These cinnamon muffins are easy to make, but they pack a strong cinnamon punch! There's cinnamon in the batter, as well as a swirl of cinnamon brown sugar running through the middle of the muffin. And, there's cinnamon sugar baked on top too, of course!
Cinnamon may be considered somewhat of a "common" flavor, but I think it deserves to be celebrated! And in this cinnamon muffin recipe, cinnamon really is at the forefront.
The batter itself includes cinnamon; plus, there is a nice crunchy topping of cinnamon brown sugar. And, for an added cinnamon surprise, there is a ribbon of cinnamon brown sugar running right through the middle of the muffin!
These cinnamon muffins are the perfect thing for a quick breakfast, or as an accompaniment for afternoon tea. Plus, they freeze well so you can keep some on hand when you're craving something sweet!
- Oil: you can use any neutral oil you have in your cabinet for these cinnamon muffins; I used canola oil, but any vegetable oil would work fine, or even grapeseed oil if you have it.
- Milk: I used 2% because that's what I had in my fridge, but whole milk or skim milk would work, or even a low-sugar non-dairy milk should work ok. (If you're interested, here is an article on which non-dairy milks are best for baking!)
- Brown sugar: I used dark brown sugar because I prefer the extra molasses-y flavor, but light brown sugar would be ok to use too.
Step by step photos
1. First, fill a 12 cup muffin tin with liners, or grease each muffin cup. Set aside.
2. Then, mix together the cinnamon and brown sugar for the cinnamon sugar topping, set it aside for now.
3. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
4. Then, whisk together the wet ingredients (and the sugars) in a separate, large bowl.
5. Then, add the dry ingredients into the wet in small batches, whisking in between each addition.
6. Keep whisking just until the batter is smooth, but don't overmix!
7. Fill each muffin tin about ⅓ of the way full.
8. Then, sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar mixture across the surface of each partially-filled muffin.
9. Then, top off the muffins with the rest of the batter.
10. Distribute the rest of the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the muffin batter.
11. Bake the muffins until the tops are firm, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with no wet batter. The tops should look a little crackly and nicely browned, like this!
Tips and tricks
- Before adding to the rest of the wet ingredients for the batter, inspect the brown sugar. If it has a lot of lumps, break them up first with your fingers or a fork, it will be much easier to get a smooth batter that way!
- If you really like cinnamon, you can up the amount of cinnamon in the cinnamon sugar topping from 1 ½ teaspoons to a full 2 teaspoons. I made this recipe both ways, and I kind of like the lesser amount while my husband prefers the more cinnamon-y version!
- To create a pleasing "ribbon" effect of cinnamon sugar running through the center of the muffin, it helps to apply the center layer of cinnamon sugar evenly across the surface of the batter, rather than just in the center. But, it will taste amazing either way so don't sweat it too much!
They will keep for 2 - 3 days at room temperature, stored in an airtight container. I then like to re-heat the muffins before serving by popping them in a toaster oven for a minute or two. This helps to bring back the crispiness on the top of the muffin that tends to soften during storage.
If you want to keep the muffins for longer, you can definitely freeze them! They will keep for 2 - 3 months in the freezer. I like to wrap them individually, or store them in a zip-top bag. Here is a good resource on how to freeze muffins.
For some of my baking recipes, like this one for Brown Butter Apple Muffins, I call for the eggs and milk to be at room temperature. While that certainly won't hurt anything here, I did use the eggs and milk straight from the fridge this time.
Usually adding cold milk and eggs to anything with butter will cause the batter to curdle, but since oil is used in this recipe instead, I was still able to get a smooth batter that rose well, even with cold milk and eggs.
(What do you think? Do you use room-temp milk and eggs every time you bake? I would love to know your thoughts!)
This muffin puts cinnamon front-and-center! There's cinnamon in the batter, plus a cinnamon brown sugar topping, and even a ribbon of brown sugar cinnamon in the center!
For the cinnamon sugar topping:
- 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar (dark or light)
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon (see note 1)
For the muffin batter:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar (dark or light)
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cups neutral oil (vegetable, canola, etc.)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease the cups of a 12 cup muffin tin, or place cupcake liners in each cup. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar and 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon to make the cinnamon sugar topping. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and pinch of nutmeg. Set aside.
- Place the brown sugar for the batter into a separate large bowl. If there are any lumps in the brown sugar, break them apart with your fingers or a fork. Then, add in the granulated sugar, eggs, oil, milk and vanilla. Whisk together until evenly combined.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, whisking in between each addition. Continue to whisk just until combined (a few lumps are ok, but do not overmix).
- Fill each muffin tin about ⅓ full with the batter. Then, sprinkle about ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the surface of each layer of batter. Then, distribute the remaining batter evenly on top of each partially filled muffin tin. Sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly on top of each muffin.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 22 - 26 minutes, or until the top of the muffin is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (a couple crumbs are ok, but no wet batter).
- Let the muffins cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to continue cooling.
- For extra cinnamon flavor in the cinnamon sugar topping, feel free to increase the amount of cinnamon from 1 ½ teaspoons to 2 teaspoons!
- You can store the muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 - 3 days, or keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Keywords: cinnamon muffins, brown sugar cinnamon muffins