Basic Muffin Recipe


This is an easy muffin recipe that can be used as a base recipe for a variety of muffin flavors. These basic muffins are delicious as is for a side dish or dessert. The simple batter can be flavored with extracts or spices and all kinds of mix-ins can be added. Pin it for Later »

Basic Muffin Recipe Overview

This is a basic easy muffin recipe that can be used as a base recipe for a variety of flavors. These plain muffins are delicious as is and are a great side dish alternative to traditional bread. They can also be flavored with various extracts, spices, and add-ins.

The thing I love so much about muffins is that they are incredibly quick and easy to make and they are portable! Perfect for on-the-go breakfasts or snacks and this base recipe can be made an endless number of ways!

What is a Muffin?

Have you ever truly thought about what makes a muffin a muffin? Or how a muffin is different from a cupcake? Well, if you know me then you know I’ve definitely thought about this question in depth!

A muffin is in the category in the baking world called “quick breads.” Quick breads get their name because they are bread-like products that are chemically leavened (with baking powder or baking soda) instead of leavened with yeast. This means that they can be made very quickly and easily. Other quick breads include biscuits, scones, quick loaves, pancakes, and waffles.

A muffin is different from a cupcake in that it is much less sweet and more dense in texture. Cakes tend to have a higher sugar and fat ratio than muffins and, of course, tend to be covered in frosting!

How to Make Basic Muffins

The method used to make muffins and many other types of quick breads is called the muffin mixing method. This mixing method is very simple in that the dry ingredients are mixed in one bowl, the wet ingredients are mixed in a separate bowl, and then they are combined.

This method serves to keep quick breads tender and to reduce the amount of gluten formation.

  • Step 1: Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl by sifting or whisking together.
  • Step 2: Combine all of the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk together.
  • Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon or a rubber spatula until just combined.
  • Note: The batter will be lumpy. Do not stir too much or the muffins will become tough.
  • Step 5: If using any add-ins, fold them into the batter here.
  • Step 4: Divide the batter evenly in a muffin tin and bake immediately.

Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

  • Technically any liquid fat can be used for these muffins, however, fat that stays liquid at room temperature (such as vegetable, canola, or olive oil) will produce muffins that stay the most tender when cooled.
  • If you want to add a bit of a tangy flavor to your muffins, substitute the regular milk for buttermilk.
  • These muffins can easily be made vegan by substituting the egg for 1/4 cup of applesauce or mashed banana. These muffins also work well with a standard gluten free flour blend such as Bob’s Red Mill’s Baking Blend or Cup 4 Cup Flour.

Basic Muffin Ingredient Functions

  • Flour is the main structure for the muffin.
  • Sugar sweetens the muffin slightly. Muffins are much less sweet than cupcakes so the amount used is less than in a cake recipe.
  • Baking Powder is the leavening agent for the muffins and makes them rise.
  • Salt rounds out the flavors of the muffin.
  • Egg binds the muffin together.
  • Milk moistens the flour to create the muffin batter. It also adds some tenderness.
  • Oil adds tenderness and prevents the flour from developing too much gluten.

Basic Muffin Recipe (Vegan and Gluten Free Options)

Yield: 10-12 Muffins
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
This is an easy muffin recipe that can be used as a base recipe for a variety of muffin flavors. These basic muffins are delicious as is as a side dish or dessert or the batter can be flavored with extracts or spices and all kinds of mix-ins can be added. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (240 gr) all-purpose flour (*see note for gluten free option)
  • 2/3 cup (130 gr) granulated sugar
  • 1 TBSP (14 gr) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature (*see note for vegan option)
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) liquid fat (oil or melted butter, shortening, lard, or coconut oil)

Instructions

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C). Line a muffin tin with muffin liners or spray with nonstick spray.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Alternatively, the ingredients can be whisked together well. Any spices you might be adding would be added into the dry ingredients.
  3. Mix the Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, stir together the egg, milk, vanilla, and oil until well combined. If using any extracts they would be added into the wet ingredients.
  4. Combine Wet & Dry Ingredients: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon or rubber spatula until just combined. The batter will be lumpy. Do not over-mix or the muffins will become tough. If using, fold in any add-ins.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups.
  6. Bake at 425 F for about 10 minutes and then turn the oven heat down to 350 F (175 C) for about 5 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs.

Notes

SUBSTITUTIONS


  • Vegan Muffins: Substitute the egg for 1/4 cup applesauce or mashed banana.
  • Gluten Free Muffins: Substitute the all-purpose flour for a good gluten free baking blend.

VARIATIONS


  • Blueberry Muffins: Fold in 2 cups (10 oz, 300 gr) fresh or frozen blueberries.
  • Cinnamon Raisin Muffins: Add 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 cup (5.3 oz, 150 gr) raisins
  • Chocolate Chip Muffins: Fold in 2 cups (10 oz, 300 gr) chocolate chips.
  • Cranberry Orange Muffins: Add 1 TBSP orange zest and 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries. Top with an orange powdered sugar glaze.
  • Cheddar Bacon Muffins: Fold in 4 strips of crumbled cooked bacon and 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Sprinkle more shredded cheddar on top of the muffins before baking.

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190

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41 comments on “Basic Muffin Recipe”

  1. I have always wondered why the egg should be at room temperature. Why is that?

    • Hi Diane! This is more important in some recipes than others. You want egg at room temperature because it will disperse more evenly and absorb into the dough or batter better. This creates a more even crumb and a nicer baked good. However, it isn’t going to ruin a muffin recipe if you put a cold egg in there. It just won’t be quite as nice of a crumb as if you did. I often bring eggs to room temperature quickly by covering them with lukewarm water for about 5 minutes before cracking them. Room temperature eggs are especially important in a recipe where butter and sugar have been creamed together. When you cream butter and sugar together you create an emulsion that traps a web of air. If you add cold egg into that emulsion, it will break it and you will lose the air you beat into the batter. This is actually one of the topics of the baking fundamentals baking school course I’m about to launch. It is a free course if you are interested: https://bakerbettie.com/baking-fundamentals-course-syllabus/

  2. Can I substitute soy milk at all? Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  3. I love how you explain base recipes and then leave them for people to adapt!!!

    Rating: 5
  4. So yummy! We replaced the egg for banana and added strawberries! Also doubled the recipe and made 24 minis, 12 reg size and had enough batter left for a small loaf pan. Kids can’t get enough of these things! I will save the recipe and make over and over again! Thanks so much! xoxo

    Rating: 5
  5. So yummy! We replaced the egg for banana and added strawberries! Also doubled the recipe and made 24 minis, 12 reg size and had enough batter left for a small loaf pan. Kids can’t get enough of these things! I will save the recipe and make over and over again! Thanks so much! xoxo
    Also used almond milk instead of whole cow

    Rating: 5
  6. Making these for a second time and making a double batch! Delicious and easy muffin recipe!

    Rating: 5
  7. Ummh nice to follow recipes… Yummy

  8. Hi, just a quick question. How much lemon extract would you add to make them lemon muffins? And would I then omit the vanilla extract?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Vivian, I have never tested this recipe with lemon extract. If you do want to try it I would suggest adding 1/2 tsp of lemon extract and then taste your batter and add more if needed. I would guess 1/2 tsp-1 tsp would be about the right amount. Vanilla and lemon work well together so you could leave the vanilla in or take it out if you want a more clean lemon flavor. Hope that helps!

  9. Sounds simple. Will try ;).

  10. Can i use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour?

    • Hi Pat, yes you can! The standard ratio of substituting whole wheat flour in place of what flour is to replace 1 cup (120 gr) of white flour with 1 cup minus 2 TBSP (105 gr) whole wheat flour. I prefer to use 1/2 white & 1/2 whole wheat flour for the best texture. So 1 cup of white flour mixed with 1 cup minus 2 TBSP of whole wheat flour. But if you want to make these with 100% whole wheat flour you would use 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour in place of the 2 cups of white flour. Hope that helps!

  11. I made the plain an version and added chic chops to the top of the muffins as I don’t like cake too sweet. It’s a fantastic recipe works every time. I want to make cheese ones so I assume you leave out the sugar then ?

    • Hi Jayne! I’m so glad you enjoyed these muffins! It is actually on my list to test some savory versions of these, but what I know about baking science is that I think you will want a little sugar still in these for the texture of the muffins. I would keep about 1/4-1/3 cup sugar in the muffin. It won’t be overly sweet with that amount and will compliment the savory/salty cheese well. Let me know how it goes!

  12. Lol I meant I added Choc Chips 

    Rating: 5
  13. Thank you so much I will try that and let you know how it goes. Just taken a batch of cinnamon and ginger muffins out of the oven they are lovely added 2 Tsp of cinnamon and 1 Tsp powdered ginger they have lovely subtle flavour of both spices. This is such a great recipe and so fast to prepare and fool proof :))

  14. I forgot to say I made the banana muffin recipe too last week and they were delicious :)) also after reading your information I have purchased cake flour for my cake making, it’s a miracle I found it here…… I live in Luxor Egypt and it’s not easy to get ingredients so I now order on Souq.com as they have opened up here and have a bit more variety of baking ingredients, even found some good quality cocoa powder ! We cook on bottled gas and it was no good for baking so I bought a small electric fan oven and been baking happily since :)) 

    • I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed the banana muffins! One of my favorites! And wow! I’m so glad you were able to find the cake flour and have figured out a setup that works well for your baking! <3

  15. Hi Bettie

    I am wondering if I can use your basic muffin recipe to produce chocolate muffins? I would like to add choc chips too. I would be most greatful if you can tell me how much unsweetened cocoa powder to use and do I add extra liquid?

    Many thanks
    Jayne

    • Hi Jayne! I am actually publishing a chocolate muffin variation tomorrow! I’m doing one more round of testing of the recipe today, but the changes I believe I will have you make is to reduce the amount of flour to 1 1/2 cups and to add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder and 1 cup of chocolate chips. So no extra liquid would be needed.

  16. That sounds great will wait for to publish. Made the cheese today they taste very sweet to me and I just used 1/4 cup sugar and a sharp gouda cheese as we can’t get sharp cheddar here in Luxor only medium. They are a nice consistency and very moist but just a little strange in taste with the sugar. Tried eating warm and cold not much difference. Bacon would have helped I think but can’t get that here of course :((

    Rating: 4
    • Thanks for letting me know Jayne! I will try to test this week with even less or no sugar. I need to think about the structure and texture a little bit. Might be more like a biscuit. I’ll report back.

  17. I have to say the basic mixture is wonderful the muffins always rise so well and are moist and have a lovely texture it’s the best recipe ever and I bake them every 3 or 4 days

    Rating: 5
  18. Hi Bettie

    Did you increase the oil from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup? I had it writted down as a 1/4 cup so that is all I have been using but the muffins have been moist I just baked a batch now but next batch I will use 1/2 cup of oil and try the double choc chip next :))

    • Hi Jayne,

      I have not changed the oil content in this recipe! If it has been working well for you at 1/4th cup then no need to change it! But I do always use 1/2 cup!

  19. Hi Bettie!
    I was wondering how many muffins this recipe makes and what pan size you would recommend when making this recipe. They look really good and I can’t wait to try it out.

    • Hi Nicole! This recipe makes 10-12 muffins depending on if you add mix-ins and how many. If I make plain muffins I usually get about 10 out of the batch and if I add blueberries or choc chips into the batter I usually get 11-12. I hope you enjoy the recipe! The video in the post will walk you through step by step!

  20. I recently came into a whole bunch of muesli (around 10 lbs) and was trying to figure out what all to do with it (besides eat it straight, which I love). A friend suggested putting some in the blender and making muffins with it. Having never made muffins from scratch, I turned to google and found your recipe. I substituted 3/4 cup blendered (is that a word?) Muesli for 1 cup of the flour (thinking it would be sort of like substituting whole grain flour) and added cinnamon (great suggestion!) and it was delicious. This recipe was understandable and so easy to follow and I really appreciate the food science lessons that you’ve put with it. We’ve used it several times now. Thanks!

    Rating: 5
  21. Simple and delicious

    Rating: 5
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