Perfect for breakfast or a snack, these muffins use whole-wheat flour, which may be easier to find than all-purpose flour at the grocery store these days. Bright, sweet, and tart raspberries add pops of flavor and color. You can use fresh or frozen berries in this recipe. If you don’t have raspberries, you can substitute blackberries, blueberries, or a combination of berries to make mixed berry muffins.
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What You’ll Need
Vegetable oil spray
3 cups (16½ ounces) whole-wheat flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1¼ cups (10 ounces) buttermilk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (10 ounces) fresh or frozen raspberries
Chemistry (Acids and Bases):
This recipe calls for both baking soda and baking powder. Baking soda and baking powder are both chemical leaveners—they help baked goods to rise quickly, without needing to use yeast. What’s the difference between these two ingredients? When baking soda comes in contact with an acid, such as lemon juice or the buttermilk in this recipe, it creates bubbly carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide gas makes the muffin batter rise in the oven. Baking powder, on the other hand, actually already contains an acid as well as baking soda, so it only needs a liquid to start creating carbon dioxide gas.
While the muffins bake, kids can see these leaveners in action with a simple science experiment:
- Working in the sink, have kids pour ¼ cup water into 2 tall glasses.
- Ask kids to predict what they think will happen when they add baking powder or baking soda to the water. Will they see any bubbly carbon dioxide gas? In which glass(es)?
- Have kids add 1 teaspoon baking powder to 1 glass and 1 teaspoon baking soda to second glass. Ask them to share their observations.
(Answer key: The glass with baking powder should turn bubbly; nothing will happen in the glass with baking soda.)
- In a third glass, have kids add ¼ cup buttermilk and 1 teaspoon baking soda and observe what happens.
(Answer key: The acidic buttermilk will react with baking soda to create bubbles.)
Take It Further
What’s the difference between whole-wheat flour and all-purpose flour? Both types of flour are made from wheat—more specifically from the wheat plant’s seeds, which are called wheat berries. Wheat berries are made up of an outer layer, called the bran, which contains lots of fiber and protein. Inside the bran, you’ll find the germ, which is what would eventually grow into a new plant, and the endosperm, which is mostly made of starch. All-purpose flour is made by grinding just the endosperm, while whole-wheat flour is made by grinding the entire wheat berry. This gives whole-wheat flour more protein and fiber than all-purpose flour. Check out this video to see how wheat goes from farm to flour!