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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. I am in charge of volunteer bakers for our local coffee shop run by The Volunteer Center. We have used this recipe for over a year and it is fabulous no matter what variation we use. I have created other variations that are quite tasty too! Our customers look forward to our weekly and monthly “The big one” muffin varieties. Thanks Sally!

    1. So glad this muffin recipe has been a hit for you and your customers, Robin!

    1. Hi Donna, we don’t have a perfected bran muffin recipe yet, but let us know if you find one you love!

  2. Is it possible to use whole wheat flour in place of a portion of the white flour?

    1. Hi Carol, 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!

  3. Hi Sally, I would like to use your base muffin recipe to make pumpkin muffins. How much pumpkin should I use?

    1. Hi Bonnie, I recommend using an oil-based muffin for making pumpkin muffins. This is my favorite recipe if you want to try it:
      If you’d like to use this recipe, you can try replacing the sour cream with pumpkin. The flavor may not be as strong. Feel free to add pumpkin pie spice.

  4. Sally
    Great recipe
    I was wondering if I could put the dry ingredients in a jarvon my shelf and just add the dry ingredients when I am ready to make muffins
    Thanks for all your delicious recipes and videos

    1. Hi Sharon, you could do that — we’re unsure of how long the dry mix will last though.

  5. Hi Sally!

    is this batter able to be frozen, then thawed and combined with add ins?



    P.S- Love love love your recipes. 🙂

    1. Hi Job, thank you so much for making our recipes! We do not recommend freezing or refrigerating 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.

  6. Hello,

    Would this recipe still work if only used 1 egg? My daughter is supposed to eat a muffin a day, but needs to be 1 egg per 12 muffins to help reduce her egg allergy. I am having a tough time finding good recipes for this. Thanks!

    1. Hi Sam, we haven’t tried reducing the eggs in this recipe — it would take some testing and adjustment of other ingredients in order to guarantee results. You could try using one egg and the searching online for egg replacement ideas, but again, we haven’t tried anything here and are unsure of the final result. Let us know if you do give anything a try!

    2. My son had an egg allergy and we would substitute applesauce for the egg. 1/4 cup per large egg. I’ve never noticed a difference in flavor or texture.

  7. Hi Sally
    You are my go to girl when it comes to scones. Can I sub the sugar in your master muffin recipe for erythritol, xylitol, monk or stevia?

    1. Hi Llynda! We’d love to help but we are not trained in baking with sugar substitutes. For best taste and texture (and so you don’t waste your time trying to adapt this recipe since it may not work properly), it may be more useful to find a scone recipe that is specifically formulated for sugar substitutes. Thank you!

  8. Love this recipe. Always complimented on how tasty the muffins are!

    Wanted to know if there was a lower sugar version?

    1. Hi CD, so glad you’ve been enjoying this recipe! We haven’t tried a lower sugar version of these muffins. You can certainly do some experimenting if you’d like, but keep in mind that reducing the sugar can alter the taste, texture, and structure of the muffins.

  9. Hi Sally
    I just wanted to says I love all our recipes. I just noticed you don’t have a lot of knowledge on sugar substitutes. I have found with most of your recipes that subbing Splenda white or brown 1 for 1 works out rather well.

  10. Hi Sally
    I just wanted to says I love all your recipes. I just noticed you don’t have a lot of knowledge on sugar substitutes. I have found with most of your recipes that subbing Splenda white or brown 1 for 1 works out rather well.

  11. Hi Sally,
    Oh we just love your recipes!
    Im thinking about making these muffins today…I just realized I dont have plain yoghurt…but I do have buttermilk. Can I use that as a substitution? Do I have to adjust the milk then also? I sound like a pain! Do you suggest I go get the yogurt rather 🙂

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

  12. My muffins deflated.
    Any idea what went wrong?
    Baking powder and Soda are still good.
    How much is 1 tsp of baking powder/soda for you? I work with the metric system and measure my ingredients. I made the lemon blueberry. Maybe too much lemon juice? Again, what would be the accurate ml of juice?

    1. Hi Heidi, I’m just seeing your question now– it’s possible that the muffins were under-baked and that’s why they sank and deflated as they cooled. 1 teaspoon of baking powder is about 4 grams and 1 teaspoon of baking soda weighs the same. Did you use frozen blueberries? I wonder if they were too wet? Perhaps too much lemon juice as well, though that hasn’t been an issue when I’ve made these in the past!

    1. Hi Al, frozen fruit will work — do not thaw before mixing in the batter. The colors may bleed a bit more than with fresh fruit, but they’ll be delicious nonetheless.

  13. I tried these and immediately made my best ever muffins! Even though my sugar butter egg mixture curdled. I think I added the two eggs too quickly and my yoghurt was still slightly cold. I don’t understand, but when I added the flour it all became normal again. ‍♀️
    I do have two questions, can you add white granulated sugar to create a lighter coloured muffin? And also, is there a big difference between putting it directly in the greased pan, or with paper shapes? (I made without) Thanks Sally!

    1. Hi Anne, you can try substituting with white sugar, but expect a slightly drier muffin as brown sugar yields more moisture. There is not a big difference between using muffin liners or not — it’s really a personal preference!

  14. I was looking for a muffin mix that could be split in half to please my two children, one who likes apple cinnamon and the other that likes banana chocolate chip. This is perfect! Thank you!

  15. Great Recipe! I’ve done a couple rounds of these and I have a few notes some people may find useful:
    -I’m at a high-ish elevation(~5000ft) and was having some issues with the muffins collapsing and getting dense, even with dry additives only and being properly cooked. I decreased the baking soda to 1/2tsp and increased the baking powder(a weaker leavening agent) to 1 1/2tsp and that seems to have fixed the issue!
    -When I use silicone liners, I have to leave them in for an extra 6-8 minutes of bake time to get them done, but they’re still a little too moist in the middle with the outside getting overdone. I’ve tried paper liners too and the texture’s definitely better with the paper!

  16. Hi Sally, I see you don’t mention carrots and walnuts in the flavor variations. Please advise if it’s possible to add carrots and what if anything I need to omit or add to successfully bring this home…
    Ps I’m not a baker so I need to be guided!
    Thank you

    1. Hi Mikky, for a carrot muffin, we recommend using this recipe for Morning Glory Muffins. If you want all carrots, you can replace the apple with more shredded carrot (the raisins and pecans are optional). Hope you enjoy it!

  17. Hi, just made blueberry and raspberry muffins. Very pleased as they’re so fluffy and moist . Can’t wait to try other variations. Thanks for the recipe .

  18. I’ve made the apple cinnamon ones twice now and they’ve turned out amazing both times. My husband took some to work last night to share with his coworkers and they asked if they were store bought because they looked and tasted so good.

  19. Any Suggestions to making this a little more sweet? The batter is kind of bitter with only the brown sugar.

    1. Hi Lisa, you can use brown or granulated sugar. There are also many variations listed under “10 more muffin flavors”. You might love the pineapple coconut or birthday cake versions. Let us know if you try them!

  20. So I love this recipe and the variations are super helpful! I like to make them for friends or special occasions so they aren’t all sitting in the house tempting me…
    Recently I’ve been experimenting with some different ingredients in my meals/baking and decided to try this recipe with my changes. It worked great so I’m sharing here!
    I substituted about half of the flour for whole wheat flour; the sugar for a monk fruit sweetener containing Erythritol, avocado oil for butter (based on cup measurement, not weight) , and I used 2% vanilla Greek yogurt (all I had but will try plain next time) and 1% milk. I made the cinnamon apple variation skills I added in a chopped McIntosh apple and cinnamon. I baked for the same amount of time at the same temp and they came out perfect.
    Each muffin has only 1.7g saturated fat, 7g of fiber, 0.6g of sugars, and 4.5g of protein!
    It’s not quite as tasty as the regular muffins but really delicious considering they are so low in sugar and high in fiber.
    I’m going to continue to experiment (plain Greek yogurt, unsweetened almond milk, more whole wheat flour) but I’m amazed how well this turned out on the first try.
    I’ll continue to make the original recipe for company and what not but this will be my go to recipe for having muffins in the house now. It will be a bit friendlier to our waistlines
    Thank you for this very versatile muffin recipe!

  21. Thank you for sharing this recipe! We made blueberry muffins and this was the most tender muffin I’ve ever eaten.

  22. Warm hugs to you, Sally. These muffins are so delicious, and every recipe of yours that I’ve tried has been spot-on amazing. Molten lava cakes, flatbread pizza, black bean burgers, all so reliably wonderful. Thank you!!

  23. Hi Sally,
    I just tried making this and my wet ingredients refused to combine. Any idea what I might’ve done wrong?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Zhanna, Make sure all of your ingredients, including your sour cream or yogurt, are at room temperature. They are difficult to combine if they are different temperatures!

  24. My daughter is vegan. Any suggestions for non-dairy replacements for the sour cream/yogurt?

    1. Hi Susan, we haven’t tested any dairy-free alternatives with this recipe. If you give anything a try, we’d love to know how it goes!

    2. Forager cashewmilk & yogurt are my go to, I’ I’m dairy free and this brand has been reliably awesome for years

  25. Hi, Sally. Every recipe of yours that I have tried has been a success. I made the pumpkin muffins in November. They were delicious. I measured dry ingredients for a second batch, and crumb topping, to make at a future time. Today was the future date. Unfortunately, I looked in the pantry and there was no pumpkin puree. To resolve my dilemma, I looked at your master recipe, and lo and behold, everything was the same, except for using sour cream and milk for the pumpkin. There was pumpkin spice in my dry ingredient mix, but that just gave it a nice flavor. They turned out beautifully and delicious. All this to say, thank you for all your work in creating great recipes that work so well. I appreciate you.

    1. Hi Kathryn, thank you so much for the kind words. Happy baking!

  26. I have found a few references to a pure Lemon Poppy seed Muffin recipe of yours that’s not the Orange Lemon Poppyseed one. Do you have one? This master muffin recipe with comments to Lemon Poppy seed is the closest I’ve seen.

  27. Hi! I became a new mom to a sibling group over 2 years ago and we love your muffin recipe! My eldest needs expensive therapy and I’d like to use at least one of your recipes with proper attribution for a fundraiser cookbook. Specifically the infinite muffin recipe. Lemme know! Thank you!

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