Muffin matters: a basic sweet muffin recipe for any occasion

Over the years I’ve built up a little cache of base recipes that can be changed depending on what withered scraps you have in the kitchen. I find them really helpful because I know they are tried and true, and I can bash them together quickly for a reasonably edible result.

The first one I’ll share is a basic sweet muffin recipe.

Rather boring you might think but when you serve up some warm and fluffy treats to your buddies, and they hoover them up, you’ll feel quite good about yourself.

muffins 5

I apologise that I have no idea where I got this backbone recipe. I wrote it down on a scrap of paper and shoved it in my recipe folder years ago. The measurements are a bit odd, but don’t be alarmed – it is a very forgiving recipe!

muffins 1

The sky is the limit in terms of flavours. You can choose your own adventure: chocolate chips, frozen berries, chopped or grated apple or pear. For the photos, I made pineapple muffins with passionfruit icing.

This recipe takes no more than 30 minutes from when you get your bowl out to pulling them out of the oven. So you can always have something homemade when pressed for time.


220g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup caster sugar

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 egg lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla

150g added flavours of your choice

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees
  2. Put muffin cases into a 12 hole pan
  3. Mix your dry ingredients together and make a well in the middle
  4. Mix your wet ingredients together and pour into the well
  5. Gently mix until just combined. Do not over-mix!
  6. Fold in your flavourings until just combined
  7. Spoon into the cases
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean

Some choice flavour combos

muffins 3

Pineapple with Passionfruit Icing

  • Use melted coconut oil instead of veg oil
  • Use drained tinned pineapple as the added ingredient
  • Make a cream cheese icing with added passionfruit pulp to give it a luscious gooey texture

Blueberry/Raspberry and White Choc

  • Add berries and white chocolate chunks as the added ingredient

Cinnamon Apple

  • Add cinnamon to dry ingredients
  • Add chopped or grated apple
  • Sprinkle a cinnamon and sugar crumble on top prior to whacking in the oven

Choc Orange

  • Add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder to dry ingredients
  • Add zest of one or two oranges
  • Use chocolate chips as your added ingredient
  • Pour an orange syrup over warm muffins

Other ideas

  • Instead of caster sugar, use dark brown sugar for a more caramel effect, or stevia for sugar-free
  • Use wholemeal flour instead of white flour
  • Add a crumble topping with chopped nuts and bit of sugar and cinnamon, or plain butter and sugar
  • Add a syrup made from fruit juice and sugar that has been reduced, and pour over the muffins when they come out of the oven
  • Add any kind of icing when the muffins are cool
Written By

Gillian is a marketing savant and brand strategist with over 20 years of experience in above and below the line marketing, digital strategy and creative direction. She is an exceptional people person who loves to collaborate with clients every step of the way to achieve the best possible outcome. Gillian is also a successful makeup-artist and make-up obsessive who loves to share her tricks of the trade and help women to look good and feel great.


  • So helpful! Thank you! I’m guessing with the vanilla, these are a sweet muffin base only, not savoury too? Do you have a savoury one or could this be adapted?

  • I used this recipe to create the best raspberry and coconut muffins I have ever made (and I have made loads). I used coconut oil instead of veg oil and stevia instead of sugar (reduced by about half because stevia is super sweet). Fab – thanks!

  • Hey Mia, yes they are a sweet one only. I’ve tried to adapt this for savoury muffins but it was hideous. I have got quite a good buttermilk recipe for savoury muffins in a Women’s Weekly cookbook (believe it or not). I’ll grab a copy and post it for you.

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