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Master Recipe for Basic Muffins

This is a Cook's Illustrated recipe. I've included 3 varations: Mocha Chip, Lemon Blueberry & Lemon Poppyseed

Makes 12 large or 24 medium (regular) muffins.

  • 3 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • tsp. baking soda
  • tsp. salt
  • 10 T unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 C minus 1 T sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 C plain low-fat yogurt
  • Vegetable cooking spray or additional unsalted butter for greasing muffin tins

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 375. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Cream butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in one-half of dry ingredients. Beat in one-third of yogurt. Beat in remaining dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with yogurt, until incorporated.

3. Spray muffin tin with vegetable cooking spray or coat lightly with butter. Divide batter evently among cups. Bake until muffins are golden brown, 25-30 minutes (less for medium muffins). Set on wire rack to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove muffins from tin and serve warm.


Mocha Chip
Dissolve 3 T instant espresso powder in yogurt and fold 1 C chocolate chips into finished batter. (I've never actually tried this with the espresso powder--it's great with just the chips, though!)

Lemon Blueberry
Add 1 tsp. grated lemon zest to butter-sugar mixture and fold 1 C blueberries that have been tossed in 1 T flour into finished batter.

Lemon Poppy Seed
Add 3 T poppy seeds to dry ingredients and 1 T grated lemon zest to butter-sugar mixture. While muffins are baking, heat C sugar and C lemon juice from 2 small lemons in small saucepan until sugar dissolves and mixture forms light syrup, 3 to 4 minutes. Brush warm syrup over warm muffins and serve. (Don't skip the syrup--it adds a great kick to the muffins!)

2 comments for Master Recipe for Basic Muffins


Randy said:

2007-04-29 11:36:23, posting from

I bet the lemon syrup would be good on the Lemon Blueberry muffins, too.


Sheri said:

2008-06-11 05:55:08, posting from

Can you substitute the yogurt for buttermilk?

Copyright © 2005 by Randy Cox