Old-fashioned Sour Milk or Sour Cream Muffins

muffins in muffin tin

I recently came across a delightful and very versatile hundred-year-old muffin recipe. Sour Milk or Sour Cream Muffins are quick and easy to make. They are tasty with butter – and even better with a little jelly or jam. They also can serve as the basis for a plethora of other muffins; just stir in blueberries, raisins, nuts or other add-ins.

Here is the original recipe:

Recipe for Sour Milk or Sour Cream Muffins
Source: Recipes for Everyday by Janet McKenzie Hill (1919)

And, here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Sour Milk or Sour Cream Muffins

  • Servings: approximately 10-12 muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 egg, beaten

3 tablespoons shortening or butter, melted

1 cup sour milk or sour cream (I used sour cream. If milk is used, it can be “soured” by adding 1 tablespoon vinegar.)

Preheat oven to 400° F. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add egg, shortening or butter, and sour milk or sour cream; stir to combine. Grease muffin tins (or use paper liners), and then fill each muffin cup 3/4th full with batter. Bake for approximately 20 – 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Old-fashioned Graham Nut Muffins

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m soooo tired of the sugary muffins typically sold at coffee shops, so I was pleased to recently find a hundred-year-old recipe for Graham Nut Muffins. The recipe called for just a little sugar (and a little molasses). The nuts embedded in the muffin add flavor and texture. This hearty muffin has a nice texture, is tasty, and is a healthy alternative to sweeter muffins.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: The Housewife’s Cook Book by Lilla Frich (1917)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Graham Nut Muffins

  • Servings: approximately 16 muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 cup graham flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 egg, beaten

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 cup nuts, chopped (I used walnuts).

Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease muffin pans (or use paper liners). In a mixing bowl combine graham flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add egg, milk, molasses and butter; then stir just enough to combine. Gently stir in the nuts. Spoon batter into muffin  cups; fill each cup about 3/4ths full. Place in oven. Bake approximately 25 minutes or until lightly browned and the muffins spring back when lightly touched.

Old-fashioned Rice Muffins

Old home economics textbooks are chock full of tasty and quick recipes (that can be prepared and eaten within a class period). I recently flipped though a 1915 textbook and noticed a recipe for Rice Muffins. My first thought was – Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this recipe was gluten-free?

But no, it was not gluten-free. . . sigh. . .  This recipe calls for a combination of flour and rice.

In spite of my disappointment, I was still intrigued enough by the recipe to give it a try.

The Rice Muffins were yummy with just the right amount of sweetness. They were very similar to a basic flour muffin, but the rice added interest by providing a bit more texture and chewiness. They are best when eaten the day they are baked.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source A Textbook of Cooking (Carlotta C. Greer, 1915)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Rice Muffins

  • Servings: approximately 12 muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 1/2 cups flour

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg, beaten

2/3 cup milk

1/2 cup rice

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400° F.  Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, stir the egg, milk, rice, and butter together. Add the flour mixture, and stir just enough to combine. Grease muffin tins, and then fill each muffin cup 3/4th  full with batter. Bake for approximately 20 – 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Hundred-Year-Old Oatmeal Muffins Recipe

oatmeal-muffins

A hundred-year-old small promotional cookbook published by the Calumet Baking Powder Company has lots of intriguing recipes. I decided to try the Oatmeal Muffins recipe.

The muffins were easy to make, and lovely  – though I must admit that I was a little disappointed. I couldn’t really tell that they contained any oatmeal. Instead the seemed very similar to muffins made using only all-purpose flour. The bottom line – if you are looking for a nice basic muffin, you’ll like this recipe.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: Reliable Recipes (Published by Calumet Baking Powder Co., 1912)
Source: Reliable Recipes (Published by Calumet Baking Powder Co., 1912)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Oatmeal Muffins

  • Servings: approximately 24 regular-sized muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup water

1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal

1 1/2 cups milk

3 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon melted butter

Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease muffin pans (or use paper liners).

Bring water to a boil in small saucepan, then stir in oatmeal. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in milk.

In the meantime in a mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add oatmeal mixture, egg, and butter; then stir just enough to combine. Spoon batter into muffin cups; fill each cup about 3/4ths full. Place in oven. Bake approximately 25 minutes or until lightly browned and the muffins spring back when lightly touched.

Crab Apple Muffins Recipe

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, August 24 – Thursday, August 27, 1914:  For lack of something to write.

crab apple muffins

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

This is the third of four days that Grandma combined into one entry. Since Grandma didn’t give me much to go on today, I’m going to share an old recipe for Crab Apple Muffins.

A hundred years ago farm family meals in August were generally based on foods which were in season. I wonder whether Grandma’s family had a crab apple tree.

Crab apples are ripe here. A crab apple recipe that I especially enjoy is Crab Apple Muffins. The chopped crab apples give the muffins a wonderful, flavorful, tart zest.

Crab Apple Muffins

2 eggs

2/3 cup butter, melted

2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 1/4 cups flour

2 cups chopped crab apples *

Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine eggs, melted butter, vanilla, white sugar, and brown sugar in a bowl. Stir in baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Add flour, and stir until combined. Add the chopped crab apples. Grease muffin tins, and then fill each muffin cup approximately 2/3 full with batter. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Makes approximately 24 muffins.

*Core crab apples before chopping, but do not peel.

Old-fashioned Strawberry Muffins (Strawberry Cups) Recipe

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, June 20, 1914: Am having quite a time working these days. Hardly take time to eat my dinner.

strawberry muffins

strawberry muffinHer middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma sure has been keeping busy picking strawberries. I hope that she was well paid for her hard work.

What did she have for her rushed dinner? . . . well, she probably was eating seasonal foods, so maybe one food was Strawberry Muffins.

The June, 1914 issue of Good Housekeeping had a recipe for Strawberry Muffins–though back then they were called “Strawberry Cups”.  Here it is—slightly adapted for modern cooking methods and ovens.

Strawberry Muffins (Strawberry Cups)

Preheat oven to 400° F. Separate two eggs; beat the yolks and add one cup of milk, one-half teaspoon of salt, and a tablespoon of melted butter. Add two teaspoons of baking powder and one and a half cups of flour, and beat well. In a separate bowl whip the egg whites until stiff, then fold the whites into the batter. Put a tablespoon of the batter in each of 12 muffin pan cups. Add a layer of thinly sliced strawberries; then fill the cups two-thirds full of batter, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Best when served warm.

Old Squash Muffins Recipe

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, November 13, 1912:  Nothing of any account seems to be happening around here, so I can’t write much.

Here are the squash muffins I made.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Another slow day for Grandma—the total opposite from my life.

I’m bustling around getting ready for Thanksgiving—cleaning the house and planning the menu for the big day.

I recently flipped through the November, 1912 issue of Ladies Home Journal looking for recipes that might be good this Thanksgiving.

Here’s a keeper I found for Squash Muffins. I tested them yesterday—and plan to make them again for Thanksgiving.

They’re delicious served warm with butter—and have a lovely, delicate taste. However, they are less sweet and heavier than many modern muffins, so I had to set aside my preconceived notions and just enjoy their old-fashioned goodness.

And, here is the picture of Squash Muffins in the November, 1912 issue of Ladies Home Journal.

Here’s the recipe—slightly adapted for modern stoves and ingredients.

Squash Muffins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put two-thirds of a cupful of cooked squash into a bowl, then add a quarter of a cupful of sugar, two well-beaten eggs, two cupfuls  of flour, half a teaspoonful of salt, three teaspoonfuls of baking powder and three tablespoonsfuls of melted butter. Mix well and bake in well-greased muffin pans for approximately twenty minutes. If these muffins are intended for a luncheon or a tea, a quarter of a teaspoonful of powdered ginger may be added.

Makes approximately 18 muffins

I added ginger—even though we ate the muffins at dinner.

I used hubbard squash, but butternut or other winter squash (or canned/frozen squash) would also work. I peeled and cubed about 1 1/2 cups of squash and boiled in water in a pan on the stove for about 15 minutes. I then drained the squash, mashed and measured out two-thirds of a cup to use in the recipe.