As much as we’d like to whip up a stack of pancakes or French toast every morning, there are days when time simply doesn’t allow for it. But it’s still possible to satisfy those cravings for something sweet and carb-y with a baked good that’s maximized for convenience and ease: the muffin.
Muffins are, in many ways, the perfect morning treat. The quick batter comes together quickly and bakes up in about 20 minutes. You don’t need to break out the stand mixer or any special equipment — most of the time, a large mixing bowl and whisk will do. And even though they’re low effort, a batch of homemade bakery-style muffins always seems to impress, making them a wonderful option for brunch or other special morning events.
The beauty of muffins also lies in their endless variations. From the comforting sweetness of chocolate-banana to seasonal variations like summer berry or pumpkin-apple, there’s a recipe for everyone. Muffins can also go the savory route when filled with cheese, bacon or even pizza toppings.
To achieve the perfect muffin, a few tips and tricks come in handy. One crucial rule: Resist the temptation to overmix the batter. Gently fold the ingredients together until just combined to ensure a tender and moist crumb. The same goes for the baking time — be sure to pull them out of the oven before they get dark and dry.
When it comes to meal prepping, muffins are a time-saving essential. They freeze beautifully and reheat easily, making them a great grab-and-go option for busy mornings or a handy after-school snack. The biggest question is, of course, what flavor to make. From all-time classics to creative spins, there are plenty of recipes to choose from below.
Indulge in the comforting flavors of banana bread with a healthier twist. By swapping some oil for applesauce and using less sugar, these muffins offer a lightened-up treat without compromising on the soft, tender texture banana bread is known for.
Joy the Baker channels a New Orleans classic — praline — into these sweet monkey bread muffins. Made with store-bought biscuit dough dipped in butter and cinnamon-sugar, each muffin is drizzled in a homemade praline sauce as soon as they come out of the oven, infusing them with decadent, caramelized goodness.
Learn to make chocolate chip muffins just like your favorite bakery does and have them at the ready for breakfast anytime. The secret to their moist crumb lies in the careful balance of ingredients and the gentle stirring of the batter. Overmixing results in tough muffins, so use your lightest touch.
These blueberry muffins boast the ideal balance of freshness and richness. Evaporated milk adds a luscious texture to the muffins, which are studded with a healthy heaping of fresh summer berries and a dash of cinnamon.
Packed with bananas, carrots, and oats, these muffins are not nutritious, but also come together in a flash using the blender. Since they don’t contain eggs or nuts, these muffins are perfect for packing into lunch boxes as a wholesome, allergen-free snack.
Made with almond flour and enriched with almond butter and coconut oil, these breakfast treats boast a tender texture and delightful flavor. Honey and lemon juice help the blueberry flavor shine without making the muffins overwhelmingly sweet.
The center of these muffins holds a surprise that the name cheekily clues you in on. With the rich combination of peanut butter, chocolate chips, buttermilk and banana in the batter, these can easily double as a dessert.
Cranberry and orange are a classic pairing for good reason — the two add a burst of sweet-tart flavor to everything from cocktails to baked goods. Made with whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt, rolled oats and sweetened with honey, these muffins will fuel you up for the busy holiday season.
These showstopping treats marry the best of two breakfast baked goods: coffee cake and muffins. Browned butter adds a nice nuttiness, while sour cream helps keep them tender. A splash of almond extract and the cinnamon-brown sugar crumble take these from basic to fancy.
Vegan cornbread muffins are great for breakfast or to serve alongside chili or ribs at dinner. Almond milk subs in for whole milk in the batter, while you can make whipped maple butter using vegan margarine for a completely dairy-free bite.
Seeing rhubarb at the market is a sure sign that spring has arrived. There’s no shortage of ways to use the fleeting vegetable. Tuck them into pies, bars or these springtime muffins. The rhubarb mingles with raspberries to bring a lovely sweet-tart flavor, while crème fraîche lends some richness.
Believe it or not, there’s a whopping five cups of spinach and half an avocado inside these surprisingly healthy, yet decadent muffins. They also have cocoa powder and chocolate chips because it’s all about balance.
Whole wheat flour and maple syrup make these chocolate-banana muffins a guilt-free breakfast. This simple recipe is a great way to use up any ripe bananas you may not get around to eating.
Help little ones get in their daily dose of veggies with these irresistible muffins. Loaded with applesauce, sunflower seeds, plus shredded carrots and zucchini, these muffins are as nutritious as they are tasty.
It happens every year. August arrives and suddenly, there’s more zucchini than you know what to do with! Save this recipe and the solution will be simple: Turn some of that bumper crop into almond flour muffins filled with grated zucchini and walnuts. These muffins also freeze nicely so you can enjoy them well past the summer months.
These brownie-like muffins hold a secret: They’re far more nutritious than they look, thanks to a combination of whole wheat flour, ground flaxseeds and wheat germ. Applesauce, mashed bananas and coconut oil give them an irresistible fudgy texture.
If you can get your hands on sweet Georgia peaches, there’s truly no better way to enjoy them than in these cobbler-inspired muffins. A whole cup of diced fresh peaches fill the muffins, which are finished with a cinnamon-peanut topping.
Homemade applesauce, apple butter and brown sugar give these muffins a boost of fall flavor. But it’s the sweet, crunchy streusel topping that’s guaranteed to grab everyone’s attention.
Come fall, there always seems to be a bit of leftover pumpkin purée sitting in the fridge. Instead of letting it go to waste, make a batch of these spiced pastries. The recipe requires just a cup of the puréed squash, along with ground cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon to give the muffins a warming aroma.
Apple pie for breakfast? Yes, it’s possible. Fall spices, brown sugar and apple give these muffins the same flavor as the classic autumn dessert, but in muffin form. Candied pecans add a sweet crunch and make these worthy of adding to a brunch spread.
Skip the rolling and get perfectly-portioned meatballs by baking them in a muffin tin. To replicate the flavor of enchiladas, Kevin Curry fills the meatballs with corn, red onion and cilantro and seasons them with cumin, chili powder and oregano. Then, he tops each one with a finishing spoonful of enchilada sauce and cheese.
Mac and cheese is even more fun to eat in muffin form. Baking the creamy pasta into individual cups maximizes the amount of crunchy crust to cheesy noodle filling. Do as Joy Bauer does and use a chickpea or lentil pasta to give them an additional protein boost.
Pizza isn’t exactly lunchbox-friendly, but these pizza-inspired muffins certainly are. Tomato sauce, cheese and oregano are stirred into the whole wheat batter, along with maple syrup for a nice sweet-salty hit the kids will love.
Whipping up brunch for a crowd can be overwhelming, especially with a dish like eggs Florentine, which requires poaching individual eggs. Ryan Scott’s muffin tin take — featuring biscuit dough cups filled with eggs, turkey bacon, Swiss chard and cheese — on the iconic breakfast requires less effort, but still has the same impressive results.
There’s nothing we love more than a make-ahead breakfast. Bacon and spinach-packed quiche muffins freeze and reheat nicely so you can grab and go for a filling breakfast even on busy mornings.
These potluck-ready stuffing muffins rely on pre-prepped ingredients like packaged croutons and pre-chopped onions and celery to cut down on the work. They’re a fun twist on the classic Thanksgiving dish and are sturdy enough to transport to Friendsgiving or other Thanksgiving celebrations.
Cutting into these muffins will elicit “ohhs and ahhs” thanks to the soft-boiled egg that’s tucked in the center. The biscuit-like batter holds bacon, sausage and cheese, plus both jalapeño peppers and Tabasco for a kick of heat.
Start the day with protein-packed egg bites that easily reheat in the microwave. Keep them vegetarian with pepper jack cheese, spinach and peppers or add your family’s favorite breakfast meat such as ham or bacon for quiche-like flavor.
If your family is always fighting over who gets the crispy edges from the stuffing pan, consider making these muffins instead. Everyone gets to enjoy the golden, buttery top plus a super moist interior filled with caramelized wild mushrooms, dried cranberries and other stuffing fixings.
One easy thing you can do to tame the chaos of weekday mornings is make a big batch of egg muffins. These are filled with red onions, cheddar cheese and spinach, but you can customize them according to your family’s taste — or better yet, use it as an opportunity to clean out the fridge.