Beauty in the Ordinary

This is not about being brilliant, or extraordinary, it's not about wanting to be famous, or making headlines, or trying to impress...this about sharing a 'gift' each day with the lift the spirit of people when they read this blog, to show them the beauty in the ordinary.
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." Raold Dahl

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hot Cross Muffins

I'm making these for tomorrow morning...

135g dried cranberries
1 cup (150g) currants
2 1/2 cups (375g) self-raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2/3 cup (165ml) sunflower oil
1 cup (250ml) buttermilk
2 eggs
200g caster sugar, plus extra 2 tbs
80g icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice

(for those of you in North America and who don't have access to self-rising flour, you can make your own with 3/4 c of all-purpose flour + 1 tsp baking powder + 1/4 tsp salt
Caster sugar can be a bit of a challenge here too, so I just put regular sugar in the food processor and give it a bit of a whizz until the grains look smaller!)

Preheat oven to 200°C (400 F). Grease a 12-cup muffin tray and line with paper cases.
Soak dried fruit in just enough boiling water to cover for 10 minutes. Drain well, then pat dry with paper towel.
Sift the flour, soda and spices into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs and sugar until combined. Add to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Gently stir in the fruit. Divide the mixture among muffin cases, then bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, place the extra 2 tbs sugar in a pan with 2 tbs water and simmer over low heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Brush the glaze over the muffins.
Sift icing sugar into a bowl. Add lemon juice and just enough hot water to make a thick, pipable icing. Use a piping bag or drizzle from a spoon to draw a cross on each muffin, then serve.

These are an easy alternative to hot cross buns, aromatic with sweet bun spices and decorated with a quick cross made of drizzled icing. Cranberries are not at all conventional, of course, but I love the little bursts of flavour they add; use whatever combination of dried fruit you prefer.

Happy Easter!


  1. They look amazing....Happy Easter Jacqueline.

    1. Thank you Chania...they are in the oven as we speak...I'll let you know how they turn out.

  2. Hi Jacqueline, I love hot cross buns and so does my family, but I find sometimes the store boughts fall short. Your's however look delicious! I shall give them a try tomorrow, as it is my day set aside for Easter baking....wishing you a very Happy Easter holiday! N.xo

    1. These are really simple Nella as they are a muffin and not a yeast/bun recipe. They still have the fruit and spice flavour of the hot cross bun, and with the glaze and icing, really hit the spot.

  3. Really not a fan of muffins but I do like mini cupcake chocolate mudcakes the size of a Ferrero Rondnoir!

    1. Interestingly JohnD...neither am I...but husband and neighbours gave them 2 thumbs up!

  4. They look delightful! Thanks, too, for the recipe. If I had some energy, I'd make them this evening.

    Blessed Easter, Jacqueline!

    1. Oh Rob Bear...if we were closer I would bake a batch and bring them right over...just to lift your energy levels! A blessed Easter to you too, dear one!

  5. Wonderful! Lovely blog; I've just found you, and am now following ~ ♥♥

    1. Hi Anne...nice to have you off not to check out A Little Fur in the Paint!

  6. here's hoping all of your buns are crossed x

    1. hahahaha...pretty funny John the dogs!


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