IThese muffins are completely dreamy. The chunks of sweet ripe strawberries, the hint of vanilla in every bite, and the rose-colored icing drizzled across. If you are looking for a way to add a bit of beauty to breakfast or make an occasion seem extra sweet or romantic, add these muffins to the menu. You can’t go wrong with strawberry vanilla sourdough muffins, and I am sure you will soon be making them again and again. They can also be made with less sugar so be sure to check the details in the post and the notes on the recipe card!
I have to admit, baked goods are my favorite way to use up sourdough discard. I love adding it into every recipe I can because I think it enhances the other ingredients and adds a slight savory flavor without being overpoweringly sour. Before I started baking with sourdough, I used to think anything that had sourdough other than bread sounded so gross. Wow, have my thoughts on it changed a lot since then.
Some of my other favorite sourdough recipes (that aren’t savory loaves of bread) are:
If sourdough is a crazy or intimidating concept for you, check out my sourdough e-book. It goes over the whole process without it being overwhelming. You will learn how to create and keep your own starter alive, bake a few different loaves of bread, and tinker with ways to use up your discard.
And this recipe can be a long ferment recipe. When sourdough is given time to ferment the grains in a recipe it breaks them down making them easier to digest. So, in this case if you are someone who gets easily bloated after eating bread, you might be able to long ferment the batter and not be so adversely affected by them!
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This is a very simple recipe, so it isn’t one that I would worry about messing up. But if you are new to baking or sourdough, it can be a bit intimidating.
- This recipe can use wither fresh or frozen strawberries. If you opt for the frozen berries, be sure not to let them thaw before adding them to the batter. I chopped mine up and tossed them right in the batter, but you could always cut them and place them back in the freezer until you are ready for them.
- When adding the sourdough into the other wet ingredients, make sure it is well incorporated before adding it into the flour. This ensures that you won’t have any streaks or chunks of sourdough in your finished product.
- Don’t over mix the batter. You will combine the wet with the dry and mix, but then you need to mix in the strawberries. Just fold them in gently and mix as little as possible. Over mixing can lead to a tough textured muffin or little tunnels through it which interfere with the texture.
Flour: I prefer to use organic, unbleached white flour for pastries like this. You can also substitute in a bit of freshly ground whole wheat, but you may need an extra tablespoon or two of milk. Using fresh wheat is so good for you, but it can make things like muffins more dense so just keep that in mind.
Sugar: I use organic white sugar or evaporated cane juice for the muffin and the strudel. Things like maple sugar can be substituted, but it may affect the flavor a bit.
Baking powder: This is what provides the rise in the muffins, not the sourdough. Even if it is a long ferment recipe the oven spring comes from the baking powder activating in the oven.
Butter: Instead of using oil like a typical muffin, these use melted butter which provides a softer crumb and richer flavor. Melted coconut oil can also be used instead and will give a lovely hint of a coconut aftertaste.
Milk: I prefer to use whole milk because of its higher fat content. I think it yields a better flavor but you can use whatever milk you have on hand.
Eggs: These act as a binder and add structure to the muffins themselves.
Vanilla: I love adding vanilla to baked goods, and these get a bit of extra love. I think the intense vanilla flavor in the batter pairs so well with the chunks of strawberries and results in the dreamiest muffin.
Sourdough: This recipe has been tested with both sourdough discard and thick active starter. There are just a few simple changes that have to be made and they are outlined in the recipe.
Strawberries: This can be made with fresh or frozen strawberries and the large quantity ensures means there are bits of strawberry in (almost) every bite.
Powdered sugar: If you choose to add a bit of icing this is the main ingredient. It makes a super smooth icing that mixes together in less than a minute.
Beet Juice: To avoid using red food coloring I used beet juice in the icing. The tiny amount added doesn’t make it taste strongly of beets, so don’t worry about that. I found my beet juice in the natural section of our grocery store.
Making Strawberry Vanilla Sourdough Muffins
Start by combining the flour, sugar, and butter to make the strudel. Break up the butter by pressing it between your thumb and fingers. Think the hand motion of “money, money, money” That is what you will do to get the butter into small little bits. Once it all mixed, set it aside.
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. These are all your dry ingredients, set aside.
Whisk together the melted butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla. I find it easier to mix these all together before adding the sourdough, but if you combine all at once it is fine.
Combine the wet ingredients with the dry and mix until almost combined. To avoid overmixing in the next step its ok if there is a little bit of flour that isn’t fully incorporated in this step.
If allowing them to longer ferment move the batter to the fridge and allow it to rest overnight. Then continue on with the recipe the next morning.
Add in the chopped strawberries and fold them in until just combined.
Line your muffin tin with muffin liners or grease with butter.
Fill each liner 3/4 of the way full then top with about a tablespoon of the strudel.
Bake for ten minutes then rotate the pan and bake for another 5-6 minutes. Check if they are done by gently pressing on the top of a muffin. If it springs back and doesn’t leave a dent, they are ready. Because of the fruit there are a few times that they will feel underdone so poke a few of them before letting them bake longer.
Allow them to cool for at least five minutes before removing them from the tins or transferring them to a cooling rack.
If desired, dust with powdered sugar or a light drizzle of glaze.
For the glaze simply whisk the powdered sugar, beet juice, and milk together. If you are looking for a brighter pink use less milk and more beet juice. For a brighter red color, add water instead of milk.
If you want them to be a less sweet option, leave off the strudel and the glaze and simply serve them as is or dust them with a bit of powdered sugar for garnish.
* This recipe calls for sourdough discard, but you can use active starter as well. Since active starter tends to be thicker than discard add an additional 1/4 cup of milk to the batter so they are still soft and moist after baking. I personally don't recommend doing the long ferment version with the active starter because I have found the texture to be less soft. ** To make this a long ferment recipe combine all the muffin batter ingredients expect for the strawberries. Place the batter in the fridge overnight to ferment. As the oven is preheating the next morning remove the batter from the fridge and fold in the chopped strawberries. Top with strudel and bake as normal. ***To avoid using food dyes the glaze is colored only with beet juice. The measurements in the recipe produce a soft romantic pink color that doesn't taste strongly of beets. You can substitute some of the milk for more beet juice if a more vibrant red or pink icing color is desired. This recipe can also be enjoyed without the addition of the crumb topping and glaze. That reduces the amount of sugar per muffin, and they are still every bit as lovely.
* This recipe calls for sourdough discard, but you can use active starter as well. Since active starter tends to be thicker than discard add an additional 1/4 cup of milk to the batter so they are still soft and moist after baking. I personally don't recommend doing the long ferment version with the active starter because I have found the texture to be less soft.
** To make this a long ferment recipe combine all the muffin batter ingredients expect for the strawberries. Place the batter in the fridge overnight to ferment. As the oven is preheating the next morning remove the batter from the fridge and fold in the chopped strawberries. Top with strudel and bake as normal.
***To avoid using food dyes the glaze is colored only with beet juice. The measurements in the recipe produce a soft romantic pink color that doesn't taste strongly of beets. You can substitute some of the milk for more beet juice if a more vibrant red or pink icing color is desired.
This recipe can also be enjoyed without the addition of the crumb topping and glaze. That reduces the amount of sugar per muffin, and they are still every bit as lovely.
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