Figgy Buckwheat Muffins

I had a small holiday tea party for a few of my girlfriends last week, and wanted to make one really special baked treat.

After making Kim Boyce’s 100% Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies from her amazing Good to the Grain, I’ve wanted to try every other recipe in the book.  And the one that got me to buy the book?  The Figgy Buckwheat Scones, showcased on Heidi’s blog at 101 Cookbooks.

I love scones, but I wanted muffins, and so Figgy Buckwheat Muffins were born!


These muffins take time, because of the fig-poaching part.  The bulk of the work poaching the figs involves sitting around for half an hour while the figs poach in the port/red wine/spices, so it’s not tricky, but it takes time.  I poached the figs the night before, then popped them into the fridge overnight.  I took them out of the fridge in the morning before I made the muffins, and then it was easy-peasy!


I thought the muffins needed a bit of a sweet crunch, so added some hazelnuts and a sprinkle of sugar on top, which took the muffins from every-day to holiday.  I think these muffins would be a gorgeous treat on Christmas morning, while everyone is enjoying holiday time, sitting around with a cup of tea and opening prezzies.


Or you could invite your girlfriends over for a tea-party and enjoy them as a luxurious afternoon treat.  Either way, they’re at their best warm from the oven.  Enjoy with the spirit of the holidays!

Figgy Buckwheat Muffins
Inspired by Kim Boyce’s Figgy Buckwheat Scones from Good to the Grain, Makes 12 muffins

Port-Poached Figs

  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/2 c. organic crystallised cane sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cloves (whole)
  • 1/2 c. red wine
  • 1/2 c. port
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 8 oz. dried Black Mission figs, de-stemmed


  • 1 c. buckwheat flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 oz. (1 stick) cold butter, cut into 1/2cm ( 1/4″) pieces
  • 1/2 c. maple syrup
  • 1 1/4 c. milk (almond, skim, soy…)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla paste or extract
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 c. hazelnuts, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. organic crystallised cane sugar

Begin by poaching the figs:

In a small pot mix together the water and sugar.  You want to create a syrup here without crystallising the sugar.  Be careful to keep the sugar from getting up the sides of the pot — and remove them with a wet pastry brush if crystals do form.    Once the sugar has dissolved into the water, add the star anise and cloves.

Bring the heat up to medium and bring the sugar mixture to a boil.  Cook for 6-8 minutes, until the syrup is an amber colour.

Stand back – prepare for splashing!  Add the red wine, port, and cinnamon.  Mix, then add the figs.  Cook for 2 minutes more, then bring the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Take the pot off the heat, and let cool.

Remove the star anise and cloves, and set the figs (along with any remaining liquid) aside.  You can prepare these figs the day before and keep them in the fridge – just bring them to room temperature before adding them to the muffins.

Now make the muffins:

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a muffin tin with butter.

In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  Mix in the butter with your fingers, working quickly and pinching the butter into the flour until it is incorporated. 

Add the maple syrup, milk, egg & vanilla, and mix together until all ingredients are combined and you have a smooth batter.

Add the figs, and stir.

Spoon the batter into 12 muffin cups.  Top with hazelnuts and sugar.

Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes, until a sharp knife inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

Enjoy warm from the oven!


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Categories: Breakfast & Brunch, Dessert, Holiday, Vegetarian


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11 Comments on “Figgy Buckwheat Muffins”

  1. December 22, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    These look scrumptious and soooo tasty.

  2. December 22, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    Ooohh!! and I dared missing that tea party! Those look fabulous and I’ll attempt making them over the holidays. :))

    • December 27, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

      We’ll just have to plan another tea party!! 😀

  3. bonne_santé
    December 22, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    Mmmm I love figs so much. And I love muffins so much. AND I love buckwheat so so much.
    Oh dear, triple threat.

    • December 27, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

      I know, they are three of my favourite things too — you must give them a go!

      • December 27, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

        Or at the very least, a vegan version… I’m thinking applesauce for the butter and flax seed + water for the egg?

  4. December 23, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    Delightful & tasty looking buckwheat muffins,…mmmmmmmm!!

  5. Dani @ Body By Nature
    December 24, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    Ohh these look fantastic!

  6. December 26, 2010 at 8:17 pm #

    YUM!! I love figs mmmmmm my favourite muffins and fig and ginger.
    Your recipes always look amazing!

  7. December 26, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    I wish you were my neighbour. Instead of coming over to borrow flour and eggs, I’d come over to borrow muffins… already baked.

    • December 27, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

      I think it would be a mutually beneficial arrangement 🙂

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