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What Is a Muffin?
A muffin is an individual-sized quick bread that rises using baking soda or baking powder instead of yeast. It is usually sweet, with a texture that is more dense than cupcakes, and can contain mix-ins such as fruit, nuts, and chocolate chips. Muffins are often enjoyed as a breakfast treat, side, or snack.
How to Customize a Muffin Recipe
A master muffin recipe is a basic muffin mix that can be customized with flavored extracts, speciality flours, puréed fruits and vegetables, and various other mix-ins. Just remember this very basic tip for adding in ingredients: combine like with like.
- If you're subbing in a small amount of whole-wheat flour or oat flour, whisk it into the dry ingredients.
- If you're adding liquid extracts, pumpkin purée, or mashed bananas, add it to the wet ingredients.
- And finally, add any small, but solid, mix-ins (think coconut or chocolate chips) at the end with a gentle folding motion. You never want to overwork a muffin batter!
12 Popular Muffin Flavor Combinations
For the best results, add no more than 2 cups of mix-ins to the basic muffin recipe below.
- Blueberry Muffins: Fold in 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries and zest from 1 lemon. Can be finished with a streusel topping.
- Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins: Leave out cinnamon and swap out brown sugar for white granulated sugar. Mix in 2 tablespoons poppy seeds and the zest from 2 lemons into the dry ingredients. Add juice from 1 lemon into the wet batter. Drizzle with lemon glaze after baking.
- Banana Nut Muffins: Fold in ¾ cup ripe, mashed banana and 1 cup chopped toasted pecans. For a healthier version swap out half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour or replace entirely with gluten free flour.
- Cranberry Muffins: Fold in 1 cup chopped fresh cranberries and 1 teaspoon orange zest.
- Carrot-Raisin Muffins: Fold in ¾ cup shredded carrots, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, and ½ cup raisins.
- White Chocolate Raspberry Muffins: Fold in 1 cup fresh raspberries and ½ cup white chocolate chips.
- Apple Cinnamon Muffins: Fold in an additional ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 cup peeled and chopped Granny Smith apple, ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts. Sprinkle muffin batter with some oats before baking.
- Spiced Pear Muffins: Fold in 1 cup peeled and chopped Bosc pear and 1/2 teaspoon allspice.
- Birthday Cake Muffins: Fold in 3/4 cup rainbow sprinkles and leave out the cinnamon.
- Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins: Fold in 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips and 2 teaspoons espresso powder.
- Jalapeño Cheddar Muffins: Fold in 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeños. Skip the cinnamon.
- Spiced Pumpkin Muffins: Fold in 1 cup pumpkin purée and 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice.
Easy, Customizable Master Muffin Recipe
Prep Time20 min
Total Time45 min
Make a big batch of these homemade muffins and freeze the extras to enjoy any day of the week.
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a 12-count muffin pan with butter or line with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3–5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and add the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Beat starting on medium speed, then turn up to high speed until the mixture is well combined.
- Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until combined. Add the milk and continue to beat on low until well combined.
- Spoon the batter into each muffin cup, filling all the way to the top. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 425ºF then, leaving the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. This will give them browner tops. Bake for an additional 15-18 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the muffin pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool down completely.
- Unglazed muffins stay fresh stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days; to store longer transfer to the freezer and defrost before eating.
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