These light and airy strawberry muffins are very simple to make. We love adding a light spice to the batter with cinnamon and finely ground black pepper. The black pepper is a little unusual, but by adding just a small amount it lifts all the flavors in the muffins. Feel free to leave it out, but we highly recommend it.
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour, we use Gold Medal
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/3 cup (80 ml) vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/3 to 1/2 cup (80 ml – 120 ml) milk, reduced fat or whole milk are best
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 ounces strawberries, hulled and diced (about 1 cup diced)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 12 standard-size muffin cups with paper liners.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and the black pepper in a large bowl until well mixed.
Using a measuring jug that holds at least 1 cup, measure out the vegetable oil. Add the egg then fill the jug to the 1-cup line with milk (this should be 1/3 to a 1/2 cup of milk). Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and whisk until blended. Pour into the bowl with flour and stir with a fork until just combined. Do not over mix. (The muffin batter will be quite thick — see note below for more details). Stir in the strawberries.
In a small bowl, stir 1 tablespoon of sugar with a 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla then set aside.
Divide batter between the 12 muffin cups. (The batter will come close to the tops of the paper liners). Lightly sprinkle vanilla sugar topping over muffins.
Bake muffins until tops are golden brown, no longer wet and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out with crumbs, not wet batter; 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.