Muffins are easy peasy to make yet there is one rule that can make or break your muffins: do not overbeat. You can stir the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately as much as your heart desires, but once they’re combined you should only beat until they are just combined. The muffins are at their best when freshly made, but they can be tightly wrapped in plastic or stored in an airtight container for a day or two.
Start by beating butter and sugar into a mixing bowl then whisk in the egg until thoroughly blended and then whisk in the milk. At this point, you would also mix in additions that you like such as lemon zest and/or vanilla or almond extract. Whisk in the sugar then add the baking powder, salt and one-third of the flour, whisking until completely incorporated. Whisk in another third of the flour.
Use a rubber spatula to fold in the last of the flour to form a thick, mostly smooth batter. Gently fold in any add-ins to the batter, if using, such as blueberries and chocolate chips. Distribute the batter evenly among the muffin tins and bake in the middle rack for about 20 minutes until the muffins have risen well and are golden; the tip of a sharp knife inserted into the centre of one should come out clean.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool briefly if serving right away, or cool completely if storing.
For blueberry muffins, add 1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest to the liquids. After mixing the batter, fold in 1 1/2 cups of rinsed, dried, and picked-over (or frozen) blueberries. Use 2 tablespoons of sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to sprinkle over the tops of the muffins before baking.
For chocolate chip muffins, add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to the liquids. After mixing the batter, fold in 1 cup of your choice of chocolate chips. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with sugar (2 tablespoons total) before baking.
- 1 1/3 cups (185 grams/6.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick/115 gram) butter, melted
- 1 cup (200 grams/7 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) whole milk
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. On medium speed, beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add vanilla extract and beat until combined. With the mixer on low speed, add half of the dry ingredients and beat just until combined.
- Add milk and beat until combined. Add the other half of the dry ingredients and beat slowly or fold by hand only until combined. Do not over-mix – the less you mix, the lighter the cake will be.
- Divide batter evenly between the cups, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes (or 8-10 minutes if making mini cupcakes) until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
- Allow cupcakes to sit for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.