Sugar Free Muffins

If you like cookies but aren't an accomplished cook, muffins are an ideal "cake" to cut your baking teeth on. Not only are they easy to make, but they can be made in both a sweet and savoury form, which means you can easily make sugar free muffins.

In this new collection of muffin recipes, we include all sorts, from plain sugar free muffins, to those flavoured with cheese and onion, berries and even sugar free chocolate.

One of the reasons that muffins are easier and quicker to bake than most other cakes is that they don't need to be light and fluffy. Like scones, they have a much denser texture.

Since we are focusing on recipes that don't contain sugar, when a bit of sweetness is called for, we generally suggest using Xylitol. Manufactured from plant extracts (but not sugar cane), Xylitol is perfect for cooking and ideal for baking muffins, biscuits and cakes. It has an intensely sweet taste and so much less is used than when adding sugar. That's good news since it is relatively expensive ingredient. However there are other sweeteners that you can use.

What is a Muffin?

The answer to this question is not completely straightforward, and it has nothing to do with whether or not the muffin has sugar in it or not.

It is generally accepted that there are two types of muffin, the one originating in England (ala the muffin man nursery rhyme) and the other in America. And they are totally different.

1. The English-style muffin, which is well known in many Commonwealth countries, including Australia, Canada and South Africa, is what is defined in the Collins English Dictionary as a "light round flat yeast cake".
2. The American- style muffin is a "small cup-shaped sweet bread roll", if the alternative definition in the Collins dictionary is to be believed, even though it is actually more cake-like than bready, even when it is made with savoury ingredients like cheese and onion.

Now, if you use the Collins dictionary to look up the word crumpet, you will see that this definition is very similar to the English-style muffin. A crumpet is a "round soft yeast cake, eaten buttered". And since the word crumpet also refers to sexually attractive women, you can tell that they are absolutely delicious. They are flat and smooth textured, and often sliced in half and then sandwiched with butter. Alternatively they may be topped with golden syrup... which is not a wise idea if you are aiming for sugar-free treats.

The American version looks more like a cup cake, but it is not quite as light and fluffy. It also isn't iced like cup cakes.

We have included both English- and American-style muffins in this edible collection, and hope that you will really enjoy both baking and eating your own homemade sugar free muffins.

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