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French Breakfast Muffins

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These French Breakfast Muffins, aka French Breakfast Puffs, are little bites of heaven. Imagine biting into a tender vanilla muffin that’s been soaked in hot melted butter and then rolled in cinnamon and sugar for the perfect amount of sweetness. It’s like the perfect Snickerdoodle muffin recipe. 

closeup of a cinnamon sugar topped french breakfast muffin.

French Breakfast Muffins

If you haven’t picked up on it by now, muffins are kind of an obsession of mine.

I’ve shared quite a few muffin recipes, but some of my top favorites are Nutella Muffins, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, classic Chocolate Banana Muffins, and Apple Cinnamon Zucchini Muffins when I’m telling myself to be healthy (shh…they’re not healthy. Maybe healthier, but not healthy).

I first made these French Breakfast Puffs in 2010 and was so impressed with how easy they are to make. You don’t need a mixer, just a spoon and a whisk, and you likely have everything on hand to make them right now.

With their cinnamon sugar topping, they’re something like a snickerdoodle in muffin form!

Why you’ll love these French Breakfast Muffins

  • Dual Purpose– These muffins are perfect for any easy breakfast and would be a simple dessert recipe. 
  • Loved by All- French Breakfast Puffs are loved by both adults and kids. 
  • Get Kids Involved- This is a great beginners muffin recipe that kids can start making in the kitchen. It’s a great way to work on math, measurements and beginner baking skills with kids. And, of course, provides a delicious reward. 
  • Simple – Everyday, pantry staple ingredients and easy instructions to follow.
several french breakfast puffs on a teal napkin.

Equipment you’ll need

  • Mixing Bowls – these are my favorite with the grippy bottom.
  • Whisk – No mixer needed but you will need a whisk for the dry ingredients.
  • Spatula or wooden spoon – I have several of both. I might have a problem.
  • Muffin Tin – I’ve had this one for years without complaint.

What are French Breakfast Puffs made of?

Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.

  • FLOUR – All-purpose white flour is what I tested with.
  • SUGAR – Granulated white sugar. I haven’t tested with sugar replacements.
  • BAKING POWDER – To give rise to the muffins.
  • SALT – For balance.
  • NUTMEG – Nutmeg has a warm, nutty flavor. A little bit goes a long way.
  • EGG – One large egg, preferably at room temperature.
  • MILK – I use 2% milk. For the best results, pour the milk in the measuring cup and let it come to room temperature while you’re prepping the rest of the ingredients.
  • UNSALTED BUTTER – You will melt the butter and then allow it to cool off (so you don’t scramble the egg!).
  • VANILLA EXTRACT – Pure vanilla extract is preferred, even though I know the price of imitation is tempting.
overhead shot of ingredients laid out to make breakfast muffins.

How to make Breakfast Muffins

STEP ONE: First, whisk together the dry ingredients.

STEP TWO: Next, in another mixing bowl, whisk the egg until frothy and then add in the milk, cooled butter, and vanilla extract. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir until just blended.

STEP THREE: Scoop the muffin batter evenly between the 12 wells of a muffin pan that have been greased. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.

STEP FOUR: While the muffins are cooling, melt the remaining butter in a microwave safe bowl and to another bowl, whisk together the cinnamon and sugar.

STEP FIVE: Finally, once the muffins are cool enough to handle but still warm, dip each muffin top into the butter and then immediately into the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Enjoy immediately!

collage of 3 photos showing the process of making muffin batter.

What to serve with French Breakfast Muffins

Muffins for breakfast are a good meal by themselves, but if you’re looking to add other tasty things to your breakfast menu, I have you covered. 

To balance the sweetness, try pairing these muffins with some hard boiled eggs, Eggs in a Nest Breakfast Cups or heaping serving of Ham and Potato Breakfast Casserole

Otherwise, a nice bowl of fresh fruit and even medicine ball tea will start your morning right.

Possible Substitutions/Additions

  • Add in a little brown sugar to your cinnamon and sugar topping mixture for even more sweet flavor. 
  • Change the sweetness level by using different amounts of sugar, or omit it and use a sweetener alternative like honey, maple syrup or agave for a healthier alternative. 
  • Use whatever milk or milk alternative you prefer. But keep in mind lowfat milk options may make your muffins a little dryer without the added fat. 
  • You can decrease the amount of nutmeg if you find it too powerful. You can also omit it if you find it too “spicy”.

How to store homemade muffins

French Muffin Puffs should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days…if they last that long. 

Muffins will dry out if not stored in an airtight container, so be careful when storing leftover muffins.

Can I freeze them?

Yes, these muffins, like most muffins, will freeze well. Wrap them individually and place them in a freezer bag, squeezing out any air. Label and freeze for up to three months. When ready to enjoy them, just take one out of the freezer and let thaw at room temperature.

You can also reheat them in the oven for 4-5 minutes at 350°F.

french breakfast muffin with a bite missing sitting on a white plate.

FAQs

What causes tough muffins?

If you end up with tough muffins or muffins that are too dense, you likely either overmixed the batter or overbaked them. When mixing the wet ingredient into the dry ingredients, mix until just combined. Over baking usually causes the muffins to dry out and become crumbly, so make sure you watch your timer!

How do you make muffins rise and fluffy? 

For the best rise, make sure you whisk together all the dry ingredients. This ensures that the baking powder is evenly distributed throughout the batter. You’ll also want to start with room temperature ingredients (eggs and milk). Doing so helps ensure you get a smooth muffin batter that traps air and releases it while cooking to give you that light and fluffy texture. 

Can I double the recipe?

Definitely! Make a double batch to feed a crowd or save the leftovers! If you need help with any measurements, check out my kitchen conversions chart.

Need more muffin recipes? Try these:

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Blender Muffins
Apple Donut Mini Muffins
Cream Cheese Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chip Muffins

Click here for my entire collection of breakfast recipes.

overhead shot of cinnamon and sugar topped muffins on a wire rack.

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closeup of a cinnamon sugar topped french breakfast muffin.

French Breakfast Muffins

Melissa Williams
These French Breakfast Muffins, aka French Breakfast Puffs, are little bites of heaven. Imagine biting into a tender vanilla muffin that’s been soaked in hot melted butter and then rolled in cinnamon and sugar for the perfect amount of sweetness. It’s like the perfect Snickerdoodle muffin recipe.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American, French
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 238 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Muffins

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk + 2 Tablespoons
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cinnamon-Sugar Topping

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oven to 375°. Butter the bottoms (only) of a standard 12-cup muffin tin and set aside.
  • To a large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg and whisk together.
  • In a medium-size bowl, add the egg and whisk until frothy. Add in the milk, melted and cooled butter, and vanilla extract and continue whisking until blended.
  • Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.
  • With a spatula or wooden spoon, mix the batter just until it's just evenly blended, then scoop it evenly into the muffin pan.
  • Bake the muffins on the center rack for 15 minutes. Then rotate the pan and bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for approximately 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle, then remove the muffins from the pan.
  • While the muffins are cooling, prepare the topping by mixing the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  • In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and set next to the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  • Working one muffin at a time, quickly dip the tops in the melted butter and then in the cinnamon sugar, rolling each muffin in all directions to cover the entire top.

Notes

If you’d like more topping, roll them in the cinnamon sugar for a second time while they’re still warm.
Serve immediately. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 238kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 3gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 113mgPotassium: 146mgFiber: 1gSugar: 21gVitamin A: 289IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 70mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @melissa_pplates or tag #persnicketyplates!

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Originally published 1/29/2010

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