Start your day off right with these perfectly fluffy vanilla muffins. They’re soft and buttery and loaded with vanilla in every bite. This classic muffin recipe is made in one bowl with easy ingredients, so you can bake them at a moment’s notice for a special breakfast!
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Easy vanilla muffins
Whether you’re a morning person or not, these baker-style vanilla muffins are perfect to jump-start your day. Fully and soft, this quick grab-and-go breakfast is loaded with buttery goodness and the perfect hint of vanilla.
My vanilla muffins are tender, sweet, and ready to please. The texture is moist and a bit fudgy, and I recommend enjoying them with a glass of milk or a hot cup of coffee. Or bring them to a party or potluck. This fluffy muffin recipe will shine no matter the occasion!
If you love all things vanilla, also try my vanilla sandwich cookies and vanilla latte.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Delicious vanilla aroma: The muffins provide an exquisite vanilla aroma in every bite. Plus, they are fluffy and soft with sky-high domed muffins tops.
- Easy pantry staples: The recipe calls for 7 staple ingredients that are all things you have probably in your pantry right now.
- Make–ahead friendly: Vanilla muffins are a great freezer-friendly breakfast. You can bake the muffins ahead of time and warm them up for a quick brekkie on the go.
- Customizable: You can easily adapt this easy muffin recipe with different mix-ins such as chocolate chips, nuts, fruit, or whatever else you’re craving.
You’ll be pleased to hear that the vanilla muffins of your dreams only call for 7 simple ingredients! Looking for quantities? You can find the measurements in the recipe card below!
- Vanilla: You can use whatever type of vanilla is your favorite, vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste, or fresh vanilla seeds. I like vanilla bean paste because it creates tiny black specks of vanilla throughout your muffins. See more tips on choosing vanilla below.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar makes the easy vanilla muffins perfectly sweet. You could also use brown sugar or a mix of brown and white sugar – up to you!
- Salted butter: Melted butter creates a tender crumb and keeps the muffins moist for days. Some opt for oil in muffins, but I prefer butter. It’s 3 minutes more to melt the butter, but the rich, buttery flavor is so worth it. You can also use unsalted butter + 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Eggs: 2 large eggs are used as a binding agent and to structure the muffins without tasting eggy.
- Buttermilk is the key ingredient to tall, domed muffins. Buttermilk adds a nice tang, moisture, and the extra acidity promotes the rise. You can substitute yogurt or sour cream if that is what you have on hand.
- Flour: Good old all-purpose flour makes the muffins light and airy. If you need gluten-free vanilla muffins, swap the AP flour out for a 1-to-1 gluten-free blend. Or, if you want to make the muffins more wholesome, swap in whole wheat flour.
- Baking powder is the best leavener for muffins. It doesn’t have the ashy taste of baking soda and creates high muffins tops without holes. 2 teaspoons might seem a lot, but you need it to keep the muffins from becoming dense.
How to make vanilla muffins
Making vanilla muffins is super easy, and they come together with just a few easy steps. In no time, your kitchen will be filled with the yummy smells of warm vanilla and freshly baked muffins!
Step 1: Preheat the oven and prep the pan
- To begin, adjust a baking rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4.
- Line a standard-size, 12-hole muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.
Step 2: Mix wet ingredients
- Add the melted butter, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla to a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until well combined.
- Stir in the buttermilk.
Step 3: Add dry ingredients
- Next, dump the flour and baking powder into the bowl with the liquid ingredients.
- Stir with a spoon or spatula until just combined, and you no longer see streaks of flour.
- The batter will be thick and a bit lumpy, and that’s perfect.
Step 4: Fill liners
- Use a large cookie scoop and divide the muffin batter between muffin cups, filling each muffin cup to the top.
Step 5: Bake vanilla muffins
- Bake the muffins for 18 to 22 minutes, until the top has risen, and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean (without liquid batter).
- Don’t overbake.
Step 6: Cool and serve
- Let the muffins cool in the pan before serving.
- Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
Tips for the best vanilla muffins
Homemade vanilla muffins will be a hit! They are perfect for a quick breakfast, lunch box treat, and tasty snack. Here are my favorite tips to help you make the best vanilla muffins.
- Scoop and level the flour when using measuring cups. Be sure to measure the flour correctly by spooning it into your measuring cup and leveling it off with a knife. For precise measurements, work with a digital kitchen scale.
- Don’t overmix. When muffins turn out short and dense, it’s usually because the batter has been overmixed. For light and fluffy muffins, mix it by hand once you’ve added the flour and stir until just combined.
- DIY muffin liners. To make your own muffins liners, cut 5 in / 12 cm squares of parchment paper (baking paper) and press them into the muffin tin using a juice glass. Then fill the muffin pan and bake.
- Fill the muffin pan. You want to fill the muffin cups all the way to the top. Add 4 tablespoons per muffin cup. It’s my favorite trick to get those wonderfully high-domed muffin tops.
- Watch the baking time. These French vanilla muffins are meant to be rich and fudgy with a soft, fluffy texture, which is why you don’t want to overbake them. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out without liquid batter. A few crumbs are perfectly fine.
- Let the muffins cool in the pan. Once the muffins are baked, place the pan on a wire rack and let the muffins cool in the pan. This helps to prevent the muffins from deflating from a rapid temperature change.
The muffins are pretty perfect already, but there’s one thing that makes them even better. A drizzle of delicious vanilla glaze! Sweet and sumptuous, this simple vanilla icing takes your baked goods to the next level. And It’s so simple to make, too!
- 1 cup / 115 g / 4 oz powdered (confectioners’/icing) sugar
- 2 – 3 tbsp milk or heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla.
- Stir until the mixture looks completely smooth and shiny. The icing should be thick but fluid enough to drip from a spoon.
- Spoon over your muffins and let set.
- Store the glaze in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Variations & mix-ins
Get creative with your mix-ins! You can make a few changes to customize the vanilla bean muffins to your liking. Try these suggestions:
- Chocolate vanilla muffins: Replace 1/8 cup of the flour with 1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and prepare the recipe as described.
- Chocolate chips: Fold 2 cups chocolate chips into the batter. We love semisweet chocolate, but any type will work.
- Berries: Gently fold 2 cups blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or cranberries into the batter. If using frozen berries, don’t defrost but add them to the batter frozen.
- Carrot cake: Finely grate 2 carrots and stir into the batter together with 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.
- Banana: Stir 1 mashed overripe banana into the batter.
- Pumpkin spice: Replace half of the vanilla with 1 to 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice or chai spice.
- Crumb topping: If you like vanilla streusel muffins, prepare a crumb topping by mixing 1/2 cup all-purpose flour + 1/2 cup granulated sugar + 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon + 4 tbsp melted butter. Sprinkle the streusel over the muffins and bake.
How many muffins does the recipe make?
This vanilla muffin recipe yields 12 standard-size muffins.
Can I make vanilla mini muffins?
Of course! For mini vanilla muffins, line 2 mini muffin pans with liners and fill with batter. Bake at 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4 for 11 to 13 minutes. You’ll get 25 to 35 mini muffins.
Can I use regular milk?
Sure! Feel free to use whole milk instead of buttermilk. Or to prepare a buttermilk substitute by mixing 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar with 1 cup milk. Allow thickening for 5 minutes before adding to the recipe.
- Room temperature: These vanilla muffins keep very well at room temperature. Store the muffins in a tightly sealed container on the counter for 4 to 5 days.
- Refrigerator: I would avoid storing the muffins in the fridge as that can make them dense. But if you do, allow the muffins to come to room temperature before eating.
- Freezer: Freeze the cooled muffins in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag for 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.
- Reheat: To enjoy oven-warm muffins, wrap them in a paper towel and heat in the microwave in 15-second intervals until warmed through.
What is the best vanilla for muffins?
Before signing off, I want to talk more about the star of this easy muffin recipe, vanilla. You have several options when it comes to vanilla in baking. I love vanilla bean paste because it’s convenient to use, imparts incredible flavor, and the tiny vanilla flecks add visual flair.
- Vanilla extract is probably the most accessible type of vanilla. It’s a solution made by macerating vanilla pods in a solution of alcohol and water. You need 2 to 3 teaspoons for this recipe.
- Vanilla bean paste is a gel-like paste made with real vanilla seeds. Because the paste contains vanilla specks, it has a slightly stronger flavor than vanilla extract. For a delicious aroma, add 2 to 3 teaspoons of vanilla paste.
- Fresh vanilla pods are vanilla in its raw and purest form. The vanilla beans have to be dried, cured, and aged before becoming a baking ingredient. The aroma is incredibly rich and intense, and you need a whole pod for this muffin recipe.
- Vanilla powder is a combination of modified cornstarch and vanilla extracts. It features the same classic vanilla flavor as vanilla extract and dissolves easily into liquids. If using this product, add 2 teaspoons.
- Vanilla essence is also called imitation vanilla flavor because it’s synthetically made and a more processed product. Because vanilla essence is twice as strong, add only 1 to 2 teaspoons to the batter.
How do you use real vanilla beans?
If you have fresh vanilla beans at your disposal, follow these easy steps to scrape the seeds from the pod:
- Using a paring knife, split the vanilla bean down its length.
- Working with 1 half at a time, use the dull side of the knife and scrape the seeds from the pod.
- Mix the scraped seeds into the muffin batter right away.
- Place the empty pod in a sugar jar to make vanilla-infused sugar.
More muffin recipes
I believe you can never have enough homemade muffin recipes, right? If you agree, try some of our other favorites, too:
- Pistachio Muffins
- Butter Rum Muffins
- Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins
- Blueberry Muffins
- Brown Sugar Muffins
- Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Blackberry Muffins
- Pumpkin Muffins
- Egg Muffins