Spice Girl…

I always have buttermilk. I always throw out buttermilk. I always find a recipe I want to make using buttermilk after it has expired. Well, as I went to my fridge  to get a glass of milk, I glanced at the expiration date on my buttermilk….today. Crap.
Determined not to waste another $3.50 on unused buttermilk, I went sifting through my “will make someday” pile in search of any and all things made with buttermilk. What I came across were these. These muffins come from one of the few chain restaurants that I like, Mimi’s Cafe. Mimi’s is one of the few things I miss about Arizona(besides my friends). It was the site of my husband and I’s(bad English I know) first date. I ate there about once a week. It was around the corner from my apartment and they were open until 11pm. It was the only place that I know of that didn’t get upset or rush you out if you showed up to eat at 10:55pm. They have pretty good food, but it is their salads and muffins I love the most. And when you order a salad you get a muffin. And that is where my dilemma began. For I love two of their salads(one they don’t carry anymore) and two of their muffins; a carrot raisin and a buttermilk spice. I usually chose the buttermilk spice, not because it was better, but because before your meal came they gave you a bread basket. In that bread basket was a sourdough bread and a carrot raisin bread, which was pretty much the same as the muffin. So I knew each time I would be getting the carrot raisin in one form or another. Being the cheap teacher I was at the time, I would eat my salad and take my muffin home for breakfast the next day. My good friend C, who I stay with when I go down, is super sweet and goes and buys me a carrot raisin muffin for me to eat each morning I stay with her(One of these days I will make the carrot raisin bread and post it).
These are nice and moist and have just enough hint of spice so that you are not overpowered with cinnamon or nutmeg. At the restaurant they make these into Jumbo muffins, but I just made the average size ones. The recipe does tell you how to modify though if you chose to make the jumbo.



Adapted from: Mimi’s Cafe Website


  1. Oh my gosh, these muffins look amazing! The texture looks perfect. I’m so making these, and if I hadn’t just finished making a batch of chocolate oatmeal drops, I’d make them today.

    That is so funny about the buttermilk situation…it rings true for me as well. I keep it on hand for cornbread, but it never fails that any time I want to bake a cake or some such that calls for it, my bottle will be just past the expiration date…and you are so right, its EVERY time!

  2. I’m the same way, I always buy buttermilk thinking I’m going to use it…and then realizing it had expired, but I go buy another one anyway because I’m afraid when a recipe will call for one I won’t have it available. Your muffins do look so moist and I just love the look of that crumb;it’s staring at me through my screen and screaming “Eat me!” :).

  3. My favorite is the honey oat bran muffin at Mimi’s. Oh, I want to go there just for that muffin! I’ve never had the buttermilk spice, but probably just because I order the honey oat bran without even looking at anything else!!

  4. I always find myself in the same predicament with buttermilk. But, obviously, you put yours to excellent use!

  5. Oooooo, Peabody, these look lovely. Cool how you circled the top with the nuts! I’m just a total fan for buttermilk and spice cakes – these are beauties.
    You can freeze buttermilk especially if you’re planning to cook with it and not be drinking it. I learned to love drinking buttermilk with my aunt at a very young age.

  6. these look absolutely decadent! i can’t wait to try them!!

  7. Wow! These look absolutely luscious. I have the same problem with buttermilk, so I always keep a box of powdered buttermilk in my pantry. It works really well, and never spoils.

  8. I didn’t know you lived in AZ! I live in AZ! =) Those muffins look amazing. I had never been to Mimi’s until my cousins birthday breakfast get together. I adore their muffins. Anytime I’m in Goodyear running errands, I always make time to get a muffin. The Honey Oat Bran is my favorite. =D

  9. It looks perfectly tasty, and the texture just seems so soft. yummy…

  10. Honest to God–this is what always happens when I first see one of your photos…I gasp. Then I get hungry. Then I get frustrated because there is nothing even remotely like this muffin in my house. And my buttermilk is past the use date. Sigh.

  11. I will add myself to the list of commenters who are also in the same boat as you with having their buttermilk go to waste.

    These muffins are making me think of the fall. I can feel you wanting Fall to come soon too.

  12. Add me to the list of procrastinating buttermilk users. I love baking with it, but dang, it’s just getting around to it before the expiration date.

    The muffins look great.

  13. Love the story, Pea – I used to be a teacher too, and boy, was my salary a joke or what?? :S

    Love the muffins, too!

  14. Oh gosh… it’s 9:30am here, and how I have to go out and buy a coffee and a muffin… I bet it won’t be half as good as yours though.

  15. there is probably nothing better than a gorgeous closeup of a spice muffin first thing when i wake up.

    oh, wait. maybe having an actual spice muffin . . . hmm . . .

    either way, it looks and sounds delicious.

  16. Whoa! That is one beautiful muffin! Sounds delectable Peabody :) I can’t buy buttermilk here, can you imagine?

  17. ‘kay well I’m going to jump on that buttermilk expiration date bandwagon too! I’ll take it a step further.. I bought the powered kind so that I would stop wasting the real stuff.. but I forget I’ve got the powered kind in the fridge so I continually keep buying the real stuff, just so’s I can throw it out.

    Anyhoo.. those muffins look spectacular, Gracie! I love how airy and moist they look. Beautious! :D


  18. I LOVE Mimi’s Cafe. :)

    These look even better than the one’s I have eaten at the restaurant! I ADORE muffins for breakfast, yum.

  19. I always have the same problem too. I get my buttermilk from TJs so it’s only 99 cents. Now I freeze the leftovers but it seems like it loses it’s thickness after freezing. These muffins look really yummy!

  20. I had to laugh – I’m exactly the same with buttermilk. I love the looks of this muffin so I’ll have to tag it as “what to do with buttermilk.”

  21. Those are my favorite Mimi’s muffin! now that you mention Mimi’s, I want a 5-cheese grilled cheese, some corn chowder, and the muffin….

  22. Superb photo Peabody. I’m another buttermilk hopeful, so this is a recipe sure to get made really soon…my buttermilk is almost ready to expire.

  23. Ha! Me too! I can’t tell you how many times I toss unopened bottles of milk. These look so delicious! Yum!

  24. Yum, these look good. Light and fluffy and delicious.

  25. I made muffins yesterday, and I considered a buttermilk muffin recipe, but was too peckish to bother researching and stuck with the recipe I had on hand. I’ll definitely try this one though, I love what buttermilk does for your baked products, it really can’t be beat!

    On the over date buttermilk tip, I’ve been known to use my buttermilk even though, it’s up to a week over date. I figure it’s already sour anyways, what’s the diff? If you haven’t opened the carton and it’s over date, I’d definitely go ahead and use it (after giving it a good sniff, of course). I’ve never had any problems ever.

  26. These muffin looks wonderful, and wonderful photo too

  27. The photos of those muffins make them looks jumbolicious!

  28. I love sweet muffins for breakfast, we have them as an occassional treat, yum!

  29. I love the muffins at Mimi’s Cafe too :) I never realized they had published their recipes… I can’t wait to try this one out now!

    I would never be able to use all the buttermilk up before it expires so I’ve also taken to buying the powdered stuff and keeping it in my fridge. Works well I think :)

  30. I’ve done that with buttermilk too. Bought it a few times and let it sit in the fridge until it’s gone off. I’ve yet to make something using buttermilk! These muffins looks delicious.

  31. These muffins seem to me so wonderful! And I like the title, a little funny :)

  32. I have to say these look so good! I am lactose intolerant and just bought a carton of soy yogurt. I think I am going to try it with that! I love the texture that buttermilk/yogurt gives baked goods! Thanks for the recipe and enticing photos!

  33. You have some amazing looking stuff on here, thanks for sharing with the world!! I know you have the “Spice Girl” recipe but what i’d like to know is if you have anything or the Carrot Raisin Muffin from Mimi’s Cafe?? I LOVE it and i’ve been trying to find a really good recipe for them. Would be appreciated. Thanks!

  34. Thanks so much! In the meantime, I think i’ll give these a try… they look amazing!!! ::sigh:: I think I love you :)

  35. Yummy! I will be trying these tomorrow!

    I get the dry buttermilk that comes in a can for my baking!!!! You don’t have to worry about it expiring and it works great!

  36. These are the EXACT muffins I was looking for this morning. We love Mimi’s too! I am addicted to their corn chowder myself.

  37. I am dying for the honey oat bran recipe from mimi’s do you possibly have it too?

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