These are the BEST cinnamon muffins you will ever eat! They are not only easy to make, but 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!
Note: this post was originally published in 2021 and updated in 2022 and 2023 with improved instructions and photos.
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.
Why these are the best cinnamon muffins
In my humble opinion, these are the best muffins for anyone who really loves cinnamon! In fact, cinnamon has found its way into these muffins in THREE different ways!
- First, the muffin batter itself includes cinnamon (of course!).
- Then, there is a nice crunchy topping of cinnamon brown sugar. This cinnamon brown sugar topping is baked into the top of the muffin, which gives the tops that irresistible crackly crunchy texture that is so fun to bite into.
- And finally, for an added cinnamon surprise, there is a ribbon of cinnamon brown sugar running right through the middle of the muffin!
- The muffins themselves are super tender and moist, because this muffin recipe uses oil and brown sugar in the batter, both of which add a ton of moisture to the batter.
I hope you can see that this easy cinnamon muffin recipe is a match made in heaven for all you cinnamon lovers out there!
- Oil: you can use any neutral oil you have in your cabinet for these 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 also work well.
- Brown sugar: I used dark brown sugar for these cinnamon muffins because I prefer the extra molasses-y flavor. But, light brown sugar would be ok to use too.
In addition to the basics (bowl, whisk, measuring cups/spoons), a few additional pieces of equipment will come in handy for this cinnamon muffin recipe:
- 12-cup muffin tin: you just need the standard-size cupcake/muffin tin that makes 12 muffins.
- cupcake liners (optional): you can use any type - either paper, foil, or reusable silicone. If you don't have liners, you can just grease the muffin tin very well.
- kitchen scale (optional): in the recipe card, I provide both volume and weight measurements, so a scale is optional. But, if you have a kitchen scale, I prefer to use the weight measurements because it's more accurate and efficient.
Step by step photos
Here is a step by step breakdown on how to make this cinnamon muffin recipe. If you would like to see a brief slideshow of these steps, you can check out my web story!
1. First, fill a 12-cup muffin tin with liners, or grease the muffin tin well. Set aside. Also, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
2. Then, mix together the cinnamon and brown sugar for the cinnamon sugar topping. Set it aside for now.
3. Next, whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
4. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients with the brown and granulated sugars.
5. Then, add the dry ingredients into the wet in a few batches, whisking gently in between each addition. Whisk just until the flour is incorporated - don't overmix! There will be a couple lumps still and that's ok.
6. Retrieve the prepared muffin tin. Fill each muffin tin about ⅓ of the way full.
7. Then, sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar mixture across the surface of each partially-filled cinnamon muffin.
8. Now just top off the muffins with the rest of the batter.
9. Distribute the rest of the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the muffin batter.
10. Bake the cinnamon muffins until the tops are firm, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with no wet batter. The muffin tops should look a little crackly and nicely browned, like this!
Tips and tricks
How to measure flour for baking
One of the best ways to baking success, for cinnamon muffins or any baked good, is to properly measure the flour. If you add too much, this can result in dry baked goods. There are two good ways to measure flour: by weight, or using the spoon and level technique.
- Measuring by weight, using a kitchen scale, is the easiest and most accurate way. And, you don't even need to dirty a measuring cup!
- To measure by weight, just place the mixing bowl on the scale, zero it out, and add in the flour until it reaches the correct amount in grams. For this recipe, you need 248 grams.
- If you don't have a kitchen scale, use the spoon and level technique to measure by volume. Just place spoonfuls of flour into the measuring cup until it's full, then sweep the excess off with a flat edge (like a butter knife).
- If you use the measuring cup to scoop the flour out of the container, the flour will compress and you will get too much flour in the recipe.
Other tips and tricks
- Before adding it to the rest of the wet ingredients, inspect the brown sugar. If it has a lot of lumps, break them up first with your fingers or a fork. Once the brown sugar is in the batter it will be really difficult to break up those lumps.
- 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've made the cinnamon muffins 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!
Storage and reheating instructions
- These muffins will keep for 2 - 3 days at room temperature, stored in an airtight container.
- After about a day, the brown sugar cinnamon topping on the muffins can lose some of its crispiness. To bring back some of that delicious crunch, you can re-heat the cinnamon muffins in a toaster oven for 1 - 2 minutes.
- If you want to keep the muffins for longer, you can freeze them! They will keep for 2 - 3 months in the freezer. I like to wrap them individually, or store them in a quart or gallon zip-top bag. Here is a good resource on how to freeze muffins.
Substitutions and additions
- I like using oil in muffins because it gives a nice soft texture to the muffins. But, if you like the flavor of butter, you can replace half or all of the oil with melted and cooled butter. If using butter, use room-temperature eggs and milk in the batter.
- If you don't like or don't have nutmeg, feel free to leave it out. Or, you can replace the pinch of nutmeg with another warm spice, such as ground ginger, cloves or allspice.
- To take your cinnamon muffin experience to the next level, try mixing a handful of raisins, mini chocolate chips, or chopped nuts into the batter.
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 for this cinnamon muffin recipe.
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.
First, make sure to measure the flour accurately. Too much flour in the muffin batter can make the muffins dry. So, spoon the flour from the container into the measuring cup, rather than using the measuring cup to scoop the flour out of the container. Or, better yet, use the weight measurement provided in the recipe card. I talk more about these techniques in the Tips and tricks section above.
Also, do not overmix the muffin batter. Overmixing the batter can make the muffins tough. Stop mixing once the flour is all moistened, even if there are a few lumps left.
Finally, do not overbake the muffins. Overbaking the muffins can also make them dry.
I prefer to use liners - it takes the stress out of wondering whether you greased the tin enough for the muffins to come out! But, I have been able to remove these cinnamon muffins fairly easily from a well-greased, unlined tin (unlike my recipe for blackberry buttermilk muffins!).
If you don't want to use liners, just grease the tin well with non-stick cooking spray, including the top of the tin. This is to prevent the edges that puff up over the top of the cup from sticking.
Yes, you can very easily double the recipe. This cinnamon muffin recipe makes 12 large muffins. If you have two muffin tins, you can bake them at the same time (if you have the oven space). If not, you can mix up the double batch of batter, and then bake them in two batches.
If you’ve tried this recipe, please leave a star rating and/or review in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And sign up for my weekly newsletter to get recipes delivered straight to you!Print
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!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 12 muffins 1x
- Category: dessert, breakfast, snacks
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
For the cinnamon sugar topping:
- 3 tablespoons (40 g) packed brown sugar (dark or light)
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon (see note 1)
For the muffin batter:
- 2 cups (248 g) all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled, or measure by weight)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- ½ cup (105 g) granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup (71 g) packed brown sugar (dark or light)
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cups (158 ml) neutral oil (vegetable, canola, etc.)
- 1 cup (237 ml) milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
- Place cupcake liners in the cups of a 12-cup muffin tin, or, spray the muffin tin well with nonstick cooking spray. 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.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in a few batches, whisking gently in between each addition. Whisk just until combined (a few lumps are ok - 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, top off each muffin with the remaining batter. 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.
- The nutrition information below was calculated using 2% milk. The nutrition counts of your dish will vary based on the brand, type, and exact amounts of ingredients used. This nutrition information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical, health, or nutritional advice. See our full disclosure policy.
- Serving Size: 1 muffin
- Calories: 274
- Sugar: 18.4 g
- Sodium: 122 mg
- Fat: 13.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 35.1 g
- Fiber: 0.8 g
- Protein: 3.9 g
- Cholesterol: 33 mg
Keywords: cinnamon muffins, cinnamon muffin recipe, brown sugar cinnamon muffins
Ok, so how hungry was I if I made these within 15 minutes of receiving the recipe! I had them ready when my kids arrived home from school! Warm cinnamon muffins and a glass of ice cold milk was the perfect end to their school day. The muffins were moist and flavorful! Since we love cinnamon, I did up the cinnamon to 2 teaspoons as you suggested. Kids and I both give the cinnamon muffins a full five star rating!! They were so easy to make too!! Thanks for starting our week off with a delicious treat!! Happy Valentine's Day!!
Michelle I am so happy that you and your kids enjoyed the cinnamon muffins and that you found the recipe easy to make, this comment made my day! 🙂 Happy Valentine's Day to you too! <3
Can I substitute butter for oil? Never like oil in pastry.
Hi Amily! Yes you can substitute melted butter that has cooled down slightly for the oil. The texture of the muffin may be a little drier but I think it will still work well! I found some more info on subbing butter for oil in this article, hopefully this will be helpful! https://www.nigella.com/ask/using-butter-instead-of-oil-in-muffins
I made these today and I think I ate 2 and my husband ate the rest he has fallen in love with them and has asked me to make some so he can take to work
Karen I'm so happy that you and your husband enjoyed the muffins! Thank you for sharing your feedback 🙂
I made these today and I think I ate 2 and my husband ate the rest he has fallen in love with them and has asked me to make some so he can take to work
I made these this morning and my batter turned out really thick. I'm not sure if that was right, I followed the recipe all the way through, and double-checked measurements as I went. but the batter turned out quite thick (maybe two cups of flour is too much?). I only managed to get 11 cupcakes and I barely had batter left to cover the top (thankfully, I managed to spread it out to cover it all).
i have yet to try them, but I'm hoping they still turn out good/okay
Hi Mia thank you for trying the recipe! One thing that could have happened is that you had too much flour - if you used the measuring cup to scoop out the flour from the container instead of spooning it into the measuring cup, that could result in extra flour being added. On my newer recipes I have been including weight measurements for the ingredients to ensure accuracy, so I will make a note to update this one with weight measurements as well. I could have also done a better job explaining the "spoon and level" technique in the post itself, so I will go back and do that when I update.
It's also possible that the eggs you were using could have been a little on the small side? Either way, I hope the muffins still taste delicious, and I appreciate you giving me your feedback on the recipe!
Amazing!! 2nd time makings them this weekend. This time I decided to add some chai to the milk. So yummy! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!
Wow adding chai to the milk sounds like an amazing way to "spice" up these muffins (haha sorry for the bad pun!). So glad you like the recipe Nickole! 🙂
I consider myself a terrible baker, but even I could make these muffins. They are so easy and delicious. I added cut up apple which really took the recipe to the next level.
Theresa I am so happy that you enjoyed the muffins and that you found the recipe easy to work with 🙂 Adding chopped apple sounds like a wonderful addition that would pair so well with the cinnamon, yum!!
So good!! I just made them. So happy I found this recipe. I didn’t have eggs so I used flaxseeds as a substitute and still came out great. Thanks.
Alfonsina I'm so glad that you enjoyed the muffins! And thank you for letting me know it works with a flaxseed egg, my MIL is vegan so I can try making these with soy milk and flax egg for her 🙂
Could you substitute applesauce instead of oil in this recipe? Maybe it would give it a hint of apple/cinnamon muffin?
I haven't tried it myself, but I think you could! And I bet the flavor of the apple would go nicely with the cinnamon as you say 🙂 I did some quick research, and it looks like you can either try subbing half the oil for applesauce, or even all the oil. So try either 2/3 cup applesauce (and no oil), or 1/3 cup applesauce and 1/3 cup oil. If you do try it please let me know how it turns out for you!
Could you substitute applesauce for the oil?
They were wonderful and easy. My grandson loved them so much he hid 3. I made large muffins so doubled recipe . Yum thanks
Awww that is the highest praise Debra thank you for sharing!! When my girls love something I cook or bake for them, feel like I am winning at life that day. Thank you for your lovely comment 🙂
These muffins are so good. They are also light and fluffy. I added some apple pie spice to mine. YUM! Thank you for this recipe!!!
Thank you Rebecca! I'm really happy you enjoyed the cinnamon muffins. And apple pie spice sounds like a delicious addition! 🙂