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Buttermilk Muffins

Updated: May 9, 2021

A white plate sits on a white table cloth. A buttermilk muffin with raspberries in it sits in the center of the plate. There are a few cut raspberries around the muffin. The outside edge of the plate is pattered with blue and yellow flowers which are flanked by thin, yellow lines on each side. Also on the table, just barely in frame, are a bowl of scrambled eggs, a glass of orange juice, and a plate of Canadian bacon.

These muffins are light, airy, come together quickly, and taste just like a buttermilk pancake! They would be perfect for Mother's day, brunch for a crowd, or just an easy weekend breakfast. Make them ahead of time for an even easier meal. Consider serving these with maple butter, berry compote, or adding sprinkles or mini chocolate chips to the batter for some extra fun!

My Great-grandmother on my Dad's side worked for many years as a nanny. During her time in that position

she collected dozens recipes that she kept very well-organized and portable to be able to prepare meals for the children and families in her care. Knowing this about her, I can easily see why she would hold on to this recipe. It takes about 30 minutes from start to finish to make these muffins, and they are very tasty. With only two tablespoons of sugar in the whole batch, they aren't very sweet at all, which means they are the perfect vehicle for whatever toppings or add-ins you love in your pancakes, since that is EXACTLY what they taste like- excellent buttermilk pancakes.

A white woman with short, white hair stands in front of a credenza. The shelves hold various milk glass vases and bowls. The woman is wearing a red blouse with a hip-length jacket that is red, white, and blue striped. She is wearing a blue belt and long skirt. The skirt is a tweed-like texture, but difficult to make out in the photo. She has a long white necklace that hangs down to almost where her skirt begins. She is smiling and her hands are behind her back. She appears to be in her 70s.
My Great-grandmother

Now, I'm kind of a pancake snob and make them often. I'm always looking for a pancake recipe that's easy to make, fluffy enough, not too sweet, but with a good flavor, and these muffins check all my pancake boxes, which is pretty weird, since they're muffins. As soon as I started measuring out the ingredients, I knew exactly what these muffins were going to taste like, and I got pretty excited. Once they were in the oven, I was able to start making eggs, ham, and any other breakfast items I wanted. It definitely made our weekend breakfast a snap to put together, and to think my great-grandmother had this all figured out in the 50s! Pure genius!

Making this recipe

This recipe is very simple to put together. If you've ever made pancakes from scratch, you'll use the same steps; the ratios are just a little different. Combine all of the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another. Then, just make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet to the dry and mix thoroughly. You can either stop here and bake, or use your imagination and add some tasty extras. Because the texture is exactly like a fluffy pancake, you'll want to be careful with what you add, so here are my suggestions regarding add-ins:

  • Keep them small. Tiny wild blueberries (you can find them in the frozen foods section of your store) would work well, as would mini chocolate chips or sprinkles. You could use strawberries too, but I would dice them very small to make sure they would distribute evenly. I added raspberries to some of my batch and found them to be too large when left whole. They didn't distribute evenly and weighed the batter down in areas, so smaller pieces is definitely better for these.

  • Extracts. These muffins are really a blank slate. If you'd like, you can add some vanilla extract, almond extract or Flor di Sicilia for a boost in flavor. 1 tsp should be enough for this amount of batter. On their own they have a great buttermilk flavor that comes through, so if you don't have any extract, no worries! They will still taste great.

  • Don't make your add-ins too wet. If your ingredients are too wet, they will affect how the batter cooks. You may end up with areas that are undercooked or a very flat muffin. If you want a compote, for example, use it as a spread rather than a filling.


Buttermilk Muffins (AKA The Portable Pancake)

A left hand holds one half of a muffin, which was broken open to reveal the texture on the inside. This close-up view reveals large but consistent air holes that make the muffin appear to have a spongey texture. The outside is lightly golden. The background of the photo is a slightly out of focus, dark colored, wooden cutting board.

Prep Time- 10 Minutes

Cook Time- 25 minutes

Total time- 35 minutes


  • 2 Cups all purpose flour

  • 1 Tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 Tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 Tsp salt

  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar

  • 1 Lg egg, well beaten

  • 1 Cup buttermilk

  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted (or sub vegetable oil)


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  • Grease a medium-sized muffin tin (or line with muffin wrappers)

  • In a large bowl, combine first 5 ingredients.

  • In a medium bowl, combine the remaining wet ingredients.

  • Create a well in the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients; combine.

  • Fill muffin cups 3/4 of the way with batter.

  • Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

  • Cool muffins out of the tin on a cooling rack or tipped on their sides, so the bottoms do not lose their texture.

Serving suggestions: Top with maple butter, apple butter, jam, berry compote, cinnamon butter, or honey butter

Makes 12 medium sized muffins

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