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Buttermilk muffins recipe

Buttermilk muffins recipe


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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Mini cakes
  • Muffins

A great basic muffin base that uses buttermilk and a touch of nutmeg. Add blueberries, raspberries or lemon zest to make these muffins uniquely yours.

102 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 280g plain flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:35min

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 C / Gas 5. Grease 12 muffins cups or line with paper cases.
  2. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb, salt and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, whisk together melted butter, egg, buttermilk and vanilla.
  3. Pour buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just combined (the mixture will not be smooth). Gently stir in fruit, if desired. Scoop mixture into prepared cases, filling almost to the top.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back with lightly pressed, about 18 minutes.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(70)

Reviews in English (62)

This is the first time I made these and I think I will try baking for only 15 mins next time as they were a little too dry but that could be because I am trying to get used to a different oven. I will may be try a little extra vanilla next time or as the recipe suggests some fruit. I bake soda bread a lot and always have buttermilk left over so this is the first muffin recipe i have tried using this ingredient. Thank you for the recipe and I will definitely be trying this again.-20 Nov 2013

by EILISH40

I love baking with buttermilk because always produces a tender muffin. I am sure that this recipe calls for too much flour. I find that 2 cups is ample and this way do not have to add more liquid. Also suggest using an ex. large egg. Hope this helps-22 Oct 2011

by Sarah Jo

I made these blueberry muffins by folding two cups of fresh blueberries into the batter when I added the dry ingredients. I sprinkled a little sugar over each muffin before baking. Very good. I'll try these again with chopped Granny Smith apples and apple pie spice.-29 Feb 2012


Buttermilk Granola Muffins

With buttermilk for tenderness, whole wheat for healthy fiber, and granola for a touch of crunch and flavor, these muffins are a delicious way to start any day. Want to make them vegan? See "tips," below.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (227g) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup (213g) brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
  • 1 cup (99g) prepared granola
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (67g) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) buttermilk or 1 1/4 cups (283g) liquid whey*

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease the cups of a standard muffin pan or line with paper baking cups, and grease the paper cups.

Whisk together all of the dry ingredients, including the granola.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, vegetable oil, and buttermilk or whey.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring just to combine.

Perfect your technique

Buttermilk Granola Muffins

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them nearly full. A slightly heaped muffin scoop of batter is the right amount.

Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with additional granola, if desired.

Bake the muffins for 16 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.

Remove the muffins from the oven, and after 5 minutes (or when they're cool enough to handle) transfer them to a rack to cool. Serve warm, or at room temperature. Store leftovers loosely wrapped at room temperature.


Buttermilk Berry Muffins Recipe & Video

These Buttermilk Berry Muffins have a beautiful golden brown crust and are absolutely bursting with flavorful berries. No need to worry if fresh berries are not in season, as these are just as good with frozen berries. To add a nice touch of citrus flavor, the zest of a orange or lemon is added. And to make these Buttermilk Berry Muffins wonderfully moist and tender, almost bread-like in texture, we are using buttermilk and a flavorless oil instead of the usual milk and butter. Muffins fall into the "quick" bread category and you can see why when you make this recipe. All you need are two bowls one for the wet ingredients, and one for the dry. Combine the two and your batter is made. Of course, just because they are simple to make doesn't mean they can't be packed with flavor.

If you use frozen berries, instead of fresh, in these muffins, do not to defrost the berries as this will cause them to soften and bleed into the batter. As I mentioned above we are using oil in this recipe instead of butter which makes the muffins wonderfully moist and tender because oil prevents the development of gluten in the flour. You can use canola, corn, vegetable, safflower, or even a mild olive oil in these muffins. If you are not familiar with buttermilk it has a nice thick creamy texture with a rich tangy buttery taste that makes baked goods tender. Whereas in the past buttermilk was made from the liquid left over after churning butter, it is now commercially made by adding a bacteria to whole, skim, or low fat milk. There can also use buttermilk powder, or you can make your own buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, cider vinegar, or lemon juice to 1 cup (240 ml) of milk. Just stir the vinegar into the milk and then let it stand 5 to 10 minutes before using.

These Buttermilk Berry Muffins are delicious warm from the oven or at room temperature.

Buttermilk Berry Muffins: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Position rack in center of oven. Line with paper liners, or butter or spray, with a non stick cooking spray, 12 - 2 3/4 x 1 1/2 inch muffin cups.

In a large measuring cup or bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract.

In another large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and zest. Gently fold in the berries. With a rubber spatula fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are combined. Do not over mix the batter or tough muffins will result.

Fill each muffin cup almost full with batter, using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 - 25 minutes . Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 5 - 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Makes 12 regular sized muffins.

Note: If using frozen berries you may have to bake the muffins a little longer than the stated time.


Peach Buttermilk Muffin Recipe

Nothing says the last days of summer more than a ripe peach, juices dripping down your chin. Is there anything better than a ripe peach? Sometimes I'm a purist.

But sometimes, I like to play with flour and sugar and buttermilk. Oh, buttermilk, you have a way of turning everything better. You make biscuits delicious and bread, oh the wonderful things you do to bread, especially my whole wheat buttermilk honey sandwich bread. Yes, buttermilk, you complete my baking.

I was lucky enough to get a box of gorgeous peaches. Of course, like any good pioneer woman I canned some of the for use this winter, and may or may not have gorged myself on a few along the way. Then I saw a request on facebook for a recipe using peaches and buttermilk. And I knew, just knew, this recipe would be born in my kitchen the next day.

We've been doing a grocery store fast for the past three weeks. Which means I've been doing even more cooking from scratch and using our home food storage. Quick bread, along with the zucchini and blueberries we had growing, have been center stage in muffins and breads for snacks and breakfast.

I pulled out my muffin recipe, tweaked, pinched, and rearranged it for a scrumptious, end of summer peach and buttermilk affair. Perfect on a mid-summer's eve…. or late summer.

Dice up 3 peaches or approximately 2 cups of peaches. I'd blanched a few too many for my jars so these were skinless peaches. Canned peaches will also work.

Add the peaches after you have all the other ingredients mixed together. I'm still just as in love with my Kitchen Aid Mixer *aff link as I was when I opened it for Christmas. Is it a bad thing I'm already dreaming of the next kitchen appliance I want for Christmas. I don't ask for things like new shoes or even clothes, no, I've got my eye on some kitchen bling, ya'll.

If you don't have buttermilk, don't despair. You can make a buttermilk substitute with a cup of milk and the addition of 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Stir and let it sit for a few minutes before adding to your batter.

This recipe will make 24 regular sized muffins. I made 12 regular muffins for the kids, because really, I can't resist any excuse for whipping out these reusable silicone muffin cups *affiliate link. But I made 12 jumbo muffins for myself, okay, okay, I did share some of the with my husband. Kind of hard not to when he gets up for work before I do.

Can you smell them? Oh, my goodness, they melt in your mouth and I burnt my tongue because I was too impatient to let them cool all the way. You'd think I'd know better…


Make Mimi’s Cafe Buttermilk Spice Muffins Recipe at Home

No doubt, the nut topping on the tops of these buttermilk muffins are the icing on the cake – literally. One thing about the buttermilk spice muffins at Mimi’s Cafe is they are always so moist. (Sorry for those of you who cringe at that word. But no other way to put it.) Those muffins have such a delicate crumbly center.

When baking these buttermilk muffins at home, you do have to play around with the bake times a bit because some of my batches have not come out as moist as the ones at Mimi’s. There could be a lot of factors involved. However, I have found that pulling the muffins from the oven a minute or so sooner than the recipe calls helps with this issue. Of course, ovens vary with this sort of thing.


Blackberry Buttermilk Muffins

I got a great deal on blackberries yesterday so breakfast was these yummy blackberry muffins. Since I had giant fresh blackberries and added the zest of an orange to brighten the flavor even more. This batter without the blackberries could be adapted to a variety of berries, raspberries, blueberries and even fresh strawberries. It only takes about 5 minutes to whip these up.

Blackberries used to grow like weeds in my old backyard, I sure do miss them. I had one plant and within 3 years I was getting quarts of berries from that one bush. I am not even sure how it got there, it was just there one spring when I went out. I didn’t know what kind of berries it was going to have but I figured I would find out, I sure was glad I did once it started producing. Wild blackberries seem to have more seeds than the cultivated varieties do, but they make up for that in taste. I made the best jelly one year from that plant. I have wild blackberries in my yard now and they are ten times bigger, smaller berry size and sour!


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease muffin cups.

Whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg. Beat in vanilla.

Add 1/2 flour mixture to batter and beat until just combined. Beat in 1/2 cup buttermilk, followed by remaining flour. Beat in final 1/2 cup buttermilk.

Gently fold in apples. Pour batter into muffin cups, filling them 2/3 full.

Bake muffins until a cake tester comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes in pan then remove to a wire rack.


The Perfect Buttermilk Muffins Recipe

I have tried a lot of muffins, but being that we usually have shakes in the morning most days, I haven’t made any for years! This recipe is soft and moist and delicious. It basically means you can add any fruit you have and they would be perfect. My aunt called them “fail proof” and uses it all the time!


I'm Todd Wilbur, Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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I never thought dinner rolls were something I could get excited about until I got my hand into the breadbasket at Texas Roadhouse. The rolls are fresh out of the oven and they hit the table when you do, so there’s no waiting to tear into a magnificently gooey sweet roll topped with soft cinnamon butter. The first bite you take will make you think of a fresh cinnamon roll, and then you can’t stop eating it. And when the first roll’s gone, you are powerless to resist grabbing for just one more. But it’s never just one more. It’s two or three more, plus a few extra to take home for tomorrow.

Discovering the secret to making rolls at home that taste as good as the real ones involved making numerous batches of dough, each one sweeter than the last (sweetened with sugar, not honey—I checked), until a very sticky batch, proofed for 2 hours, produced exactly what I was looking for. You can make the dough with a stand mixer or a handheld one, the only difference being that you must knead the dough by hand without a stand mixer. When working with the dough add a little bit of flour at a time to keep it from sticking, and just know that the dough will be less sticky and more workable after the first rise.

Roll the dough out and measure it as specified here, and after a final proofing and a quick bake—plus a generous brushing of butter on the tops—you will produce dinner rolls that look and taste just like the best rolls I’ve had at any famous American dinner chain.

After the success of Panera Bread’s Cinnamon Crunch Bagels, the popular sandwich chain went back into the development kitchen and came out with these incredible scones, filled with the same crunchy cinnamon drops found in the bagels and drizzled with cinnamon icing.

When first released, these scones were cut as triangles and frosted, but in 2018 the shape was changed to more “rustic”-shaped round blobs with drizzled or piped icing on top. I like to hack the latest recipe, so the newer version of this pastry is the version I’ve re-created here.

These are cream scones, so cream is the main wet ingredient that holds the dough together—but keep the dough crumbly as you mix it, and try not to compress it much, or you risk making the final product too dense. The best way to form the scones is to use both hands and shape the dough like you’re making a loose snowball. Then use one hand to place the dough onto the baking sheet and form it into a rough dome shape. The scones will flatten and spread out a little bit as they bake.

A recipe for Portuguese sweet bread inspired the soft rolls that became a big hit at Robert Tiara's Bakery & Restaurant in Honolulu, Hawaii in the 1950s. It wasn’t long before Robert changed the name of his thriving business to King’s Hawaiian, and in 1977 the company opened its first bakery on the mainland, in Torrance, California, to make the now-famous island sweet rolls sold in stores across the U.S.

King’s Hawaiian Rolls are similar to Texas Roadhouse Rolls in that they are both pillowy, sweet white rolls, so it made sense to dig out my Texas Roadhouse Rolls clone recipe and use it as a starting point. These new rolls had to be slightly softer and sweeter, so I made some adjustments and added a little egg for color. And by baking the dough in a high-rimmed baking pan with 24 dough balls placed snugly together, I ended up with beautiful rolls that rose nicely to the occasion, forming a tear-apart loaf just like the original, but with clean ingredients, and without the dough conditioners found in the packaged rolls.

Use these fluffy sweet rolls for sandwiches, sliders, or simply warmed up and slathered with soft European butter.

This recipe was our #3 most popular in 2020. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes for the year: Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce (#1), Olive Garden Lasagna Classico (#2), Pei Wei Better Orange Chicken (#4), Chipotle Mexican Grill Carnitas (#5).

Getting a table at the 123-year-old original Rao’s restaurant in New York City is next to impossible. The tables are “owned” by regulars who schedule their meals months in advance, so every table is full every night, and that’s the way it’s been for the last 38 years. The only way an outsider would get to taste the restaurant’s fresh marinara sauce is to be invited by a regular.

If that isn’t in the stars for you, you could buy a bottle of the sauce at your local market (if they even have it). It won't be fresh, and it's likely to be the most expensive sauce in the store, but it still has that great Rao's taste. An even better solution is to copy the sauce for yourself using this new and very easy hack.

The current co-owner of Rao’s, Frank Pellegrino Jr., told Bon Appetit in 2015 that the famous marinara sauce was created by his grandmother many years ago, and the sauce you buy in stores is the same recipe served in his restaurants. The ingredients are common, but correctly choosing the main ingredient—tomatoes—is important. Try to find San Marzano-style whole canned tomatoes, preferably from Italy. They are a little more expensive than typical canned tomatoes, but they will give you some great sauce.

After 30 minutes of cooking, you’ll end up with about the same amount of sauce as in a large jar of the real thing. Your version will likely be just a little bit brighter and better than the bottled stuff, thanks to the fresh ingredients. But now you can eat it anytime you want, with no reservations, at a table you own.

You might also like my #1 recipe of 2019, Texas Roadhouse Rolls.

This 220-unit downscaled version of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro targets the lunch crowd with a smaller menu that features bento boxes, bowls, and small plates. The bestseller on the menu is this orange chicken, which I have to say is pretty damn good orange chicken. Obviously, a clone is needed for this one, stat.

The name “Wei Better Orange Chicken” is a competitive callout to Panda Express's signature orange chicken, which is made with pre-breaded and frozen chicken. Pei Wei claims its orange chicken is prepared each day from scratch with chicken that is never frozen, so we’ll craft our clone the same way. But rather than assemble the dish in a wok over a high-flame fast stove like they do at the restaurant, we’ll prepare the sauce and chicken separately, then toss them with fresh orange wedges just before serving.

By the way, this dish goes very well with white or brown rice, so don’t forget to make some.

Three things make Costco Blueberry Muffins special: they’re huge, they’re moist, and berries are bursting out of the top of each one. Now your home muffins can be just as special using a similar recipe and freshly unlocked tricks from our favorite big-box store.

Obviously, you get huge muffins by using a huge muffin pan, so you’ll need a jumbo or “Texas-size” muffin pan if you want your muffins the same size as the originals. You can certainly make standard muffins with this batter in a standard-size muffin pan, but in this case, bigger is definitely better.

To get muffins that are moist you’ll need oil. I noticed many muffin recipes use butter, but I found it made the muffins taste more like butter cake or pound cake than true muffins. Looking at the ingredients listed on the package of Kirkland muffins, you won’t find any butter in there. Just oil. For this hack, some of that oil comes from margarine (for a mild butter flavor and thicker batter), and the rest is vegetable oil.

As for the blueberries, if you add them straight into the batter the juice frozen on the outside of the berries will streak your batter blue, so be sure to rinse the berries before you add them. And to make your muffins look as irresistible as those at Costco, we’ll use another one of their tasty tricks: press 4 blueberries into the batter in each cup just before the pan goes into the oven so that every baked muffin is sure to have several tantalizing berries popping out of the top.

One of the most-loved treats at the Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant chain are the crescent-shaped lemon cookies served at the end of your meal. The cookies are soft, chewy, and coated with a bright lemon icing, and it’s impossible to eat just one.

Well, now you can eat as many as you like because this knockoff recipe makes five dozen lemony taste-alike cookies. And you won’t have to worry about getting a crescent cookie cutter to get the shapes right. First, cut out a circle using a round 2-inch biscuit cutter, then use the cutter to slice a chunk out of the round, making a crescent.

You might also like my copycat recipe for Maggiano's Beef Tenderloin Medallions.

Menu Description: “Northern Spy apples baked in a pastry crust topped with vanilla ice cream and a caramel drizzle.”

The most important component of a good crostata, or Italian baked tart, is a great crust. When cloning this top Olive Garden dessert, that's where I first focused my efforts, baking dozens of slightly different unfilled sugared crusts. Thankfully, flour is cheap. Once I had an easy, yet still delicious and flakey crust that was as good, if not better, than the real thing, I turned to the filling.

Olive Garden uses Northern Spy apples in the crostata, which are somewhat tart, firm apples often used in pies. But they are hard to find. If you can’t find Northern Spy apples, the much more common Granny Smith apples work just fine here. As for chopping the apples, I noted that the apple pieces in the real crostata have no uniformity—the apples appear to be sliced, then those slices are coarsely chopped, resulting in a mixture of small and large apple pieces. We'll do the same here.

After your crostatas have been baked to a golden brown, top each one with a scoop of ice cream and drizzle some caramel sauce over the top for a beautiful dessert no one will have the power to resist.

This recipe makes four crostatas, which is enough for eight people to share. If you have crostatas left over, they can be stored in a covered container for a couple of days, then reheated under a broiler until hot just before serving.

Want some more of my Olive Garden clone recipes? I've got a bunch right here.

Braised and shredded pork shoulder is a staple of Mexican cuisine that Chipotle prepares with a simple blend of flavors, and a surprising ingredient you may not have expected: juniper berries. Once you track those down (they’re easy to find online), the berries are combined with thyme and bay leaves in a braising liquid that will transform your own pork roast into an easily shreddable thing of beauty in under 3 hours. Then you can use your freshly cloned carnitas on tacos, in burritos, or in a bowl over rice and beans just like they do in the restaurant.

When picking your pork roast, try to find one without too much fat. If your roast has a thick cap of fat on it, trim off the excess. You want some fat in your braising liquid, but if the cap of fat is too thick, it may not fully render down and you’ll get chunks of fat in the shred.

It’s often assumed that the pork butt is from the rear end of the pig, even though cuts from the back region already have a name: ham. The pork butt, also known as a Boston butt, is cut from the other end, the upper shoulder of the pig. It’s called a “butt” because in pre-Revolutionary War New England the roasts were stored and transported in barrels called “butts”, and the confusing name stuck.

A popular staple of any Chinese chain is the fried rice so it better be good, and the version served at Panda Express most certainly is. Here's an easy hack when you need a stress-free, low-cost side for your entrées. But I do suggest that you cook the white rice several hours or even a day or two before you plan to make the finished dish. I found that the cooked rice called for in this recipe works best when it's cold.

As for a shortcut, bagged frozen peas and carrots will save you from the hassle of petite-dicing carrots since the carrots in those bags are the perfect size to produce an identical clone. And they're already cooked.

Now, how about some Honey Walnut Shrimp, or Beijing Beef to go with that rice? Find all my Panda Express copycat recipes here.

Imagine a giant soft sugar cookie with sweetened cream cheese on top and served warm as if it just came out of the oven and you have California Pizza Kitchen's Butter Cake, a delectable dessert described on the menu with five simple words: “Trust us…just try it.”

This dessert is an easy one to prep in the restaurant since the cakes are made ahead of time and chilled until ordered. Once an order comes in the cake is zapped for a minute in the microwave, then topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and surrounded by dollops of whipped cream. You can prepare yours this way at home as well—make your cakes in advance, then chill them until dessert time. Or, you can serve the cakes right after they come out of the oven. Either way works.

The construction is an easy one—you’ll need four 4-inch cake pans, or ramekins, or anything you can bake in that is 4-inches across. To make the batter I used a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and it worked great, but a hand-held granny mixer also works.

I think you're gonna love this one. Trust me. just hack it.

Find more amazing CPK copycat recipes here.

In the Bush’s Beans commercials, Duke, the family golden retriever, wants to sell the secret family recipe, but the Bush family always stops him. The dog is based on the Bush family’s real-life golden retriever, and the campaign, which began in 1995, made Bush’s the big dog of the canned baked beans market practically overnight. Their confidential baked beans formula is considered one of the top 10 biggest recipe secrets in the U.S.

Bush Brothers & Company had been canning a variety of fruits and vegetables for over 60 years when, in 1969, the company created canned baked beans using a cherished recipe from a family matriarch. Sales jumped from 10 thousand cases in the first year to over 100 thousand cases in 1970. And just one year later sales hit a million cases. Today Bush’s makes over 80 percent of the canned baked beans sold in the U.S., and the secret family recipe remains a top food secret, despite Duke’s attempts. A replica of the original recipe book—without the original recipe in it (drat!)—is on display at the company's visitor center in Chestnut Hill, Tennessee.

I chose to hack the “Country Style” version of Bush’s Beans because I don’t think the Original flavor has enough, uh, flavor. Country Style is similar to Original, but richer, with more brown sugar. The recipe starts by soaking dry small white beans in a brine overnight. The salt in the water helps to soften the skins, but don’t soak them for more than 14 hours or the skins may begin to fall off.

My first versions tasted great but lacked the deep brown color of the real Bush’s beans, which include caramel coloring—an ingredient that can be hard to find on its own. I eventually discovered that the “browning” sauce, Kitchen Bouquet, will add the dark caramel color needed to our home version of the beans so that they’ll look just like the real thing.

This recipe was our #5 most popular in 2019. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes of the year: Texas Roadhouse Rolls (#1) KFC Extra Crispy Fried Chicken (#2), Olive Garden Braised Beef Bolognese (#3), Pizzeria Uno Chicago Deep Dish Pizza (#4).

I’m not sure when it happened, but it appears Taco Bell recently changed its seasoned beef recipe. I hacked the recipe several years ago for the book TSR Step-by-Step, and I recall the recipe had much more oat filler, so that’s how I cloned it. Taco Bell came under fire in 2011 for the significant amount of oats in the recipe that the chain was listing as “spices,” and after that, Taco Bell was more transparent about ingredients. But somewhere along the way it appears the company tweaked the recipe to include less filler and more flavor, so I decided I had to create a new Top Secret Recipe for the beef.

This recipe makes a duplicate of the beef currently served at Taco Bell. If you want to turn it into a Chalupa—which the restaurant makes by deep frying the flatbread used for Gorditas—the instructions are here. But you can also use this new, improved beef hack for anything you’re copying, whether it's tacos, burritos, Enchiritos, Mexican Pizzas, or a big pile of nachos.

The secret ingredient in our hack is Knorr tomato bouillon. This flavor powder adds many ingredients found in the original recipe and provides the umami savoriness that’s required for a spot-on clone of the famous seasoned ground beef. To get the right flavor, you need to find "Knorr Tomato Bouillon with Chicken Flavor" powder, in a jar. Not the bouillon cubes.

Smother your creation in mild, hot or diablo sauce. Try all my Taco Bell copycat recipes here.

Menu Description: “Creamy marsala wine sauce with mushrooms over grilled chicken breasts, stuffed with Italian cheeses and sundried tomatoes. Served with garlic mashed potatoes.”

This recipe includes a marsala sauce that even marsala sauce haters will like. My wife is one of those haters, but when she tried this sauce, her eyes lit up and she begged for more. That’s great, now I won’t have to eat alone.

Not only is Olive Garden's delicious marsala sauce hacked here (and it’s easy to make), you’ll also get the copycat hack for the chain's awesome Italian cheese stuffing that goes between the two pan-cooked chicken fillets. Build it, sauce it, serve it. The presentation is awesome, and the flavor will soothe your soul.

Try this dish paired with my recent clone of Olive Garden’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes for the complete O.G. Stuffed Chicken Marsala experience.

The Wingstop menu offers nearly a dozen flavor variations of fried chicken wings, including original hot buffalo-style, parmesan garlic, and mango habanero, but it’s the lemon pepper wings that get the most raves. And even though they’re referred to as “dry rub” wings on the menu, the secret to a perfect hack of the chain’s lemon pepper wings is in the wet baste that goes on first.

The lemon pepper won’t stick to the wings without making them wet, and that’s where the sauce, or baste, comes in. The baste is easy to make by clarifying butter and combining it with oil to prevent the butter from solidifying, then adding lemon pepper and salt.

I obtained a sample of Wingstop’s lemon pepper seasoning and took a few stabs at cloning the blend from scratch, but ultimately decided the task was a time-waster when pre-blended lemon pepper is so easy to find. I compared Wingstop’s lemon pepper with the blends from McCormick and Lawry’s—each is slightly different than what Wingstop uses. McCormick’s is lemonier than Wingstop’s blend, and Lawry’s version is chunkier and less lemony, but either blend is close enough to deliver a satisfying clone.

After the wings are fried, baste them with the sauce below and sprinkle them with your favorite lemon pepper. Now you’ve made wings like a Wingstop pro.

For many years this entree has been a top menu choice at Maggiano's, the 54-unit Italian chain from Brinker, the same company that operates Chili’s Grill & Bar. The $30 restaurant dish consists of three 2½-ounce tenderloin steaks, swimming in a fantastic balsamic cream sauce with sliced portobello mushrooms—but a home version of the signature dish is only seven easy steps away, and it won't hit you in the wallet as hard as the pricey original.

Cracking this dish required a perfect hack of the sauce, and that came quickly after obtaining some very reliable information from my incredibly helpful server/informant at a Las Vegas Maggiano’s. Let’s call him Skippy.

According to Skippy, the balsamic cream sauce is as simple as mixing a sweet balsamic glaze with the chain’s creamy alfredo sauce. So, I first got a sample of Maggiano’s alfredo sauce and figured out how to replicate it. Once that was done, I measured increments of balsamic glaze into the alfredo sauce until the color and flavor matched the original. The rest of the recipe was easy.

This recipe will make two servings of the dish and includes preparation for the tenderloins and sauce. If you’d like to complete the dish the way it’s served at the restaurant (as in the photo), add some garlic mashed potatoes on the side, using my hack for Olive Garden Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

One of two pasta dishes currently on the pizza giant’s menu, the Meaty Marinara Pasta was first introduced in a 2008 April Fool’s publicity stunt when Pizza Hut claimed it was changing its name to “Pasta Hut.” No one fell for the prank but they did fall for the pasta, and that's why the Tuscani Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta and Meaty Marinara Pasta have been on the menu ever since. The sauce is the big secret here it's simple and classic, but customized to produce a marinara with that distinct Pizza Hut taste. And the recipe will make more than enough pasta to go around.

The hack is an easy one. After browning the seasoned beef you add it to the sauce, simmer the sauce until thick, then spread it over one pound of rotini pasta in a baking dish in two layers so that every bite is filled with flavor. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella over the top and melt it until golden brown under your broiler. Boom! No one can resist. You rule.

This simple and inexpensive meal will feed eight, and leftovers keep well in the fridge for a couple of days.

Also check out my clone recipe for Pizza Hut Tuscani Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta.

There’s one copycat recipe for these famous biscuits that’s posted and shared more than any other, and it’s downright awful. The dough is formulated with self-rising flour, baking powder, powdered sugar, shortening, and buttermilk, and many complain that the recipe creates dough that’s much too loose and the resulting biscuits are a complete disaster. Yet there the recipe remains on blogs and boards all over the interweb for unsuspecting home cloners such as yourself to waste time on. But that won’t happen anymore, because I have made a good copycat Bojangles' buttermilk biscuits recipe that works the way it should, guaranteeing you’ll get amazing golden buttermilk biscuits that look and taste just like a trained Bojangles’ pro made them.

In addition to the obvious overuse of buttermilk, the popular recipe I found online has many problems. The author gets it right when calling for self-rising flour, which is flour containing salt and a leavening agent (aka baking powder), but why would the copycat Bojangles biscuit recipe be designed to use self-rising flour and then add additional leaving? Well, it probably wouldn’t. Biscuits are job number 1 for self-rising flour, and the leavening in there is measured for that use, so there’s no need to add more. If you were planning to add your own leavening, you’d probably start with all-purpose flour, which has no leavening in it. And let's just be clear: baking powder tastes gross, so we want to add as little as possible, not more than necessary.

It’s also important to handle the dough the same way that workers at Bojangles’ do. They make biscuits there every 20 minutes and there are plenty of YouTube videos showing the preparation technique. In a nutshell, the dough is mixed by hand (in the restaurant they use their hands because the quantity is so large, but for this recipe use a mixing spoon), then it’s folded over a few times on a floured countertop before it’s rolled out. This gentle handling of the dough prevents the gluten in the flour from toughening and adds layers, so your biscuits come out of the oven tender and flakey.

For the best results, find White Lily flour. This self-rising flour is low in gluten and makes unbelievably fluffy biscuits. If you use another self-rising brand, you’ll still get great biscuits, but the gluten level will likely be higher, the biscuits will be tougher, and you’ll probably need more buttermilk. Head down to the Tidbits below for details on that.

And I noticed another thing most copycat Bojangles biscuit recipes get wrong. For biscuits that are beautifully golden brown on the top and bottom, you’ll want to bake them on a silicone baking mat (or parchment paper) at 500 degrees F. Yes, 500 degrees. That may seem hot, but this high temp works well with self-rising flour, and in 12 to 15 minutes the biscuits will be perfectly browned.

Counterintuitively, it’s the lower temperatures that end up burning the biscuits, while the higher temperature cooks them just right. At lower temps the biscuits must stay in the oven longer to cook through, which exposes the surfaces to more heat, and they end up too dark on the outside, especially the bottom. For even better results, if you have a convection setting on your oven, use that and set the temp to 475 degrees F. Your biscuits will look like they came straight from the drive-thru.


Pink Grapefruit Buttermilk Muffins

It’s grapefruit season! Have you noticed the heaping mountains of them in the produce sections of the grocery stores? Now is the time to buy those luscious pink grapefruits because this time of year they’re at their cheapest. At 3 pink grapefruits for $1 we’ve been stockpiling them and enjoying them as a light, refreshing snack in the evenings while watching Frasier re-runs or whatever else we feel like zoning out on. Sprinkle a little white stevia powder on them and voila!, you have a delicious, juicy, sweet little snack.

It occurred to me last night as I was in the store bagging up another dozen grapefruits, what a shame there isn’t some other way these can be utilized. Sure, there’s broiling them, but that’s not terribly interesting them. Then there’s segmenting them and adding them to salads and such. Also not the most interesting. So today as my little ones took their nap (they’ve actually been napping in sync the past few weeks. I know. It’s nothing short of a miracle), I had idea that was spurred by reaching into the fridge to grab a grapefruit for a noon-day snack (they’re oh so good when they’re cold) and seeing a jug of buttermilk while I was at it. Buttermilk and grapefruit…sounded like a delightfully refreshing combination. How to combine them…that was the question. So I thought, how about Pink Grapefruit Buttermilk Muffins?? And so the experiment began.

I grabbed the flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and went to work zesting and juicing the grapefruit. I wanted to use every bit of that wonderful fruit and get the full effect of both its sweetness and its tang. To ensure an extra fluffy, soft muffin texture, I separated the eggs and beat the egg whites to fold into the batter. As I poured the batter into the muffin tins, I thought they needed something on top. Some final finishing touch. I looked at the grapefruits I had stacked on the counter…they looked back at me…so I grabbed another one and zested it. I poured some more sugar into a bowl and added the zest, combining it with my fingers to make a kind of crumbly grapefruit sugar. It smelled heavenly! I sprinkled it on top of the muffins, popped them in the oven, and became very, very pleased as my kitchen began to be filled with the most delightful aroma of sweet grapefruit.

They turned out. Beautifully. Deliciously. My husband came home and I welcomed him at the door with a muffin and, after a brief kiss (yes, we love each other), pushed it into his mouth. As soon as his eyes lit up and I knew I had a winner.

(Note for future: Next idea to experiment with – Pink Grapefruit Buttermilk Cupcakes with a Pink Grapefruit Cream Cheese Frosting. Another idea: Pink Grapefruit Buttermilk Scones. Mmmm, those sound like two more winners! Must remember to experiment with these.)

Pink grapefruits are wonderful. They really don’t require any sugar at all to eat them plain. So good, so juicy.

Zest an entire grapefruit. You’ll have about a tablespoon and a half.

Cut the zested grapefuit in half and juice each half.

Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Do this for several minutes until the texture is light pale and fluffy.

This is also the moment where I introduce you to my hand mixer. Check out this avocado green beauty! This belonged to my husband’s grandmother and it’s still going strong and never misses a beat (get it?). To use an old adage, they just don’t make them like they used to. I plan to get many more miles out of this thing before its finally laid to a much deserved rest.

Where were we? Oh yes, cream the butter and sugar.

Add the egg yolks and beat until combined.

Add the grapefruit juice, zest and vanilla extract. Beat until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

A bit at a time, gently fold the flour mixture into the batter with a rubber spatula. Add the buttermilk gradually in between flour additions. Lumps are fine. You don’t want to over-mix this or the muffins won’t be light and fluffy.

Beat the egg whites in a small bowl until soft peaks form.

Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter with a rubber spatula, again being careful not to over-mix.

Once again, some lumps are fine.

Combine the zest and sugar in a small bowl for the grapefruit sugar topping.

Use your fingers to combine and crumble the mixture.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, about 3/4-ish of the way full.

Sprinkle the grapefruit sugar on top and place the muffin tin in a preheated oven on 350 F. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.



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