Muffin Top no more…

Today I made muffins for my sister-in-laws birthday and over lunch and a couple of glasses of wine the conversation inevitably turned to raucous laughter and this summer’s best muffin top stories. For those of you who haven’t heard the muffin top analogy let me explain. Muffin top or Dunlap syndrome as it is correctly known, is the term coined a few years back in Australia to describe the overhang of flesh above your jeans or skirt, just like the top of a muffin.

Somewhat unfairly it seems to be a term applied more in reference to girls than guys but then I guess we still have beer gut as a fallback for guys. I personally blame the invention of skinny jeans for creating the muffin top as I challenge anyone to squeeze themselves into some skinnies without some shadow of overhang but that said the old muffin top is not a great look. Luckily I have the perfect recipe for healthy (ish) muffins to satisfy without packing on the pounds.

I love making muffins as they are so quick and easy and if like me you have a the kiss of death when it comes to making sponge cakes, mine come out like biscuits, I guarantee that you’ll find it hard to go wrong with muffins. Once you have your basic recipe you can mix and match with chocolate and fruit varieties and eat them hot or cold for breakfast, as a snack or for dessert (with a side of ice-cream. Why not!).

This recipe combines good with bad so you can feel saintly about eating some bran and fibre and feel like a sinner for indulging in some rich dark chocolate and a little butter! The darker the chocolate the better so I’ve chosen one with a high percentage of cacao as it has proven health benefits thanks to the high levels of flavonoids and antioxidants which can protect the body against ageing, relax blood pressure, protect against heart disease and balance hormone levels. As with all good things, a little goes a long way!

Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients: 50g butter, 50g caster sugar, 1 egg, 300ml milk, 50g oatbran, 50g dark chocolate (70% cacao), 100g wholemeal flour, 1tbsp of baking powder (c. 15ml), pinch of salt

Fruit Muffins

As above but switch the chocolate for 50g of fresh blueberries, raspberries or cranberries.


  1. Start by soaking the bran in the milk for circa 10 minutes or until the milk has been soaked up.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy and then beat in the egg and the bran and milk mixture.
  3. Add in the chocolate in roughly broken chunks.
  4. With a metal spoon gently stir in the flour, salt and baking powder.
  5. If making fruit muffins, add in the fruit at this stage and gently stir into the mixture.
  6. Pour or spoon the mixture into 6 muffin cases or alternately I would advise using a silicon muffin tray as completely non stick.
  7. Bake in the centre of a preheated oven at 200C for c. 25 mins. Use a cocktail stick to check if fully cooked in the centre. If it comes out clean then your muffins are ready to eat.
  8. Sprinkle with a little icing sugar and serve!

Last but by no means least, sit back and enjoy knowing that this little muffin won’t be to blame for any muffin tops out there!


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