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:
- Cranberry Cardamom Spice Muffins
- Blackberry Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- Peach Streusel Muffins
- Apple Cinnamon Muffins
- Blueberry Muffins
- Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins
- 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.
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.
Today’s New Muffin Flavors
Details for making each are in the recipe notes below.
- White Chocolate Raspberry Muffins
- Apple Cinnamon Muffins
- Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins (with lemon glaze)
- Mixed Berry Muffins (with lemon glaze)
- Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins
WHITE CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY MUFFINS:
APPLE CINNAMON MUFFINS:
LEMON POPPY SEED MUFFINS:
MIXED BERRY MUFFINS:
CHOCOLATE CHIP STREUSEL MUFFINS:
PS: 10 more flavors below the recipe! And if you’re looking for a chocolate base, try these double chocolate muffins.Print
Master Muffin Recipe
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 12-14 muffins
- 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
- Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins – Fold 1 and 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips into the batter as instructed in step 4. Press crumbs from these apple cinnamon muffins slightly down into muffin tops (so they adhere, but aren’t submerged) before baking.
- 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.
- 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.
- Mini Muffins: 350°F for 12-14 minutes. Makes about 36-40.
- Chocolate Muffins: If you’re looking for a chocolate base recipe, use these double chocolate muffins.
Keywords: Master Muffin Recipe
10 More Muffin Flavors
- 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 muffins.
- 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.
- Blueberry Lemon Muffins: master muffin batter + zest and juice of 1 lemon + 1 and 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (leave out cinnamon)
- Pear Spice Muffins: master muffin batter + 1 and 1/4 cups peeled chopped pear + 1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg, ground cloves, + allspice
- Crumb Cake Muffins: master muffin batter + extra 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + the crumb topping from these apple cinnamon muffins
- 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.
- 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.
- Pineapple Coconut Muffins: master muffin batter + 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut + 3/4 cup finely chopped pineapple (fresh or canned)
- Birthday Cake Muffins: master muffin batter + 3/4 cup rainbow sprinkles + 1 teaspoon almond extract (leave out cinnamon)
- 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 muffins.
Reader Comments & Reviews
I loved this recipe! I was trying to do a bit healthier, because I just had to start cholesterol meds! Ugh! So I used applesauce in place of butter, found out mid recipe I was OUT of eggs,lol, but used a couple tablespoons of mayo, 2 T. Vanilla pudding mix and 2 T butter. Came out so yummy, underbaked by about 1 minute. Thanks for the recipe! I will follow the directions next time I make them, I promise! Lol
Hi there! Can cake flour be used instead of the AP flour?
Hi Jade, cake flour would produce a much lighter muffin, and we fear it may not be sturdy to hold in the add-ins, depending on what you use. For best results, we recommend sticking with all purpose flour here. Let us know what you try!
Made these tonight in a jumbo muffin tin, and added chocolate chips. Very tender muffin, but still a perfect base for more substantial mix-ins like chocolate. Domed beautifully! Will be making these a LOT going forward! Delicious!
Love all of your recipes!! I’m planning to make a whole bunch of muffins for the weekend! Is the 5 minute bake at 425 still recommended for minis before reducing to 350? Thank you!
Hi Tia, for mini muffins, bake at 350°F for the entire time, 12-14 minutes. Makes about 36-40. Hope you enjoy them!
Hi Sally & co, I love your muffin recipes, especially the morning glories; huge favourite in my house for awhile now. My question is about the initial high temp (stroke of brilliance btw!). When reducing the temperature for the remainder of the bake, do you keep the oven door closed, or open it a bit to let it get back down to that 350 mark? Thanks 🙂
Hi Jackie, we’re so glad you love these muffins. It’s best not to open the oven door in the middle of the bake time.
Love the idea of a all purpose/multi purposeful recipe! Wondering if you have a “basic” recipe for a savory muffins – ripe for riffing/adaptation? Thanks!
Hi Sarah! I do, but it’s actually a quick bread recipe that you could turn into muffins. Here is my savory quick bread. See recipe notes for the muffin instructions and all the flavor suggestions in the post.
These muffins were delicious!! I have made the mixed berry and today I randomly made them with 1 cup of raspberries and 1/2 cup walnuts. Both times however I was only able to get 11 muffins out of the recipe. Not quite sure why.
Hi Sally, I have baked the lemon blueberry, lemon poppyseed, double chocolate chip and cinnamon and pecan muffins that were all delicious. The only problem I had was with the chocolate ones, I found that they were sticking to the cases and I’m not sure why, so would appreciate your advice please. The lemon blueberry I found were much nicer using fresh blueberries, as the frozen were inclined to bleed a little. Thanks as always for the beautiful recipes.
Hi Jenny, we find that the liners you use make a big difference – we recommend using high-quality grease proof liners to avoid sticking!
Sally. do I have to cook raw fruit like apples, peaches, pears etc before putting into muffins? Will the raw fruit cook enough?
Hi Paula, you don’t have to cook the fruit before you add to the muffin batter. It cooks enough when you bake the muffins.
I haven’t made this yet but every recipe from this website is amazing so I’m not worried. I’m commenting on the brilliance of the master muffin concept! I have to bake 200 muffins for my summer camp in a couple weeks and I was a little anxious about the logistics of making three completely different muffins—measuring, mixing, etc., when I have to more than quadruple each recipe. Making one large batch and separating it for the different flavors is absolute mastery. Thank you!
Can you use regular sugar instead of brown sugar if so, how much?
Hi Scarlett, you can try substituting with the same amount of white sugar, but expect a slightly drier muffin as brown sugar yields more moisture.
Can you adapt this to muffin tops? Would you still raise the temperature?
We haven’t tested it! You likely wouldn’t need the initial high temperature.
This recipe is wonderful! How do you feel about substituting monk fruit sugar instead of regular sugar?
Hi Jocelyn! So glad you enjoy them. 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 recipe that is specifically formulated for sugar substitutes. Thank you!
Can canola oil be substituted for butter?
Hi Barbara, 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 in that recipe since it doesn’t need to be creamed.
can I sub oat flour ? I want them to be gluten free. thanks
We haven’t tested this recipe with gluten free flours, but some readers have reported success using 1:1 flour substitutes (like Cup4Cup). If you try it, let us know how it goes!
My all-time favorite master muffin recipes! The best orange/cranberry muffins out there by far. They freeze so well and taste like you just made them when reheated.
Do you have any suggestions for dairy free. I did purchase vegan butter but I’m not sure about the milk and yogurt. Can I use almond milk yogurt and almond milk instead?
Hi Sheryl, we haven’t tested a completely dairy-free version of these muffins, but that would be a good place to start. We’d love to know how they turn out for you!
I made your blueberry muffins & your chocolate chip muffins this week. The were fabulous. They each made 14 standard ones I bake and then give away. Thank you for the tip on tall puffed up tops! All winter I made your apple crumble muffins…also a huge hit!
I just made the Apple Pecan muffins in my mini-muffin pans. I had to sample one before I took them to my craft group tomorrow. Delicious! This recipe is definitely a keeper!
Do you have suggestions to modify this recipe for high altitude? (6500 ft)
Hi Suzanne! We wish we could help, but we have no experience baking at high altitude. Some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html
Hi Sally, can’t wait to try the recipe and variations. Can I use frozen berries instead of fresh. It can be difficult to find fresh berries at certain times of the year in my country? Thanks so much
Hi Jenny, 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!
Are muffins the same as cupcakes or are they different
Hi Lovey! Cupcakes are typically lighter in texture and made from cake batter (like mini cakes) and muffins are more dense, like mini quick breads.
I think I’ll mix up the dry ingredients ahead of time & store them in a mason jar to speed the process in the morning. Do you see any issues with this plan?
That should work just fine, Cathy. Enjoy!
What do you recommend for people who are gluten intolerant? Any particular gluten free combinations?
Hi Judi, We haven’t tested this recipe with gluten free flours, but some readers have reported success using 1:1 flour substitutes (like Cup4Cup). If you try it, let us know how it goes!
Sally, should the yogurt be full fat? Thank you in advance!
Hi Susan, full fat yogurt is best. Enjoy the muffins!
Hi! Could you use vanilla yogurt and leave out vanilla flavoring??
Hi Susan, you can use vanilla yogurt but we’d still recommend the vanilla extract. The amount of vanilla flavoring that would come through the yogurt would really vary by brand.
I loved the idea of a basic muffin that you can use it for a variety of flavours. Instead of using, I can use margarine to cream instead?
Hi Christina, for best results, we recommend sticking with butter. Margarine has a different makeup than butter and will vary results. Hope you enjoy these muffins!
Excellent recipe! It was so easy to mix add-ins to please the fruit-loving and chocolate loving members of my family at the same time. These muffins were very tasty!
I tried these with vegan butter and they turned out perfectly! ❤️
I love the idea of a basic muffin recipe. Can this be adapted to whole wheat flour?
Hi Brenda, Whole wheat flour will produce a muffin that is more dense and hearty. You can try subbing half of the all purpose for for whole wheat or when you search our recipes by ingredient (Whole Wheat Recipes) there are many muffins you can try.
Loved this recipe! I wonder if canned or frozen peaches could be used in the winter for the peach muffins. Making them all year long would be wonderful!
Hi Christina! Fresh peaches are ideal, but if using frozen be sure to blot as much moisture as you can before adding them to the batter.
I used canned, just rinsed and patted dry well. They were great_!
I found this long ago and have been a huge fan ever since. The one I make most often is banana walnut. I finely chop half in a hand processor (for better flavor distribution) and coarse chop the rest (for the crunch). These seem to last forever refrigerated but needless to say they don’t last very long. They freeze well and the flavor and moist texture are amazing. A great recipe (among your many others)! Thank you, Sally.
I am excited to try this. Can I make the batter ahead and bake the morning of? If so, how far ahead is acceptable? I’d love to make for the 4th of July at the lake. We like warm muffins each day!
Hi Cyndi! We don’t recommend it. Once the wet and dry ingredients are mixed, the leaveners are activated so it’s best to bake them right away. You could bake them ahead, freeze, and then warm to your liking each morning.