7 Secrets to Perfect Muffins (+Recipes)

7 Secrets to Perfect Muffins (+Recipes)

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.

Three cinnamon sugar muffins stacked on a white background with additional muffins and cinnamon sticks alongside.

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).

A lemon poppy seed muffin with a bite taken out, showing the speckled inside, sits in its peeled liner on a light background.

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
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • eggs
  • Milk
  • 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?

Collage of five easy steps to make perfect muffins in any flavor.
  1. 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.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter with granulated sugar and brown sugar. Add the rest of the wet ingredients to the butter.
  3. 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!
  4. Fold in any mix-ins, such as blueberries, chocolate chips, chopped strawberries, chopped apples, or cinnamon.
  5. 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.

A variety of pastries line up beside their flavorful mix-ins, including strawberry, blueberry, cinnamon, and apple.

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.

Three blueberry muffins stacked one atop the other on a parchment paper lined cooling rack.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
Two Vegan Blueberry Muffins sit together surrounded by fresh blueberries.

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.

Close up view of a single pumpkin muffin in a white paper liner with other muffins in the background.

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:


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

  • 2 cups mix-ins (optional, see notes)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease or line your muffin tin with paper liners. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter with granulated and brown sugar. Then add eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined.
  3. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined, being careful not to overmix. Some lumps in the batter are okay!
  4. Gently fold in any optional mix-ins.
  5. Fill each muffin cup in your prepared tin 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350°F for an additional 16-17 minutes or until the centers are completely set. A toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins should come out clean.
  6. Allow the muffins to cool, then serve!


  • The yield for this recipe depends on whether or not you add any mix-ins. The basic muffins will yield 12, but adding the optional 2 cups of mix-ins, such as chocolate chips, chopped strawberries, or fresh blueberries, will yield about 18 muffins.
  • For mini muffins, bake at 350°F for 12-13 minutes. This yields 55-65 mini muffins.
  • Store the muffins in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days or up to 3 months in the freezer. Store them with a paper towel on top to keep them fresh longer!
  • Make sure the butter is completely melted before mixing it with the sugars. This will ensure your muffins rise well and have that lovely domed top just like the bakery!

Nutrition Information:

Yields: 18

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Amounts Per Serving:

Calories: 178Total Fats: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fats: 0gUnsaturated Fats: 2gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 199mgCarbohydrates: 27gFibers: 0gSugar: 14gProteins: 3g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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