New Zealand Inspired Muffins with Pine Nuts, Basil, Bacon and Parmesan

Before my trip to New Zealand, I had never, ever, tried a savoury muffin before. Savoury scones and muffins are a signature standard item in most Kiwi coffee houses. I don’t know why, but these savoury sponge delights do not pre-occupy my sweet-toothed nation’s cafes. We’re all about smothering our scones in jam and cream and adding every form of chocolate to a singular muffin. New Zealand proved to me that filling sponge mixtures with feta and spinach, or bacon, tomato and cheese forms a delightful breakfast, light(ish) lunch or afternoon tea. But, since my return to the UK, I have not yet stepped into a local cafe and found a savoury muffin. Consequently, I have re-created them at home with my own choice of fillings.

You really can be as creative as you want with these, my measurements are a rough guideline, so if you want to add in an extra rasher of bacon or spoonful of pine nuts, or change the ingredients altogether…go ahead! They’re also relatively healthy, as cakes go, as there is no room for a heart-attack volume of butter, instead, good quality, extra-virgin Olive Oil.

This recipe is an altered version of’s parmesan and basil muffins so this is also an indication of how well their recipe would turn out.

I found this combination extremely tasty, the basil and pine nuts combined well to form a fresh pesto taste, whilst the parmesan balanced all the flavours out as it enhanced the nutty flavour of the pine nuts and the saltiness from the bacon. Serve them warm, spread with butter and sink your teeth right in.


To make 12 medium sized muffins:

  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 Cup of Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1tspn Baking Powder
  • 2 Cups Self-raising Flour
  • 1 tbspn Sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped basil
  • 1 and 1/2 tbspn crushed Pine Nuts
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan.
  • 6 rashers of Bacon

Your Ingredients


  1. pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius
  2. Grill bacon
  3. Add Milk, Oil and eggs into one bowl. Mix together.
  4. Sift Flour and Baking powder into another bowl. Then add your spoonful of sugar, pine nuts, basil and parmesan. Mix together.
  5. Add your eggs, milk and oil mixture to dry mixture with the grilled bacon. Mix with a metal spoon cutting through the middle instead of stirring around until it forms a very thick, gloopy mix.
  6. Butter 12 holes of a cake tray and evenly distribute mix. If you wish, press in a small basil leaf into each portion for decoration
  7. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. After ten, give them a check, I used a chopstick. Mine needed an extra 2 minutes but obviously baking time varies from oven to oven.
  8. Leave to stand and cool for 5 minutes.

Stages 3 & 4. Your two mixtures.

Stage 5: Your Muffin Mixture

Stage 6: Muffins before going in the oven

Stage 8: After 10 minutes in the oven, leave to stand for 5


Now ready, it’s up to you how you eat them. As part of your afternoon tea…


…or simple enjoy one on its own…


Have any good savoury muffin combinations up your sleeve? Let me know!


4 thoughts on “New Zealand Inspired Muffins with Pine Nuts, Basil, Bacon and Parmesan

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