apple anise butterfest muffins


Have you ever looked at a recipe and thought that maybe you can just round up on the butter, to make it easier on measuring? I just felt that if one is to add 14 tablespoons in a recipe, might as well add the remaining 2 tablespoons that one is left with, from two pre-packaged sticks of butter.



My bad. I’m sure there are some recipes where that would spell disaster if you did that. With these, I think, turned out pretty well. Then again, I’m pretty partial to butter.


I’m going to take liberties with the name. Just felt like it. I’m going to call these butterfest muffins. Have a butterfest. As soon as I took a bite, I said to myself, “This is a butterfest in my mouth!”


Don’t we all deserve to have a butterfest once in a while? (I did an internet search for “butterfest”; it looks like there is an actual Butterfest, in Sparta, Wisconsin, but I didn’t see anything about that festival that had to do with butter, specifically. I don’t think they could sue me, it’s not like I’m selling these things!)


So this is based on a recipe from the New York Times. Minus the pears and hazelnuts, of course. (Although I did make a cake of this yesterday and brought it in to work, with pears and a little anise, but the anise flavor practically disappeared. I wasn’t sure how much to add, so erred on the conservative side. I didn’t even tell people there was anise in it, because why bother, if you can’t even taste it? That made me want to do this again, only I didn’t have anymore pears, but had some apples, so decided on apples today.)


So for this, I not only added more anise extract, but also ground up anise seeds. I think it works! No, I don’t think the 2 extra tablespoons of butter are really necessary, it’s really that it made it easier to just drop two sticks of butter into a bowl. A friend said it tastes really decadent, but when I asked him if he felt that there was too much butter, he said that he felt it was fine the way it is. Though, between you and me, I think he’s partial to butter, too!)


apple anise (butterfest) muffins (based on this pear hazelnut cake recipe featured in the New York Times)


8 ounces (two sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

4.4 ounces (scant 1 cup) confectioner’s (icing) sugar

4 eggs

4 ounces (scant 1 cup) all-purpose flour

2 ounces (about 6 Tablespoons) corn meal

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, (kosher or sea salt)

2 teaspoons anise seeds, ground up first, then measured

2 teaspoons anise extract

1 pound + 2 ounces apples, cored, cut into small cubes


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 18 muffin molds, or use a butter/flour baking spray, like Pam.

Sift flour, corn meal, baking powder, salt, and ground up anise seeds into a medium bowl. Use a whisk to stir ingredients to ensure that the ingredients are well incorporated. Set aside

Using a hand held mixer, cream the butter and icing sugar together in large bowl, until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl, as needed. Add the anise extract. Beat again. Add the flour mixture by sifting it onto the top of the butter mixture and using the hand-held mixture on low, just until incorporated. Try not to over mix.

Fold apples into the mix, then divide batter into 18 muffin molds, using a spoon to level the tops. Each mold should be filled just below the rims of each mold. Bake for about 20-27 minutes. When tops are slightly golden brown and sides appear to push away from the sides, take out of oven and let sit for 10 minutes, then turn out on wire rack to cool completely. Sift confectioner’s sugar on tops, if desired.

36 responses to “apple anise butterfest muffins”

  1. Holy **** do these look good, even though the ingredients might give my husband a heart attack just to look at. Hmmm. Eh, I’ll make them anyway.


    • I know the feeling. I have to watch myself, I tend to gravitate towards the decadent and the buttery. Thanks for stopping by!


      • you’re welcome. Of course we put butter in our coffee and my husband’s cholesterol numbers have never been better, so go figure!


      • I’m due for a checkup on the cholesterol level soon, so it’s a good thing I gave away all the uneaten muffins. They were great, though.


  2. You’ve just solved one mystery – a block of butter is 8 oz here. Adding two sticks (if we interpreted sticks as blocks) could be really overdoing it if we carried that scale through! Thank you so much for such an important detail in the recipe.


    • Hahaha! That would really be going overboard, IMO. I like butter, but there are probably limits to how much I want. Here in the US, butter is usually sold in one pound boxes, and divided into 4 (4-ounce) sticks. Each stick is 8 tablespoons, and 2 sticks is 16 tablespoons. I made 18 muffins, whereas I think I typically can make 24 cupcakes with one stick of butter, depending on the recipe. But then again, a cupcake usually would have buttercream frosting, so it’s probably very similar in butter content in the end, anyway! Thanks for stopping by.


  3. I LOOOOVE this! Butter and fruits, and the tops look golden and crispy…. Completely my type of coffee break treat!


    • Thanks! My favorite type of muffins are the type that don’t need a liner and have a crispy exterior, and these definitely fit the bill! Have a good weekend!


  4. We don’t get sticks of butter here but I’d probably do the same! These muffins look gorgeous 🙂


    • Thanks!! I think the cloudiness today here in Seattle helped with the lighting while I was taking pictures. It’s funny because before I put them in the oven, it looked just like I was spooning potato salad into muffins tins! The baking really transforms them.


      • How funny!! I must try the pear and anise combo in some of my goodness cakes, it sounds interesting…


      • I actually think that anise and pear complement each other much better than between anise and apple, plus the perfect softness of pears when it is just the right amount of ripeness works really well in a baked good, I think.


      • Definitely, made some pear, banana and tahini goodness cakes this week and the pear is lovely!!


  5. I love these muffins, I love the crunch top! Apples and anise seeds together sound divine! Thanks for bringing this recipe to FF and glad to discover your beautiful blog!


    • Yup. Me too. I did put some icing sugar after taking the photos, but it just seemed excessive and unnecessary. On some things, I really like icing sugar, but these were already plenty rich.


    • Yeah, it’s odd, because even the recipe I based it off of calls it a cake; it’s really kinda tart-ish.


  6. Hi Dave, these muffins look and sound really delicious! Wow, apples and anise? What a great combination! Thanks for bringing this along to the Fiesta! I am sure everyone appreciated them! Hope you had lots of fun partying with us! Sylvia


    • Thanks, Sylvia! Yes, apples and anise! Pears are ideal with anise, I think, but I didn’t have any more pears; had lots of apples, though, LOL


  7. I’m definitely partial to butter so these sound awesome! I love anise too, these are definitely my kind of muffins!


  8. […] Apple Anise Butterfest Muffins from Dave @Dave Bakes. In Margy’s words, “As soon as I read his post and the ingredients, I started [asking myself] how many apple cakes, apple pies, apple crumbles, “apple whatsoever” have I made in my life, and [the answer is] a huge number. Why have I never thought of using anise seeds instead of just cinnamon?? Thanks to Dave, now I know where I will start for the next apple cake.” I, too, questioned myself the same thing. What an eye-opener! Plus, those bite-sized muffins are just so cute. Plus, and this is important, Dave added extra butter. […]


  9. Ooh soo glad i came across your blog through angies fiesta friday. I wouldn’t want to miss on these beauties. Superb utterly buttery delicious looking muffins. 🙂


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