Here’s a lovely thing. Heavy, dough like muffins with a cheesy spicy flavour and crispy polenta baked on top.

They’re not your average muffin. If you throw one at someone while they’re not paying attention it’ll hurt (I said I was sorry, I really thought they were looking at me).

Easy as pie to make.  Easier in fact, as pie is much harder to make than muffins (oh, come on, I had to say it!).

No need to stand on ceremony with these muffins. You just throw all your ingredients in a bowl and mix until just combined. It’s a good bicep workout.

Then spoon the mixture in to your prepared muffin tray.

And sprinkle the polenta on top.

Easy. And also quite low on calories. Bonus!

1 egg
3/4 water
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups grated lite cheese
1/2 cup pitted black olives, sliced (I go for the ones in the jar that are already pitted and sliced, but cutting them up from scratch would be lovely)
1 teaspoon chilli flakes, or slice a whole dried chilli very finely
2 tablespoons polenta (cornmeal)


  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin or line with patty cases and spray with cooking oil.
  2. Mix together all ingredients except cornmeal. Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup more of water if needed – I often find it does. The mixture will be very solid and dough like.
  3. Spoon in to your well-greased muffin pan and sprinkle with the polenta. Press down on the top of each muffin slightly to help the polenta stick to the muffin.
  4. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until golden on top and a skewer comes out clean. Makes 12 smallish muffins.

Note: The muffins are quite small, but I wouldn’t recommend making fewer and larger muffins. As they’re quite solid, the small size and crispy top works well. Best served warmed.

Healthy? At 130 calories they’re a good little snack.

Gluten free? No, and I haven’t tried adapting.

Storage:  They freeze well, otherwise best eaten within a couple of days. Store in airtight container.

Source: modified from the Muffin Bible olive & chilli muffins.

11 comments on “Chilli and olive muffins”

  1. Cheese, olives and polenta? You are killing me because this sounds out of this world and i don’t have one in front of me to eat or throw at an annoying co-worker. That would be such a double bonus…eating a lovely muffin at my desk and then chucking a spare muffin at the most annoying coworker who LOVES the “speaker” part of his phone. The man never picks up the receiver to talk EVER. He just shouts at the phone at it shouts back. Can you just imagine me chucking an olive muffin across the hall?! I am blissfully dreaming of this scene.

    • Haha! Too right about the speaker phone, what is with that? What a silly man your co-worker is. I hope you don’t share your baked goods with him when you take loft overs to work! I put it up there with people speaking on their speaker phones on public transport. Do they not get personal space?

  2. After reading your description of these muffins, I had to see what you put in them! It must be the cheese and the olives that are so heavy. They sound delicious and I would much rather eat them than throw them;-)

  3. You know I mentioned a while back my gf is always banging on about savoury muffins despite never having one… I think THIS is the ONE!!!
    Now as soon as she’s introducing some carbs back in her life I am going for it with these! Perfect combinations – nice one miss!

  4. These are yummy!
    I added a touch more chilli for an extra chilli kick….and I didn’t have any polenta so skipped this on top but they came out fab anyway….

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