This Basic Muffin Recipe is the starting point for perfect soft & fluffy bakery-style muffins. Serve them as plain vanilla muffins with no add-ins or stir in your favorite mix-ins (I vote chocolate chips!).
This recipe is the base that I’ve used for so many of my favorite muffin recipes, including my blueberry muffins, chocolate chip muffins, and oatmeal muffins. Be sure to check out my how-to video at the bottom of the post!
The Perfect Basic Muffin Recipe
Those of you who have been following along with the blog for some time now (<3 you!) have probably figured this muffin recipe out already. In fact, it’s really nothing new, I’ve shared it on the blog at least half a dozen times by this point, in one variation or another.
But, it’s never been shared by itself before as the true perfect basic muffin starting point that it really is. And, every day I get e-mails asking me if you can add this or that to one of my muffin recipes, and how much to add, and so on. While I love getting emails, I’m going to have to admit that I’m falling slightly behind on my inbox right now and I thought having a staple stand-alone muffin recipe might just make things easier for all of us.
So today I hope you’re in the mood for a breakfast that’s a bit more indulgent than the healthy homemade granola I recently shared, because we’re going over all of my favorite tips and tricks for perfect muffins. This is a bakery-style starting point that I think you’re going to love. And oh boy do I hope you are ready to talk all things muffins for the next 500 words or so…
If you’ve tried some of my other muffin recipes, you’ll recognize a lot of these tips!
How to Measure Flour (it’s important!)
Incorrectly measuring your flour is one of the easiest way to go wrong when baking. To measure properly using cups, never scoop your flour directly into your measuring cup. Doing so will usually result in packing the flour into the cup, giving you more (sometimes much more) than you actually need, and often resulting in dry, too-dense muffins.
Instead, stir your flour in its container and then lightly spoon it into your measuring cup, slightly over-filling before leveling the cup off with the back of a knife. Even better, get a kitchen scale (this is the one I use, inexpensive and accurate, affiliate link) to guarantee you are always measuring all of your ingredients correctly. Weighing all of my ingredients has been a game changer in the kitchen, and it actually cuts back on washing dishes — I never have to wash measuring cups anymore!
This is a big one! I’ve warned about the dangers of over-mixing in my buttermilk pancakes and my vanilla cake recipe, but it’s just as important in this muffin recipe. Stir your ingredients too much and you’ll end up with dense, dry muffins.
Instead, use a spoon or spatula (never an electric mixer) to gently fold together your wet and dry ingredients. If you’re adding any add-ins, toss them into the batter once the wet and dry ingredients are about half-way combined (to avoid running the risk of over-mixing and continuing to stir after you’ve incorporated your ingredients). A few flour streaks in your batter is A-OK.
Don’t bake too long!
Even a minute or two too long in the oven can dry out your muffins. Always start with just a little less baking time than you think you need (just in case your oven is running too hot!). You can always add another minute or two to the end.
Two oven temperatures is better than one
We start by baking this muffin recipe in a very hot oven to help give them a nice rise and then drop the temperature to complete the baking process without drying out our muffins. We’ll start with a hot, 425F oven (make sure it’s completely preheated!) and then after a few minutes we drop that temperature to 350F without opening the oven door to complete the baking process. This gives us tall muffin tops with soft, fluffy centers. I learned this trick for using two temperatures years ago and it’s made all the difference in my muffin recipes!
Best Add-Ins for Muffins
This muffin recipe is great even if you don’t want to add anything to it at all and just want plain vanilla muffins. However,I like using this as a starting point and then adding my favorite additions. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Blueberries, or any berry (fresh or frozen)
- Toasted nuts (pecans & walnuts are my favorite)
- Chocolate chips or a chopped chocolate bar, or white chocolate, or caramel chips!
These add-ins are a great starting point, but feel free to use your own favorites (and let me know what you use!).
Also keep in mind that this muffin recipe is specifically designed to mix in add-ins that won’t change the base muffin recipe itself. If you’re looking to do something a bit more radical, like add bananas or make the base chocolate, I recommend you check out my banana muffins or double chocolate muffins instead.
Enjoy (and tell me what you’re putting in your muffins!!)!
Out of muffin liners? Learn how to make your own muffin liners here!
More Muffin Recipes to Try:
Be sure to check out my muffin recipe video at the bottom of the recipe! If you enjoy watching, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel where I’ve already uploaded over 100 recipe videos that you can watch for free!
Basic Muffin Recipe
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted (57g)
- ¼ cup canola oil (60ml) (you may substitute vegetable oil)
- 1 cup sugar (200g)
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 large egg white room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk (120ml) (click link for buttermilk substitute)
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour (220g)
- 2 teaspoons corn starch cornflour UK
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups of your favorite add-ins: Chocolate chips, frozen fruit, nuts, etc.
- Additional sugar for sprinkling optional
- Combine the melted butter and canola oil in a large bowl and stir well. Add sugar and stir again to combine.
- Add egg, egg white, and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are well-combined, then stir in buttermilk.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
- Using a spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet, taking care not to over-mix. Once the dry ingredients have been about half-way stirred into the wet, stir in add-ins (if using) and continue to fold in to batter until just combined.
- Cover bowl with a dry towel and allow batter to rest for 15-60 minutes*
- Preheat oven to 425F (215C) and line a 12-count muffin tin with paper liners.
- Once oven has preheated, portion batter into prepared tin, filling each liner at least ¾ of the way full.
- If desired, sprinkle tops generously with sugar and transfer muffin tin to preheated oven.
- Bake on 425F (215C) for 8 minutes and then, without opening the oven door, reduce the oven temperature to 350F (175C) and bake another 12 minutes, or until tops are just beginning to turn golden brown.
- Allow to cool and enjoy!
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
Outstanding, as always. Do you have an ideal time and temperature recommendation for mini-muffins? Sometimes, usually, we just want a bite, not a whole muffin. I’m doing 375 for 10ish minutes, give or take(?)
I apologize if this information is in the top part of this page. I don’t have the fastest internet connection and literally cannot read it, (lots of photos, poppy things, videos). So I “Jump to Recipe” for all your recipes.
Hi Mary! You can bake them at 375 for 10-11 minutes and that should work.
I made these today using fresh blackberries and they came out perfectly. AWESOME recipe! I use Saco cultured buttermilk blend (a powder) whenever I have to use buttermilk in a recipe and it works great. Just an fyi in case you had never heard of it. It is in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. My cousin turned me on to it. Keep up the good cooking. Yum.
Thank you so much for the tip Toby! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the muffins so much! 🙂
I’ve made these muffins many times, so often that I know it by heart, (still have to check the time and temp.) All sorts of versions, all great. I use less sugar, but that’s just me. Next time, I might try double chocolate, just to be decadent.
Let me tell you: this recipe here it’s like the holy grail of muffin recipes!!
I’m so blown away by how easy and how awesome my blueberry muffins are I can’t believe!!
I found myself at 8pm without bananas (my regular recipe uses bananas) and scrolled on the internet for a recipe. This popped up and I’m so so glad I tried it !!!
Thank you so much for the recipe!
This is a keeper and I’ll check your website more throughly once I get the chance.
Have a lovely day/night!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
We’re so happy you loved the muffins, Ildi! Please let us know if you try any of our other recipes 😊
Tried this recipe today. I used a bit less sugar and substituted Kefir for buttermilk, and they turned out great!!
I have made your other more updated bluberry muffin recipe too, and they are also delicious! I love both recipes. Thanks Sam!
I started making this recipe about one year ago and I love it! It’s my go to recipe, in fact I’ve made these so much I know the recipe by heart. I look forward to getting my feet wet with more of your baking recipes.
I’m so glad you have enjoyed them so much, Ryan! 🙂
Do you kind of “season the blueberries and raspberries with lemon of something like that?
Hello, Amy! You do not need to. If you wish to make blueberry muffins, I recommend checking out my blueberry muffin recipe for more tips. 🙂
These are amazing. Easy and completely worth making. I use frozen berries as an add in.
So glad to hear you enjoyed, Haleigh! 🙂
I just wanted to thank you for your recipes!! Also for taking us through the steps … You make it a joy to bake 🙂
I especially love the bakery style chocolate chip muffins, at least so far , lol. My next to try is the Milk Cake with Chocolate Frosting..
Thanks to you,Sam, this is my Go-To Basic Muffin Recipe. Thanks again 😊
You are very welcome, Marie! I am so glad you enjoyed the muffins so much and I really appreciate your kind comment. I hope you love the hot milk cake too. 🙂
Can the sugar in these muffins be reduced, to say 1/2 cup, without it affecting the outcome of the muffin? Thanks.
Sugar Spun Run
Hi, Tiffany! I have perfected this recipe to my liking, as far as reducing the sugar, you will need to experiment some here. It should be ok, but without testing it myself, I can not advise. Keep me posted on how they turn out. 🙂
Thanks for replying. I made them today exactly as the recipe states and did half the battery with chocolate chips and the other half with freeze dried strawberries and chunks of cream cheese. The family loved them. But they were a bit too sweet for me as I follow a lower sugar diet but the texture and rise was so great that I’d like to continue to use your recipe but just with less sugar so I can enjoy them as well. I will try next Sunday as that’s when I usually bake and let you know. Thanks.
Sugar Spun Run
Wonderful! I am glad that they turned out well and look forward to hearing how your next batch compares. Thanks for trying my recipe, Tiffany! 🙂
Love all your recipes. But I always have problem with muffins raising the spreading over the lip. Always always use scale, oven thermometer. I’m in Ireland starting to think our butter has too much fat? HELP 🤔
Hi Ann! I would just try filling your muffin tin up slightly less with batter. If there’s too much batter in each cavity it can overflow. Just discard any excess batter. 🙂
You’re silly Sam. Don’t discard that batter. There should be just enough for one more muffin!
Do I decrease flour if I use cocoa
Hi Judy! Cocoa makes things a little bit trickier and can really dry out a muffin. I would recommend my double chocolate chip muffins instead. 🙂
These are THE BEST muffins I have ever had, and I was never a big muffin fan! Really amazing! I have also tried the banana muffins, and they were delicious as well. The only change I made was substituting buttermilk with heavy whipping cream because I did not have buttermilk at home. The result was fantastic, but I will try with buttermilk next time.
Thank you so much! We’ll be doubling the doses next time!
I am so glad you enjoyed them so much, Cristina! 🙂
What is the purpose of the corn starch and why one egg and one egg white? Thanks!
Hi Abbi! The cornstarch helps with the texture and the one egg and one egg white is the best combination for the best muffins. 🙂
I’ve made a bunch of your recipes at this point and have absolutely loved them all. People always say “Wow Emily! I can’t believe you can bake like this!” And I say “I actually really can’t bake like this – I’m just obsessed with this girl’s recipes!” I’ve definitely passed the Sugar Spun Run link along to more than a few people. The hot chocolate cake and the dark chocolate mini cupcakes with salted caramel frosting were legitimately the most delicious things I have ever eaten, but so many more have been incredible as well!
I’ve made this muffin recipe as cranberry muffins and as chocolate chip muffins a couple of different times – as expected they were so awesome and your instructions were extremely helpful as always. I was wondering if you could pass along some advice… I have three little kids who are just obsessed with “nuffins,” as they like to say. With that said the length of time it takes them to eat these, the amount of crumbs, and dear God the sugar rush… what adjustments do I need to make to turn these into mini muffins?? Anything with the ingredients? Or just less oven time? Thank you so much!!
Sugar Spun Run
Thank you for such a sweet comment and for sharing my site with your friends and family. I am so glad that you have enjoyed my recipes and greatly appreciate your continued support, Emily. As for your “nuffins” no adjustments are needed to the ingredient list, the bake time will just be less. 🙂
Thanks! What about the 2 temperatures? How long do you think I should keep it at 425 before I decrease it?
Sugar Spun Run
Hmmm.. given that they are so small I would try doing it for 5 minutes then reducing it down. Let me know how that works. 🙂