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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 this crumb topping.
  2. White Chocolate Nectarine: master muffin batter + 1 heaping cup peeled chopped nectarine + 1/2 cup white chocolate chips. With brown sugar nut streusel.
  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 + this crumb topping
  6. Banana Nut Muffins: master muffin batter + 3/4 cup mashed banana + leave out sour cream + 1 cup chopped walnuts. Cheesecake filling 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 brown sugar nut streusel.
  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. This crumb topping would be great.

Reader Questions and Reviews

    1. Hi Elsie, any combination of your favorite berries works wonderfully! We love using blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries 🙂 Mix 1 and 1/2 cups mixed berries into the batter in step 4. Happy baking!

  1. I thought that they were amazing!! The texture was perfect and it was nice and moist. I didn’t have any brown sugar on me so I just used plain cain sugar and it still tasted great! Thank you Sally!

  2. I made the birthday cake muffins today for my hubby’s birthday and they turned out delicious! They are fun, festive, and tasty! I think these will be a new tradition in our household to celebrate all the birthdays. Thanks for the great recipe!

  3. Hi, I’d like my one year old to be able to eat these too so do you think I could replace the sugar with applesauce? Or should I just leave it out ? I’m just wondering about possible substitutions to make them a little healthier. Any tips would be appreciated!

    1. Hi Julie! We love these Baby Apple Banana Oat Muffins for little ones! That muffin recipe can be easily customized to incorporate ingredients your little one loves – see the “Possible Ingredient Substitutions” heading in the blog post

  4. I woke up with a taste for muffins for breakfast this Saturday morning and Google showed me straight to this recipe. I bolted out of bed and whipped up a version (White Chocolate Rapberry). They were just resting on the cooling rack when my wife came out of the bedroom wondering what smelled so delicious! She rated them a 10 out of 10! They were easy and delicious. The dishes were cleaned and put away as they emerged from the oven. It was a lovey way to start a Saturday in the new year.

  5. I made the infinite muffin recipe with my children and we added 1 cup of chocolate chips. These muffins are excellent! Finally a muffin that rises and is light like a bakery style muffin. Thanks again Sally! There’s no other baking site I love more.

  6. You have become my “go to” baking guru! My family say “best muffins ever” when I use your base recipe!

  7. I would like to use my new silicone large 6 muffin pan. Any adjustments should I make in filling the cup or baking time.?
    Thanks Ann

    1. Hi Ann, see recipe notes for details on using this batter to make 6 jumbo muffins. We don’t have much experience baking with silicone pans, but they may take a bit longer to cook all the way through. Keep a close eye on them and use a toothpick to test for doneness. Happy baking!

  8. This recipe is a keeper!

    In one batch I varied the flavors to appease different family members: chocolate chip, banana and berry mix. The texture is fluffy but not crumbly at all! Flavor is well balanced. The only difference is I needed an extra 5 min for baking during the 350 degrees part: 5 min at 425 degrees and a total of 18-20 min at 350.

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  9. Hi, sally! I’ve made this recipe a few times, and it always turns out great! but i was wondering, could you use buttermilk as a substitute for the milk and the sour cream? i was thinking that 1/2 cup of buttermilk would be an ok substitute, but i wanted to get an opinion before trying. Thanks!

    1. Hi Julie, In a pinch you can substitute BOTH the sour cream/yogurt and milk for buttermilk (or a DIY soured milk). Use 3/4 cup buttermilk in place of both. I hope this helps!

  10. I’ve made the banana muffins and apple cinnamon. I’ve a hankering to try carrot cake. Would you add carrot and dates with mixed spice to create this with the master recipe? I’ve been subbing some flour with oatbran and mixing soft brown sugar with demerara. I’m a wing it and see kinda person but thought I’d ask and see what you thought!

  11. Flavour is super. We added dark chocolate chunks. Did 6 jumbo muffins, for 23 mins. They turned out a little dry. Would add half a banana next time, and only bake for 20 mins.

    FYI. Batter was surprisingly very thick and doughy not runny like traditional muffin batter.

  12. Great muffins! Everyone loved the pear spice flavor. We’ll be trying every flavor we can think of!

  13. I followed this recipe to a T and it was a disappointment. It tasted like baking soda and powder and hardly sweet. Not sure where I went wrong with it but I’m sad they didn’t turn out good.

  14. I made 2 batches with this recipe. I followed instruction’s and ingredient’s exactly, even the .5min 425 F trick to fluff up muffins. I used mixed frozen berries from Costco leaving them in the fridge to thaw and excess juices to strain. I also used 18% full fat sour cream and 2 % milk. These muffins are moist, rich, creamy…and gone. lol Baked on convection bake for exactly 5 mins at 425F leaving muffins in pan, reduced to 350F for exactly 15 min. Muffins did not stick are so beautiful.

  15. I just used this to make cherry/orange/CC muffins. Man they smell good. Only added an 1/8 or so orange peel and the same with the orange extract. With the cherries, I did semi-thaw them. Seemed to work well that way. Did not end up with pink muffins. Ended up with 14 muffins. The first 12 I did the 425 deg trick, the last 2 are for me, so just baked at the 350 temp. I did notice, they still had a good rise and they needed an extra min or so to bake through.

    1. This has the fluffiest and most tender crumb. Tastes amazing too. I’ve made tons of muffins and tried many recipes… and this is my go to.

  16. Hi, I am 12 and i baked this recipe by myself! These muffin smelt amazing and the were so fluffy and crunchy! I shared them with my family and they were all over the muffins and they were going back for more! This recipe is truly delicious and i think i am going to make more!
    -Little baker

  17. Thanks so much. Can I substitute oil for butter? I ran out of butter and can’t get to the store until Friday but I have some berries I want to use before it goes bad. If I can, how much should I use? Thanks!

  18. Hi…When I reduce the temperature from 425 to 350 do I leave muffins in th oven? Thx, MM

    1. Hi Mary! Any will work as long as it’s plain and not sweetened. We’ve use non fat Greek yogurt with good results!

  19. What changes to tge recipe would you recommend for adding oatmeal. (Like an oatmeal apple muffin.)

    1. Hi Ashley, if you’re looking for an oatmeal apple muffin, you might like this recipe instead. Let us know if you give it a try!

  20. The instruction to results information is absolutely correct. The muffin tops rise in direct proportion to the care in not opening the oven after placing the muffins in to bake and turning the oven down at five minutes right on time. Using the Martha Stewart porcelain muffin pans helps make them perfectly. Just place them on a cookie sheet with parchment underneath to bake.

    Believe it…these are the best muffins. Do not ever forget the streusel.

  21. I’ve been making these muffins (raspberry and white chocolate is my favorite) since lockdown started and they taste great but I can’t get them to rise. I’m following the recipe and I don’t open the oven whilst they are cooking – do you have any tips?

    1. Hi Kathryn, happy to help! It could be a few things. First, make sure your baking powder and soda are fresh. We find they lose strength after just 3-4 months. Use proper room temperature butter and other room temperature ingredients. Make sure you spoon and level the flour, too!

  22. The best Muffin recipe I have yet tried. The muffin were a hit with my family. Thank you Sally

  23. Hello, I’m wondering if you have any recommended modifications for whole wheat flour? Based on quick searches online it seems that I should reduce the volume of flour if I am using whole wheat, but would you recommend to make modifications for other moisture components in the recipe? Thank you!

    1. Hi Eliza, Whole wheat flour will produce a muffin that is more dense and hearty. You can try subbing half of the all purpose flour for whole wheat in this recipe or when you search recipes by ingredient (Whole Wheat Recipes) there are many muffins you can try. Hope this helps!

  24. I have espresso baking chips I’d like to use for this muffin recipe. Any ideas on flavors to combine it with?

    1. Hi Liz, I think those chips would be fantastic in this muffin batter. You can follow the chocolate chip muffin instructions in the recipe notes, swapping out the chocolate chips for your espresso chips, and perhaps even add 2 teaspoons of espresso powder to the dry ingredients. If you’re interested in a glaze on top of the muffins, use this espresso glaze from the mocha blondies recipe.

  25. This is such a great recipe and I look forward to trying many of these variations! I love cardamom in baked goods, and I would love your suggestion on how to add it into the recipes which call for multiple spices – what would it be best to substitute for, so that it’s flavor might be noticed – maybe nutmeg? Cloves? Please share your thoughts. Thank you!

    1. Hi Donice! I don’t think you’d need to sub out any of the spices that some of the variations call for, unless you want of course– cardamom offers a different flavor than cloves and nutmeg, but you could definitely swap one of those out for it. You could also try these cranberry cardamom spice muffins.

    1. Hi Eileen, I can’t see why not. I would bake them at 350°F (177°C) the entire time. (Unlike the muffins.) I’m unsure of the best bake time for mini Bundts.

      1. Thank you Sally! I made lemon raspberry ones in the mini Bundt pans at 350 for 15 minutes. They turned out beautiful. I love all your recipes! Thanks for your quick response.

  26. Hi! I have tried several of your recipes and each has been terrific.

    I have been looking for a really good Bran muffin. Do you have one to share?

    Thank you for sharing your treats!

  27. Just wondering if you’ve ever put the batter in the pan, then let it sit in the fridge overnight? Do you think it would be a good or bad thing?
    Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Lynda, We don’t recommend it. Any recipe which uses leaveners should be baked as soon as possible. As soon as the batter is mixed together the leaveners are activated and won’t rise if it sits too long.

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