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Easy Vanilla Muffins Recipe (with Oil)

Perfect every time, our Vanilla Muffins recipe makes a soft and tender muffin so delicious that it doesn’t need a thing. Elevate a simple meal with the simplicity of this Vanilla muffin.

Top down photo of a muffin on a white plate over a multi-colored napkin next to a cup of coffee and a pat of butter. A cooling rack full of muffins sit in the background.

These simple muffins have just a slight sweetness from the vanilla without so much that they taste artificial. They’re so good that they don’t need streusel or a glaze to enhance them. I’m sharing how to make them perfect so they’re perfect for your family.

There’s nothing that smells like fresh muffins baking in the oven unless they’re Vanilla Muffins. The essence fills the kitchen leaving you drooling in anticipation.

When I was young(er), we called vanilla “plain”. As an adult, I realize that the true flavor of good vanilla rivals any other flavor and that there isn’t anything “plain” about it.

While these Vanilla Muffins are quick, easy, and simple to make, it took me 4 tries to get this vanilla muffin recipe up to the standards of what we expect of any good muffin. Let me share with you what worked and why as well as what didn’t.

Top down photo of a muffin cut in half on a white plate over a multi-colored napkin next to a cup of coffee and a pat of butter. A cooling rack full of muffins sit in the background.

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This easy Vanilla Muffins recipe uses simple ingredients that you probably already have so whipping up a batch is quick and easy.

  • Flour – We used all-purpose flour.
  • Baking powder and Baking soda – Leaveners that help your muffins rise as well as determine how soft or crispy your bakery is.
  • Egg – We always use large eggs for consistency in our baking
  • Buttermilk – Buttermilk helps create a moist, tender softness to these vanilla muffins.
  • Sugar – white granulated sugar
  • Vanilla – Usually you can use imitation vanilla extract in baking. However, we used a quality pure vanilla for this recipe.
  • Vegetable oil – any neutral oil or even melted butter works. Oil provides a moist tenderness to this muffin. We find that they release from the muffin papers easier too.
  • Salt – We use fine sea salt in all of our baking recipes. We find it dissolves easier reducing the chance of having a pocket of salt in the finished muffin.

How to make Vanilla Muffins

A 4-grid photo showing the steps of mixing vanilla muffin batter. 1 adding milk 2 add sugar 3 add vanilla 4 add salt
Combine wet ingredients
  1. In a large bowl add a beaten egg, buttermilk, sugar, vanilla, vegetable oil, and salt.
    • We add the sugar and salt with the wet ingredients because we find it distributes and dissolves better.
A bowl full of the dry ingredients in vanilla muffins.
Combine dry ingredients

In a medium-sized bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, and baking soda together.

Two photo grid showing the texture of vanilla muffin batter in a bowl and of a muffin tin filled 2/3 full of batter.
  1. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined. The batter will be thick.
    • Don’t overmix. That will result in a tough muffin.
  2. Fill a lined muffin tin 2/3 full.
    • Don’t be tempted to overfill the tin.

How to make the perfect Vanilla Muffins recipe at home.

Do you remember that we said it took us 4 tries to get this muffin right? Let us tell you a little bit about our previous attempts, what didn’t work, and what we did to correct it.

Muffins are not cupcakes and treating them the same is what lead us to our less than best results. Here are the biggest differences.

FlavorSweet or SavorySweet
Topping None, streusel, glaze Frosting
CrumbDenserLight, Soft
ServedBreakfast, with mealDessert
  • Attempt 1 – We used an incorrect balance in the baking soda and baking powder. The muffins were fluffy but very gummy.
  • Attempt 2 – We corrected our leaveners but used milk and no oil along with two eggs. Our muffins were dry and stuck to the paper liners. We could distinctly taste the egg as well. Not something that was desirable in our opinion.
  • Attempt 3 – We substituted buttermilk for the milk and added the oil.

My muffins came out of the oven beautifully domed even though some were filled a bit too full and baked over the side and then…. within about 10 seconds, they collapsed.

Cooling rack with 4 muffins showing what a proper baked muffin looks like.

The example above shows 1. collapsed muffin 3. an overfilled muffin 2. and 4. are properly filled muffins and baked at the correct temperature.

  • Successful Attempt #4 – We knew the leaveners were active so determined that the oven wasn’t hot enough. The oven needed to be hot enough so the muffins cook quickly enough to develop structure.
    • We also added MORE VANILLA, increasing it from one tablespoon to 4 teaspoons.
    • Please also note that if you allow your muffins to cool slightly, the papers will remove completely. Removing the papers from hot muffins may not release cleanly. It’s totally understandable if you can’t wait, however!

We increased our oven temperature from 350°F to 400°F and filled our muffin tins only 2/3 full using a 2-tablespoon scoop.

Are your leaveners active?

  • To test baking soda, add a couple ounces of vinegar to 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. If it fizzes, it’s active.
  • To test baking powder, add 1/2 teaspoon to about 1/4 cup of warm water. If it fizzes, it’s active.

Vanilla Muffin Recipe Variations

Vanilla Muffins are deliciously simple as is. However, experimentation is always fun. Here are a few ideas to make them your own.

  • Add up to 1/2 cup of chopped nuts.
  • Chocolate chips would be delicious in this muffin recipe.
  • Jam swirled into the batter would be delicious. I wouldn’t add more than 1/4 cup, however.
  • Top the muffin with a simple glaze once it’s cooled.
  • Dust the top with powdered sugar once it’s cooled.
Close up of a vanilla muffin cut in half and slathered with butter.

How we serve our easy Vanilla Muffins

We believe that they have a perfect balance just like our Vanilla Cake. They have a soft vanilla essence that has a slight sweetness but is not as sweet as a cupcake.

In our opinion that makes them perfect with delicious breakfast of Sausage and Potatoes or with a great bowl of Chili. They can be the standalone star or a great accompaniment to your meal.

I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe as much as we do. Drop me a comment below, and don’t forget to give it a star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Your comments and ratings help others decide if this recipe is for them too.

Top down photo of a muffin cut in half on a white plate with an antique knife propped against the plate next to a cup of coffee and a pat of butter. A cooling rack full of muffins sit in the background.

Easy Vanilla Muffins Recipe (with oil)

Author: Julie Menghini
Vanilla Muffins will fill your tastebuds with the essence of vanilla. There's nothing plain about this simple quick and easy muffin recipe.
4.72 from 7 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course American
Cuisine Bread, Breakfast
Keyword: Muffins
Servings: 16


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt extra fine sea salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg large, beaten
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


  • Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Grease or line 2 12-cup muffin tins or line them with cupcake liners.
  • In a large bowl combine buttermilk, oil, sugar, salt, egg, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined.
  • Fill muffin tin 2/3 full using a 2 tablespoon scoop.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out with very few crumbs.
  • Remove the muffins from the tin and let them cool on a wire rack.


Calories: 139kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 133mgPotassium: 88mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 40IUCalcium: 41mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

If you love muffins here are a few more recipes you may like

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A collage of baked vanilla muffins for Pinterest. Hostess At Heart
Recipe Rating

Gloria Brown

Saturday 21st of May 2022

Best vanilla muffins ever I use 2tsp instead of 4

Julie Menghini

Sunday 22nd of May 2022

I'm so glad you enjoyed them Gloria! They're favorites of mine too!


Wednesday 28th of July 2021

This is an easy, quick recipe for a solid vanilla muffin. Because I was serving fresh fruit, I wanted a muffin to compliment (versus compete). I did reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup and would make the reduced-sugar version again. Thank you for formulating and sharing your recipe, Julie!

Julie Menghini

Wednesday 28th of July 2021

Thank you, Marla! I'm glad that the lower sugar version worked for you and am sure our community will find your comment valuable too! This muffin is perfect with fresh fruit!


Monday 19th of October 2020

I totally agree with you on the "nothing plain about vanilla" concept. Vanilla is one of the richest and most delicious flavors, always one of my favorites! And these muffins did not disappoint, their crumb was lovely, I baked them a few minutes less for high altitude but otherwise didn't change a thing.

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 20th of October 2020

Thank you, Kathleen!


Saturday 17th of October 2020

This looks like a total winner in my book! My kids would gobble them up.

Julie Menghini

Monday 19th of October 2020

Thank you, Ann!

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