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Vanilla Muffins

vanilla muffins FI

Vanilla muffins that are tender and sweet, the perfect option for weekend brunch. You can bake them up as-is or dip them in the optional vanilla glaze for even more sweetness and vanilla flavor!

Ingredients

Units Scale

Vanilla muffins:

  • 2 cups (248 g) all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled, or use weight measurement)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (215 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (177 ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) neutral oil (canola, vegetable, grapeseed, etc.)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract, see notes 1 - 2)
  • coarse sugar crystals (for the tops of the muffins - this is optional if you aren't making the vanilla glaze)

Vanilla glaze (optional):

  • 1 cup (110 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • pinch salt

Instructions

Make the muffins:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).  
  2. Grease the cups of a 12-cup muffin tin, or place cupcake liners in each cup (cupcake liners are preferred if you are going to glaze the muffins, see note 6). Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons baking powder. Set aside.
  4. To a large bowl, add the eggs, 3/4 cup milk, oil, granulated sugar, and 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract). Whisk together until evenly combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and gently whisk just until all the flour is moistened. Don't overmix the batter or it will become tough. There will be some lumps in the batter and that's ok. 
  6. Scoop the batter into the cups of the prepared muffin tin. If you are not making the vanilla glaze for the muffins, instead you can sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of coarse sugar on top of each muffin to create a crunchy topping. (This is optional - the muffins taste great all on their own too!)
  7. Bake the muffins in the preheated oven for 18 - 22 minutes, or until the tops are firm and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean (meaning, there is no wet batter on the toothpick - a few moist crumbs are ok).
  8. Let the muffins cool down in the muffin tin for about 10 minutes. Then remove the muffins to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling to room temperature.

Make the vanilla glaze:

  1. While the muffins are almost fully cooled, make the vanilla glaze (if using). Add the powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract) and a pinch of salt to a small bowl. 
  2. Drizzle in about 1 1/2 tablespoons of milk into the bowl. Whisk until combined.
  3. If needed, continue to add a few drops of milk at a time, whisking in between each addition, until the glaze is free-flowing but not watery (up to about 2 tablespoons milk in total). (See note 3.)
  4. When the muffins are fully cooled, dip the tops into the bowl of glaze, letting the excess run off back into the bowl, before flipping the muffin right-side up. If you notice the glaze is too thick after dipping the first muffin, you can mix in a couple more drops of milk. Likewise, if the glaze is too thin for your liking, mix in a little bit more powdered sugar until the desired consistency is reached.
  5. The glaze will take about 30 minutes to 1 hour to set. See notes below for storage and freezing tips.

Notes

1) You can use vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract interchangeably in this recipe. I prefer vanilla bean paste if you have it, because it provides those pretty vanilla specks in the muffin and glaze.

2) If using vanilla bean paste, first check the bottle for conversion information from vanilla extract to vanilla bean paste. Most pastes can be used in a 1:1 ratio with extract, but, if your vanilla bean paste is more concentrated, be sure to reduce the amount of vanilla bean paste in this recipe accordingly. (For example, if the bottle says to replace 1 teaspoon vanilla extract with 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla bean paste, reduce the amount of vanilla bean paste you use in the muffins and glaze by half.)

3) If the glaze is ready but the muffins still need a little more time to cool down, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid so the glaze doesn't dry out.

Storage instructions: room temperature

4) If you have prepared the muffins without glaze, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature once fully cooled. They will taste the best the day of baking, but you can keep them for 2 - 3 days at room temperature. To absorb excess moisture, place a paper towel on top of the muffins before sealing them.

5) The glazed muffins will stay fresh for only about 1 day. To keep the glaze looking as fresh as possible, only cover the muffins loosely once the glaze has set up. I like to simply drape a piece of plastic wrap loosely over the top of a food storage container into which I've placed the glazed muffins. If kept in an airtight container, the trapped moisture will soften the glaze much more quickly. Alternatively, if you are planning on consuming them within a few hours, you can leave the glazed muffins uncovered.

6) For the reason listed above, if you are planning on glazing the muffins I recommend using muffin liners, rather than greasing the pan. That way, the sides of the muffin will be protected from drying out by the liners even while the muffins are only loosely covered.

Storage instructions: freezer

7) The unglazed muffins freeze well, but I do not recommend freezing the glazed muffins. To freeze the unglazed muffins, just place them into an airtight container or gallon zip-top bag in a single layer and freeze for up to 3 months.

8) To enjoy the frozen muffins, you can thaw them at room temperature for about 1 hour, or, remove the muffin wrapper, split the muffin in half while still frozen, place it on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 7 - 8 minutes at 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).

9) You can also glaze the frozen and fully thawed muffins as instructed in the recipe above and consume within 1 day.

The nutrition information below was calculated using 2% milk and including the optional vanilla glaze. 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.

Nutrition

Keywords: vanilla muffins