The BEST Vanilla Muffins

I said it…these are the BEST vanilla muffins. Perfectly fluffy and bouncy, a gorgeous, crispy muffin top and noticeable vanilla flavor. The perfect base muffin recipe to adapt into other flavors. 

I really try not to call my recipes “the BEST” because there’s like a million out there that claim to be the best and aren’t so the term really lost its value lol. BUT I am actually obsessed with these easy vanilla muffins. 

Long story short, I tested A LOT of recipes and I always struggled with getting that perfect muffin texture. Then one of my readers asked me for a vanilla butter muffin… which would have never crossed my mind to make. 

I also normally used oil in my muffins so I got to work on this vanilla muffin made with butter. I think I got lucky or something because it only took two tries this time and OMG I think I’ve eaten more muffins in the last couple of weeks than I have in my whole life. 

What makes these simple vanilla muffins so great:

  • Uses melted butter so no mixer required!
  • Super easy muffin recipe that takes 5 minutes to make (minus waiting time).
  • HUGE crispy muffin top, because that’s the best part.
  • The perfect base to add in chocolate chips, blueberries, lemon zest, all your favorite things. 

This recipe was adapted into SO MANY variations, that’s how obsessed I am with it. I made carrot cake, blueberry, strawberry crumble, pumpkin, banana bread and more.


  • Flour: I use all purpose flour in most of my recipes and I HIGHLY recommend using a digital scale, as flour is so often over measured. 
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda: We’re going to need both here and a lot of them to get that gorgeous muffin top.
  • Sugar: please don’t cut the sugar… 🙂
  • Butter: I like to use salted butter but unsalted also works, just add ½ tsp of salt. 
  • Eggs: I use room temperature, large eggs. Pop them in hot water for a few minutes if they’re cold.
  • Greek Yogurt/Milk/Cream: I found my favorite combination to be half greek yogurt and half heavy whipping cream. I know it’s weird, most people don’t use cream in muffins but I promise it’s so good.
    • If you don’t want to use cream and you want to use milk, I would sub the greek yogurt for sour cream. The higher fat content helps keep these muffins more tender and moist. That said, you can also do greek yogurt and milk for a slightly healthier option. They’ll be good, especially right away but they might dry out a little quicker. 
  • Vanilla: When I want a strong vanilla flavor, I usually combine two forms of vanilla. Here I did 1 tsp of artificial vanilla extract with ¼ tsp of vanilla powder (I make vanilla powder from dried out vanilla beans in a food processor).
    • You can also do pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste, I’ve used both of those in this recipe as well. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Whisk together the melted butter and sugar: let the butter cool a little before combining with the sugar.
  2. Whisk in the eggs: this is important; whisk in one egg at a time for about 30 seconds, until it’s completely combined, pale and fluffy. Then add another egg, etc. 
  3. Add the dairy: whisk in the greek yogurt and vanilla until it’s smooth, then add the room temperature cream and whisk until it’s smooth.
  4. Add the dry ingredients: whisk in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the wet ingredients until they’re completely combined.
  5. Rest the batter: another important step – Cover the bowl and let the batter rest at room temperature for 1 hour. This allows the gluten to relax and the leaveners to get a head start. (If you’re in a rush, 30 minutes is fine but definitely don’t go past 90 minutes or you’ll get a wonky bake).
  6. Fill the muffin tins: all the way to the top rim and top with ½-1 tsp of granulated sugar to make a crunchy muffin top.
  7. Bake: for five minutes at 425F and then reduce oven temperature to 375F and bake for another 10 minutes. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I add in other mix-ins?

Yup, you certainly can but I already did it for you and I’ll have the recipes up soon. I have a chocolate chip version, blueberry version and strawberry version. With the strawberries, I had to reduce the cream to ½ cup though. 

Can I add a vanilla glaze?

I was torn between adding a glaze and not and clearly I went with the latter. I’ve already said it a million times but the crispy muffin tops are the best part of muffins soooo no glaze. LOL, but you can certainly still make one. 
Just combine like ½ cup of powdered sugar with 1 Tbsp of milk and 1 tsp of vanilla extract/vanilla bean paste. Add more powdered sugar if it’s too runny.

Can I make these dairy free?

You can use dairy free butter, milk, cream, yogurt or sour cream in any of my muffins but the flavor/texture will be a tiny bit changed 🙂

Can I make these gluten-free?

I have not tested this recipe specifically but all of my cake recipes work with a 1:1 substitute of gluten-free flour. This recipe is similar to those so I don’t see why this wouldn’t work. I recommend King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill.

Can I make batter ahead (or save some for later)?

To get that gorgeous muffin top I increased the leavening agents a little more than usual. Allowing the batter to rest for an hour gives you the perfect bake but if you wait longer, the muffins will bake with a wonky, lop sided muffin top.
I haven’t tested this yet, but if you want to make the batter ahead of time, I would try skipping the baking soda.

How to store vanilla muffins

I LOVE the crispy muffin top but if you store these in an airtight container, you lose that crispiness. So I leave them out overnight and then after the first night, I store them in an airtight container or bag at room temperature for 2-3 days.

You can also refrigerate them for up to a week or freeze them and bring them back to room temperature before serving but again, you’ll lose that crisp muffin top. 

How to freeze muffins

Bakes stay more fresh when they’re frozen. Place muffins in an airtight container and then place the container in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to a couple of months. Bring back to room temperature before serving. 

Thanks so much for reading today’s post, if you have any questions just comment down below. Make sure to leave it in the comment section because I can’t answer in the rating section :).

If you make this vanilla muffin recipe I would love to see it so make sure to tag me @baranbakery on instagram!

As always, have a blessed day and happy baking!

Love, B

the best vanilla muffin

Vanilla Muffins Recipe

Bernice Baran
Perfectly fluffy and bouncy vanilla muffins with a gorgeous, crispy muffin top and noticeable vanilla flavor. The perfect base muffin recipe to adapt into other flavors.
4.76 from 49 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Course Muffins
Cuisine American
Servings 12 large muffins
Calories 350 kcal


  • 2 1/2 cups (300g) all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
  • 1 Tbsp (10g) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) salted butter melted
  • 1 1/4 cup (250g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (170g) Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 3/4 cup (6oz) heavy cream room temperature
  • 2-3 Tbsp granulated sugar for topping *optional


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
    2 1/2 cups (300g) all-purpose flour, 1 Tbsp (10g) baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt
  • In a large bowl whisk together the melted butter and sugar until they’re well combined.
    1/2 cup (113g) salted butter, 1 1/4 cup (250g) granulated sugar
  • Add in one egg and whisk until it’s well combined and has lightened in color, about 30 seconds. Repeat with the next two eggs, one at a time.
    3 large eggs
  • Add in the Greek Yogurt and the vanilla extract and whisk until it’s completely smooth.
    3/4 cup (170g) Greek Yogurt, 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • Add in the heavy whipping cream and whisk until it’s completely smooth.
    3/4 cup (6oz) heavy cream
  • Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until the last streak of flour is incorporated.
  • Cover with a lid, plastic wrap or a tea towel and set aside to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 425F (218C) and line 12 muffins tins.
  • Use a large cookie scooper to fill the muffins tins to the top, the batter should be enough for 12 large muffins.
  • Sprinkle each muffin with 1-2 tsp of granulated sugar for a crispy muffin top and bake for 5 minutes.
    2-3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 375F (190C) and bake for 8-10 minutes, just until the muffins are golden brown and spring back when you press on the center gently.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10-20 minutes before serving.


Serving: 1gCalories: 350kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 6gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 360mgFiber: 1gSugar: 28g
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Recipe Rating

  1. 4 stars
    I cooked these an extra 3 1/2 minutes and even then a couple did not cook all the way, They were ok. There used to be a bagel shop in Tallahassee, FL that had the best vanilla muffins.

  2. 5 stars
    Added mini chocolate chips to recipe and it is delicious!!! It would definitely be yummy without chocolate chips though.
    These are fluffy, moist yet a little crispy on outer shell which is divine.
    Follow instructions and they will turn out amazing !!! Thank you for recipe to add to our sweet treats as a family

  3. The best vanilla muffins I’ve made.

    I baked these muffins yesterday. They were delicious. Soft and moist. Balanced in taste. I used milk and regular yogurt because I didn’t have heavy cream and Greek yogurt and substituted half the butter with oil for extra moistness. It was heavenly. Will be making this recipe for a long time to come.

  4. hi, i have a question on the greek yogurt, do you use regular greek yogurt for non-fat yogurt.
    Your dessert are great!
    thank you have a nice day

  5. I baked these with regular whipping cream (not heavy) and they still came out moist, flavorful, and tall! The recipe also adapts well to different flavors. I made matcha raspberry swirl muffins and almond poppyseed muffins. I would highly recommend.

  6. Hi there,
    So excited to make this recipe! If I decide to add mix-ins, do they go in before or after the batter rests? Thanks!