This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
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.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
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. This recipe looks fantastic; thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to try lots of the variations. For the ones calling for berries, can I use frozen? If so, do you thaw them first? I still have a lot of home grown berries from last year that I’d love to use. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Marcy, frozen berries work! Do not thaw before using. The color may bleed a bit more than if using fresh berries, but they will be delicious nonetheless. If you’d like, you can lightly toss them in flour before adding to the batter. Enjoy!

  2. Hi Sally, can I substitute orange instead of lemon in the lemon poppy seed muffin? Thank you!

  3. Hi Sally. Will gluten free baking flour or all purpose flour work for these muffins? Thanks.

    1. Hi Joann, We haven’t personally tested it, but other readers have had luck using a 1:1 Gluten Free baking flour in our muffin recipes.

  4. i just made this muffin recipe with frozen mixed berries. Turned out fabulous! Love all your recipes!

  5. Hi Sally! Love your recipes! Do you think adding a tablespoon of chocolate powder to make chocolate muffins would work without compromising the moistness? Thanks!

    1. Hi Kate! Unfortunately cocoa powder isn’t an easy add-in. We suggest using a recipe written for chocolate batter such as our Triple Chocolate Muffins and then you can sub different add-ins for the chocolate chips.

  6. I’ve noticed a lot of your muffin recipes have yogurt. We have a dairy allergy here I’m trying to work around. I can use vegan butter and sub oat milk but I don’t know a sub for yogurt. Any suggestion how to replace that or if I can’t sub for it, how to adjust the recipe?

    1. Hi Mary! In a pinch you can substitute BOTH the sour cream/yogurt and milk for buttermilk (or a DIY soured milk using the oat milk you mention). So if the recipe calls for 1/2 C sour cream and 1/4 C milk, you can use 3/4 C buttermilk in place of both. Hope this helps!

      1. Most buttermilks are still dairy based. I think that the best dairy free substitution for yogurt/sour cream would be dairy free cashew yogurts or almond milk yogurts. That’s what I use for my daughter. There are also diary free sour creams out there but they just don’t taste all that good.

  7. Sally

    What is the difference between this recipe and the bakery style muffins? I see some of the ingredients are different. Would love to make these, but not sure which recipe to use.
    By the way, I love your site and your recipes. Have made many. Always a hit!

    1. Hi Rhonda! These muffins lighter and more cake-like in their texture. Our bakery style muffins are a bit more dense. You can’t go wrong with either!

      1. Hi Sally and team, I love this recipe I’ve made it before and it’s always a success. I would like to know if I can mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt) the night before (and cover the bowl) as now I’m doing 60 muffins and I really want to save some time, but I’ve read comments that say it’s not really a good idea to prepare the batter ahead of time, but this is before mixing with the butter-sugar mix, thank you 🙂

  8. We use this recipe all the time and have tried all different flavors. We’ve dubbed the raspberry white chocolate chip ones “Sweary Berry” muffins because one time I forgot to turn the temp down and when I pulled them out and they were burned I said “Dammit” (Sorry ). My nephew heard me and coined the term and it’s stayed. My kids love Costco poppy seed muffins but I’ll never buy them and so last time my 7 year old asked I said “I’ll make them for you and they’ll be better!” hoping that you had one. I followed the instructions for the lemon poppyseed but left out the lemon and the glaze. I also added almond extract instead of vanilla. The flavor was great but they weren’t as moist as usual. Any suggestions? Thanks for helping me make amazing baked goods!

    1. Hi Susie, We are so happy this recipe has been such a hit with your family! Brown sugar has more moisture, so if you used the lemon poppy recipe with white sugar and left out the 3 TBS of juice it would yield a dryer muffin. You can follow the main recipe and simply add poppy seeds to that- or use the lemon poppy recipe but replace the lemon juice with milk. Either way would be an easy fix for next time!

  9. Absolutely love your master muffin batter!!!. So soft and moist unlike those that I had previously baked. Personally I do not really like muffins because the texture is too dense but your master muffin batter is simply delicious with any fruit, choc or nuts!! Thank you for making me love muffins again!!

  10. Can i make a strawberry lemon/orange muffin? If I want to adapt this to your jumbo blueberry muffins get a good rise, is there anything i need to keep in mind when making or are they any steps different?

  11. I made the lemon poppyseed variation over the weekend. The only change I made was to increase the lemon zest (I used all the zest from 2 medium lemons). They turned out AMAZING – the lightest muffins I’ve ever tasted, and deliciously rich. My dad and I ate the dozen muffins in two and a half days.

    I think my batter might have turned out a little too slack – the lemon I juiced was very heavy and I didn’t measure the juice (totally my mistake). The tops didn’t rise so much, but the texture and taste were fabulous.

    This will definitely be my go-to muffin base from now on!

  12. Hi Sally,

    Do you see any issues with using Greek yogurt? Its what I usually have in the fridge. I was thinking I could thin it out a bit with milk. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Monty, Greek yogurt will work just fine here, as long as it’s plain and not sweetened. No need to thin it out, either!

  13. Hi Sally! This muffin batter looks delicious! I was wondering if I could make the batter the night before we would like to serve the muffins and refrigerate it overnight? Also would buttermilk substitute well for the yogurt or sour cream? Thank you so much! Love all your winner recipes! 🙂

    1. Hi Sofia! We don’t recommend making the batter ahead of time. The raising agents will activate too soon and your muffins won’t rise correctly when you bake them. It’s best to stick with yogurt or sour cream in the recipe, buttermilk will be a bit too thin. Hope you love these!

    1. Hi Kim, We don’t recommend oil for this recipe. We would use this Master Bakery Style Muffin Recipe instead – the melted butter can be replaced with the same amount of oil since it doesn’t need to be creamed.

  14. I made the mixed berry muffins and they have become a family favorite. We are having a family reunion and I am planning on making the mixed berry muffins along with a couple other varieties. I would like to make them ahead of time but wonder about freezing them. Any advice?

    1. Hi Cheryl! Muffins freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter.

  15. Hi Sally, I want to make your recipe but I was wondering if this batter could be left refrigerated overnight then baked off the following day?

    1. Hi Jessenia, we don’t recommend that. As soon as the batter is mixed together the leaveners are activated and if you wait too long to bake it the muffins won’t rise properly. It’s best to use the batter right away once mixed.

  16. We are a divided household – the boys like chocolate chip muffins while the girls like blueberry muffins. This is the perfect base to be able to make both types of muffins at the same time! I’ve made this recipe several times and every time I make it my 5 y/o declares that it’s his favourite breakfast and that he wants the muffins every day for breakfast! This is an incredible recipe and I can’t to try the other muffin varieties!

  17. Made mini muffin chocolate chip streusel version. They were great! I did reduce the chocolate to about 1 1/4 cups and will probably do just 1 cup next time. Even my teenage daughter who loves all things chocolate agreed there was a bit too much. Other than that, followed recipe exactly. Baked for 14-15 minutes and did the high heat for 3 minutes and then turned down to 350. Got 40 mini muffins and filled pretty close to the top of the liner. This recipe is a keeper and I will definitely try more variations.

  18. I reduced the amount of sugar from 3/4 cup to 1/4 cup, kept everything else the same. My batter at the end was only enough to make 8 muffins, not 12. Was it because of reducing the sugar? Or did I go wrong somewhere else? Had a bit of batter leftover but not enough to fill another muffin tin, let alone 4 more.

    1. Hi Maddie! Reducing the sugar will change the consistency of the batter. Thanks for giving this recipe a try!

  19. My daughter and I tried several online muffin recipes for her 4H foods project, but they weren’t exactly what we were looking for, especially texture. We found this one, and used it to make the perfect batter for her carrot, apple, and raisin muffins…turned out beautifully! She won division champion…thanks so much for the great tips and recipe!!

    1. We’re so happy to read this – congratulations to your daughter!

  20. I absolutely love your recipes but I feel like my oven didn’t correctly engage with the task! Two muffins have nicely risen and broken in the middle like small and very pretty volcanoes. The other four apparently cooked firm on the top and exploded out the sides underneath in a sort of soufflé effect. So maybe I should stick with one slightly middle temperature throughout for the next six…

    1. Hi Rosie! Did you happen to make any ingredient substitutions? For the next six, you can try baking them at 350 degrees for the entire time — it’s possible your oven runs much hotter than it reads which is leading to the discrepancies. An oven thermometer will help if you have one! Let us know if we can help to troubleshoot further.

  21. I only have a food processor so after creaming the butter and sugar I added all the wet ingredients and made sure they were well combined, then added the combined dry ingredients, pulsing and scraping just until the batter was smooth. I was adding blueberries and craisins, so I tossed those in a little flour in a big bowl and then folded the batter together with them. They rose beautifully and taste delicious! Just sweet enough, but not like a cupcake.

  22. Sally we love your blueberry muffins. Will the Master Muffin recipe work with strawberries?

  23. Can this be made without sour cream and/or yogurt? What would I substitute with?

    1. Hi Nolani, in a pinch you can substitute BOTH the sour cream/yogurt and milk for buttermilk.

  24. I need to use artificial sugar will that change the quality of the muffins?

  25. These were the best muffins I’ve ever had. I only got 11 but they were all even and baked perfectly. They were so soft it felt like I was biting into a cloud. I made mine with strawberries and chocolate chips. I saw a tip somewhere that coating the berries in flour prevents them from sinking, although I’m not sure if it made too much of a difference. Either way I loved these and the recipe was super easy too.

  26. Hi Sally, I am looking for a plain (but moist and delicious) butter muffin recipe — can I use this one and simply skip all the toppings/fillings options, or is there a better recipe for that? Thank you!

    1. Hi Jackie, yes, you can omit the different add-ins here for a plain muffin. Enjoy!

  27. Hi Sally, I love your recipes and your site is my go-to place whenever I want to bake.
    For this recipe, can I freeze prepared muffin batter (for storage / future use)? If yes, up to how long?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Grace, we do not recommend freezing this batter. Once the leaveners are added and mixed, they are activated so it’s best to bake right away. See recipe notes for make ahead and freezing baked muffins.

Leave a Review!

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.