Our favorite vanilla muffin recipe! It is simple, fast, and sure to please anyone. Ready in about 30 minutes.
Simple vanilla muffins are the type of muffins I bake most of the time. This is a relatively basic recipe that I often change according to mood or the ingredients I happen to have. They are perfect for birthday parties, bake sales, potlucks, picnics, etc.
Why will you love these vanilla muffins?
- So easy to make: Stir a few simple ingredients and bake.
- No electric mixer is needed; you need a muffin tray, a mixing bowl, a whisk, and a small pot for melting the butter.
- Versatile: They start as a basic vanilla muffin recipe, but you can go on from there. Turn this into a cupcake recipe, add chocolate chips, nuts, or berries.
Best tips for perfect muffins
- Most important tip: Use a digital kitchen scale to measure the ingredients for this simple muffin recipe; it will give you the most precise measure ensuring the best bake possible. Baking is a science, and it requires precise measurements (Amazon affiliate link).
- Measuring by volume can produce such different results, especially when it comes to flour and butter. And if you use those inaccurate amounts, you’re more likely to get inaccurate results.
- Eggs and buttermilk should be at room temperature. They will form an emulsion that traps the air inside. The expansion of the air during the baking process makes the vanilla muffins fluffy and tender.
- Bake the muffin batter as soon as you’ve finished stirring it, within 2-3 minutes. Preheat the oven in advance and place the muffin tin in the oven as soon as you are finished filling the cups.
- The wet ingredients activate the baking powder as soon as they are mixed, and it will lose its power if the batter is not baked immediately. This will cause the muffins to be flat and stodgy.
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- Flour: I prefer cake flour for baking muffins, but plain/all-purpose flour is also fine.
- Rising agents: baking soda and baking powder.
- Sugar: fine sugar will dissolve quicker, but granulated sugar works too.
- Salt: just a pinch helps enhance the flavor of the ingredients.
- Butter: unsalted butter. Don’t use light or whipped butter.
- Buttermilk: a popular ingredient when making muffins or cupcakes. It activates the baking soda making the baked goods rise nicely.
- Vinegar: a small amount that helps activate the baking. I use apple cider vinegar most of the time, but red wine or white wine vinegar are fine.
- Vanilla extract: you should use the best quality to ensure that the muffins have a pronounced vanilla flavor. How much of it you need is more of an “experience” matter; after baking these fluffy muffins a couple of times, you will know precisely how much extract you need for a good vanilla flavor.
- I use one tablespoon of vanilla extract.
- Eggs: two large eggs at room temperature.
- Prepare: Preheat the oven and line the muffin pan cups with cupcake liners.
- Melt butter in a small pan. Set aside while you weigh and combine the rest of the ingredients.
- Dry ingredients: Sift and combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl (1).
- Wet ingredients: Whisk buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract, vinegar, and melted butter in a separate bowl (2).
- Combine: Pour the egg mixture over the flour mixture and stir shortly until just combined. Don’t over stir (3).
- Bake: Divide batter into the cups (4) and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Or you can use a cake tester (5).
- Leave in the tin for 5 minutes. Remove and let cool on a cooling rack. You can sprinkle the vanilla muffins with icing sugar before serving.
Chocolate chips, between ½ and 1 cup, it’s really up to you: semi-sweet, white chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, or chopped chocolate.
Nuts: between ½ cup and 1 cup walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc.
Berries: between ½ cup and 1 cup of berries of choice.
You over stirred the batter. You should still see some small clumps of flour; the batter should not be completely smooth. You will have no flour clusters in the baked goods despite the clumps.
Sure. Let the vanilla muffins cool completely and frost with your favorite frosting.
Room temperature: in an airtight container for about 3 days.
Fridge: in an airtight container for 4-5 days. They will get a bit denser, but they will still be delicious.
Freeze in an airtight container for 2-3 months. Defrost on the counter.
More quick desserts
Easy Vanilla Muffin Recipe
- Muffin tin
- Egg whisk
- 2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour 11 oz/ 325 g Notes 1, 2
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup sugar 7 oz/ 200 g, Note 3
- pinch of salt
- 1 ¼ cup buttermilk 10 fl.oz/ 300 ml
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon vinegar Note 4
- ½ cup unsalted butter 4.4 oz/ 125 g
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line the muffin tin with paper liners.
- Melt butter in a small pan. Let cool slightly until you need it.
- Dry ingredients: Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl with an egg whisk.
- Wet ingredients: Whisk buttermilk, red gel food coloring, eggs, vanilla extract, vinegar, and melted butter in a medium bowl.
- Combine: Pour the wet ingredients over the flour mixture. Stir gently and shortly until just combined. Don’t over stir. If you want to add chocolate, berries, or nuts, carefully fold them in now (Note 5).
- Bake: Scoop the batter into the cups. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
- Rest for 5 minutes in the pan. Remove and let cool on a wire rack. If desired, sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.
- A digital kitchen scale will give you the most precise measure ensuring the best bake possible.
- I prefer cake flour when baking muffins; it makes them more tender. But plain/all-purpose flour is fine as well.
- Fine sugar would be perfect but granulated is ok too.
- Apple cider vinegar, red or white wine vinegar.
- You can fold in between ½ and 1 cup of chocolate chips (semi-sweet, white, chocolate chunks, or chopped chocolate), nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc.), or berries of choice.