Once upon a time, I spent about an entire summer making blueberry muffins, seized with an obsession (which would be disturbing anywhere but this page) with doing what I hoped would be the last blueberry muffin recipe we would ever need. You’d think the path to these raspberry muffins would be easier after all, but it took five raspberry seasons to get there.
A very logical question you are about to ask is: Why not just swap the blueberries in your blueberry muffins for raspberries? And the answer is that even if it works, they’re not bad at all, they’re just not the raspberry muffin I dreamed of. These are and they are just perfect: heavy, fluffy, lemony, not too sweet and absolutely tie-dye with a constellation of raspberries inside. I think these might be the best muffins I’ve ever made. Here’s what I learned along the way:
Raspberries: Let me put that aside: the correct amount of raspberries for 6 muffins is half a pound, or about 1 2/3 to 1 3/4 cups. This is a higher concentration of berries than blueberry muffins. Raspberries are not blueberries; they spill less into the dough around them, so you need more of them to get the right punch.
Frozen raspberries: Because fresh raspberries can be particularly expensive, rather than telling you “go for it!” if you wanted to use frozen raspberries instead, I developed them with them. It was the surprise: frozen raspberries work even better here. Because we mix them still frozen, they don’t get juicy until they’re cooked, so you end up with a thicker muffin batter that bubbles higher and spreads less. “But I just went picking raspberries!” First, I’m jealous. Second, yes you can still use them here, just keep in mind that muffins can be flatter.
Size: One rushed and distracted morning at the end of the school year, I realized that if you accidentally split my Perfect blueberry muffin mix in 6 muffins instead of the intended 9, you have an even bigger, generous, bakery-like muffin that looks just like the gift I wanted them to be for teachers*. In this recipe, this size is no accident. That makes 6 and that’s easily doubled to make 12. The muffins weigh 4-5 ounces each and over a third of that weight comes from the raspberries, but they’re made in a standard sized box. I told you they were dreamers!
Streusel: I don’t make the rules of the universe; I can’t tell you why raspberry muffins need streusel but blueberry muffins don’t, but trust me, the streusel here is non-negotiable. Still, I hate making a muffin batter and pulling it out only to realize I have another step: making a “quick” streusel. In Kitchen keepers banged Peach Crumb Muffins, I came across this too but it gnawed at me that streusel is just butter, sugar and flour, right? And it’s already in the dough? A little math later, my solution is to work the streusel step into the first part of the dough, so when you’re done, you’re really done.
* Speaking of teachers! The Smitten Kitchen Classroom 2023 Wishlist Project is now live! In the United States, a considerable number of teachers do not receive the funding they need to prepare their classrooms for success. Most will end up paying out of pocket to buy teaching materials, which strikes me as completely wrong and makes me sad. I’ve asked teachers to send me their wish lists in hopes that we can help weed out as many as possible, like we did last summer. Help us out if you feel up to it — you’ll definitely make a teacher’s (and their students’) day! (Project information. Direct link to spreadsheet.)