Marmite Muffins

Marmite is a British dark brown spread made from brewer’s yeast, a by-product in the the beer industry. It has a very characteristic strong taste and either you love it or hate it (I love it of course). Launched in 1902 Marmite became very popular during the two world wars, when, due to its high vitamin B content, it was an important element of soldiers’ rations and became very useful in times when the vitamin deficiency was very frequent. Marmite was first sold in earthenware pots, shaped like a casserole dish, hence the name coming from the French world “marmite” (meaning “casserole” and pronounced “marmeet”). Australian and New Zealand Vegemite, as well as Australian Promite are very similar products. In Europe I think only the Swiss have a Marmite equivalent, called Cenovis (from the Latin “cenare”, to eat, and “vis” “strength”), which also used to be a staple in the army.

I have never tasted Vegemite or Promite, but I like Cenovis as much as Marmite and couldn’t really say which one I prefer. For me Marmite has an enticing and highly addictive smell and flavour. I even suspect it of being rich in umami (the famous 5th taste). Until now I have only had both spreads on buttered bread, but have always wanted to use them in more elaborate preparations.

When I saw the Sweet – Savoury Marmite Cake on the Baking Devils blog, I thought it was a perfect recipe to embark on a series of cooking adventures with Marmite. I was right, since this first “baking with Marmite” experiment gave extraordinary and original results, appreciated even by avowed Marmite haters. Thank you, Baking Devils, for this delicious recipe!

I have slightly modified the Baking Devils‘ recipe, mainly reducing the sugar and butter amounts and putting more Marmite, but most of all, as a big fan of individual snacks, I decided to make muffins instead of a big cake. I have filled some cups 3/4 full and some 1/2 full. I definitely preferred the latter, lower muffins, more “marmitey” and more addictive. These muffins are perfect for a savoury breakfast or afternoon tea. Baked in mini-muffin forms, they would make intriguing appetisers or party snacks.

If you want to learn more about Marmite, visit the website. For those interested in Cenovis, there is (only in French or German).

Preparation: 1 hour

Ingredients (makes 12 muffins, with cups filled 1/2 full):

120 g flour

3 eggs

50 g sugar

1 teaspoon salt

25 g butter

3 teaspoons baking powder

150 ml water


6 tablespoons melted butter

4 teaspoons Marmite

50 g grated cheese (I used gruyère)

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Mix the butter with sugar in a food processor.

Add gradually flour and eggs, continuously mixing.

Add the remaining ingredients.

Fill the muffin forms 1/2 full and bake about 15 minutes.

Combine the Marmite with the melted butter and spread on the hot muffins.

Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Put under the oven broiler/grill and grill until the cheese melts.

Serve warm or cold.

22 Replies to “Marmite Muffins”

  1. Marmite left a bad impression the first time I tasted it, I tried it now for several times in toast but my tastebuds does not agree, this cupckes might be the solution. Fingers crossed.

    1. Raymund, I know someone who hates Marmite and enjoyed these muffins, so there is a chance… I keep my fingers crossed too.

  2. Hi Sissi – your recipe looks absolutely brilliant – so nice that you have reduced the butter and the sugar…I am going to have to give this a try. This looks very yummy…you are so clever with recipes. I love marmite too and I think these will be brilliant for packed lunches for school too. Thank you so much for considering our recipe for your wonderful blog. Honestly, I am really touched.

    Thank you so much and I will have to make these marmite muffins now…


    1. Shilpa, I don’t know what gives me more pleasure: finding treasures on your blog, making your recipes, eating these treasures or reading your compliments afterwards 🙂 Thank you for giving me this brilliant idea. My modifications come from the fact that I have a tendency to reduce fat and dugar whenever possible and I go crazy for tiny individual portions or snacks. I think smaller everything looks cuter. Thank you once more for sharing this recipe and for your kind and flattering words. I am sincerely touched by your comment.

      1. 🙂 I absolutely love your blog… I am still experimenting with the pork roll’s vegi equivalent – I have just got my hands on a miso paste – so, am trying to work with that on the tofu before wrapping it in slices of bread and layers of potato…It is indeed a brilliant idea of making smaller portions of your favourite food…less guilt and certainly more pleasure 🙂

        1. Shilpa, thank you once more for kind words. I also love your blog and enjoy as much the interesting texts as the recipes you present. I am not sure if I eat less when the portions are smaller… I hope I do. Even if I don’t, smaller portions are really a change from a big family dish, but sometimes I am too lazy… Making muffins wasn’t that long, but for example making 6 tartlets instead of one big tart takes a bit more time and efforts. When I invite friends I often prefer small snacks because the atmosphere is more laid back than at the dinner table. It’s also useful to make several different types of snacks when some friends are vegetarian and others not, or some have strong food dislikes/restrictions. This way everyone can be happy.
          I am very curious about your further tofu rolls experiments and your reaction to miso and about your experiments with it.

      1. You would never guess. It was in Poland. Some of my friends had similar impressions (and they come from different European countries!). Funny, isn’t it?

        1. I am not surprised. Kebab’s here are pretty good, one of the best I’ve ever tried. I’ve also tried kebabs from Berlin where there is a big ethnic community, they were good but not the best. Its a question of taste I guess.

    1. Mr. Three-Cookies, I simply have to agree about the “refined palate” bit 😉 Before visiting Baking Devils I would have never thought about putting it in a cake or muffin either! It went very well with good Swiss gruyère too.

        1. Mr. Three-Cookies, here I must say I can taste Marmite (I increased the amount!), but it’s irresistible!

  3. Oh yes, I saw Marmite from several recipes and I can’t guess how it’s like unless I try making it. At least I am now aware what it is…since I didn’t even know about the existence before. Your muffin looks delicious though. I can’t imagine what kind of taste it offer. 🙂 Very curious! Thanks for additional info about Marmite too – it was an interesting read!

  4. I’ve heard about Marmite, even seen it in stores, but don’t remember tasting it. Sounds like it might be worth a try: umami = many of my favorite foods. Is it like miso?

    1. Tess, Marmite is much stronger than miso and is not sweet at all (miso, even when very salty is always a bit sweetish). It is also very concentrated so if you ever buy it, never taste it alone! You’ll think forever it’s awful. Spread a tiny amount on a buttered toast and gradually increase the amount if you feel you can have more.

      1. I looked at it in the store today. Very expensive: a small jar (forgot how much it weighed) was almost $7!! It easily fit into the palm of my hand. But if it so strong and so little goes a long way, then I can understand the cost. Does it have a long shelf life?

        But what if I don’t like it?

        Can one use it in marinades for grilling, say chicken or pork? I should do some research…

        1. Tess, it’s a bit more than I paid in France (about 6 dollars). I don’t know what to advice you. There is a big risk you hate it. Of course a little goes a long way and I have had mine in the fridge (forgotten) for three years I think (still good!). I have never heard of using it in marinades… I am wondering how to describe you the taste… Those who hate it say it tastes and smells like a mixture of fresh yeast, mushroom and condensed beef stock 😉 The best way is of course to meet someone who makes you taste it (as in my case). Such a pity you live in the US 🙁 I would have invited you for a Marmite toast or muffin 🙂

          1. I’ll just keep it on my list of things to try. It does sound intriguing. Maybe after this holiday week…

  5. How strange that this is the second recipe involving Marmite I’ve come across today (normally I *never* see recipes calling on Marmite), and how lucky that I just had a giant jar of it delivered from England! I remember asking a colleague if he wanted to try some Marmite on a piece of bread and butter… he was about to put a heaped teaspoonful on the bread (like jam!!!) – luckily I could jump in to stop him before it was too late! 😀

    1. Charles, thank you for the comment and welcome to my blog! I remember the first time I tasted Cenovis (the Swiss equivalent of Marmite), my Swiss friend removed at least 2/3 of what I had put on my bread 😉

      1. Oh wow – I never knew Switzerland had a marmite equivalent too. I thought it was just us Brits and the Aussies who had this weird love of the stuff. I must keep my eye out for Cenovis – I’m intrigued as to what it’s like! 🙂

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