Muffins are the epitome of an easy and satisfying breakfast. Most recipes rely on just a few ingredients—many of them pantry staples—and can often be made in one bowl, minimizing kitchen cleanup. It's important to note how muffin pans and liners can affect your favorite recipe, but beyond that, there's not much you need to know before getting to it.
So go ahead and start your day off with the smell of freshly baked muffins, then sit down and enjoy them with a cup of coffee and a slathering of butter or jam. From classic blueberry to pumpkin streusel and honey corn varieties, these are our favorite muffin recipes to set ourselves up for a good day.
A solid breakfast should be warm and hearty. That’s where Stella’s bran muffins come in. Instead of using cereal, they get their distinct bran flavor from wheat bran, which is mixed with boiling water to help prevent it from soaking up moisture from other ingredients in the batter. Adding some Greek yogurt into the mix keeps the batter thick, helping the muffins rise into their dome-like shape. Before baking, we like to sprinkle flax seeds or bran flakes on top for a nice crunch.
Some common problems we’ve encountered with blueberry muffins is that they’re often much too sweet and the berries tend to sink to the bottom. Our recipe offers up a solution with a thicker batter that cuts back on the sugar. While the consistency of the batter helps hold the berries in place, we also like to add a spoonful of plain dough to the bottom of each cup to further prevent the berries from sinking. For a touch of sweetness, the muffins can be topped with sparkling sugar before baking.
There are very few pumpkin-flavored foods I enjoy, but these pumpkin streusel muffins are a rare exception. The batter is full of spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg, offering warm notes to compliment the pumpkin purée. For added flavor and crunch, we top the muffins with sweet and nutty streusel that includes ingredients like brown sugar and green pumpkin seeds. Once baked, you’re left with tender and fragrant muffins that might just become your new favorite pumpkin treat.
Cheesecake for breakfast? These muffins make that dream a reality. The center of each one is made up of a sweet and lemony cheesecake filling, and then finished with a buttery streusel. To add the cream cheese filling to the batter, grab a tablespoon of the cheese, dip it into the batter, then use another spoon to scrape the filling as deep into the batter as possible. With rich cheesecake flavor in every bite, they’re the perfect option for all you sweet breakfast lovers out there.
With a double dose of coffee in the form of a fresh brew and instant espresso powder, these muffins are quite the pick-me-up—and they just happen to be vegan. The absence of butter and eggs creates a crumb that differs from the traditional texture of a muffin and instead is rich, fudgy, and decadent. Since the batter is on the sticky side, you’ll want to use paper liners instead of just greasing a muffin tin.
Like cornbread in muffin form, these muffins lean on honey for a touch of sweetness. The mix consists of some typical muffin ingredients—flour, sugar, eggs, milk—while also incorporating cornmeal for the corn flavor and butter for a tender crumb. The batter leads to earthy and golden corn muffins in just 20 minutes, which are best served with a sweet and simple honey butter on the side.
These pear-cardamom muffins are as elegant as they are easy. Even with the added step of creaming the butter and sugar, the batter still comes together in about six minutes. We reach for buttermilk to keep the crumb moist and offset some of the earthy notes. Since the cardamom can be quite strong, we add a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg to help balance out the flavors. The sweet, fruity, and lightly spiced muffins pair especially well with a cup of tea.
For a muffin that feels light yet hearty, try these chocolate chip oatmeal ones. The batter ditches the butter and incorporates sour cream instead, mixing it with milk to keep everything moist. For added texture and a nutty flavor, we include quick cooking oats, which steer the muffins towards heartiness. And of course, we couldn’t resist popping in some chocolate chips to keep things sweet.
Though rich with brown sugar, these muffins get a tang from yogurt, along with a fruity boost from berries. You can mix and match berries to your liking, from blackberries to blueberries to raspberries. The muffins get a sweet and buttery topping in the form of a brown sugar crumble. They’re tender, moist, and—dare we say it?—another way to sneak some fruit into your diet.
The chestnut flavor in these muffins come not from chestnuts themselves, but rather chestnut flour. The ingredient is lightly sweet and offers a delicate roasted flavor that pairs well with the sage. Though the recipe doesn’t call for much sugar, you can double the amount if you prefer a sweeter muffin. Feel free to throw in some other texture and flavor boosters like dried apples and pears or toasted chopped nuts.
When it comes to Earl Grey tea, you either love it or you hate it. But if you’re a fan, then these muffins are for you. The recipe calls for three tablespoons of loose leaf Earl Grey tea—you’ll want to seek out a blend that’s strong, with pronounced notes of bergamot, so that the flavor really comes through. However, the tea itself isn’t thrown into the batter; instead, we steep it in milk and then incorporate that steeped milk in with the rest of the ingredients. The muffins get their lemon flavor from lemon zest, resulting in a breakfast that’s bright and tasty, with a distinct tea flavor all throughout.
The iconic pairing of pineapple and coconut gives these muffins a tropical twist. The coconut is incorporated in two forms: coconut milk and coconut flakes, the latter of which are added in the batter and also sprinkled on top before baking. Meanwhile, pineapple cubes offer a fruity bite. The juicy, sweet, and tender muffins will surely leave you feeling like you're on island time.
Figs and tahini are a match made in heaven when paired together in these muffins. We start by letting dried figs sit in boiling water for about 10 minutes until softened. The dry ingredients are mixed, then the wet ingredients—including a generous amount of tahini— before they both come together. The figs are incorporated last, then the batter goes into the muffin tin, with a sprinkle of sesame seeds finishing them off ahead of baking.
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