Surprise Muffins! Who doesn’t need a little fruit filled pick-me-up? This light, not-too-sweet muffin recipe from the 1920’s is a great basic recipe that you can make your own.

The original recipe suggests filling the muffins with:

  • Currant jelly
  • Apple jelly
  • Candied pineapple
  • Sweetened stewed apricots
  • Stoned date
  • Fresh or preserved apples

The surprise fruit filling can be just about any fruit or fruity combo you have on hand. We tried:

  • Blackberry preserve
  • Apricot preserve
  • Apple butter
  • Candied cherries
  • Orange marmalade

Just about any jam, preserves, or marmalade could work. Pre-made pie fillings like cherries and apple would also be a treat.


The original recipe provided suggestions for using corn meal or graham flour by substituting one cup of regular flour for corn meal or graham flour. Adding corn meal will produce a texture closer to a corn muffin in crumb. While graham flour give your muffins a nutty, toasted wheat flavor and color.

As both corn meal and graham flour are more coarse, the recipe recommends shifting together to the regular flour with the baking soda, salt and sugar, then whisking in the corn meal or graham flour.


  • Regular flour and dried pineapple and shredded coconut
  • Graham flour and apple pie filling
  • Corn meal and cherry pie filling


Surprise Muffins -1929

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 muffins
Fruit filed surprise muffins from 1929


  • Muffin Pan



  • 2 cups Flour (*See substitution notes below)
  • 3 Tbs Baking powder
  • 1 Tbs Sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tbs Butter or Shortening (Melted)

Filling Suggestions (use one or mix and match)

  • 1/8 cup Fruit Jelly or Preserve (Ex. Currant, apple, apricot, berry)
  • 1/8 cup Candied fruit (Ex Pineapple, cherries)
  • 1/8 cup Sweetened, stewed fresh fruit (Ex. Apricots, strawberries, apples)


  • Preheat oven to 425° and grease muffin tin.
  • Shift together dried ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  • Whisk together milk, eggs, and melted butter (or shortening), pour into dry ingredients and stir until smooth.
  • Spoon batter into muffin pan filling each muffin cup about 1/2 full (2-4 tablespoons depending on the size of your muffin pan).
  • Spoon 1-2 tsps of your choice of fruit filling into the center of each muffin.
  • Top with an additional tablespoon of batter.
  • Bake at 425° for 20-25 minutes. Cool on rack.


The original directions provided substitution directions for corn meal or graham flour to mix-and-match the texture and flavor to your preference or fruit. Simply substitute 1 cup of regular flour for 1 cup of corn meal or graham flour. As they are more course, shift regular flour with baking powder, salt, and sugar, then whisk in corn meal or graham flour.
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American


Adapted from a recipe appearing in Anyone Can Bake (1929 edition).

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