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Vanilla Muffins

Have you been looking for an easy recipe for perfect Vanilla Muffins? Well look no further, I’ve got you covered!

This recipe produces delicious, fluffy and moist Vanilla Muffins that are going to be a staple in your kitchen. Plus it works every time!

Two vanilla muffins stacked one on top of the other.
Moist and fluffy every time!

This easy muffin recipe is loaded with sweet and fragrant vanilla flavor. I have been making this recipe for many years and it never fails to impress. Whether you’re serving them as part of a decadent brunch, lunchbox snacks or a simple dessert, these Vanilla Muffins are the perfect treat! Just like my Pistachio Muffins, this recipe is super fast and perfect for when you have guests arriving at short notice.

On busy days, dust these delicious Vanilla Muffins with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or if you have more time, top them with a vanilla glaze. However you serve them, these easy Vanilla Muffins always impress! Never have muffins been this tender and moist.

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Flavor – Vanilla bean paste gives these muffins their signature sweet fragrant flavor. Plus you’ll love the speckles of vanilla bean scattered throughout the muffins. 
  • Texture – These muffins are incredibly soft and tender. Once you’ve tried this muffin recipe, you’ll never be able to eat ordinary muffins again!
  • Simplicity – This recipe has step by step instructions to ensure it’s simple to make and these will become a regular in your kitchen. 
  • Versatility – Whether you’re serving these muffins for a family breakfast, a lunchbox treat for your children or a simple dessert for your friends, they won’t disappoint! Every occasion is the perfect occasion for these Vanilla Muffins.

For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.


Ingredients for this recipe as in the recipe card.

These ingredients are important and play a key role in producing light, fluffy muffins every time.

  • Cake flour – you’ll find this in the baking aisle of the supermarket. Cake flour has a lower protein content and is more finely milled than all purpose flour helping create lighter and more tender muffins and cakes. 
  • Granulated sugar – regular white granulated sugar or caster sugar.
  • Baking powder – be sure your baking powder is fresh. You can check it is fresh by putting ½ teaspoon into a glass of hot water. If it’s fresh, the baking powder will bubble in the hot water.
  • Baking soda – also known as bicarbonate of soda.
  • Salt – a little salt always helps to pronounce the flavors in desserts.
  • Light Flavored Oil – it could be a vegetable oil that you like or light olive oil, avocado oil or even peanut oil.
  • Milk – whole milk or full fat is my preference here. 
  • Sour cream – again, full fat is my preference for extra richness and moisture.
  • Eggs – I use large, free range eggs at room temperature.
  • Vanilla bean paste – the hero ingredient of this recipe! I recommend buying the best quality vanilla bean paste you can afford for optimum results. Use 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract instead. 

Is vanilla extract the same as vanilla essence?

No, vanilla extract isn’t the same as vanilla essence. Vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract are made using real vanilla beans with minimal processing. Please don’t use vanilla essence as it is a processor product using artificial flavoring and doesn’t have the intensity of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. Since this recipe relies on the flavor of vanilla, it’s important to use a quality product. It’s this reason that I prefer vanilla bean paste for this recipe even above vanilla extract.


Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C and line 12 hole muffin tin with muffin liners.

Flour in a sieve over a glass bowl.

In a large bowl sieve the cake flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Or whisk together.

Pale yellow thick liquid in a glass bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together milk, sour cream, oil, eggs and vanilla bean paste.

Pale yellow muffin batter in a glass bowl.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently until no dry ingredients can be seen. 

Batter being scooped into muffins liners.

Divide the batter evenly amongst the muffin cups and bake immediately for 18-20 minutes. 

Hint: One of the crucial factors in producing good muffins is to avoid over-mixing. Use a spatula to reach right to the bottom of the bowl when combining the wet and dry ingredients and mix until just combined.


  • Cake flour – substitute all-purpose flour instead. The result will be just as delicious just not as delicate.
  • Milk and sour cream – while my preference is whole dairy products, you could use a plant-based alternatives to make dairy-free version. 
  • Oil – use melted butter instead. Unsalted butter is preferable but if you’ve only got salted then omit the extra salt.

This recipe hasn’t been tested in my kitchen using gluten free flour but it’s possible to use 1:1 gluten free flour. Keep in mind that the texture may be different.


This is the perfect base muffin recipe with so many options for mix-ins and variations.

  • Chocolate chip – turn these easy muffins into chocolate chip muffins by adding a bag of mini chocolate chips into the muffin batter. Extra chocolate chips can be used to make my small batch chocolate chip cookies.
  • Citrus flavors – add a generous grating of lemon, lime or orange zest into the muffin batter. 
  • Nutella filled center – take a look at my Nutella Muffins for a delicious alternative. 

So you want jumbo muffins? Sure, this recipe will work. Baking time will vary and may take anything from about 24-28 minutes. Likewise, make mini muffins with this batter reducing the baking time to 10-15 minutes.

To determine if the muffins are ready first look to see if it’s light golden brown. Press lightly on one of the muffins, it should be firm and not wobbly. Then stick a wooden toothpick in one of the muffins. It’s ready if it comes out without batter clinging to it.


To make this simple Vanilla Muffins recipe, you’ll require a muffin pan or muffin tin with 12 cups. Muffin pans aren’t expensive and are readily available. Plus I’ve no doubt you’ll be making this recipe more than once!

I also like to use muffin cups or paper liners, which can be easily found in supermarkets and grocery stores. I love using the paper liners because it’s effortless to take the muffins out of the pan to cool and cleaning up is so much easier!


As with most baked goods, these Vanilla Muffins are best on the day of baking. In fact, I love them served still slightly warm! However, the sour cream in this recipe, helps them to remain more moist than most muffin recipes. So they can still be enjoyed 1-2 days after baking.  

All muffins freeze really well and so, if I know I won’t get through them in one sitting, I like to freeze them as soon as they have cooled. I like to wrap each muffin individually in plastic wrap and then place the wrapped muffins in a sealed container. You can freeze these muffins for up to 3 months. Thaw on the counter or zap for a few seconds in the microwave for warm, fresh tasting Vanilla Muffins.

Top tip

Overhead view of plain muffins sprinkled with powdered sugar and one broken open.

Have the oven preheated and at temperature, before you begin mixing the muffins batter because these muffins are very quick to make. As you wait for the oven to preheat, pop the muffin liners in the pan and gather the ingredients.

This brings me to the next tip which is to have the ingredients at cool room temperature. Bringing all the ingredients out of the fridge while the oven is heating will naturally do this for you

To achieve perfectly light and fluffy Vanilla Muffins, be careful not to overmix the muffin batter! As soon as the ingredients are combined and you can’t see any more dry ingredients, stop mixing. If you overmix the batter, you’ll find the muffins will be dense and tough.

After baking the Vanilla Muffins, let them cool for a few minutes before carefully removing them from the muffin pan and arranging them on a wire rack. If you allow the muffins to cool in the pan, they can overcook. 


What is the secret to fluffy muffins?

There are a couple of tricks to making muffins more fluffy and I’ve used both in my Vanilla Muffin recipe! The first is using cake flour instead of regular all-purpose flour. Because cake flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour, it creates fluffier and more tender cakes. The second secret to making fluffy muffins is having the right amount of rising agents. In this recipe, I use a combination of baking powder and baking soda to help the these muffins rise and become light and fluffy. 
Finally, it’s very important not to over-mix or beat the batter heavily. Use gentle but quick folding actions to mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Use a spatula to reach the bottom of the bowl, lifting and turning the ingredients into one another.

What to add to Vanilla Muffins?

You can add so many variations to my Vanilla Muffin recipe to ‘spice it up’. Think chocolate chips, an array of chopped nuts, frozen berries, spices like cinnamon and ginger or the zest of a lemon. The possibilities are endless!

Are Vanilla Muffins healthy? 

Homemade vanilla muffins are so much healthier than their store bought counterparts and more delicious! There are no hidden preservatives or additives in this recipe, just good-quality ingredients. I have no qualms about serving these to my family as part of a balanced diet. 

Serving Suggestions

A muffin split in half showing the inside texture.

My fluffy Vanilla Muffins are perfect for a simple brunch when served alongside my Raspberry Danishes and Bacon Egg and Cheese Croissants. They also make a delicious sweet treat if you’ve had my Greek Couscous Salad as light lunch.  

For breakfast, be sure to make a batch of my delicious Nutella pancakes and sourdough french toast along with these Vanilla Muffins. These are family favorites!

Made this recipe?
Let me know if you liked it by leaving a ★★★★★ star rating and a review below. Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter – it’s free!

Two vanilla muffins stacked one on top of the other.

Vanilla Muffins Recipe

A muffin recipe that is loaded with fragrant vanilla flavor and produces deliciously fluffy and moist every time!
5 from 29 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings:12 muffins
Author: Marcellina


  • measuring cups and spoons (or scales)
  • 1 spatula
  • 2 medium bowls
  • 1 12 hole muffin pan
  • 12 muffins liners


  • 2 ½ cups (312 grams) cake flour
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • cup (160 mls) light flavored oil vegetable oil, light olive oil, avocado oil or peanut oil as you prefer
  • ½ cup (120 mls) whole milk
  • ½ cup (120ml) full fat sour cream
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla paste or vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
  • Line 12 hole muffin pan with muffins liners.
  • Sieve into a large bowl the cake flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Alternatively, you could just whisk the dry ingredients together if they were relatively free of lumps.
  • In a jug, whisk together milk, sour cream, oil, eggs and vanilla paste.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir gently with a whisk or a spatula until no dry ingredients can be seen. Don’t overbeat.
  • Divide the batter evenly amongst the muffin cups.
  • Bake immediately for 18-20 minutes until well risen, golden and cooked through. You can stick a skewer into the muffins to check if they are cooked – if the skewer comes out clean, they’re done.
  • Allow muffins to cool for a few minutes then carefully lift each out onto a wire rack to cool.


Tips for Success
  • Have the oven at temperature before you begin making the muffin batter. This recipe is quick!
  • In the meantime, take the ingredients out the fridge to come to cool room temperature and line the muffin pan with liners.
    Don’t over mix the batter
  • Let the muffins cool for a few minutes in the pan before lifting out onto a wire rack to cool.
For FAQ and more tips, scroll up to read more!
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 116IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    These muffins were delicious. First time I have used cake flour and will do so with all my baking from now on.