We’ve been working hard in our test kitchen to nail down the perfect all-purpose muffins recipe—and we’re so excited to share it with you!
These muffins turn out fluffy, sweet, and tender every single time, and maybe best of all, they are infinitely customizable. Want chocolate chip muffins? We’ve got that covered. Strawberries? Yup, those, too. Blueberries, apple cinnamon, lemon poppyseed, or pumpkin muffins? This is the only recipe you’ll need!
Read on for all of our tips on how to make the best muffins ever and get all the recipes.
What are the characteristics of a perfect muffin?
We think a perfect muffin is easy to make, tender, lightly sweet, and fluffy. They have a beautiful domed top and are nicely golden brown!
What is the difference between a muffin and a cupcake?
Muffins tend to be more dense and less sweet than a cupcake. Cupcakes almost always have frosting on top, while it’s rare to find a muffin topped with frosting (but uh…not impossible, as in our carrot cake muffins).
What ingredients do I need for basic muffins?
If you keep a well-stocked baking pantry, then chances are you have all the ingredients you need:
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
Once your batter is mixed up, you can stir in whatever spices, fruits, or chocolate your heart desires to change the flavor!
How do you make muffins?
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. This high heat will give the muffins lovely rounded tops. Mix the dry ingredients, minus the sugars, together in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter with granulated sugar and brown sugar. Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the butter.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. It’s okay if there are a few lumps of flour left—overmixing will give you dense, dry muffins, and nobody wants that!
- Fold in any mix-ins, such as blueberries, chocolate chips, chopped strawberries, chopped apples, or cinnamon.
- Pour into a greased or lined pan. Bake for five minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until set.
How many muffins does this recipe make?
It depends on what mix-ins you add, but you’ll generally get 12-18 regular or 55-65 mini muffins from one batch of batter. Larger mix-ins like chocolate chips or chopped fruit will give you a yield on the higher end compared to mix-ins like cinnamon or lemon zest.
When are muffins done?
A fully baked muffin should be lightly browned on the outside, and just beginning to pull away from the pan. You’ll know your muffins are done when the center of the top feels springy and a little firm—if gently pressing your finger to the top leaves a dent, stick that pan back in the oven for a bit.
You can also use the toothpick test—insert a toothpick into the middle of a muffin when you think the batch might be done. If it comes out clean or mostly clean, then your muffins are ready!
What is the texture of a good muffin?
We think a good muffin is fluffy and soft, but with a little bit of heft to it.
What makes muffins dry?
If your muffins seem dry and dense, then you may have overmixed the batter. Whisk the dry ingredients together in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another before combining them. Once the wet and dry ingredients meet, stir them just until there are no dry spots left—and stop there! It’s okay if there are still a few lumps. Gently fold in any mix-ins, like chocolate chips or fruit, and fill the muffin tin.
Why are my muffins flat on top?
Bakery muffins have beautiful domed tops—which are the best part! To get those perfect muffin tops at home, there are two key factors:
- Start with a high oven temperature, and turn down the heat once the muffins are baking. This blast of high heat helps the muffins puff up, giving them a domed top.
- Make sure the butter is completely melted. In our many, many tests to find the perfect muffin recipe, we found that if the butter still had some solid pieces, the tops came out flat. Melt it all the way before whisking it with the sugars!
Are these muffins vegan?
Our base recipe below isn’t vegan, but our one-bowl vegan blueberry muffins are. These almond flour banana muffins are also dairy-free, but they do contain eggs.
How do I store muffins to keep them fresh?
Store muffins at room temperature in an airtight container lined with a paper towel or clean tea towel. The towel will absorb excess moisture so that the muffins don’t become a sticky mess. Eat within three days, or freeze.
Pro tip: Store it right!
Make sure the muffins are completely cooled before sealing them in a container!
Can muffins be frozen?
Absolutely! To freeze, place completely cooled muffins on a baking sheet in a single layer. Freeze until frozen solid, then transfer to a zip-top freezer bag or a freezer-safe container. Label and freeze for up to three months.
To defrost frozen muffins, either leave them on the counter for an hour or wrap each one in a paper towel and microwave for 20-30 seconds each.
Top Muffin Tips
For bakery-worthy muffins, use our pro tips:
- Muffin batter is sticky. Either use paper liners in the tin, or grease the pan thoroughly before pouring in the batter.
- Start baking the muffins at a high temperature, and then lower the oven to 350°F after five minutes. The high heat will give the tops their springiness and a domed shape, while the lower temperature will ensure the muffins get cooked evenly throughout.
- Melt the butter completely before mixing it with the sugar. Otherwise, you’ll end up with sad flat muffins.
- Mix the wet and dry ingredients separately before combining them to void the overmixing of the batter.
- Don’t mix the batter too thoroughly. Overmixed batter is the key culprit behind dry muffins, so it is better to err on the side of slightly lumpy batter.
- Store fully cooled muffins with a paper towel or tea towel in the container to absorb excess moisture and maintain the light, fluffy texture of the muffins.
- Allow the muffins to cool for about five minutes in the pan, and then move them to a wire rack. If they cool completely in the tin, they may end up overcooked and dry.
How to make perfect muffins
After lots of tinkering, we finally came up with our perfect muffin recipe that works for so many different flavor varieties! Here is our recipe, followed by the specific flavors that we’ve come up with since: