Wildberry Sourdough Muffins recipe from The Boreal Gourmet, by Michele Genest

Breakfast-eaters, snackers, hangers-out:  it’s time to reclaim the muffin from the fast-food joints and even from the groovy independent cafes.


Like the picture?  Get more recipes like the one below from our very own Yukon Boreal Gourmet, Michele Genest.  Her book, the Boreal Gourmet, just got a nice, nice, tasty review from GEIST.


Muffins should not be as big as your head, as my friend LP observes. When I was a child a muffin was a 6-bite morsel available in the glass case in the cafeteria or on the counter at the greasy spoon. Now it is an epic that requires a whole morning to consume, and you have to mount an expedition to find the nuts and berries inside. So here are two recipes for muffins of sensible size that feature wild northern berries, are easy to make, low on fat and sugar and bursting with healthy grains. They are similar but not the same.

Low Bush Cranberry Bran Muffins

On a blazing blue day last week I climbed the clay cliffs above Whitehorse and picked a pint of low bush cranberries before breakfast. I came back home with cold fingers and an appetite and whipped up these bran muffins, based on a recipe from that brilliant standby, Joy of Cooking, but tweaked here and there. I’m really pleased with them; they remind me of my grandmother’s bran muffins, for which the recipe is lost (my mother and my aunt have searched their files in vain) and which I’ve been trying to replicate for a long time. Let us sing their praises: light, moist, not too sweet, branny but not too branny and featuring the nice tart bite of low bush cranberries.

Dry Ingredients

1 cup (240 ml) all-purpose flour

1 cup (240 ml) whole wheat flour

1 cup (240 ml) bran

2 Tbsp. (30 ml) sugar

1 tsp. (5 ml) baking soda

¼ tsp. (1.2 ml) salt

Liquid Ingredients

1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk

1/3 cup (80 ml) birch syrup or molasses

1 egg, beaten

3 Tbsp. (45 ml) melted butter

Finally, the Berries:

1 cup (240 ml) low bush cranberries (substitute blueberries, raspberries, dried currants or raisins)

Mix dry ingredients together. Beat wet ingredients and add to dry with a few quick strokes. Before the dry ingredients are fully moist, incorporate the berries and give the mix a couple more strokes. Drop from a spoon into buttered muffin cups. Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes. Let cool in the muffin tin for a few minutes, then loosen with a knife around the rim and serve. These keep well for three or four days, but on the fourth day are best warmed up.

Makes 12 3-inch muffins.

our little town of Whitehorse, mid-September

Sourdough Banana-Blueberry-Oatmeal-Bran Muffins

These muffins are a modification of the Sourdough Scones in The Boreal Gourmet. They were created one September weekend after the blueberry harvest, when my friend the Egg Man challenged me to come up with a sourdough muffin recipe, and our local supermarket was pleading with us to take away crates of browning bananas. Very yummy.


1 cup (240ml) active sourdough starter

1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk

1 cup (240ml) all-purpose flour

Stir together and add:

3 Tbsp. (45 ml) sugar

1 tsp. (5 ml) salt

2 tsp. (10 ml) baking powder

1 tsp. (5 ml) baking soda

Beat together and add:

2 mashed ripe bananas (about 1 to ½ cups (240 to 370 ml))

1 egg, beaten

3 Tbsp. (45 ml) melted butter

Fold in:

1 cup (240 ml) rolled or quick-cook oats

1 cup (240 ml) bran

½ cup (125 ml) all-purpose flour

Finally, add:

1 cup (240 ml) wild blueberries

Spoon into buttered muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes at 375F. Let cool in the muffin tin for a few minutes, then loosen with a knife around the rim and serve.

Makes 12 3-inch muffins.


The Boreal Gourmet is available through Amazon and through Mac’s Fireweed and other Canadian and American bookstores.  If it isn’t in your bookstore, ask for it by name.

Or bring in some of these muffins to bribe the booksellers….  they will not be able to resist the berryness.

3 thoughts on “Wildberry Sourdough Muffins recipe from The Boreal Gourmet, by Michele Genest

  1. Michael Caputi February 24, 2011 / 9:59

    Jerome, have you fired up your oven? 😉

  2. mononadrivesalive.com December 19, 2012 / 9:59

    Many Thanks for posting Wildberry Sourdough Muffins recipe from The Boreal Gourmet, by Michele Genest Yukon Science Fiction Writer, I just
    actually had been researching for anything related and was glad to acquire the
    advice from this specific post.

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