Brown Bread Muffins (small batch)

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Brown Bread Muffins 
One of my favorite comfort foods has always been Boston Brown Bread.  At the weekend, with baked beans, soup, stews, etc.  there is nothing more delicious.

I can remember when I was a child you could buy it ready made in the can. It was so good, especially with the Saturday night supper.

Homemade Boston Brown Bread can sometimes be a bit of a hassle to make however because it does need to be steamed. You don't always have the energy or the time to go to all of that trouble.  

Brown Bread Muffins 
These Brown Bread Muffins are the perfect solution!  I discovered this recipe in a cookbook I have had for a very long time by Marion Cunningham (the cookbook author not the mother of Richie).

The title of the book is The Supper Book. I have had it for a very long time.  Everything I have ever baked from it has been wowzah!  Seriously.  But then again, I would expect nothing less from Marion Cunningham. 

Brown Bread Muffins 
She is the chef/author who was responsible for the 12th and 13th editions of the Fanny Farmer Cooking School cookbook.  That is my all time favorite cookbook. I can't begin to tell you how many copies of that book I have worn out. 

Too many to count.  Its an excellent book and something I like to give as a wedding gift to all young Brides. You cannot go wrong with it.  You can't go wrong with any book Marion worked on. 

Brown Bread Muffins

This is actually a recipe I have had flagged (page turned over) for a very long time.  I have always wanted to try it.  I can't think of why I waited so long!  Its fabulous!

I think the fact that the original recipe made 18 muffins kind of was a bit of a put off for me actually. That was far too much muffin for just myself and my ex, and certainly it is a bit too much muffin for just me.

Brown Bread Muffins 
Today I decided to go for it and small batch the recipe with absolutely wonderful results. I am so happy that I did!  These are excellent muffins.

There is no steaming involved.  Just a simple muffin recipe, using simple ingredients, and very low in fat.

Brown Bread Muffins 
There is only 1 TBS of melted butter in the recipe and it makes 9 nicely sized muffins.  There healthy and nutritious, using a combination of flours and grains.

Whole wheat flour, plain flour and yellow cornmeal.  The whole wheat flour makes them hearty and the cornmeal adds a tiny bit of texture and crunch.

Brown Bread Muffins 
They are sweetened with a bit of molasses. That's all. The original recipe called for 3/4 cup, but how do you cut that in half?  I figured it out to be approxmately 6 TBS.

I love molasses.  It is one of my favourite things to cook with.  If you are in the UK, however, it can be somewhat hard to come by.  

When I was there I combatted that problem by using half golden syrup and half treacle. It  always worked a charm.

Brown Bread Muffins 
A bit more sweet comes from the use of raisins in the batter. I love raisins, so that is not a problem with me. I think, however if you really hate raisins, you could replace then here with dried cranberries or blueberries.

Chopped dried dates. Dried currants, etc. All would work well.

Brown Bread Muffins 
Brown Bread is an Eastern Canada/Us thing, a maritime thing.  Traditionally it would have been served on Saturday night with baked beans and the like. 

There was nothing like a Saturday night baked bean supper with plenty of brown bread and ham or wieners, scalloped potatoes, coleslaw, or sliced cucumbers and tomatoes  . . .  this is nirvana to me!

Brown Bread Muffins 
I didn't want to open a can of beans today and I had no homemade beans, so I made do with what I did have.  

I had some leftover cooked chicken breast and leftover fried potatoes.  I combined the two to make a tasty hash for one.

Brown Bread Muffins 
I chopped the potatoes and the chicken.  I also had a slice of cooked bacon, which I chopped as well. 

I added half a small onion chopped and a couple of tablespoons of frozen baby peas. 

Brown Bread Muffins 

This all went into a non-stick skillet.   I didn't need to add any oil or butter because the potatoes had already been fried in butter a few days ago and of course there was the rasher of bacon.

I did season it a bit with some Montreal steak seasoning.  I know, not steak, but it worked well.

Brown Bread Muffins 
It worked out to be delicious! I was really pleased with it.  I had some sliced cucumber with it and halved cherry tomatoes, and one of those delicious muffins of course. 

Oh yes, I did butter the muffin.  I could not resist.

Brown Bread Muffins

Altogether this was one very delicious supper!!  Every element was perfect.  These muffins really made it special!

I was not too surprised actually!  These would go well with just about anything. Baked beans, stews, soups, chicken salad, etc.  I can't really think about anything that wouldn't go with them, and in all truth, they pretty special all on their own. 

I know.  I am incorrigible, but one of these warmed for breakfast, buttered and served with a cold glass of orange juice is a real treat! 

You can't go wrong with baking some of these and they do freeze well.  I say go for it!

Brown Bread Muffins

Brown Bread Muffins

Yield: makes 9 muffins
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 8 MinCook time: 12 MinTotal time: 20 Min
Incredibly moist, flavor-filled and delicious. Fabulous with baked beans, soups, hash, salads, etc. In short, everything!


  • 1/2 cup (70g) all purpose plain flour
  • 1/2 cup (70g) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (85g) yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 6 TBS molasses
  • 2 TBS cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) milk
  • 1 TBS butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (75g) raisins 


  1. Preheat the oven to 400*F/200*C/ gas mark 6.  Butter 9 muffin cups well.  Set aside.
  2. Whisk both flours, cornmeal, soda and salt together in a bowl.  
  3. Whisk the milk, molasses, vinegar and butter together in another bowl.  Add all at once to the dry ingredients, and quickly mix to combine.  Stir in the raisins.  Spoon into the prepared muffin tin, filling them 3/4 full.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Serve warm.  These can also be frozen.
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Brown Bread Muffins
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  1. I remember the bread in a can. I think the brand name was Cross and Blackwell. I'll definitely be making these but need some whole wheat flour first. Have a lovely Sunday.
    Love and hugs, Elaine

    1. I think you are right about the name Elaine! Cross and Blackwell is a popular brand in the UK. I hope you enjoy these muffins! Love and hugs, xoxo

  2. I remember the one in the can very well. My grandmother always seemed to have one on hand. I did try a recipe where the bread was steamed and it was a disaster. Looking forward to trying this. I do love brown bread!

    1. It was such a grandmotherly thing to have on hand Katy! I really hope you enjoy these! xoxo

  3. Here in the states, the brown bread in a can is B&M. They also make baked beans. You can still buy it in some stores. I love brown bread, beans and weiners, scalloped potatoes and a salad. Pie or cobbler for dessert. Much Love - Raquel XO

    1. I love B&M beans Raquel! I used to be able to get them at an American supply shop in the UK. The best! Your brown bread supper sounds delicious! xoxo


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