These very purple very berry muffins not only look pretty, but they taste amazing. Super tender crumb, with crunchy-sugary tops, eat them warm, room temperature, or cold — it makes no difference. And these berry-filled sweet treats only seem to get better with time. Unlike a lot of baked goods, we found these muffins even tastier the next morning. Move over Starbucks, because these muffins are at least as good (if not better) plus you can use frozen or fresh berries, make a small batch, or a large batch to freeze, and there’s no more waiting in line at the drive-thru or inside in order to get our hands on our favorite muffin.
What is Fruitti di Bosco?
In Italy, “Frutti di Bosco” (or fruit of the woods) is a category of wild berries foraged from wild woodland or forest areas. Essentially, Frutti di Bosco can be various combinations of these berries, but the most typical combination includes wild blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, red currants, and/or mulberries. Think of this as the berries a wild bear would be eating. These fruits are intensely flavored and if you’re not in Italy you may be able to find them at your local Italian specialty stores where you live. Otherwise, just make your own berry mix using your favorite combination of frozen berries from the grocery store. Below you can see three bags of frozen Frutti di Bosco each with their corresponding and slightly different ratio of berries.
Better than Starbuck’s Very Berry Muffins at Home
These moist muffins are light, airy, and full of wildberry flavor. Each bite is a little different because of the tartness and sweetness of the various fruits in the “fruitti di bosco” mix. It’s worth mentioning again, that these muffins also get better with age. In fact, to us, they’re even better the next morning. Feel free to use any combination of frozen fruit in this recipe.
Can You Freeze Very Berry Muffins?
Yes, you can freeze muffins. In fact, they freeze incredibly well and can last up to 3 months!. This means, freezing muffins allows you to save time and energy when you need it most — like when prepping your kiddo’s lunchbox or after-school snack, or when you’re hastily trying to have breakfast, dress the kids, and blowdry your hair all at the same time so you’re not late for that important meeting. But they’re just as good when you need “a little something” to curb a major sweet tooth craving. Having frozen homemade muffins can be a delicious little lifesaver. Follow these easy steps and you won’t be able to tell if they were baked today or weeks ago.
- Allow muffins to cool completely to room temperature. Individually wrap the muffins and place them into an airtight freezer-safe bag or container and freeze. Alternatively, if you’re really busy, just pop them unwrapped into a freezer bag and freeze. Although they’re more likely to have ice crystals form on them if they’re unwrapped, it’s not going to hurt you.
- Defrost muffins in the fridge overnight or on the countertop for a little while (or zap it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so).
Very Berry Muffin Ingredients (small batch — can easily be doubled or tripled)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (200g)
- 3/4 cup white sugar (165g)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (8g)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1g)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil (65g)
- 1 large egg, room temperature (50g)
- up to 1/3 cup whole milk, room temperature (85-107g)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen “frutti di bosco” (or favorite mix of frozen berries) (100g)
- zest of one small lemon (less than 1g)
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon white sugar (20g)
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon white sugar brown sugar (20g)
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour (17g)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (1g)
- 2 tablespoons cold butter, diced (30g)
How to Make Very Berry Fruitti di Bosco Muffins
When making berry muffins or cakes it’s typically desirable to have fruit distributed from top to bottom within the crumb. This even distribution of fruit is achieved by first tossing the berries in a bit of flour before adding them to the batter. Having the goal of making this recipe as easy as possible for parents (or anyone who doesn’t have a lot of time), but also getting a good distribution of fruit, I simply toss the berries straight into the measured and whisked dry ingredients (the muffin base), then add the wet ingredients and stir. This alleviates the need to dirty up another bowl or waste flour, plus it results in a gorgeous purple hue.
- Preheat the oven. Heat the oven to 400°F/200°C and line a muffin tin with paper or foil cups (or grease the muffin tins).
- Make the crackle topping mix all of the topping ingredients together with a fork (or your hands) until crumbly and set aside.
- Make the muffin base. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder) and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Mix the wet ingredients. In a liquid measuring cup, pour in the vegetable oil. Add in the egg next and then pour in enough milk to measure one full cup of liquid ingredients (all of these liquid ingredients combined will be approximately 220g in total weight). Add the lemon zest and quickly whisk everything with a fork until well combined.
- Coat the frozen berries in flour. Gently toss the frozen berries into the flour mixture, coating them well.
- Mix the dry ingredients + the wet ingredients. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix everything together with a fork, or spatula just until combined. Be sure not to over-mix or you’ll activate the gluten and end up with tough muffins (it’s ok to be a tough muffin, but no one wants to eat one).
- Fill the muffin liners. Using a scoop or spoon, fill 6 muffin tins equally 2/3 full. You’ll have just enough batter left over to either make 6 mini muffins, or you can fill a 7th muffin tin, or you can just overfill the 6 muffin tins like I did (it won’t be pretty, but they taste just as good.)
- Add the crackle topping + bake. Sprinkle the crackle topping over the muffins evenly and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted comes out clean. Place muffins onto a cooling rack and let them cool for 15-20 minutes before removing them from the pan and allowing them to further cool to room temperature. Enjoy with your favorite tea or coffee.
What’s the Best Way to Fill Muffin Cups + Muffin Liners?
I like to use a measuring scoop to add muffin batter to muffin tins and liners because it portions the batter which makes a more consistent size in baked muffins and it creates less mess than using a spoon or pouring batter from a measuring cup. A small ladle works well for some people if you don’t have a scoop. But use what you have on hand because they’ll taste just as great no matter what they look like. With this muffin recipe, I’ve even over-filled the lined tins and never had a problem with getting perfectly tasty muffins. They may not look as pretty, but they’ll taste just as great.
A Few More Tasty Fruitti di Bosco (frozen fruit) Recipes
Here are a few more tasty recipes using frozen fruit that we think you’ll love.
- 10-Minute Homemade Berry (Licious) Sauce
- Light and Fluffy Pancakes for Two (or a Crowd)
- Strawberry Shortcake Scones w/Jam + Clotted Cream
- White Chocolate Creme Brûlée Cheesecake w/Biscoff Cookie Crust
- White Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake w/Oreo CookieCrust
- Easy Classic Cheesecake w/Biscoff Cookie Crust (+Mini’s)
Very Berry Frutti di Bosco Muffins w/Crackle Top step-by-step recipe photos
Very Berry Muffins tips + tricks +FAQ’s
- What’s the difference between muffins and cupcakes? Cupcakes are mini cakes and muffins are actually mini quick bread. Typically cakes are eaten at room temperature or even cold, but muffins can be eaten warm or cold or at room temperature. Also, most muffins have that quintessential “muffin top” whereas a cupcake will usually just have a nice gently domed top. Also, cupcakes (being mini cakes) typically call for creaming the butter and sugar together as a step in the mixing process. Whereas muffin ingredients are typically gently mixed together or folded together before baking without the need for creaming. Lastly, cupcakes are generally frosted and muffins are not.
- Are muffins easier to make than cupcakes? Cupcakes are more time-consuming to make (in my opinion), than muffins because you’re essentially making cake batter which is usually a bit more intensive and follows a stricter order of steps that must be followed to achieve a light tender crumb.
- What’s the most popular muffin to make? Blueberry muffins, banana-nut muffins, zucchini muffins, bran muffins, and pumpkin muffins generally round out the top universal favorites.
- Where do muffins come from or originate from? An emigrant from the UK to America named Samuel Thomas supposedly brought his mother’s recipe over from England and started selling them at his bakery in NYC in 1880.