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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. This is a really great recipe. I am a baker who finds many recipes online and am careful about the ones I choose (I have wasted many ingredients following faulty recipes). Thank you Sally. I have made two versions. One with vanilla and chocolate chips and one with apple, raisins and cinnamon. Both came out 100% perfectly. I will continue to use this

  2. It turned out amazing! I put different things in different muffins (mixed out a bit of the batter in a small bowl with the toppings). I tried with blueberries, chocolate chips, white chocolate and cranberries, dark chocolate chips and macadamia nuts, and then i made a couple of muffins with everything mixed together! Thank you for this recipe!!

  3. You’re always the first person I come to when I’m looking for recipes since I’m picky about what recipes I use. Your recipes are amazing and you do so much research when making them. I just want to say your muffins came out fantastic! They tasted so good and delicious
    I was just wondering why mine wasn’t as dense as I wanted them to be. Is there anything I could do to make them denser?

    1. So glad you enjoyed these! I recommend a different recipe for dense muffins, as these are quite cakey. (Though you could try reducing the milk for a thicker batter and denser muffin.) Here are my denser bakery style muffins. You may like those more!

  4. Hi Sally,
    For lemon poppy seed muffins, would buttermilk work here instead of regular milk? Thank you!

    1. Hi A– it would, but I recommend replacing the sour cream/yogurt AND milk with buttermilk.

  5. Hi Sally
    I want to make coffee muffins. Any advice on how much to add and when. Thanks for great recipe.

    1. Hi Penny, though I haven’t tested this– you could try adding 2 teaspoons of espresso powder in with the dry ingredients.

  6. just made this tonight and DAMN its soo gooood!! Before I added the dry ingredients, the batter looks curdled (probably because I use greek yoghurt? no idea) and I was real pessimistic about its outcome but after mixing everything in it looks so creamy! I made the cinnamon crumble muffin and it turns out to be soo light fluffy and bursting with flavor! Thanks again for sharing this absolutely amazing master muffin recipe <3 cheers from Indonesia!

  7. this is my go to muffin recipe (of course!), but what if i wanted to use rhubarb in them (with streusel or crumb topping of course). any thoughts on best to handle the rhubarb and how much? thanks !!!!

    1. Hi Lauren! I recommend using fresh rhubarb, slicing very thin, and folding into the muffin batter like any other add-in. I don’t find pre-cooking rhubarb necessary in muffin recipes. 1 – 1 and 1/2 cups of sliced rhubarb is plenty. Fold into the batter after you add the milk.

  8. Hi Sally,

    Thanks for this master recipe “without boundaries”. There are so many variations that could be churned out from this one recipe!

    Playing safe for a start, I made 2 variations (banana walnut and blueberry) following your suggestions into jumbo muffins. Despite following the baking temperature suggested, my oven did not domed it high enough. They are still jumbo-sized and tasted great!

    I also tried once with cocoa powder, which actually works out fine too (maybe I was lucky? haha).

    PS: I’ve also tried your triple choc muffin and super moist chocolate cupcake recipes too, and both were as great. My cousin’s friends who ate the triple choc muffins thought it was store-bought from the S-brand coffee chain.

    I have been skeptical about muffins recipes (which never turned out the way I wanted). Yours on the contrary, turns out exactly how I wish it would be.
    Also thanks for providing metrics measurement which we are used to.

    Cheers and love from Singapore!

  9. After many attempts at making muffins that ended in rubbery, baking-soda flavoured results, I found this recipe and decided to give it a try. I was not disappointed – the muffins were wonderful! They were moist, flavourful, and the best muffins I’ve made by far. I put in some blueberries and tried the pecan-brown sugar topping from your other recipe. Absolutely tasty!

  10. Wow. I added orange purée, honey and poppy seeds and they were gone within 3 hours between my dad and me. Highly recommend

  11. What a fantastic recipe, the sour cream really takes it to the next level (even if I did substitute it with plain Greek yoghurt as that’s all I had.. oops)! I made the chocolate-chip version but I cannot wait to make others.. lemon poppy seed, white chocolate raspberry, pecan cinnamon… Yum! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe 🙂 The directions and ingredient amounts are spot on!

  12. These were AMAZING and still delicious and fresh a week later when kept in an airtight tin. Yum. Thank you Sally! These were the best muffins I’ve ever made, and I love to bake. Can’t wait to try the new varieties – by request, strawberry cheesecake for today.

  13. Hi, Sally! I’ve been following your site and using your wonderful recipes for years. I do have one question, and when I search the internet, there are so many different opinions on it…I would rather trust your judgment! When I bake muffins, do they go on the top rack or middle rack? And, if I start them on the top rack, do I move them to the middle when lowering the temperature?

    1. Hi Kristy, Bake your muffins on the middle rack. It’s best not to open the oven door in the middle of the bake time if you can help it, so just keep them in the middle when lowering the temperature!

  14. This recipe is perfect! I made cinnamon crumb muffins and chocolate chip crumb muffins yesterday with this recipe and they were SOOOOOO delicious! Thanks so much for providing such an amazing recipe!

    1. Hi Kathy, We don’t recommend oil for this recipe. You could likely replace the butter with the same amount of softened coconut oil (since it must be creamed).

  15. Hi Sally! I seriously love you. I’ve made a ton of your recipes, and they have all turned out amazing on my first try! I started out with these muffins, then scones, cookies, pies, and cheesecakes. I’m selling them in my home based store and they’ve been a huge hit. I really appreciate all the baking tips. You’re very detailed and thorough. I’ve been professionally trained and worked as a chef for several years, but I didn’t do much baking before, besides making some pies at a truck stop. I’ve learned so much from you! I told my husband I needed to post a glowing review, and he literally said “no you don’t, just make more of these”…as he was eating the white choc rasp cheesecake bars.

  16. EXACTLY what I was looking for! Jumbo sized muffins that can rival a bakery! I just made the banana walnut jumbo sized muffins and ate the first of the 6. It is literally taking everything out of me to not eat a second one! It’s so soft, the flavor is amazing, and it looks just like a professional bakery, I topped mine with banana slices! Thank you Sally!

  17. I started baking around April this year. This is the best bake I’ve done since I started and I am so happy. They’re so delicious, so soft and such a fantastic flavour ❤️.

    Will definitely be trying more recipes from you Sally. Thank you.

  18. Quick question — assuming this recipe would be good as a mini loaf as well ? A pear ginger spice loaf with a crumb topping for the fall is what I am dreaming about.

    1. That sounds delicious, Janis! Yes you can use this recipe for mini loaves – the bake time will vary depending on the size of your loaf pans but bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  19. Hi There! How does the timing/temp change with mini muffins? Do you still recommend the initial 425° in that size or is that only for jumbo muffins?

    1. Hi Julie, No, bake them the entire time at 350F. See recipe notes for details!

  20. Hi there! I’m so excited to try these, but I want to incorporate carrots instead. Carrot cake traditionally uses oil instead of butter, what would you suggest as method for adjustment?

    1. Hi Mo, For a carrot muffin made with oil, I recommend using this recipe for Morning Glory Muffins and replacing the apple with more shredded carrot (the raisins and pecans are optional).

  21. A few years ago I went through a phase of making muffins almost every weekend (I was single!) But I didn’t have the recipe anymore so I found yours and I’ve now made it twice. The first time raspberry and white chocolate, the second time caramel apple with your crumb topping. I have to say my chubby heart is very happy to have found such a simple and delicious recipe, with literally infinite possibilities! Thanks so much <3

  22. Hi there, I’m a real fan of all your recipes but your muffins are really super delicious! I wanted to ask you if you have any ideas on how to incorporate maple syrup taste in the muffins. something like a french toast kind of taste. Do you have any ideas? Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Ellie, We haven’t tested this exact recipe with maple syrup. You can try to replace some of the brown sugar with maple syrup and/or adding maple extract. Or what about making these Baked Maple Glazed Donuts in a muffin pan (see recipe notes for directions)? You could also make Overnight French Toast (with or without the blueberries) as individual servings in a muffin pan. Let us know what you try!

      1. Hi again, thanks for the kind reply! I tried a few things (the donuts in the muffin pan etc) and I finally found the taste I thought was really “french toast” so I just wanted to share with you.
        I took up on your advice and reduced the sugar to 100g and added 25ml of maple syrup + maple essence. Then I used the recipe for maple glaze in the Baked Maple Glazed Donuts with the maple essence. The sweetness of the glaze went perfect with the muffins and the entire house smelled so nice! Thank you SO MUCH for your recipe! I love it!

  23. I love this recipe! My favorite is a cardamom and rosewater muffin. I replace the cinnamon with a tablespoon and a half of cardamom and I replace the vanilla with rosewater. I also add walnuts. Thank you!

  24. The best pumpkin muffins! Moist and tasty. I added a third tablespoon of maple syrup to the glaze… just because! I didn’t use cupcake papers and had no issues of sticking. Thanks for sharing this!

  25. Haven’t made these yet. I have a lot of raspberries and blueberries in the freezer. Is it okay to use frozen fruit?

    1. Hi Marla, Frozen berries work! Do not thaw before using.

  26. The best muffins I have tried yet! I made lemon poppyseed since it is my all time favourite, and the crumb is loose, fluffy, and moist. With a smear of your lemon curd and a sprinkling of coarse sugar on top before they bake, these muffins are heavenly. As many muffins outside are, these are NOT very filling, nor are they heavy and dense. I have already made these muffins at least three times, and am making it again this coming Friday. Thank you Sally. I love your recipes!

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