1940s Muffins

Basket of muffins.

Muffins have a long history, as do all types of bread. The types of muffins Americans are familiar with are like cupcakes or small cakes and very like those in texture. American muffins are usually sweet but a few varieties like cheese, cheese and bacon and herb flavored muffins are savory.

Recipes for muffins began appearing in American cookbooks during the 1800s and in the 1900s the muffin recipes like we know so well today were common in cookbooks. Different flavors became the standard, plain, oat, corn, rye and bran. Many contained dried fruits or small pieces of fresh fruit. Muffins are usually served with breakfast or lunch but savory muffins can be served with a simple soup and salad dinner.

This recipe comes from the “learn to bake…” cookbook published in 1047 by General Foods Corp.

Serve with butter, jellies, jams, honey, cream cheese or other spreads.

Best-ever Muffins

(Large recipe)


  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoons of salt
  • 1/3 cup of solid shortening
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • ¾ cups of milk


Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder sugar, salt and sift into a bowl.

Cut in the shortening. Combine the egg and milk and add all at once to the flour mixture.

To mix, draw the spoon to center of the bowl 15 times, turning the bowl gradually. Chop spoon through the batter 10 times. Stir only until the flour is dampened, about 5 strokes.

Turn the batter into greased muffin cups filling about 2/3 full. Bake in a hot (400 degree F.) oven for 25 minutes or until done. The recipe makes 10 large muffins.


Corn muffins – use only 1 cup of flour, increase baking powder to 3 teaspoons and add 2/3 cups of cornmeal.

Bran muffins – use only 1 cup of flour. Increase baking powder to 3 teaspoons. Add 1 ¼ cups of bran flakes (cereal).

Spicy-crust muffins – mix together 2 teaspoons sugar and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle over batter in pans before baking. (I use more sugar and cinnamon).

Date or prune muffins – add ¾ cup chopped dates or prunes to the egg, milk mixture.

Blueberry muffins – Use ½ cup of shortening. Fold 1 cup of blueberries into the batter before baking.

Cranberry muffins – Use ½ cup of shortening. Chop 1 cup of cranberries and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Fold the cranberries into the batter before baking.


Bacon onion cheese muffins – add ½ cup each cooked crumbled bacon, thin sliced green onions, shredded cheddar cheese and 1 teaspoon dry mustard.

Spinach muffins – add ½ cup chopped fresh spinach, ½ cups shredded Swiss cheese, ½ cup minced onion.

Chili cheese corn muffins – add  to corn muffin recipe 2 to 3 teaspoons of chili powder, ½ cup of shredded cheese and !/2 cup minced onion.

Any type of chopped nuts can be added, about ½ cup.

Sage, Italian seasoning, and other herbs, fresh or dried, can be added to muffins.

Cooked and browned crumbled breakfast sausage can be added along with a teaspoon or so of sage and ½ cup of cheese.


About dwittopinions

A great grandmother living in the middle of the United States. My interests include art, needlework, reading, history, politics, and cooking.
This entry was posted in Baking, Bread, Breakfast, Dinner, Food, Fruit, Lunch, Recipes, Vegetables and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 1940s Muffins

  1. thehungrymum says:

    where would we be without muffins?! I love all the different options you’ve provided, too.

  2. They are quick to put togeterh and taste wonderful on their own or with meals. Love them for weekend breakfasts. Thank you for dropping by and leving a comment 🙂

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