Cinnamon walnut muffins are made from scratch with simple ingredients and turn out soft, tender, and filled with warm cinnamon flavor. They make the perfect treat paired with a warm mug of coffee or tea.
Muffins are the perfect easy baking recipe for fall and winter. Apple crumble muffins and these cinnamon walnut muffins are my two favorites! This recipe is filled with cozy cinnamon flavor and crunchy walnuts - simple deliciousness.
You'll love these cinnamon walnut muffins because you only need two bowls and some common baking ingredients. It's a great recipe for beginner bakers because you don't need any complicated kitchen tools and they're ready in about 30 minutes.
Enjoy these walnut muffins with a cup of coffee or tea - they're great for breakfast or as a less sweet dessert.
Ingredients and substitutions
Baking is an exact science, so I do not recommend substituting any of the ingredients that I haven't gone over below. Substituting ingredients can cause a change in texture, lift, and moisture in your baked muffins.
- Sugars - You'll need granulated sugar for this recipe. Sugar not only adds sweetness, but also helps keep your bread moist.
- Butter - Butter not only adds flavor but also moisture to your muffins. Unsalted butter and the listed salt can be substituted with salted butter if needed.
- Eggs - Two large eggs add stability, structure, and moisture to your muffins.
- Milk - I recommend using whole milk because it contains the most fat, which keeps your muffins moist. Whole milk can be substituted with any milk you have on hand (skim, 1%, almond milk) if needed.
- Vanilla extract - Just a hint of vanilla adds depth of flavor.
- Flour - I have only tested this recipe using all-purpose flour. If you need to bake using a different type of flour, I recommend searching for a recipe that is written for the type of flour you have on hand.
- Leavening agents - You'll need baking powder for this recipe, not baking soda. The two are not interchangeable.
- Salt - Salt enhances the flavor of the rest of the ingredients without making the recipe "salty". I don't recommend omitting the listed salt in the recipe unless you're using salted butter.
- Cinnamon - Adds a warm, cozy flavor to the muffins. Cinnamon could be substituted with a seasoning blend like pumpkin spice or apple pie spice if desired.
- Nuts - Walnuts or pecans are a great addition to this recipe. The walnuts could also be omitted entirely if desired.
- Turbinado sugar - I added a crunchy turbinado sugar crust to the top of the muffins for a bit of sweetness and crunch. Turbinado sugar could be substituted with granulated sugar if needed.
Tips and tricks
Don't overmix the batter - Stir your ingredients by hand until they are just incorporated, then stop mixing. Try to not to over-mix your batter. If the batter is mixed too much after the flour is added, the gluten can become overworked, leading to a tough muffin.
Don't overfill the muffin pan - Take care not to overfill your muffin pan. This won't necessarily make larger or taller muffins. The batter can spill over while baking and create a mess.
Use liners or butter - Line your pan with paper liners or generously grease your muffin pan beforehand. If you've never made muffins without liners before, I'd err on the side of caution and use liners instead. Muffins stuck in a muffin pan can be a huge hassle to clean up. I don't recommend greasing the pan unless you know and trust the pan you're using.
Take care not to overbake - Overbaking creates dry muffins. Ovens can run hotter and colder than the next, and your muffins may be done sooner than mine. I recommend relying on visual cues instead of baking time.
Frequently asked questions
I like using paper liners for both cupcakes and muffins because it makes for easy cleanup and you don't have to use extra butter or cooking spray.
When baking cupcakes or muffins in paper liners, your baked goods will stick to the papers if they're unwrapped while warm. They need time to cool completely before they unwrap cleanly from the liners.
One of the most common complaints I see in baking is that the recipe is followed "to a T" and the baked goods still turn out dry. Dry baked goods can happen for several reasons:
- Ingredients were substituted/omitted/reduced - The fats and sugar (butter, whole milk, eggs, milk, and granulated sugar) help keep your muffins moist. Using lower fat substitutions, reducing the sugar, or omitting an ingredient entirely will cause them to turn out dry.
- Too much flour was added to the recipe - Did your muffins turn out dry and bland? This is a sure sign that too much flour was added to the recipe. Either use a kitchen scale to weigh your flour accurately (which is how I measure flour and highly recommend to others), or spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level off with a knife. Scooping with the measuring cup directly from a bin of flour compacts it into the cup, adding up to 25% extra flour to the recipe.
- Muffins are overbaked - Baking muffins for too long will dry them out in the oven. Ovens are inconsistent and can run hotter or colder than the next oven. The time that worked for me may not work for you, so I recommend using other cues to tell when your muffins are done.
Here are three easy ways to test muffins for doneness:
- Gently press with one finger onto the top of a muffin. If it bounces back immediately, your muffins are done. If an indent is left, your muffins need more time.
- Insert a toothpick into the center of your largest muffin. If it's covered with batter, they're not done. If it's covered in crumbs or dry, your muffins are done.
- Use an instant-read thermometer. Muffins are done at about 205 degrees Fahrenheit in the center. This is the most reliable and exact method to test for doneness.
These muffins will keep for about 3 days or more in a tightly sealed container at room temperature.
Yes, baked muffins freeze well, up to 3 months in a tightly sealed, freezer-safe container. To thaw, transfer to the counter top to allow to come to room temperature for about an hour.
Cinnamon Walnut Muffins
- 2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (149 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup (170 g) whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup (57 g) chopped walnuts, optional
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin pan with liners, or grease thoroughly, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, add sugar, melted butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix until fully incorporated. Add to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add walnuts and stir to incorporate. Distribute batter between 12 muffin cups.
- In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon for the topping. Sprinkle evenly over the muffins.
- Bake for about 18-22 minutes, or until the top of your muffins pop back when pressed down gently (or a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with crumbs, not wet batter).
- Allow pan to cool for 2-3 minutes before removing muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store cooled muffins in a sealed container.
- Muffins will keep at room temperature in a sealed container for 3 days.
- Baked muffins can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container.
- If using paper liners, allow your muffins to cool completely before unwrapping or they will stick to the papers.
- Take care to measure your flour properly (either by weight or using the spoon and level method), do not reduce/omit any liquids, and watch carefully not to overbake your muffins. These are the three most common reasons for dry muffins.