Plum Coffee Cake Muffins - Being Martha

When I decided to make these muffins, I was a bit skeptical.  I am not a huge fan of baked fruit, but I am getting better.  The galette really helped seal the deal for me that baked fruit (if done well) could be pretty darn good.  And, it just so happened that I had plums in my refrigerator!

Cut up three plums…leave the skin on.


 Combine dry and wet ingredients separately.  Then, fold with a spatula the wet and dry ingredients together.  Do not over mix.

TIP:  Folding is NOT stirring!  Below is a tutorial that might be helpful.

Folding Ingredients Tutorial

Fold In Wet Ingredients

Okay…gadget time!  This product below is the best for spraying your baking pans.  Everything comes right out of the pan!  You can thank the local Williams Sonoma sales lady for telling me about it.  It really works great.  You can buy it here.

Favorite New Product

Remember…this recipe is only for ten muffins.  Spoon half of the mixture into the muffin tin and then place the plums on top.

Add Plums to Muffins

Spoon the other half of the mixture over the top of the plums….in some cases, the plums will not be completely covered.  That is okay.  Then, sprinkle the cinnamon / sugar mix over the top of the muffins and put in the oven.

Muffins Ready for the Oven

Here they are right out of the oven.  After cooling for 10 minutes, I pulled each muffin right out of the muffin tin with my hands…it is that new product above I tell you!  The recipe is below and is in the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook on Page 39.  This recipe is simple, easy and quick.  Plus, the muffins tasted great.  You can substitute the plums for any other fruit…I want to try it with raspberries next!  Happy Baking!

Finished Muffins

Martha Stewart’s Plum Coffee-Cake Muffins

  • 125g OR 1 stick butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups all purpose/plain flour
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 ripe plums, pitted and cut into small chunks
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Melt butter and leave to cool.
  3. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  4. In a measuring bowl combine milk, melted butter and eggs.
  5. Gently fold the milk mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.
  6. Place mixture into muffin pan until half full. This makes 10 full size muffins; not 12.
  7. Scatter plum pieces on top and gently push down.
  8. Divide the rest of the cake mixture evenly over the top of the plums.
  9. In a bowl combine 2tbs and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon together and sprinkle over the muffins.
  10. Cook for 16-18 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  11. Leave to cool.  They are great while warm o cold.

Beautiful & Good Tasting


Cinnamon Swirl Bread….Being Martha

I know it is still summer, but I am trying to convince myself otherwise.  Maybe a pumpkin spice candle burning and some bread in the oven would make me forget that it isn’t 90 degrees outside?  Just maybe for a little while.  I settled on making the Cinnamon Raisin Bread.  Each time I bake, I thumb through the Mart Stewart Baking Handbook for over 30 minutes trying to select just the right thing OR what I can make without having to go to the store for more ingredients!  This recipe is on Page 301 of the book.  I was not able to find the exact recipe on line so I have provided a copy of the entire recipe at the end of this post.

Like all yeasted bread, this starts with some yeast and warm milk.  The cool thing is that you don’t have to wait for the reaction; you just throw all the ingredients in and mix it up.  I found that I didn’t need to mix for the full 6 minutes and actually removed the dough at about five minutes to turn out onto my floured surface.

All the Ingredients…In One Bowl & Mix

 What is cinnamon raisin bread without the cinnamon and raisins???  Just add on top and kneed throughout the bread…it is pretty cool to see how the cinnamon spreads out through the bread.  After this, it’s rising time!  Rise and knead twice.

TIP:  Use a wide bottomed bowl for rising.  It allows the dough to form a perfect disc the size requested in the recipe and makes it easy to work with.

Mix In Cinnamon & Raisins

 Prepare the cinnamon sugar filling and set aside….

Cinnamon Raisin Bread Filling

 Divide the dough…another one of my new tools that I am loving.  It simply and easily divided the dough right up into half.

Cool Tool….Dividing the Dough

 Take the first section of dough and roll it into a 10 x 12 rectangle.  You will notice that I used a ruler and at the top of my mat I used the pan for size reference.  It does not have to be perfect, but is really helpful for me to make sure it is the right size and will eventually fit into the pan when it rolls up.  First, glaze the dough with egg wash and then spread half of the cinnamon sugar filling.

Preparing the Bread for the Oven

 To prepare for the pan, fold the long sides in about 1″.  Then, start rolling the dough.

TIP:  Roll the dough towards you and press firmly so that it rolls tight.  At the end, roll the dough back and forth to seal it closed.

I tried this per the instructions and found it to be a great tip.  I will use it again.  Time to rise one more time and then back into the oven.

Rising One Last Time

Here they are right out of the oven.  The instructions say to place the loaf pans on parchment paper on a baking sheet.  Now, that is a great tip that I almost did NOT follow.  Good thing I did.

TIP:  My oven cooks the outside of things quicker even though the temperature is perfectly calibrated.  So, I often reduce the temperature by 25 degrees and tent the top of breads with foil.

Tenting with foil is easy to do…just pull out a sheet about 2 times the top of your pan, fold it in the center to create a little peak and then lightly place on the item baking.  If you do this before you start baking, you can attach firmly to the sides of the pan.  But, if you did it after you started, you can just gently place on top.  When you do that, you end up with an evenly cooked top and insides like below.

Right out of the Oven

Let cool completely and wait to eat!  Here is the first two slices of bread…and, yes, I tried them.  They tasted amazing!  This is a great recipe; the instructions are fantastic and it is a good way to start working with yeasted breads.  And, the result was beautiful.  Try It!  The recipe follows….straight from the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook.

Beautiful Swirls



For the dough:

  • 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm milk (about 110 degrees F)
  • 2 pounds, 2 ounces (about 6 ½ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces, plus more for pans
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Vegetable oil, for bowl and plastic wrap

For the filling:

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon


  1. Make the dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk.  Whisk to combine.  Add the flour, butter, sugar, 2 eggs, and salt.  Attach the bowl to mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Mix on low speed until all the ingredients are well combined, about 3 minutes.  Raise the speed to medium-low, and continue to mix until the dough is uniformly smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 3 minutes more.
  2. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface.  Pat out dough into a 9-inch round, about 1 ¼ inches thick.  Sprinkle with raisins and cinnamon, and knead until they are just incorporated.  Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with oiled plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Return the dough to a lightly floured work surface, and pat into a round.  Fold in the following manner: Fold the bottom third of the dough up, the top third down, and the right and left sides over, tapping the dough after each fold to release excess flour, and pressing down to seal.  Return the dough to the bowl, seam side down, and let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes.
  4. Make the filling: Combine the sugar and cinnamon with 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl.  Return the dough to a lightly floured work surface, and divide the dough in half.  Roll out one half into a 12×10 inch rectangle.  Brush it with beaten egg, and sprinkle with half of the cinnamon-sugar filling.  Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
  5. Generously butter two 9×5-inch loaf pans and set them aside.  With a short end of the rectangle facing you, fold in both long sides of the dough, about 1 inch.  Then roll the dough toward you, gently pressing as you go to form a tight log.  Gently roll the log back and forth to seal the seam.  Place the loaf in a prepared pan, seam side down.  Repeat with the remaining rectangle.  Cover the pans loosely with oiled plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm place until the dough rises just above the rim of the pan, about 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  6. Brush the tops of the loaves with beaten egg, and transfer the pans to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.  Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the loaves are golden brown, about 45 minutes.  (If the tops begin to brown too quickly, tent with foil.  I had to tent mine halfway through baking, when I rotated the pans, to prevent it from getting too brown.) Turn out the bread onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.  The bread can be kept, wrapped in plastic, at room temperature for up to 4 days. 

Yield: Makes two 9×5 inch loaves



Chocolate Shortbread…Being Martha

I am interested in ANY recipe that has chocolate so as I thumbed through the Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook, it was hard to pass this one up.  This has an amazing mix of chocolate and cinnamon!  It can be found on Page 127 of the book or the recipe can be found below.  I could not find the recipe on line and it would be a shame if you didn’t have the recipe yourself to make this at home.

To start off this recipe, I gathered all the dry ingredients.  Notice the dry ingredients below in the bowl which are rather lumpy.  aha…my opportunity to buy and use another new tool!

Dry Ingredients Before Sifting

Using a sifter for your dry ingredients will help reduce the lumps in the mix, combine your dry ingredients nicely and also make your batter or mix consistent with ingredients.  This was my first time trying my new sifter.  Here it is in action…exciting huh?  I sifted my dry ingredients twice for this recipe.

Sifting Dry Ingredients

Here is what the dry ingredients looked like after sifting…nice combined and ready to add the other ingredients…butter!

Dry Ingredients After Sifting…

 So, the other new tool or accessory that I have acquired through my research on baking and tips is the use of parchment paper.  Parchment paper is great to use as a liner for many baking projects especially cookies and bars.  I purchased mine at Cost Plus World Market, but most baking or specialty stores carry it.  It is typically not carried at the grocery store or Target.  Believe me; I tried.

Parchment Paper…A Must Have

 For this recipe, I used the parchment paper to line the baking pan and to reduce the risk of the shortbread cookies sticking to the pan.  It worked great!

Parchment Paper Used as a Liner

 Once the dry ingredients and butter are mixed, spread the mix in your pan with a large offset spatula.  The mix is rather firm and difficult to spread.  Spread evenly and then place in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes to firm up.

Offset Spatula - Spreading Mix Into Pan

 Once removed from the refrigerator, poke holes in the top of the mix.  You can see Baja is very interested in this process.  He loves when I bake.  I wonder why?

Shortbread Ready for Oven….Baja Likes this Recipe

 The one thing with shortbread that is different than most other items you bake is that you need to cut it as soon as it comes out of the oven.  If you don’t, it is very hard to cut when it is cool and it will break.  So, cut as soon as you get it out of the oven and sprinkler sugar all over the top.  Below, you will notice that I pulled the entire thing right out of the pan using the parchment paper.  The pan was clean!!!

Chocolate Shortbread Out of the Oven

Here is the final presentation of the goodies for the day….the recipe for the pound cake can be found here.

Here is the recipe:

3 Sticks Unsalted Room Temp Butter

2 1/2 Cups + 2TBS All Purpose Flour

4 1/2 TBS Dutch-process Cocoa Powder

Heaping 1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Tsp Salt

1 Cup Superfine Sugar

Granulated Sugar for Dusting


Combine Dry Ingredients - Flour, Cocoa, Cinnamon

Beat Butter & Sugar on high speed until light and fluffy.

Add Dry Ingredients to Butter/Sugar Mixture until just combined.

Spread into a 12×8 Inch Pan lined w/ parchment paper or buttered.

Cool in refrigerator for 15 to 20 Minutes

Remove & poke holes in dough.

Place in a 325 degree oven for 20 minutes until just firm to touch.

Remove, cut immediately, sprinkler with sugar and cool completely in pan.


I am thinking that this recipe would be great baked in a pie shape, topped with whipping cream or creme fraiche and berries.  That sounds fantastic!

Happy Baking & 4th of July!