The Fruity Way Martha Stewart Sweetens Muffins Without Adding Sugar

When muffins are made without sugar, you can generally tell. They tend to lack that subtle or in-your-face sweetness that is all too familiar and comforting. But leave it to Martha Stewart to find a fruity way to sweeten this breakfast favorite. Sugar is a basic ingredient in baked goods like muffins, and while using less or leaving it out altogether gives you a less-than-sweet end product, it also messes with how your other ingredients interact, resulting in a meh taste. As she explained in an Instagram post, Stewart combats this sugar-free issuing by using a "combination of golden and dark raisins with prune juice." This trio of fruity flavors more than makes up for the missing cup of sugar.

However, these fruity elements are not Stewart's only tricks she has when it comes to her muffin-making magic. When you shun sugar, you are going to find that some of the flavors of your other ingredients decrease while your muffins' texture steers toward hard and crumbly. This is because sugar has another purpose and that's to help maintain the moisture in your baked goods. To combat this issue, the media mogul adds some nonfat yogurt, which makes for a moist muffin with a "light texture."

Martha Stewart also includes molasses

To really enhance the overall taste and texture of her muffins sans sugar, Stewart adds un-sulfured molasses, which she notes "is packed with calcium and iron." And that's not all it has going for it. Molasses is also going to ensure your muffin batter doesn't produce a dry product. Sweet muffins tend to have a tender crumb; the molasses helps mitigate this pitfall. As a bonus, this thick syrup is going to lend a warm taste to each bite.  

Stewart's fruity swap is definitely worth a try, but while raisins and prune juice are wonderful tastes for a bran muffin, this sugar-free option may not work on other types of muffins. For example, chocolate muffins require a sugar or sugar alternative to keep the bitter flavor of cocoa in line. That said, less sugar is going to allow other ingredients to take center stage in your muffins like blueberries, cinnamon, lemon, or whatever your favorite flavor might be.