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Buttermilk Spice Muffins

Buttermilk Spice Muffins

Writing my dissertation is slowly turning me into a hermit. Every day is starting to look the same. Get out of bed, try to get a work out in, shower, and straight to the computer I go. I have been living in yoga pants. I can’t even remember the last time I wore real pants. Occasional trips to the grocery store and Chipotle have been my only exposure to the outside world. Poor husband, I’m being so neglectful and I look like a crazy person every day. At least I put a little make up on. I think that hides some of the craziness.

But, look, I took a little break to make you these muffins! If you’ve ever been to Mimi’s Cafe, you know that they have some seriously awesome muffins. One of my faves is their buttermilk spice muffin. So simple, yet so delicious. I love all the cinnamon and nutmeg. Lucky for me, Mimi’s shared their recipe on their website. Of course, in typical Stephanie fashion, I lightened up their recipe for y’all by cutting the fat and sugar. I think these muffins are pretty fab. The crunchy walnut topping is so delicious and gives the muffin some texture. Take that, Mimi’s!

Buttermilk Spice Muffins

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Buttermilk Spice Muffins

Yield: 12 regular-sized muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


Muffin Batter:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or less if desired)
  • 2 whole eggs plus 1 egg white
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 heaping tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tbs. low-fat buttermilk

Nut Topping:

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbs. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, beat together the oil, applesauce, and sugar. Once well-combined, add the eggs and egg white and beat for another minute.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg.
  4. In small batches, add the dry mixture and the buttermilk into the wet mixture and mix until smooth.
  5. In a small bowl, add the walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon and nutmeg and stir.
  6. Prepare a muffin pan with muffin liners or spray with non-stick spray. Fill each cup up about 3/4 of the way. Sprinkle the nut topping evenly over each cup. Bake immediately to avoid the nut topping from sinking into the muffin. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Adapted from Mimi's Cafe

Buttermilk Spice Muffins


68 Responses to “Buttermilk Spice Muffins”

  1. #
    Baking Serendipity — May 15, 2012 at 12:12 am

    I bought buttermilk this past weekend and have been searching for the perfect recipe for to make good use of the rest of it. This is totally it!

  2. #
    Viviane Bauquet Farre — May 15, 2012 at 5:31 am

    These muffins should provide an excellent snack for helping you work on your dissertation. Keep up the wonderful work (on both fronts!)

  3. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — May 15, 2012 at 6:09 am

    Yoga pants are not a bad way to go. In fact I may be a little jealous :) These look fantastic. I really need to use buttermilk more often. Does it go bad? I Bought some not long ago for pancakes but still have 3/4 of the container left.

  4. #
    Carolyn — May 15, 2012 at 6:18 am

    Writing a dissertation will do that to you. But so glad you found the time to make these muffins!

    • Stephanie replied: — May 15th, 2012 @ 10:08 pm

      Thanks, Carolyn! I can’t wait till it’s over!

  5. #
    Reem | Simply Reem — May 15, 2012 at 6:31 am

    I know what you are talking about…
    But I am sure you are doing a great job at dissertation…
    These muffins look wonderful…
    Good luck…

    • Stephanie replied: — May 15th, 2012 @ 10:09 pm

      Thanks, Reem!

  6. #
    Ramona — May 15, 2012 at 7:21 am

    The word dissertation scares me… better you doing it than me. If I had such a task… I would hardly get in the workout and the shower. Then to think you still had time to whip up these fantastic muffins. Well done!

    • Stephanie replied: — May 15th, 2012 @ 10:09 pm

      Haha, it scares me too! Sometimes I don’t get the workout in. Not gonna lie :p

  7. #
    Alyssa — May 15, 2012 at 8:11 am

    I’m glad your dissertation is coming along. I’m sure your hubby understands too. And hopefully it will all be over soon. I do have to say though, that I am very, very jealous of your trips to Chipotle! We’ve been planning our summer vacation and the only reason I really wanted to go back to the States was to go to Chipotle (sad, I know!) But I did get to go to Mimi’s once before we left Florida and the only good thing I remember was those muffins! We had a bad server, so it ruined everything else. I love any light version of muffins and yours look great!

    • Stephanie replied: — May 15th, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

      Thanks, Alyssa! He is pretty understanding, I’m a lucky girl! And I don’t blame you for wanting to come just for Chipotle!!

  8. #
    Anita at Hungry Couple — May 15, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I always have buttermilk (low fat) around and love it in baked goods. The nut/spice topping should be great, too!

    • Stephanie replied: — May 15th, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

      Thank you, Anita! The topping is my favorite part!

  9. #
    Julie @ Sugarfoot Eats — May 15, 2012 at 9:54 am

    As someone who works from home, I’m pretty much a disheveled yoga pants wearing gal every single day!! :)

    • Stephanie replied: — May 15th, 2012 @ 10:16 pm

      Haha! It sure does make getting to work on time a lot easier!

  10. #
    Kiri W. — May 15, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Mmm, what a lovely idea – I always adore spiced baked goods, and buttermilk must make this a perfect treat.

    • Stephanie replied: — May 15th, 2012 @ 10:17 pm

      Thanks, Kiri! I love them too!

  11. #
    Anna @ hiddenponies — May 15, 2012 at 10:53 am

    That last close up is amazing, these look delicious! I’ve never been to Mimi’s, but I think I’ll like your version better anyway :)

    • Stephanie replied: — May 15th, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

      Thanks, Anna! The food at Mimi’s is just okay, but their muffins are really good!

  12. #
    Beth Michelle — May 15, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    What beautiful looking muffins. So so so yummy.

    • Stephanie replied: — May 15th, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

      Thanks, Beth Michelle!

  13. #
    Cassie — May 15, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I will take a spice muffin any day. These look amazing Stephanie!

    • Stephanie replied: — May 15th, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

      Thanks, Cassie! I love spice muffins, cake, cookies, you name it!

  14. #
    Kelly — May 15, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    What a fabulous recipe, this looks absolutely delicious! :)

    • Stephanie replied: — May 15th, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

      Thanks, Kelly!

  15. #
    Tina@flourtrader — May 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Mim’s muffins are fabulous. Between the huge size and the fact that I know some muffins can give you enough fat intake for 2 or 3 days, I do not go there that often.
    I am glad you have come up with a lower fat version. Spiced baked goods always are comforting, they remind me of the holidays. I will need to try this recipe-yum!

    • Stephanie replied: — May 15th, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

      I love their muffins too! I rarely eat muffins though. I love spiced baked goods too! Makes me feel all warm and cozy!

  16. #
    CJ at Food Stories — May 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Oh, this looks so good. I could easily low carb this so I had to pin it :-)

    • Stephanie replied: — May 15th, 2012 @ 10:22 pm

      Hey CJ, I think this recipe would be really easy to make low carb!

  17. #
    Choc Chip Uru — May 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    These muffins look totally delicious! I love that they are healthier too :)

    Choc Chip Uru

    • Stephanie replied: — May 15th, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

      Thanks! Makes for less guilt! :)

  18. #
    Steph@stephsbitebybite — May 15, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    These would be so incredible with my morning cup of coffee!!

    • Stephanie replied: — May 15th, 2012 @ 10:27 pm

      I agree, Steph! :)

  19. #
    Carol — May 15, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    This recipe is surely amazing! I’m gonna try this for my friends. They will be sure love it.

    • Stephanie replied: — May 15th, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

      Thanks, Carol! Hope they like it!

  20. #
    Nami | Just One Cookbook — May 16, 2012 at 12:56 am

    I hope your dissertation is going well. That’s a lot of work and I’m sure your husband doesn’t mind and he’s understanding. See, at least you made these treats during your break for him (and you). ;-) Good luck with writing the dissertation! Buttermilk in muffins sounds extra delicious!

    • Stephanie replied: — May 16th, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

      Thank you, Nami! I need all the luck I can get!

  21. #
    easyfoodsmith — May 16, 2012 at 3:36 am

    The muffins looks tempting and very comforting as well. Love the warmth lent by the spices.

    • Stephanie replied: — May 16th, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

      Thanks! I love the spice too!

  22. #
    myfudo — May 16, 2012 at 4:46 am

    Can’t wait to try this…buttermilk, nutmeg and cinnamon? Wow! This is gonna be a fave of mine.

    • Stephanie replied: — May 16th, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

      Thanks! It is a great flavor combo!

  23. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — May 16, 2012 at 5:51 am

    I love Mimi’s Cafe buttermilk spice muffins! They are my absolute favorite! So glad you recreated them in a lighter version, especially because all the cake and muffins I’ve been eating have finally caught up with me.

    Hope your dissertation writing is going well. And the yoga pants? It’s the only way to live :)

    • Stephanie replied: — May 16th, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

      They are one of my faves too! So bad, but sooo good!

  24. #
    Liz — May 16, 2012 at 5:53 am

    At least you have a legitimate excuse for wearing yoga pants :) Lovely muffins, my friend~

    • Stephanie replied: — May 16th, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

      Haha! Thanks, Lizzy!

  25. #
    Amy @ FragrantVanillaCake — May 16, 2012 at 7:09 am

    These sound delicious! Love that they are lightened up, but still look amazing (and I am sure taste even better than they look)! The nuts on top are a nice addition!

    • Stephanie replied: — May 16th, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

      Thanks, Amy!! The nut topping is my favorite part!

  26. #
    Ridwan — May 16, 2012 at 7:26 am

    What a gorgeous looiking muffins,,,Yum I wish I have one with my coffee right now :)

    • Stephanie replied: — May 16th, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

      Thank you, Ridwan! They are perfect with a cup of coffee!

  27. #
    Baker Street — May 16, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Glad to hear your dissertation is coming along well! Love the last shot. These muffins are right up my alley.

  28. #
    RavieNomNoms — May 16, 2012 at 10:35 am

    These are so lovely! Nicely done! I am always a fan of buttermilk anything

  29. #
    Rachel @ My Coffee Cravings — May 16, 2012 at 11:12 am

    These look delicious! I love how low in sugar they are!

  30. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — May 16, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    These look SO good! I love all the nuts scattered on top, too. Wonderful breakfast recipe!

  31. #
    Jennie @themessybakerblog — May 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Steph, these muffins look mouth-wateringly delicious. I could sure use one of these.

  32. #
    Meghan — May 16, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    A little make up always hides the crazy ;) Glad you took a break to make these muffins, the walnut topping sounds perfect!

  33. #
    DB-The Foodie Stuntman — May 17, 2012 at 1:46 am

    Homemade versions of chain restaurant food are always better anyway. Congratulations on making the foodbuzz Top 9!

  34. #
    Alyssa — May 17, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Hey, just wanted to pop over and say a quick CONGRATS on top 9! Hope you have a good day!

  35. #
    Purabi Naha — May 17, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I just saw this picture on Foodbuzz Top 9 and couldn’t stop appreciating the clicks!! The recipe sounds delish!!!

  36. #
    Alysia @ Slim Sanity — May 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    those look fabulous!!

  37. #
    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — May 17, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I’ve never made muffins with buttermilk but I can imagine how amazing these are! I would be all over the nut topping, too!

  38. #
    Jackie @ Domestic Fits — May 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Good luck on your dissertation! I’m sure it will be as fabulous as these muffins :)

  39. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — May 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Yum!! I love a good muffin. These have all kinds of yummy flavor in them!

  40. #
    Emily Lynne {The Best of this Life} — May 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Wishing you the best on completing your dissertation! Man, your muffins look to die for….I can just smell them baking and taste them! Mmmmm…muffins are so good. :)

  41. #
    Maggie @ kitchie coo — May 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Good luck getting your dissertation completed, that is a HUGE job and one not to be taken lightly! You can do it!
    These muffins look like a great way to power through too. Love that there is nutmeg in the topping and the muffins…its one of my favorite spices.

  42. #
    alyce culinary thymes — May 17, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    these look yummy.

  43. #
    Geraldine Saucier — May 17, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Mimi’s Cafe is on of my favorites. I am always finding an excuse to eat there. Thanks for sharing the muffin recipe. I am going to make these muffins – they look and sound awesome. Thanks for the great post:)

  44. #
    Jenkins — May 18, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Muffins is my favorite, this is really delicious and even my children always wanted to have it…

  45. #
    Katerina — May 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Good luck with your dissertation, I’ve been there and I know how demanding it is! You found the perfect way to reload your batteries, these muffins look simply irresistible!

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