Easy Muffin Recipes to Make for Breakfast

There’s nothing quite as homey as a good batch of muffins hot out of the oven, but sometimes the classics can get a little stale. A plain old blueberry muffin is a good standby, but there’s plenty of room for exciting new favorites. These muffins don’t need crazy bells and whistles — just a little spunk, a little pep in their step, a couple of new tricks. After all, cakes and cupcakes shouldn’t have all the fun. Muffins deserve a little creativity. We’re not talking about dressing them up as cupcakes that forgot their frosting, either, but a muffin that’s comfortable with what it is. These muffin recipes put the excitement back in a good muffin.

1. Pistachio Chai Muffins

Fresh pistachio chai muffins

Pistachio chai muffins | iStock.com

These muffins from Cooking Light are chock-full of warming chai spices, having been baked with a chai tea blend. They have a bit of ever-so-slightly salty crunch from the roasted pistachios and, if you need a little bit of something sweet, an optional glaze. When it comes to muffins, though, we elect glaze-free; the choice is yours.

Ingredients:

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 chai blend tea bags, opened
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • ⅓ cup shelled dry-roasted pistachios, chopped
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine flour and next 4 ingredients, through salt, in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut open tea bags; add tea to flour mixture, stirring well. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and egg in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Place 12 muffin-cup liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle nuts evenly over batter. Bake for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

Combine remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla, powdered sugar, and 1 tablespoon water, stirring until smooth. Drizzle evenly over muffins.

2. Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins

blueberry cornmeal muffins

Blueberry cornmeal muffins | Thinkstock

Looking for a way to make an old recipe exciting again? Martha Stewart adds cornmeal to these blueberry muffins to add a bit of texture and flavor. They don’t taste so much like the child of corn and blueberry muffins as they do a light cornmeal snacking cake; the corn flavor isn’t overwhelming, and the blueberries aren’t overwhelmingly sweet. The orange zest could be traded out for lemon zest, depending on your preferences.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1¼ cups low-fat buttermilk, plus about 2 tablespoons for tops
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1½ cups blueberries, picked over and rinsed
  • 2½ teaspoons coarse sanding sugar
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, with rack in center. Lightly coat a standard muffin tin with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and orange zest, if using.

In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg yolks, and butter. Stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until just blended. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until just stiff. Gently fold whites and blueberries into the batter until just combined.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup three-quarters full. Bake 12 minutes. Remove from oven; gently brush tops with buttermilk and sprinkle with sanding sugar, if desired. Continue baking until tops are golden and a cake tester inserted in a muffin center comes out clean, 6 to 8 minutes more. Let muffins cool slightly, about 10 minutes, before turning out of tin.

3. Mango Coconut Walnut Muffins

mango coconut walnut muffins

Mango coconut walnut muffins | iStock.com

Berries shouldn’t have all the fun! These muffins from Life Made Sweeter star tropical flavors like mango and coconut with the grounding presence of walnuts to round them out. These muffins are moist and crunchy and made with very ripe bananas and yogurt, making them lighter than a sour cream or ricotta-based enriched muffin. They also feature white whole-wheat flour, which can be subbed out for whole-wheat pastry flour if you’re looking for the most tender crumb.

Ingredients:

Muffins

  • 1½ cups white whole-wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1½ cups mango chunks, frozen and thawed, or fresh
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted
  • ¼ cup of toasted walnuts, chopped

Topping

  • ¼ cup finely diced mango chunks for topping
  • ⅛ cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray 15 muffin tin cups with nonstick spray.

In a food processor, add the the banana, mango chunks, Greek yogurt, melted coconut oil, brown sugar, honey, and egg. Blend until puréed.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until well-combined. Add wet ingredients and mix just to combine, then carefully fold in walnuts and coconut.

Fill muffin tins almost completely full. Top with finely diced mango chunks, walnuts, and a sprinkle of coconut. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Allow to cool completely.

4. Sweet Potato Almond Butter Muffins

almond butter

Almond butter | iStock.com

This “flavor bomb” from Minimalist Baker is begging to be slathered with honey and butter still warm from the oven, if you’re into that sort of thing. They’re just a little salty and sweet, and super hearty while still being plenty moist and almost bread pudding-like. These are vegan and made with a flax egg: 1 tablespoon ground flax combined with 2½ tablespoons of water, left to sit and thicken for about 5 minutes. If you’re not vegan, feel free to toss in 1 large egg instead.

Ingredients:

  • 1 flax egg
  • ¾ cup sweet potato purée
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup oat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup roasted salted almond butter

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line muffin tin with paper liners. Prepare flax egg in a large mixing bowl and let set for a few minutes.

Next, add sweet potato purée, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla extract to flax egg and mix well. Add almond milk and stir to combine.

Sift whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon directly over wet ingredients. Then, add oat flour and stir just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, then drop about 1 teaspoon almond butter onto the center of each muffin. Swirl lightly with a toothpick.

Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Remove from oven and let rest in tins for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely.

5. Brown Butter Cranberry Almond Pancake Muffins

cranberry muffins

Brown butter cranberry almond pancake muffins | iStock.com

Everything is better with browned butter, and these muffins from Joy the Baker are no exception. The warm, nutty flavor of the butter plays off the fresh cranberries that cook down into a tart but sweet jammy berry in the oven. The real treat, though, is that these muffins are pricked all over after baking so they can better absorb a warm lemon maple reduction. It’s an all-star recipe, and it’s time to give it a try.

Ingredients:

Muffins

  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted until browned and slightly cooled
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Heaping 1 cup whole and sliced fresh cranberries

Glaze

  • ¾ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions: Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, egg, yolk, and extracts. Add butter, mix to combine, then set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt to combine. Pour in wet ingredients and stir just until moistened. Add cranberries and stir just to incorporate. Transfer batter to prepared muffin tin and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 15 to 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat maple syrup and lemon in a saucepan set over medium-low heat. Simmer gently until reduced and thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.

Remove the muffins from the oven allow to rest for 5 minutes, then remove from pan. While warm, poke holes in the top of each muffin with a toothpick. Drizzle syrup over top. Serve.