So remember a few days ago when I posted my Ultimate Guide to Muffins where I made eight (!) experimental batches of muffins to figure out what exactly makes them moist, crumbly, tall, flat, tender, or tough? Well, like I’ve done with my Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie and my Ultimate Brownie recipes, I knew I just had to take the results of the experimenting and everything I learned and create an Ultimate Muffin recipe!
So, here it is!! These are my version of the *ultimate* muffin, they’re tender, moist, and fluffy. If you want to know the whys behind the recipe, such as why I start baking at a hotter temperature then reduce of why I love using buttermilk, check out that Ultimate Guide to Muffins. Otherwise, just relish in the fact that if you have similar muffin preferences to me, you’ve finally found the muffin recipe! The one you can turn to over and over and know it’ll work.
I love this recipe because you can literally add WHATEVER you want to it. The flavor and add-in options are endless. While testing out this recipe I made chocolate chip, blueberry, and lemon poppy seed as you can see in the photos. Each was delicious and the mix-ins worked wonderfully. I’ve included a bunch of mix in and flavor options in the actual recipe below to give you some measurements and ideas, but feel free to go crazy!
I really hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. I think you’re going to love it. I know I just love having the ultimate version of any beloved recipe treat, it makes baking that much more fun when you know you’ll be successful in the kitchen. I put a lot of time and energy into creating all my recipes, but especially on these Ultimate Guides and ultimate recipes because I believe baking doesn’t have to be intimidating or complicated and learning how it all works (and why it doesn’t work sometimes) is the key to having baking successes instead of fails. I’ve done all the fails for you! I’ve turned everything I learned from culinary school, writing a cookbook, and doing endless kitchen experiments into recipe wins for you. As always, please let me know what other guides or recipes you’d like me to conquer next!
If you make these Ultimate Muffins, be sure to take a picture and tag it #handletheheat on Instagram. I’d love to see your customizations!
Taste: The muffins themselves are sweet, but not too sweet, and surprisingly flavorful thanks to the buttermilk and butter. Of course, they’ll take on the flavor of whatever you add to them!
Texture: Soft, tender, and moist. Perfect!
Ease: These babies are so easy, anyone could make them. Whatever you do, just don’t overmix the batter.
Appearance: A plate of these on your breakfast table is bound to make anyone a morning person, at least for a few minutes.
Pros: This is the master basic ultimate muffin recipe that you can turn to time and time again and customize with whatever you have on hand, or whatever you’re craving!
Would I make this again? Oh yes. Over and over.
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How to make Ultimate Muffins
Buttermilk is the best for making ultra moist and flavorful muffins. However, you can also use whole milk.
2 cups (9 ounces or 254 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (if desired)
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners or coat with nonstick cooking spray (or both).
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
In a liquid measuring cup beat together the buttermilk, butter, egg, and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir JUST until combined, do not overmix. Divide evenly among the muffin tin cups.
Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 400°F (don’t forget this!!). Continue baking until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about another 12 minutes.
Add about 1 cup chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, candy, etc.
For fruit muffins:
1 1/2 cups fruit (such as berries, apples, etc.), finely chopped and well drained
If using fruit, add in with the dry ingredients to make sure the fruit stays evenly distributed and doesn’t sink to the bottom.
3/4 cup mashed overripe banana (from about 2 small bananas)
Add in with the wet ingredients.
1/2 cup peanut butter, Nutella, Biscoff, etc.
Add with the wet ingredients.
Lemon Poppy Seed
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 large lemon, zested
Add the poppy seeds with the dry ingredients and the lemon zest with the wet ingredients.
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
Add in the cocoa with the other dry ingredients and increase the melted butter to 6 tablespoons and increase the buttermilk to 1 1/2 cups.
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Dip the cooled muffins in the butter then in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
You’ll love these too!
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