Let There Be Raspberry Muffins

You know it’s going to be an interesting month when you start to relate to things that you know you shouldn’t be relating to. I’ve seen a few Halloween signs posted in storefront windows advertising the sale of spooky paraphernalia with a quote from the cat of Alice in Wonderland. “We’re all mad here,” the signs read. Yes, I say to myself, we’re all mad here too; then I throw my head back and cackle.

I should mention that I celebrated a birthday the first of October, which officially kicked off a month of madness (including, but not limited to: a road trip to the Finger Lakes and a dinner at the Stonecat Café, a restaurant I hold dear to my heart; a tailgating pilgrimage to Happy Valley; a trip to Paris; a few visits from out of town friends; and a fairly heavy task list.) I will be buzzing all month and I’ll likely use my birthday to fly through most of October until I wake from my stupor covered in birthday cake crumbs, (likely) red wine stains, and (hopefully) crumpled crossed off to-do lists.

I'm fairly certain it’s the cake that will get me through; I feel quite passionate about birthday cake. So much so that my sister told my brother to lie to me about having some cake on his birthday last month. No joke. I suppose there are worse things, but I can't think of any. Why such an emphasis on birthday cake, you ask?

There are a lot of things that you can’t control about your birthday. You’ll probably find a few new wrinkles, at the very least. The one thing you can control is cake. You’ve survived another year, for goodness sake: have some cake. Eventually (spoiler-alert), you won’t make it to another birthday. So on your birthday, you make the rules.

Behold, my Birthday Rule Set for 2010:

Let there be cake.

Let there be wrinkles.

Go with the flow.

Don’t think too much.

Don’t think too little, either.

Embrace being whoever you are (especially if it resembles an Alice in Wonderland character)

And don’t forget the cake.

Naturally—this being my birthday—I wasn’t going to attempt making my own birthday cake (talk about madness), but I have been wanting to try a muffin recipe from Flour bakery. I am not sure what dictates when a muffin crosses over into cake territory, but I am pretty sure if you slapped some frosting on these suckers they’d pass for cupcakes without complaint. I also think the amount of butter in the recipe supports this theory.

Don’t let the butter scare you. Embrace the butter. Butter exists for a reason. As do birthdays. Both serve as a reminder to enjoy life; one day, you’ll no longer have either. And if you need a reminder to have dessert on your special day, perhaps it should come with a little tag that says “eat me", a la Alice in Wonderland. At the very least, make some muffins.

Raspberry Creme Fraiche Muffins
Adapted from Joanne Chang, of Flour Bakery + Cafe

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1 1/3 cup sugar
10 tbsp melted butter, cooled
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1 cup creme fraiche
1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl sift together the first four ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, minus the raspberries. Combine wet and dry ingredients until just mixed; do not overmix. Fold in raspberries and scoop batter into muffin tins, until about two-thirds full; lined with muffin liners. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Makes ~24 muffins (using standard muffin tins)


  1. We're pretty mad in my house too. I love raspberries and your muffins look like they could be a delicious snack or a great way to start the day.

  2. Happy birthday! Enjoy your month of madness...
    p.s. Nothing wrong with making your own b'day cake. ;)
    p.s.s. My word verification for posting this was emena....

  3. Happy belated birthday! The muffins sound fantastic too (Joanne is a genius so I'm sure they're amazing) :)

  4. As far as I can tell, "muffin" is another way of saying "cake for breakfast." Which I fully support. If you're going to eat butter and sugar, it makes more sense to do it on an empty stomach at the beginning of the day than it does on a full stomach in the evening.

    Happy belated birthday!

  5. Happy birthday. I had mine Sept 28 and despite the wrinkles, which you are right- you can't control- there was plenty of cake! Love the raspberries. Have fun in Paris!

  6. happy belated birthday! your set of rules is wonderful--i think my ultimate goal in life is to use my noodle just the right amount. i haven't quite figured out how to do that yet... :)