These soft and fluffy cinnamon muffins can be made standard-sized or mini! They are topped with melted butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. They come together quickly with no mixer required! Recipe includes a how-to video!
The BEST Cinnamon Muffins
This cinnamon muffin recipe has been a hit in my family for years! We always made them as mini muffins (and called them “cinni-mini-muffins”) and would devour a whole batch in minutes. Today I’m sharing an updated (just the photos!), full-sized version of this recipe, but you are still welcome to make the mini, just like we used to.
What’s To Love:
- Soft & fluffy. Few things in life are sadder than biting into a freshly baked muffin and finding it dense, dry, or crumbly. In today’s post I guide you through common pitfalls that lead to such muffins, that way you can avoid them and end up with a beautifully melt-in-your-mouth crumb!
- Versatile. Make big, fluffy, standard-sized muffins, or make them poppable, adorable, miniature-sized (my personal preference)!
- Flavorful. For such a simple muffin base and technique, they are not a boring muffin. The crumb is vibrantly flavored with buttermilk, vanilla, and cinnamon and then, while they’re still warm from the oven, they’re bathed in butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar
- Easy. No mixer needed (seriously, do not use one) and while I stand by my two-temperature oven method I use in recipes like my chocolate chip muffins and banana muffins, it’s simply not needed here, making for a straightforward and simple recipe.
What You Need
We’ll use just a handful of ingredients to make these cinnamon muffins, most of which should be in your pantry already. Let’s briefly go over a few of the key ingredients before diving in.
- Buttermilk. I love using buttermilk in baked goods for tenderness and depth of flavor. It’s a powerhouse that delivers unparallelled moisture and flavor (and one of the secret ingredients I credit to my ridiculously popular coffee cake and pancakes!) If you don’t keep buttermilk in your house, my buttermilk substitute will do the trick.
- Cornstarch. Cornstarch helps make these cinnamon muffins soft and tender.
- Nutmeg. While these are cinnamon muffins, I do like to add a touch of nutmeg. It’s very subtle, but it adds a bakery-style flavor.
- Vanilla. A hefty splash of vanilla adds such a nice flavor and complements the spices so well. If you have some homemade vanilla extract, this is a great place to use it!
- Butter. I like to use unsalted butter in the muffins themselves (plus salt!) and salted butter in the cinnamon sugar topping. If you only have unsalted butter on hand, just add a pinch of salt to your melted butter before brushing it on the muffins. If you only have salted, reduce the salt in the muffin batter to ¼ teaspoon.
SAM’S TIP: Make your own muffin liners! My parchment paper muffin liners are so simple to make and really elevate the look of any recipe. Your cinnamon muffins will look bakery0worthy if you use these!
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Cinnamon Muffins
- Whisk together the dry ingredients and sugar in a large bowl, then set aside.
- Whisk together the egg, vanilla, and buttermilk in a separate bowl or measuring cup, then slowly drizzle in the melted butter while mixing.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, then gently stir until the batter is just combined. Do all of your stirring with a spatula and gently fold the ingredients together. Over-mixing is a sure-fire way to end up with dense, dry, bland-tasting muffins (second only to over-baking!). Be gentle and stir just until the batter is combined. The video in the recipe card includes a visual, if that’s helpful!
- Portion the batter into a lined muffin tin, filling ¾ of the way full. Bake for 11-13 minutes at 375F (190C).
- Brush each muffin with melted butter while still warm, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
SAM’S TIP FOR SOFT MUFFINS: Don’t over-bake! Over-baking these cinnamon muffins–even by a minute–can cause them to turn out dry. To be sure that your muffins are done, do the toothpick test: insert a toothpick in the center of a muffin, and if it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, take them out! If your toothpick still has wet batter, keep baking and checking for doneness every minute or so.
Frequently Asked Questions
As touched on above, you have two main culprits when it comes to dense, dry, or lackluster muffins.
Number one would be over-mixing the batter. Muffins, like other quick breads, need a gentle hand when combining the wet and dry ingredients. Do NOT use a mixer for this step; instead, stir everything together by hand until just combined–then stop.
Number two would be over-baking. Even a bit too long in the oven can make the muffins more similar to cornbread in texture!
Sure! I’d recommend adding no more than 1 ½ cups of your favorite add-ins. Fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts (I love toasted pecans!), or chocolate chips all work nicely. Note that if you do add them, I recommend doing so when your wet and dry ingredients are about 50% combined. This helps to prevent over-mixing.
If you’d like to forgo the cinnamon sugar topping and use struesel instead, simply prepare a batch of my easy streusel, sprinkle it over the tops of the muffins before baking, and bake! They may need an extra minute or so in the oven.
Love cinnamon sugar? Try my snickerdoodle cake next!
- 4 Tablespoons (60 g) salted butter melted
- 4 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375F (190C) and line a 12-count standard muffin tin or a 24-count mini muffin tin with paper liners or lightly grease and flour.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cornstarch salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl and whisk until well-combined.1 ½ cups (185 g) all purpose flour, ⅔ cup (135 g) sugar, 2 teaspoon baking powder, 2 teaspoon cornstarch, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, vanilla, and buttermilk.1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, ½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk*
- While still whisking the wet ingredients, slowly pour in the melted butter until incorporated (mixture may curdle slightly, this is fine).6 Tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter
- Add the dry ingredients to wet and, using a spatula, gently stir ingredients together until just combined — do not over-mix or your muffins will be dense and dry!
- Portion muffin batter into prepared mini muffin tin, filling each liner ¾ of the way full.
- Transfer to 375F (190C) oven and bake for 15-16 minutes (for 12 standard muffins) or 11-13 minutes (for mini muffins) and until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs (not wet batter, there should be crumbs or the toothpick should be clean, but don't over-bake muffins or they will be dry). Prepare topping while muffins are still warm.
- Brush melted butter over each muffin while still warm.4 Tablespoons (60 g) salted butter
- Stir together sugar and ground cinnamon and then sprinkle over each muffin.4 Tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Serve warm and enjoy!
ButtermilkIf you don’t have buttermilk, you can use my easy buttermilk substitute.
StoringStore in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Muffins may also be tightly wrapped and frozen for several months.
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.