 blackberry halves to each well.

7. Be sure to not let too much of the liquid from the blackberry bowl get into the batter.  A little is fine.

8. Pour the remaining batter over the top of the blackberries. (I don’t mean to SWAY your  vote, but this batter was VERY much like cake batter!)

9. Fill up the muffins tins.  All the way full is fine!

10. Bake in the preheated oven for 14 to 16 minutes, or until cooked through!

11. Let cool on cooling rack. Enjoy!!!

And now help me decide where to put this recipe in The $5 Dinner Mom’s Breakfast and Lunch Cookbook

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Tia May 27, 2010 at 8:34 am

It needs frosting to be a cupcake and cupcakes don’t usually have fruit in them.

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Erin from $5 Dinners May 27, 2010 at 10:14 am

@Tia,

Oh I know…but they tasted like a fruit filled cupcake to me!!! And the batter was so “cake like”!

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Megan May 27, 2010 at 8:34 am

I guess when I think of a cupcake, frosting comes to mind. Since there’s no frosting, I’ll be voting muffin. I will certainly be making these when my blackberries are ready to be picked. Thanks for the recipe!

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jan May 27, 2010 at 9:11 am

voted muffin. Put a squig of frosting on top and it could be a mini-cupcake. (Squig is what you make with the rosette cake decorator. “you do it and you can call it whatever you want”)

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Katie May 27, 2010 at 9:37 am

I said muffins chapter. I’m going to try this with Strawberries! :)

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Cara May 27, 2010 at 10:02 am

I ditto the frosting idea. In my mind frosting is what makes something a cupcake.

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LisaE May 27, 2010 at 10:13 am

I voted mini-cupcakes in the snack catergory since these are to be made “mini” and that word makes me think more of a snack. I don’t think of cupcakes as having to have frosting since I never make mine with it;-

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Erin from $5 Dinners May 27, 2010 at 10:15 am

@LisaE,

I don’t always frost my cupcakes either!

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Francesca May 27, 2010 at 10:30 am

I’ll also vote muffin. I’ve encountered far more fruit muffins than fruit cupcakes, and I think your other readers are onto something when they say frosting makes the cupcake.

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Sara at Saving For Someday May 27, 2010 at 10:30 am

We (as in me and my 7 yo daughter, I’m not THAT conceited) voted muffin because she said they’re muffins since they don’t have frosting. I mentioned, and we read, that some people don’t put frosting on their cupcakes. To which she replied, “Well, they’re not 7. Kids want to eat cupcakes because they have frosting. Moms make us eat muffins.”

So, there you go. You should have a poll for adults and then one for kids. Kids will almost always give it to you straight. And with cake/muffin they won’t lie.

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Mary Jo @ Covenant Homemaking May 27, 2010 at 10:34 am

I think they should be in the snack chapter as cupcakes. Wherever they end up, though, they sure do look amazingly delicious!

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Tricia May 27, 2010 at 11:20 am

I voted cupcake based on your ingredient list. Here is a little muffin vs. cupcake info I found at Diana’s Desserts: (http://www.dianasdesserts.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/bakingtips.Cupcakes/Cupcakes.cfm)
Some say cupcakes have frosting. A basic formula for muffins is 2 cups flour, 2-4 tablespoons sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 egg, 1/4 cup oil, shortening or butter, 1 cup milk. When the fat, sugar and egg ratio in a recipe reaches double or more than this, you have reached the cake level.

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Erin from $5 Dinners May 27, 2010 at 12:37 pm

@Tricia,

Thanks for sharing the nitty-gritty! I did not know that!

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Katie May 27, 2010 at 11:55 am

They are really good with strawberries! They are so Yummy!

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Candi @ Family Stamping and FOOD! May 27, 2010 at 12:05 pm

I have to agree about the frosting thing, but also with the non-frosted cupcakes. My hubby (you know, the picky one) likes his cupcakes without frosting. But he doesn’t like muffins unless they are just blueberry or just strawberry…go figure!

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Amy May 27, 2010 at 3:29 pm

You didn’t say how you made the batter, but that’s what determines if it’s a muffin or cupcake. You make cake batter with a mixer the whole time. You beat the batter really well after combining all the ingredients. With muffins, you may use the mixer to cream the sugar, butter, and eggs, but you stir sparingly after adding the dry ingredients.

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FoodontheTable May 27, 2010 at 3:49 pm

I think cupcakes implies frosting. Also, it’s rare to have a cupcake with fruit, though they can have vegetables (like carrot cake).

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Cheri May 27, 2010 at 6:40 pm

The recipe you posted looks more like a cake recipe, although it seems to have a little less sugar than traditional cake. How’s the texture? Muffins are more dense than cuppycakes, usually. Why not call them snack cakes? Or If you topped them with a little crumb topping they’d be like mini coffee cakes.

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Katie May 27, 2010 at 11:20 pm

I vote for muffins.

I am wondering about your prices for each ingredient. Unless you are getting your ingredients at super prices and matching a coupon, almost all your prices seemed really low. I’m a good shopper, well, excellent really, but other than the margarine and flour, for which I regularly do much better, and once in awhile the milk, I can’t find those prices.

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Alea May 28, 2010 at 1:06 am

My daughter says that muffins are tasty and flavorful, whereas cupcakes tend to be a little boring and require frosting to make up for it. This is something we have been going around about, because I recently made cupcakes with one of my cake recipes (and just sprinkled them with powdered sugar) and she kept calling them muffins, when I corrected her, she insisted that was a compliment.

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom May 28, 2010 at 7:36 am

@Alea,

Love her perspective Alea!

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Emily May 28, 2010 at 4:42 am

Thanks for another muffin (cupcake??) recipe! But you either need to stop posting them, or make the weather here change–I’ve been dying to make the apple-cranberry muffins you posted all week and it’s too freaking hot here to bake! So sad!
Seriously though, as soon as this heat wave is over, I’m making these. Thanks for sharing!

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Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom May 28, 2010 at 7:37 am

@Emily,

LOL! I can’t not share them with you!!! Hope you enjoy!

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Beth in Ohio May 28, 2010 at 10:20 am

After reading the facts that Tricia listed from Diana’s Desserts, and seeing Amy’s question on how you mixed the batter, I looked at the photos of the actual batter again. Your batter looks exactly like a cake batter, and nothing like muffin batter. I always think of cake batter as smoother & runnier, and muffin batter as lumpier & thicker. Because of this, I voted cupcake (though I’ve never seen a fruity cupcake ever before).

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Cathy D. May 28, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Well, they certainly LOOK like muffins to me but after reading all the reviews, I’m thinking they should be re-titled “Mini Cupcake-like Blackberry Muffins” in the muffins chapter! LOL That should cover it! :)

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Melanie May 28, 2010 at 7:37 pm

I made them today. They do taste a bit like cake but they “look” like muffins. I liked them but I would add a little more sugar and definitely more than 2 blackberry halves to each muffin tin. I did use half white flour and half whole wheat which might account for the need for a tad more sweetness. I love the pop of the blackberry when you bite in to them so I need more than 2. Great recipe and very easy! Thanks!!

Melanie

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Kelsey May 30, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Those look awesome! They’re the perfect color.

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Rachel June 1, 2010 at 8:41 am

I made these not once, but TWICE over Memorial Day weekend and they will forever be the go-to “summer” recipe for breakfast at my house. My family loved them and I even used frozen blackberries left over from last summer! I told hubs about the poll and he said “muffin” but that the texture was like a cupcake. No help there, but I vote muffin since there’s real fruit in each wonderful bite. Thanks for a SUPER recipe!

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Nina January 16, 2012 at 10:09 am

Wow! Great recipe and I just wanted to put up my adjustments in case there is anybody out there like us – no dairy due to allergies. I used margarine (Earth Balance) and almond milk and they turned out perfectly. They are so fluffy! I also should mention that we live at 7500 above sea level and needed to make no adjustments.

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