Buttermilk Muffins

4.46 from 11 votes
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These buttermilk muffins are soft and tender muffins made with tangy buttermilk and brimming with add-ins like chocolate chips. Customize this muffin recipe with fruit, nuts, or any way that you’d like. Have fluffy muffins on the breakfast table in 25 minutes!

Chocolate chip buttermilk muffins on a wooden platter.

 

If you’ve yet to discover the magic of baking with buttermilk, let these soft buttermilk muffins inspire you to start! Buttermilk gives great flavor to just about everything it touches (like these buttermilk pancakes and buttermilk biscuits). It also leaves these muffins SO tender and moist. A few other small adjustments, like replacing part of the oil with yogurt, lighten up this muffin recipe even more. It was 100% the excuse I needed to splurge and add chocolate chips!

Why You’ll Love These Buttermilk Muffins

  • Quick to make. The buttermilk muffin batter comes together in 10 minutes and bakes for 15 minutes. Afterward, your fluffy muffins are ready for the breakfast table. 
  • Soft and moist. The combination of tangy buttermilk, yogurt, and oil makes the softest, most flavorful, tender muffins you’ll ever bite into. Every bite is melt-in-your-mouth and bursting with creamy chocolate chips.
  • Customizable. This basic buttermilk muffin recipe leaves room for countless variations. Add in fruit, nuts, or any mix-ins you’d like to make these muffins your own! I include some of my favorite ideas further down in the post.
  • Freezer-friendly. I always have a batch of chocolate chip buttermilk muffins in the freezer. Freeze these muffins in a freezer-safe bag for quick and easy weekday breakfasts, or to pack as treats in school lunches. 
Ingredients for buttermilk muffins with chocolate chips.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s a brief overview of the ingredients along with some notes. Scroll to the recipe card below the post for a printable ingredients list and recipe details.

  • Sugar
  • Buttermilk – I use low-fat buttermilk, but you can use full-fat if you prefer. If you don’t have buttermilk handy, make your own! See below for details.
  • Yogurt – Replacing some of the oil with vanilla yogurt makes this muffin recipe a bit healthier. Use Greek yogurt for even more protein if you’d like.
  • Oil – Canola oil or avocado oil, or you can use melted butter.
  • Egg
  • Vanilla
  • Flour – All-purpose works great. If you prefer, you can go half-and-half with all-purpose and whole wheat flour.
  • Baking Soda and Salt
  • Chocolate Chips – Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Can I Make a Buttermilk Substitute?

Yes! If you can’t get your hands on store-bought buttermilk for this recipe, don’t let it hold you back. It’s quick and easy to make a homemade buttermilk substitute. Simply combine 1 tablespoon of something acidic, like distilled vinegar or lemon juice, with 1 cup of milk. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. Tada! Your buttermilk substitute is ready to use. See my tutorial on homemade buttermilk for details.

How to Make Buttermilk Muffins

I love how easy it is to make a fresh batch of muffins at home, and you will, too! Here’s a quick step-by-step. You’ll find the printable recipe directions in the recipe card.

  • Make the muffin batter. Start by whisking together the sugar, buttermilk, and wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, followed by the chocolate chips, being careful to not overmix.
  • Fill the pan. Pour the muffin batter into the wells of a greased and lined 12-cup muffin pan. I usually fill the liners about ¾ of the way full. Sprinkle over some additional chocolate chips.
  • Bake. Bake your muffins at 400ºF for the first 5 minutes, and then lower the oven to 350ºF and let the muffins finish baking for 12-14 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the pan for a bit before moving them to a wire rack.
Buttermilk muffins in a muffin pan.

Tips for Success

These are my not-so-secret tips for extra-tall, fluffy muffins:

  • Don’t open the oven door. As tempting as it is to sneak a peek into the oven while something delicious is baking inside, resist the urge to open the door. Sudden temperature changes can cause the muffin tops to deflate.
  • Avoid overmixing. Over-mixing the muffin batter is a leading cause of dense, tough muffins. Gently stir the ingredients together until they’re just combined.
  • Test the muffins for doneness. Use a toothpick stuck into the center of a buttermilk muffin to check for doneness. If the toothpick comes out clean, your muffins are done!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does buttermilk do in baking?

The acidity in buttermilk does a few things. Firstly, the tanginess balances the sweetness in baked goods and enhances the flavors. Acidity also activates the baking soda, which helps the muffins bake up extra fluffy and tender.

Why bake muffins at a high temperature?

Starting muffins in a hot oven is the key to fluffy, high domes and even baking. The heat activates the leavening, helping the muffins puff up quickly in the first few minutes before they finish baking at a lower temperature. 

A chocolate chip buttermilk muffin on a white plate with more muffins in the background.

Easy Muffin Variations

I fill these buttermilk muffins with creamy chocolate chips, but there are plenty of other variations and add-ins that you can try. Here are some ideas:

  • Differrent chocolate chips. In place of semi-sweet chocolate chips, fill these muffins with white chocolate or dark chocolate chips or chunks.
  • Streusel topping. Check out my apple cinnamon muffins for tips on how to top these buttermilk muffins with a crunchy cinnamon streusel.
  • Berries. Make buttermilk blueberry muffins, or try raspberries, strawberries, or cranberries. You can use fresh or frozen berries. You might also like these lemon blueberry muffins!
  • Banana muffins. To make banana buttermilk muffins, replace half of the buttermilk in this recipe with 2 mashed bananas. The riper, the better.
  • Spices. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, or homemade pumpkin pie spice. You can also coat the outside of these muffins with cinnamon sugar, as I do in my cinnamon muffins recipe.
  • Dried fruit. Add in dried cranberries, raisins, currants, or dried cherries.
  • Nuts. Chopped pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts are a great way to add crunch.
Close up of a chocolate chip buttermilk muffin on a wooden platter, with more muffins in the background.

How to Store

  • To store. Wait until the muffins are completely cool and then store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. I recommend lining the container with paper towel to absorb excess moisture.
  • Freeze. These buttermilk muffins freeze wonderfully. Wrap the cooled muffins individually in plastic wrap and stash them in a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bag. They’re easy to take on the go! Thaw the muffins at room temperature.

More Muffin Recipes

Close up of a chocolate chip buttermilk muffin on a wooden platter.
4.46 from 11 votes

Buttermilk Muffins

By Erin
These fluffy buttermilk muffins are soft, tender, and brimming with add-ins like creamy chocolate chips. Ready for the breakfast table in 25 minutes!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil, or avocado oil or melted butter
  • 1 whole large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400º F. Prepare a 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick spray, or liners. Set aside.
  • In a bowl whisk together sugar, buttermilk, yogurt, oil, egg, and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour, and mix until just combined, be careful not to over mix.
  • Fold in 1 cup chocolate chips.
  • Fill muffin tins about 3/4's full. Top the muffin batter with the remaining chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 5 minutes, reduce heat to 350º F (do not open the door) and bake for 12-14 more minutes, until they are golden brown and a tester comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 12Servings | Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 325mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Breakfast Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Calories: 263
Keyword: buttermilk muffins, buttermilk muffins recipe
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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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38 Comments

  1. Erin, these look amazing. I love baking with buttermilk! I could go for one right now as dessert. Totally acceptable, right? I love muffins!

  2. I love quick, easy and delicious recipes like this one, Erin. I don’t think these would last long enough to go into the freezer – I’d be gobbling them up right out of the oven!

  3. I just had to drop a comment after making your Buttermilk Muffins this morning. They turned out so fluffy and flavorful, perfectly golden on the outside with that tender crumb inside.

  4. Since I didn’t have chocolate chips, I use frozen blueberries that I thawed out in microwave. Muffins were wonderful.