Hidden Jam Muffins

I was looking at old recipes and came across this one, dated from 1961. PET was a brand of milk back then, and is still in business, but now only makes canned evaporated milk. Back then dry milk was much more of a thing in recipes. Fresh milk wasn’t ultra pasteurized then, and had a very short life in the refrigerator. Canned and dried versions were very handy to have around.

The recipe is easy to make, and comes together quickly, using pantry ingredients. It’s convenient to keep dry milk on hand for baking (I use it often in bread baking).

Hidden Jam Muffins


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup dry milk
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup avocado oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 ounce jar jam*


  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 400°. Liberally oil a 12 count muffin tin.

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

Whisk the oil, egg, and water together, pour into dry.

Beat quickly into a batter.

Drop half the batter into the muffin tin (I used a generous 1 Tablespoon disher).

Drop about 1 teaspoon jam into center of each.

Cover with remaining batter (it’s another scoop for each).

Mix topping together, sprinkle liberally on top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, I found ours took 21 minutes.

Let cool a bit, then gently pop out.


I would recommend using muffin liners, of the parchment paper type, so the muffins pop out without breaking. They are delicate when still warm, and the sugar topping can cause them to stick a bit as they spread. I didn’t use them, to follow the recipe, but then…was there actually non-stick pans in 1961?

I used homemade lower sugar pear jam, which worked well with the sugar topping. Yes, it calls for ¼ cup. I used about 5 ounces of a 6 ounce jar. Guess I am more generous.

I found I only used half of the sugar topping. Anymore would have been nothing but a heavy layer.