a freezer stash of lunchbox muffins
Every couple of weeks I make a big batch of something for the freezer that we can easily grab to take in packed lunches, eat between sports games or be boosted by when the mid afternoon working from home slump hits. These muffins are so easy to make, versatile and freeze well. I throw them, still frozen, into a lunchbox and they’re perfectly defrosted by lunchtime. Otherwise a quick blast in the microwave and you can eat them in less than a minute.
To keep things varied, I divide the batter in 3 and add a different flavour to each third. You can just do one flavour but I like the roulette element of having different flavours in the freezer in the same bag. I don’t get out much.
These muffins are so easy that my boys made them by themselves last time – a double win as it kept them busy on a rainy day at home. You can divide the mixture and add different flavours to give them some creative control. You can use any fruit so get out and pick blackberries or scrump some apples or plums.
Ingredients for 20 lunchbox muffins
- 3 large eggs
- 125g (4.5 oz) soft brown sugar
- 100g (3.5 oz) caster sugar
- 500ml (17 fl oz) milk (any type – oat, nut or cows)
- 125ml (4 fl oz) vegetable oil
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 300g (10.5 oz) plain (all purpose) flour
- Half teaspoon salt
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 160g (6 oz) wholemeal or spelt flour
- 30g (1 oz) oats
+ Flavourings (each quantity is for a third of the muffin mixture, multiply the below by 3 if just doing one flavour):
- 150g (5 oz) blueberries or strawberries, hulled and quartered + zest of a lemon + 1 tblsp poppy seeds or oats.
- 300g (10 oz) plums or eating apple, cored/stoned but not peeled and cut into small chunks + 1 tsp cinnamon.
- 200g (7 oz) carrot, coarsely grated + 1tsp cinnamon + 100g (3 oz) sultanas/golden raisins + 1tblsp oats to scatter on top.
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- Preheat the oven to 160°C fan (180°C regular) 325°F convection (350°F regular). Line muffin tins with 20 muffin papers or squares of baking parchment. If you don’t have enough tins, you can cook the muffins in batches.
- Whisk the eggs, oil, milk, vanilla and sugars in a large bowl.
- Add the flours, oats, salt and bicarbonate to the wet mixture and mix with a spatula. Don’t overmix, a few lumps are fine.
- Divide the batter into 2 or 3 equal quantities if you’re doing multiple flavours and add your choice of flavourings.
- Fill the muffin papers half full then bake for 15-20 minutes until set and springy. Leave to cool on a rack then once totally cool, put in a bag or box and freeze. They can either be defrosted quickly in a microwave or thrown in a lunchbox in the morning and they’ll be defrosted in a couple of hours.
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