These vanilla muffins are soft and buttery and can be used as a base recipe to add your favorite mix-ins, from fruit to nuts to chocolate.
When it comes to muffins, there are so many options - from banana carrot muffins to triple chocolate muffins to cranberry orange muffins to cinnamon streusel muffins. Yes even savory ones like chicken muffins.
But everything that is baked starts with a base recipe. And that's where these vanilla muffins come into play. Yes they taste great on their own but the real magic of these is you use it as a starter.
From blueberry muffins to chocolate chip muffins, the options are endless once you perfect this master muffin recipe.
Why This Recipe Works
- Easy - you'll be surprised how easy these muffins are to make. They can be prepped and put in the oven in less than 10 minutes.
- Flavorful - while I consider this a base recipe, they are super tasty without adding anything else.
- Versatile - from adding mix-ins like blueberries to chocolate to toppings like a streusel topping, there are so many possibilities.
- Flour - the base of the recipe is all-purpose flour.
- Baking powder/soda - super important as it helps the homemade muffins rise.
- Unsalted butter - adds the necessary fat and helps create that buttery texture/flavor.
- Light brown sugar - where the sweetness comes from.
- Sour cream - the acidity reacts with the leaveners and creates a nice rise.
- Vanilla extract - it is called vanilla muffins for a reason.
As with any recipe, you can change up the ingredients if need. Some substitutes include:
- Butter is a go-to of mine lately for fat in baked goods, but coconut oil, vegetable or canola oil also works.
- While I use eggs in these muffins, if you want to make them vegan, you can use chia seeds.
- I use light brown sugar for added sweetener, but granulated sugar or dark brown sugar can be substituted. You can even try maple syrup or honey.
- Sour cream adds extra fat and acidity, but you can also use yogurt or Greek yogurt. Buttermilk works as well.
Please note full ingredient list and instructions can be found in recipe card below.
Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar until combined in another bowl.
Add in the eggs, sour cream, milk and vanilla extract, beating until combined before folding in the dry ingredients.
Spoon the batter all the way to the top in a prepared muffin pan. Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F before reducing heat to 350°F and baking for 12-15 minutes or until done.
Cupcakes have more sugar and fat and usually include frosting. Where muffins are generally denser.
Also cupcakes are usually mixed with a stand mixer and muffins are mixed by hand. These vanilla muffins start with the mixer but you then fold in the dry ingredients by hand at the end.
Yes. Just make some chia seed eggs. To replace 1 egg, the ratio is 1 tablespoon chia seeds in 2 ½ tablespoon of water.
You can also use the same amount of ground flaxseed. Chia eggs work great in any baking dish as it helps bind everything together just like a real egg.
You can skip topping with vanilla sugar and just top with course sugar if you prefer.
However you can also make your own by mixing 2 cups of granulated sugar with 1 vanilla bean where you scrape out the seeds.
Yes! Just pour your batter into a 9x5 loaf pan. Bake at 350°F for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Then let cool on a cooling rack.
The vanilla muffins will stay fresh for 3 days at normal room temperature, but 1 week in the fridge. They will last up to 3 months in the freezer, which is what I normally do.
I mentioned multiple times but while this recipe is great on its own, it is also a starter base for many options. Some include:
- Apple Cinnamon - add 1 teaspoon cinnamon + ¼ teaspoon nutmeg to the dry ingredients. Fold in 1 cup chopped apples + ½ cup toasted pecans to the batter. Top the muffins with some oats before baking.
- Blueberry - add 1 ½ cups fresh blueberries to the batter.
- Chocolate Chip - fold in 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- Peach Streusel - add 1 teaspoon cinnamon + ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg to the dry ingredients. Fold in 1 ½ cups chopped peaches to the batter. Top the muffins with a homemade streusel.
- Raspberry and White Chocolate – add 1 cup raspberries and ¾ white chocolate chips to the batter.
The equipment you use is important to how the vanilla muffins turn out. What is needed is the following:
- Large bowl - need a bowl to be able to mix together the ingredients.
- Whisk - used to mix together the dry ingredients.
- Cupcake liners - keeps the muffins from sticking to the pan.
- Cookie scoop - helps get an even amount of batter in each muffin pan.
- Muffin pan - bakes the muffins.
Pro Tips/Recipe Notes
- All refrigerated items should be at room temperature, which helps the batter mix easily and evenly.
- Use an ice cream scoop to get an even amount of batter in each muffin tin.
- You'll know the muffins are done when a toothpick comes out clean.
Other Muffin Recipes
If you’ve tried this vanilla muffins recipe or any other recipe on Chisel & Fork, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube to see more tasty meals and anything else I'm up to.
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (219g)
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar sugar
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In bowl of mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until combined, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the eggs, sour cream, milk and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until the texture is uniform. Add in the dry ingredients, folding with a spatula until just combined.
- Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan, filling them all the way to the top. Sprinkle some sugar over top.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F and then reduce heat to 350°F. Continue to bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool for 5 minutes in pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool.