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overhead image of a variety of muffins

What Is a Master Muffin Recipe?

This is 1 muffin batter that can produce all sorts of different muffin varieties and flavors. These muffins are soft and buttery where the chunks and chips are just as mouth-watering as the muffin crumbs themselves. I’ve been using this base recipe for a few years already including for:

  1. Cranberry Cardamom Spice Muffins
  2. Blackberry Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
  3. Peach Streusel Muffins
  4. Apple Crumb Muffins
  5. Blueberry Muffins
  6. Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins
  7. Cranberry Orange Muffins

And in addition to those 7 muffin recipes all stemming from the same starting point, I have 5 more variations pictured for you today. Plus 10 more variations listed out under the recipe.

That’s 22 muffin flavors that all start from the same exact place.

overhead image of various ingredients for muffins including chocolate chips, raspberries, blackberries, lemon, apple chunks, and blueberries

What You Need

The muffin batter starts with basic dry ingredients like flour, baking powder + soda, and salt. More often than not, I add ground cinnamon. The only time I don’t add it is when we’re preparing a citrus-y flavored muffin. The wet ingredients are just as simple. Creamed butter and sugar, plus 2 eggs, vanilla, sour cream/plain yogurt, and milk. That’s it. Based on the flavor of the muffin, I use brown sugar or granulated sugar. I use either plain Greek yogurt or sour cream based on what I have. Same with milk– whole milk, 1% milk, buttermilk, almond milk– honestly, it all works in this master muffin recipe.

  • That’s 11 ingredients total including the cinnamon. And all 11 ingredients are baking staples, nothing new or difficult to find plus you have wiggle room with the sour cream and milk depending on what is convenient for you.

The Best Muffin Trick

I’ve been using this muffin trick for years and SWEAR by it. Fill your muffin cups/liners all the way to the top. Bake the muffins for just 5 minutes at a high temperature. Reduce the temperature for the remaining bake time. This initial hot burst of air lifts the muffins straight up, creating a solid dome. The rest of the time at a normal baking temperature cooks the center of the muffin.

NOTE: This only works with certain muffin batters. Muffin batter has to be thick and sturdy, like most of the muffin recipes on this site including today’s.

mixed berry muffin batter in a muffin pan

overhead image of a variety of muffins

Today’s New Muffin Flavors

Details for making each are in the recipe notes below.

  1. White Chocolate Raspberry Muffins
  2. Apple Cinnamon Muffins
  3. Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins (with lemon glaze)
  4. Mixed Berry Muffins (with lemon glaze)
  5. Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins


stack of 3 white chocolate raspberry muffins


apple cinnamon muffins with a bite taken from one


lemon poppy seed muffins on a blue plate


mixed berry muffins


chocolate chip streusel muffins on a white plate

PS: 10 more flavors below the recipe! And if you’re looking for a chocolate base, try these double chocolate muffins.

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overhead image of a variety of muffins

Master Muffin Recipe

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 1214 muffins 1x
  • Category: Muffins
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Use this master muffin recipe to make any muffin you love! They’re basic, easy, delicious, and freezer friendly.


  • 1 and 3/4 cups (219g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (115g or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light brown sugar (or granulated)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream or plain yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk (any kind), at room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat on high until creamed, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, then turn up to high speed until the mixture is combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  4. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until just about combined. Add the milk and continue to beat on low until combined. Fold in add-ins. (See flavors/details in the notes below.)
  5. Spoon the batter evenly into each cup or liner, filling each all the way to the top. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 425 then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 22-23 minutes, give or take. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the muffin pan, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.
  6. Glazed muffins stay fresh stored in the refrigerator for 1 week, unglazed muffins stay fresh stored at room temperature for a few days– then transfer to the fridge for up to 1 week.


  1. White Chocolate Raspberry Muffins – Fold 1 cup raspberries + 3/4 cup white chocolate chips into the batter as instructed in step 4. Sprinkle muffin tops with coarse sugar before baking.
  2. Apple Cinnamon Muffins – Mix an additional 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg with the dry ingredients in step 2. Fold 1 cup peeled chopped apple + 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts into the batter as instructed in step 4. Sprinkle muffin tops with oats before making.
  3. Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins – Leave out cinnamon and use granulated sugar instead of brown sugar. Mix 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds into the dry ingredients in step 2. Add 2 teaspoons lemon zest and the juice from 1 medium lemon (about 3 Tablespoons) into the batter when you mix in the milk. Sprinkle muffin tops with coarse sugar before baking. Drizzle lemon glaze onto warm muffins after baking.
  4. Mixed Berry Muffins – Fold 1 and 1/2 cups mixed berries into the batter as instructed in step 4. Drizzle lemon glaze onto warm muffins after baking.
  5. Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins – Fold 1 and 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips into the batter as instructed in step 4. Press crumbs slightly down into muffin tops (so they adhere, but aren’t submerged) before baking.
  6. Make Ahead Instructions: For longer storage, freeze muffins for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature or warm up in the microwave if desired.
  7. Jumbo Muffins: 425°F for 5 minutes, then reduce to 350°F for 22-25 minutes for a total of 27-30. Makes about 6.
  8. Mini Muffins: 350°F for 12-14 minutes. Makes about 36-40.
  9. Chocolate Muffins: If you’re looking for a chocolate base recipe, use these double chocolate muffins.

Keywords: Master Muffin Recipe

10 More Muffin Flavors

  1. Cinnamon Pecan Muffins: master muffin batter + 3/4 cups toasted chopped pecans + 3/4 cup cinnamon chips. With the crumb topping from these apple cinnamon crumb muffins.
  2. White Chocolate Nectarine: master muffin batter + 1 heaping cup peeled chopped nectarine + 1/2 cup white chocolate chips. With the brown sugar nut streusel from these blueberry muffins.
  3. Blueberry Lemon Muffins: master muffin batter + zest and juice of 1 lemon + 1 and 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (leave out cinnamon)
  4. Pear Spice Muffins: master muffin batter + 1 and 1/4 cups peeled chopped pear + 1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg, ground cloves, + allspice
  5. Crumb Cake Muffins: master muffin batter + extra 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + the crumb topping from these apple cinnamon crumb muffins
  6. Banana Nut Muffins: master muffin batter + 3/4 cup mashed banana + leave out sour cream + 1 cup chopped walnuts. The cheesecake filling from strawberry cheesecake muffins would be delicious in these.
  7. Ginger Peach Muffins: master muffin batter + 1 and 1/4 cups peeled chopped peaches + 2 Tablespoons freshly grated ginger. With the brown sugar nut streusel from these blueberry muffins.
  8. Pineapple Coconut Muffins: master muffin batter + 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut + 3/4 cup finely chopped pineapple (fresh or canned)
  9. Birthday Cake Muffins: master muffin batter + 3/4 cup rainbow sprinkles + 1 teaspoon almond extract (leave out cinnamon)
  10. Cranberry Apple Muffins: master muffin batter +  1 cup peeled chopped apple + 3/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries. With the crumb topping from these apple cinnamon crumb muffins.

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Ok Sally, I rarely post comments, but I gotta letcha know this is an AMAZING recipe! I made some adaptations for high altitude (I used the King Arthur Flour link that you posted in response to another guest’s high altitude question). I live in the mountains of Arizona, yes…Arizona has mountains! (we are moderately high altitude, about 5,367 feet high) So back to high altitude adjustments, in case anyone wants to know…I added 1/2 cup extra flour, 1 extra egg, and 1 Tbsp less sugar (I used granulated sugar instead of brown). I also cooked for 5 minutes at 425, then reduced the heat to 400 and cooked for 5 more minutes, then reduced the heat to 375 and cooked for 5-7 minutes. It may seem complicated, but the extra effort REALLY paid off. In all my years of baking I’ve never produced such BEAUTIFUL delicious muffins. Using other recipes, I’ve made delicious muffins, but they’ve rarely been beautiful, they usually spill-out wide and super flat. On occasion I even had to trim the edges off so they wouldn’t look totally ridiculous. Using your recipe, I made 75 muffins (that’s 6 batches of the master muffin mix) which included Blueberry with Streusel, Lemon with Streusel, Raspberry White Chocolate Chip, Cinnamon Sugar Nutella Stuffed, Banana Cheesecake stuffed, and Banana Chocolate Chip. Lest you think I am a total pig…I made all those beautiful, high tops, golden brown, scrumptious muffins for a family reunion next week. I packaged them individually in little cellophane bags and put a cute little scalloped label on each to make them look even more gourmet. They are sitting in my freezer waiting to drop jaws at the reunion. Thanks for redeeming my muffin makin’ skills with this awesome recipe and the high altitude link! (Little side note…my high altitude adjusted muffins did turn out a little more dense, but I like ’em that way, it makes for a heartier breakfast!)

  2. Hi Sally! A master muffin mix recipe is exactly what I was looking for! Perfect for the person who wants to make some many different flavors (me). I made these and divided the batter into four bowls so that I could make 3 muffins of 4 different flavor combos that I came up with. I used your recipe as my guide, but I swapped out a lot of ingredients to try and make a lower calorie muffin. I’m impressed so far. I would love to blog my new healthier muffin recipe and would love to link readers to your site to give you credit for getting me started on the recipe.

  3. Hi Sally -will this batter work for savoury muffins? Thinking of a bacon, cheese & corn combo 🙂

  4. I made the blueberry muffins and they taste delicious. The problem I had was they were very wet in the middle. I used frozen berries like you said, but should I have coated them in flour?

    1. Hi Andrea! I wonder if the muffins were underbaked. If you’d like, you can coat the frozen blueberries in flour next time. That will definitely help.

  5. Thank you. I made the White Chocolate Raspberry muffins and they are delicious!!! Husband loves them too which is great as he is a tad bit picky!

  6. Hi can I substitute the butter with vegetable oil of canola oil? Would that affect the taste?

  7. Hi, I tried this recipe with dark chocolate chips, nutmeg and LOTS of cinnamon.
    It was delicious!!!

  8. Hello, I’m not one who provides replies, but I just cannot help myself. I MUST. I am 75 years whatever & by myself. I enjoy baking but am far from being any good at it. But this recipe makes me look (and feel) like a pro. I made the apple, cinnamon, sweet dried cranberry with oat topping. I Have Died & Gone Too Heaven. Delicious. Wonderful texture, and the height (O.M.G.). Never had any of my muffins ‘EVER’ get this high. What wonderful flavor. (Yes, I ate too many) I am sooo happy and will continue to make this recipe over and over till death do us part. Thank you Ms Sally.

  9. Sorry if you addressed this anywhere above—is it possible to multiply and mix the dry ingredients and keep them on hand, not unlike a box of baking mix? That would be AWESOME! Thanks for all your hard work!

    1. Hi Sonja! You can definitely prep and store the dry ingredients in advance, but I wouldn’t multiply the batches because one may miscalculate and add the wrong ratio of dry to wet ingredients.

  10. Thank you! We adjusted this by making our favorite almond poppy instead of lemon. Just used almond extract instead of lemon juice. Thanks for another perfect recipe!

  11. I had leftover coconut milk and sour cream after making your coconut cake recipe (which was a hit!) so I decided to make these. I used coconut milk, white sugar instead of brown, substituted 1/2 tsp of vanilla with coconut flavor, added shredded coconut and drained crushed pineapple. They turned out delicious! Love your recipes.

  12. Hi, Sally! I just made the Lemon Poppyseed version yesterday and absolutely LOVED them. Regarding the lemon glaze (or any glaze for the matter), I always have an issue with it soaking into the muffin and it leaving a translucent sheen instead of it setting thick and white on top like you see in your pictures or in a bakery. I wait until the muffins are cool and I follow the glaze recipe to a T. What could I be missing?

    1. I’m so happy you loved them, Noel! For a thicker glaze you can either add more sugar or cut the liquid/lemon juice depending on how much you need.

  13. Excellent recipe. I think the sour cream makes all the difference. I may have slightly over mixed. I had a few small tunnels, but the rise and texture were still very good. I made the blueberry and apple cinnamon. Both got really good reviews from the snowbirds in our RV Park. Thank you!

  14. Today, this recipe forever changed my mindset about muffins. I don’t really like them, but my husband does, so I made them for him. I had to use granulated sugar as I didn’t have any brown, and I used fresh frozen cranberries. They turned out perfect — well-risen, light and fluffy, with just the right amount of sweetness to offset the tartness of the cranberries. We ate them fresh out of the oven for lunch, with apple slices and cheese. Yums. We both had two and absolutely loved them. Thank you so much for posting.

  15. Made this muffin (forgot to add the milk) and it still came out moist and delicious. Now I’m just imagining how even more moist and delicious it will be with the milk. I did the apple Cinnamon, I didn’t add the nuts but I did add the oats. Definitely making again and the suggestions.

  16. First time making muffins ever… (blueberry)
    They were such a hit!
    Thank you for this perfect recipe!

  17. I made the Cranberry Orange muffins this morning. They were awesome! Thanks for all the hints to make them so delicious. I’ll definitely be making these again as well as other versions.

  18. Husband requested muffins for breakfast, didn’t have time to go shopping. Used this master muffin recipe and added what I had in the pantry – Sliced almonds and maraschino cherries, ran a knife through both to make more manageable sizes. I decreased the sugar by a bit because the cherries are so sweet. They tuned out amazing!!!!

  19. Can I use just strawberries for this recipe? Instead of the mixed berries. That’s all I have.

  20. Oh my goodness, these are to die for. Thank you for sharing. I made this recipe with frozen raspberries and white chocolate chips. Everyone loved them.

  21. Thank you for sharing this recipe, I make plane muffins, for my son school class, they love it, and I should continue trying another recipes.

  22. I don’t usually bake muffins, well I don’t usually bake, but I gave these muffins a go because I had cream cheese icing left over from a banana cake. Well, I am now hooked and can’t wait to try the other combinations, everyone loved them. Glad I picked this recipe first, these are awesome! Thank you for sharing.

  23. I made it with GF flour and they still came out great! Did a blueberry batch and an espresso chocolate chip. Our family of 4 devoured them in minutes! Will be bookmarking this page.

  24. Perfect recipe! I did the cranberry apple muffins with the suggested crumb topping, they were excellent! My husband commented multiple times that they were bakery quality. They had such a nice crown to them! I’ve decided to purchase those elegant paper liners to help them rise a little more straight up next time. Being as those have taller sides than traditional liners, it will help keep the topping more contained when removing the muffins from the baking pan as well. This is my new go-to recipe, very easy and straight forward with moist, delicious results. Thinking about the mixed berry next! Thanks for sharing!!

  25. we took these muffins as mini muffins to a Girl Scout meeting and the girls (5-8) couldn’t stop eating them, which is high praise! We made a batch with some plain, blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, and blackberry and didn’t bring any home.

  26. The muffins were really good… after I made a second batch. 425 degrees is WAY TOO HIGH. My muffins ended up burnt on the outside and raw on the inside. I had to remake them but lowered the temperature down to about 325 degrees. They were perfect that way. I would recommend that for anyone making this recipe.

    1. 425 is the temp only for the first 5 minutes. The recipe says to bake for the rest of the time at 350. All the muffin recipes on this site say that, just FYI.

  27. Wow! Super Yum! I made the recipe with fresh blueberries. Absolutely delicious. Cake-y, tender, subtle taste allows the berry flavor to shine through. Not overly sweet. Tried with streusel topping ( cinnamon complemented taste) without any topping (great) and with lemon glaze (fantastic). Such a winner, I can’t wait to try her other recipes

  28. Hi Sally
    I have just finished making your blueberry and lemon muffins, using the master muffin mix.
    I followed your recipe to the letter and I have never been so happy with the results.
    Thank you also for putting the actual weight measurements on all your recipes. As I live in Australia, I know that our cup and tablespoon are a bit different to that of the States.
    I love your site and hope to bake many more recipes from it.
    Warmest regards

  29. Sally pointed this recipe out to me and I just did 2 batches, one using crumbled speculoos and the other using dark chocolate chunks. They were AMAZING! Incredible crunchy outside and moist and soft on the inside! I will be making oreo ones next!

    The only 2 mistakes I made were not putting more sugar for the dark chocolate ones and using healthy yogurt with stuff added to it that made the yogurt, thus the batter a bit more runny than it should’ve been, so in the end it didn’t rise all the way. But overall an amazing recipe!

    Also I really truly appreciate the metric measurements as only a handful of USA-based/imperial system user bakers actually care to convert their ingredients into metric, despite the inconsistencies of scooping and leveling dry ingredients. Which is unfortunate as most of the mouth watering recipes are usually from that part of the world!

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