Saturday, 1 September 2012

Sugar Free Mixed Berry Muffins

I love muffins but I'll rarely buy one from any cake or coffee shop. Most are way too big for a snack, plus they're loaded with sugar, fat, and of course, calories. In some cases well over 300 calories per muffin. From past experiences, I know that eating that many calories as a snack will only lead to weight gain.

These days, the only time I eat muffins is when I bake them myself (usually when my kids have pestered me enough)! This way I know exactly what's gone into them and have some control over how many calories they have.

The recipe here is one taken from an Antony Worrall Thompson cookbook called The Sweet Life: 101 Indulgent Recipes with Less Sugar. I’ve slightly adapted it by using reduced fat butter to further lower the calories and fat.

The total made up mixture has roughly 920 calories.

Now, it’s up to you to decide how many muffins you make. The more muffins, the fewer calories each one will have. The initial recipe states it makes 8 muffins, which, if using regular muffin trays or cases, will give each muffin 115 calories.

However, I use cupcake cases which are smaller and I find the mixture stretches to make 15 mini muffins with each muffin worth 61 calories.

Here’s what you need.


Makes 8 muffins (115 calories each) or 15 mini muffins (61 calories each)
  • 200g self raising flour (630 calories)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons Splenda granulated sweetener (40 calories)
  • 100g mixed berries (40 calories)
  • 1 egg (80 calories)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50g reduced fat butter (257 calories)
  • 100ml semi-skimmed milk (49 calories)
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed (90 calories)


Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Line a baking tray with cupcake cases or small muffin trays.

Step 2: Tip the flour, baking powder and sweetener into a mixing bowl then add the fruit. If you’re using frozen fruit, allow it to thaw slightly first.

Step 3: Mix the egg, milk, vanilla extract, melted butter and milk. Stir into the dry ingredients along with the mashed banana until just combined with no dry flour left. This is best done using a spoon rather than a mixer as over mixing should be avoided. The mixture will be quite lumpy.

Step 4: Spoon into your paper cases or muffin trays and bake for 20-25 minutes until they’ve risen and are golden on top. (20 minutes for more muffins, or 25 minutes for 8 muffins). Leave to cool on a wire rack.

In pictures through the steps:

The inside of a mixed berry muffin

Tips and Suggestions: 

  • This mixture provides around 920 calories but these figures will naturally vary up or down due to the variations in egg size, banana size and type/brand of butter or spread used.
  • I use McDougalls flour which has fewer calories. 
  • Most reduced fat butters have a similar number of calories and I’ve used Country Life in my recipe. See this guide for the calories in popular reduced fat butters.
  • Feel free to change the fruit to other soft fruits but stick to 100g.
  • You can use plain flour instead of self raising, but add another teaspoon of baking powder.
  • Use frozen berries if you prefer, but let them thaw slightly before adding to the mix.
  • Can’t eat them all at once? These muffins can be frozen. Let them cool completely, then pop them into a freezer bag or an airtight, freezable container.
 I hope you enjoy eating these as much as we do.

Note: Although the recipe has no added sugar, natural sugars are present from the milk and banana and berries.

And this is the recipe book from
Antony Worrall Thompson called

The Sweet Life: 101 Indulgent Recipes with Less Sugar.

Related links:


Reduced fat butter

© Diets and Calories 2012



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