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Basic Muffin Recipe

5 from 7 votes
Time: 25 minutes
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Everyone needs a Basic Muffin Recipe that can go from sweet to savory in seconds! Grandma’s recipe is easy to make, uses simple pantry ingredients, and is open to endless possibilities. The muffins are tender, delicious, and homemade to perfection.

Pile of plain, simple, and basic muffins.

When I was looking through my grandma’s recipe box and found this. The recipe card read “plain muffins” and had the exact number of strokes for mixing these muffins. Her recipe was written as a savory muffin and if she was making them sweet she would add a little sugar and rely on additions (berries, chocolate chips, etc.) for more sweetness.

I can vividly remember her green measuring cups and Sunbeam stand mixer. When I close my eyes I can still hear the sliding of the kitchen drawers and the timer going off on the stove. Nostalgia. I hope this easy muffin recipe brings as much joy to you as it does to our family. For more nostalgia try this Buttermilk Cornbread recipe by my friend’s grandma.

Why You Will LOVE This Muffin Recipe

  1. You can make savory muffins or sweet muffins with this recipe.
  2. They are easy to make and done in under 30 minutes.
  3. Only 6 ingredients, 7 if you want the muffins to have a little sweetness and sugar in them.
  4. No fancy equipment needed. A large bowl, whisk, and spatula is all you need to make these muffins with LOVE!
Basic muffins baked and cooling on a cooling rack.

Basic Muffin Ingredients

This plain muffin recipe is the perfect base to make your own. It uses 7 ingredients that are probably in your pantry right now.

  • Flour: This recipe uses all purpose flour but Gluten Free 1:1 works great as well.
  • Granulated Sugar: Omit this if you are choosing to make a savory muffin.
  • Baking Powder: Used as a leavening agent to give the muffins a light and tender crumb.
  • Salt
  • Milk: Whole milk brought to room temperature works best in this recipe. Milks that are lighter in fat tend to change the crumb.
  • Eggs: Bring them to room temperature.
  • Oil: This gives the muffins moisture without weighing them down. Any light in flavor oil works, vegetable, canola, or olive.
Ingredients for Basic Muffin Recipe. Flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder, oil, milk, salt.

How to Make Basic Muffins

Here is a quick overview of how to make these plain muffins whatever you want them to be. The recipe card below will have full details and instructions.

  • Step 1 – Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together your flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. If you are adding other spices, cinnamon or garlic, they will be added here.
  • Step 2 – Combine the wet ingredients. Whisk together your milk, eggs, and vegetable oil in a large measuring cup. If you are adding extracts, vanilla, they will be added here.
  • Step 3 – Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold together with 18 turns of your spatula. If you are adding add-ons, fruit, chocolate chips, bacon, cheese, they will be added here. Fold batter 10 times, add the add-ons, and fold remaining 8 times.
  • Step 4 – Divide batter and bake. Fill the cavities 2/3 of the way full with batter. Bake at 400° F for 12-17 minutes.

Storing Information

Your muffins should always be stored in an airtight container or resealable bags. At room temperature they will last up to three days, in the refrigerator up to one week, and in the freezer up to three months.

Watch Me Make This Easy Muffin Recipe

Sweet and Savory Add Ins

The possibilities are endless with this recipe! Just remember to take notes so you can remember for the next time you make them.

Also keep in mind too many add-ons or certain ingredients may change the texture, bake time, and rise of these muffins. You may have to experiment to get them just how you like them. Here are a few ways I have made this plain muffins not so plain:

Sweet Muffins Add Ins

  • Vanilla Blueberry Muffins: 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 cup of frozen blueberries tossed in 1 tablespoon of flour.
  • Lemon Poppyseed Muffins: 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 zested lemon, 2 tablespoons of poppyseeds.

Savory Muffins Add Ins

  • Bacon Cheddar: 1/4 cup bacon bits, 1/3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.
  • Ham and Chive: 1/2 cup of finely diced ham, and 1/4 cup chopped chives.
Muffin batter folded 18 times.

4 Tips for the Best Muffins

  1. Make sure your eggs and milk are at room temperature to promote an even bake.
  2. Do not overmix your batter, 18 folds is all you need. If your batter still has lumps it’s okay, this means your muffins will stay moist and fluffy.
  3. Work quickly. Once your muffin batter is mixed you will want to bake it immediately. Allowing the batter to sit in the bowl or in the muffin tin will cause the muffins to become tough and potentially stick to your baking cups.
  4. Use a light colored muffin tin to keep your muffins from overbrowning. Dark colored muffin tins absorb a lot of heat especially at the temperature we are baking these muffins.

BONUS TIP! If you want to make this recipe gluten free, check out my guide, Converting Recipes to Gluten Free. Substitute the all purpose flour for 140 grams of measure for measure (1:1) gluten free flour. Add an additional 1 teaspoon of baking powder and allow the batter to rest for 30 minutes prior to dividing into your lined muffin tin.

Basic Muffin Recipe. Muffins in muffin tin and cooling on rack.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Why were my muffins tough?

This can be for various reasons. Most common reasons are the batter was overmixed or the muffins were overbaked. It can also be due to leaving the muffins in the pan too long after they are removed from the oven. Muffins should be placed on a cooling rack after being out of the oven for 10 minutes.

Can I make mini muffins with this recipe?

Yes! This recipe works great as mini muffins and it will make around 48 of them. Follow the directions as specified but bake them at 400° F for 12 – 14 minutes.

Do I have to use baking cups or parchment paper to line muffins?

Not at all! Using a nonstick muffin tin and greasing it with non-stick cooking spray, butter, or oil will do the trick.

More Muffin Recipes You Might Like To Try

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Enjoy Entirely, Elizabeth
Basic Muffin Recipe. Pile of Muffins.

Basic Muffin Recipe

Elizabeth Swoish
Grandma always said everyone needs a Basic Muffin Recipe! It is easy to make, uses simple pantry ingredients, and is open to endless flavors.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Breakfast, Snack
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 165 kcal


  • muffin pan - standard size, 12 cavity
  • muffin liners - paper or parchment
  • cooling rack - wire


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar - *omit if making a savory muffin
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk - room temperature
  • 2 eggs - room temperature
  • ¼ cup Canola oil - or vegetable oil


  • Set your oven to 400 °F and center your oven rack.
  • Line a 12 cavity muffin tin with baking cups or parchment paper. If you prefer, spray with nonstick spray if you do not want to use liners.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, granular sugar, baking powder, and salt.
    * If you are adding other spices, cinnamon or garlic, they will be added here.
  • In a separate small bowl, lightly beat the wet ingredients: milk, egg, and vegetable oil.
    * If you are adding extracts, vanilla, they will be added here.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Fold 18 times with a spatula.
    * If you are adding add-ons, fruit, chocolate chips, bacon, cheese, they will be added here. Fold batter 10 times, add the add-ons, and fold remaining 8 times.
  • Divide batter equally into your muffin tins, filling them 2/3 of the way full. I use an ice cream scoop to do this.
  • Bake for 12 – 17 minutes, this will vary based on the add-ons. The muffin should spring back to the touch when it's done and be light brown on top and sides.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the muffin tin. Place on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.



Storing Information:

  • At room temperature, covered, for two to three days.
  • In the refrigerator, covered, for one week.
  • In the freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to three months. 

Metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.

Tried this recipe?Feel free to share a rating and comment below. Don’t forget to tag me on social media, or use the hashtag #EntirelyElizabeth – I would love to see what you’ve made!
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By Elizabeth Swoish on February 4th, 2022
Elizabeth Swoish holding a camera up to her eye taking a photo.

About Elizabeth Swoish

Elizabeth Swoish is the founder and CEO of Entirely Elizabeth. She is a self-taught foodie and mocktail enthusiast with a business degree in data analysis. Read Elizabeth's food journey or connect on your favorite social media channels.

10 thoughts on “Basic Muffin Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    I love this basic recipe. Having something I can dress up or down and take from sweet to savory is so helpful! I feel prepared for all cravings.

  2. 5 stars
    Looks like just the perfect simple concise recipe I need…dint always have good luck with muffins( let’s just say they don’t always look like the ones pictured here!)…so this recipe sounds like the solution…am wondering though, is there a certain measurement for any add on, don’t want to overwhelm the proportions… Thanks! Katt

    • Hi Katt;

      I would say no more than 1 cup of additional goodies. I like to keep it around a half cup for fruits. But if it were me, I would add a 1/3 of a cup at a time until I like the distribution.


  3. 5 stars
    This is my new go to muffin recipe! Super easy to make and I had all ingredients already in my house. The muffin was super fluffy and so delicious!
    I love that you can make any kind of muffin out of it! I went with coconut extract and made delicious coconut muffins which I then filled with a mango puree and topped with a coconut cream cheese frosting and shredded coconut. Can’t wait to try more variations.


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