Sour milk is the secret ingredient in this Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Sour Milk Muffins Recipe that yields a light and tender-crumbed muffin! These are sweetly aromatic of cinnamon, studded with fresh apple, and absolutely delicious.
When Mike and I lived in Buffalo, we had the best neighbor ever. (Her name was Bee. She really was the sweetest, most amazing lady; she’s the one I talked about when I mentioned our ant problem one summer.)
Being a bit older, she was old-school in a lot of ways.
Bee believed in the value of hard work. She was incredibly thoughtful. (I can’t even count how many times I saw her shoveling snow off other peoples’ cars!) She brought festively decorated plates of traditional Italian cookies to her neighbors for the holidays. And she always took her shoes off when she entered someone else’s home.
All of which was very much appreciated!
The Inspiration for This Recipe
One afternoon I popped by Bee’s place to drop something off and she invited me in. Always the hostess, she offered me a beverage; not wanting to be rude, I accepted.
Deep in conversation (she always had the best gossip so conversations with her were quite interesting), she reached into her fridge and pulled out a jug of milk. She opened it, sniffed, and then squealed and laughed, saying that wasn’t the right milk – that was the spoiled stuff she saved for making muffins!
At that point I had to pause the conversation. Uing sour milk to make muffins was a completely novel idea to me! Bee explained that she never threw spoiled milk away, but instead always saved it for baking. (I don’t know for sure, but I think that sounds like remnants of the Great Depression – or maybe this kind of frugality/repurposing has been going on long before then?!).
And she said that she never got sick off of sour milk muffins or knew anyone who did (because you know I had to ask).
Sour Milk Muffins
That brief introduction to sour milk muffins was at least two years ago. I haven’t thought about spoiled milk muffins for a very long time. That is, until recently when I found myself with a nearly full gallon of sour milk in the back of my fridge when we got home from vacation.
Muffins immediately came to mind and I thought why not give it a go?
I did some experimenting, and this Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Sour Milk Muffins Recipe is the result. Light and tender-crumbed and sweetly aromatic of cinnamon, these muffins are nothing short of spectacular.
In case you’re wondering no one got sick off these muffins. (Yay for that!)
And they were so good my mom told me I need to keep a jug of sour milk in the fridge for anytime I want to make muffins. I did not see that one coming, lol!
Baking with Sour Milk
I did a little research and according to Our Everyday Life, sour milk is commonly used in baked goods because it helps prevent them from being dense and tough. It also imparts a pleasant tang, similar to buttermilk or yogurt used in baking. And the heat during baking kills harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
Pro Tip: If you’re squeamish about using sour milk, in this recipe you can substitute buttermilk or regular milk that’s curdled with a splash of lemon juice or vinegar.
Sour Milk Recipes
I looked into it, and apparently there are quite a few different sour milk recipes. If buttermilk is an ingredient, it’s like that you can use sour milk instead.
Here are a few sour milk recipe ideas:
- Use it instead of buttermilk in this sweet Cinnamon Quick Bread
- Substitute it for the buttermilk in Cornbread Muffins
- Swap out the buttermilk and use it in this Irish Brown Soda Bread
- Make it into chocolate Black Magic Cake
- Bake it into Biscuits
Did you make this recipe? Please rate it and leave a comment below because I love hearing from you! You can also tag @anediblemosaic on social media. To stay up-to-date FOLLOW ME on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Xoxo, Faith
Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Sour Milk Muffins Recipe
- 3/4 cup sour milk or buttermilk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup avocado oil or other light-tasting oil
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 medium apples peeled, cored, and shredded (I used Empire)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400F; line a muffin tray with 12 paper liners.
- Whisk together the milk, sugar, oil, egg, vanilla, and apple in a large bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, and walnuts and use a wooden spoon to stir just until combined.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tray and bake until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on January 16, 2015. I updated it with more information on April 20, 2020.
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About to try with sour milk in fridge. Thank you!
Vi, Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy the recipe! :)
Your recipe was a great try. Landed up with some sour milk and was scouting for some recipes. Everyone loved it.. Thanks for sharing 😊
Having quite a bit of sour milk, I was pleased to find your recipe for inspiration. I doubled the recipe, added some (old) raisins that I plumped before including, as well as chopped walnuts. As for the apples, I cored and shredded my organic apples (no need to peel) and used half whole wheat and half white whole wheat. The muffins are moist and very tasty. The texture is super with the addition of the walnuts. Oh, I added some ground cardamom, too. I love to cook and bake with sour milk/cream.
Had almost a litre of milk go off … googled sour milk recipes and stumbled upon your marvelous recipe. Light and tender muffins, will make these again. Thanks!
Sheila, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed these muffins!
this looks amazing & I will have to try it! you know, you wouldn’t get sick from drinking sour milk straight, even without cooking it. it would (does!) taste gross. But the bacteria that sour milk are not anything that will hurt you!
These were delicious! I got about 35 mini muffins out of the recipe. Will definitely use this again! I only changed the sugar to coconut sugar.
Well I guess buttermilk is kind of like sour milk…right? So I can totally see where you’re coming from with these!
Laura @ KneadWhine says
Ooh – interesting idea. I just don’t think I could bring myself to use off milk – buttermilk it is!
really? I always have to come up with a couple of things to bake when the last bit of our milk goes off, because it would be so wasteful to throw it away! I can’t imagine throwing out sour milk, but then purchasing buttermilk to bake with!!!
Yes, it’s ok to use sour milk in baking as long as it hasn’t gone clumpy!
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
I love using buttermilk in baking.. it always adds such a rich flavour and slight tang. These just look so perfect!
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
I love these muffins, Faith! Such a perfect cozy breakfast!
Nikki S says
Do you think this same principle applies to spoiled yogurt?
Nikki, Hmm, good question! I’ve never heard of using spoiled yogurt so I honestly have no idea…does anyone know about this?
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says
These sound delicious! I’d love one for breakfast right now!!
Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table says
It’s a common thing in Russian culture to use sour milk for certain baked goods; I remain as a child, often waking up to find my mother has left a milk that starting to turn out on the counter in order to speed up its souring, and that was always a welcome sign – because I knew that soon after, we’d have oladushki for breakfast! So yes, I’m glad you’re a convert to sour milk now :)
so because of your comment i just looked up oladushki and made some with my sour milk. SO GOOD! thanks!
Delicious! Those healthy muffins look very tempting and wondefully moist.
Substituted ripe pears for apples, added half cup raisens, too.