How To Make Muffins Moist and Fluffy

Now that we know we can freeze muffin batter to make muffin baking even easier, let’s talk about how we can make them even more tasty!

I love baking with whole wheat flour, but sometimes find that my muffins are a little heavier than those made with white flour.  They also seem to get dry quickly (which isn’t usually a problem at my house because we eat them all right out of the pan, but still).

Recently I discovered that if I use sour cream in place of milk in a muffin recipe, I get a super moist, fluffy muffin!  The switch is very easy.  If a recipe calls for 3/4 cup of milk, I simply use 3/4 cup of sour cream instead.  Occasionally, I need to add a bit more sour cream to moisten the muffin batter.

The first time I tried this idea (on Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins), I didn’t tell anyone in the family that I’d made a change.  (And for the record, these were made from frozen batter that I’d set in the fridge the night before, yay!)  I served the muffins on a Sunday morning, which means that each of us were in and out of the kitchen at different times, grabbing breakfast as we had time.  One by one, the boys found me getting ready for church and would ask, “Did you do something different with the muffins?  They were better than ever!”

Aha!  So they noticed.  And they liked the change.  Score!

I will be adding sour cream to muffins more often.  And of course, I will forever and always be making the batter and freezing it ahead of time.  Now I have moist, fluffy, tasty, healthy, and convenient muffins.

Confession time:  Who read the post about making muffin batter for the freezer and promptly went and mixed some up?  Ever tried subbing sour cream for the milk in a muffin recipe?

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Comments

  1. Cindy says

    I usually use my homemade yogurt in place of sour cream. I wonder if that would work the same.. Hmm.. Might have to try it!

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    Laura Reply:

    I would imagine so! :)

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  2. Marie says

    I’ve found that I have that trouble fairly often. I usually just add the sour cream, like a couple of tablespoons, to a recipe that I want to add some moisture. Works great in the Strawberry Bread!! :)

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  3. Emily K says

    I am definitely going to combine this tip with the freezing tip. ???? I usually do batch cooking on the weekend. Muffins r now on the agenda. ????

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  4. Wendy says

    Me!! I am super excited about this tip because I have one daughter who does not like the taste of frozen baked goods (that help make breakfast quick & easy). I’m happy because I can make muffins ahead of time- my girl is happy because she can have hot, fresh muffins! THANKS!!

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  5. Jenny says

    Yay! Trying this tomorrow. I have a batch if yogurt that didn’t thicken up as much as I would like. This will be awesome. Thank you!!

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  6. Ann Marie says

    I’ve always compromised by using 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white. Now I won’t have to :-). The next batch will be all whole wheat and yogurt substituted for milk. We’ll see how the kiddos react.

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  7. says

    I love using sour cream! I typically bake a double batch of muffins and freeze the leftovers after breakfast so we can heat them up for breakfasts during the week. The sour cream makes them taste fresh and moist even after coming out of the freezer.

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  8. Margaret D says

    I haven’t had the time to bake muffins yet. I will definitely try this and the freezer method soon.

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  9. Lana says

    I use about half sour cream and half milk. It makes an amazing difference in cornbread and biscuits. I made the muffins for the month last week and they are in the freezer. As empty nesters, 2 dozen muffins is a whole months worth!

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  10. Courtney says

    I’ve had better results using whole wheat pastry flour instead of just regular whole wheat flour. Muffins turn out light and fluffy and not dry at all.

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  11. ms.p says

    Would love to but with going on vocation next week. I am not baking or going to the grocery store. When I get home going to have a bake athon with my duaghter.

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  12. breck says

    I substitute homemade greek yogurt for milk all the time- not only does it work with muffins, but pancakes and waffles too!!

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  13. Roxanne says

    I’ve never tried it in muffins, but always use sour cream in my cornbread. Every time I take it to church, someone wants the recipe. It was my grandparents recipe and it’s so yummy! I can’t wait to make the muffins with it and store some in the freezer too. Thanks for the new idea, Laura :-)

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  14. kim t. says

    sour cream blueberry muffins are sooo tasty (i use a recipe out of the america’s test kitchen family & baking cookbooks)(2 different books, same recipe, i think). and sour cream coffee cake? THE BEST!!!

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  15. Janette says

    I have found that if I soak my whole wheat white flour with kefir that the muffins turn out really moist.

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  16. Lyndsay says

    Okay, so with your love of butter I know it probably has never crossed your mind to sub it, but have you tried pureed avocado in place of butter in any of your recipes? I have read it’s a good butter sub, and since I can’t do dairy right now thought it would be better than the fake butters out there. But I have been too chicken to try it….

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  17. Shani says

    Nope, allergic to dairy here, but for years I have simply substituted water for milk in all muffin recipes with success. :)

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  18. Jaime says

    I have problems with mayo and sour cream, so I use plain yogurt….with everything. Even potato salad, dips, etc. can’t tell a difference, tastes wonderful and doesn’t bother my stomach!

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  19. says

    Yes, I have used sour cream in place of milk in many recipes…it started with eggs…scrambled eggs. Wow, they were so much fluffier with the sour cream. But no more eggs for our household….we have a wee one with egg allergies so we’re going egg-free…I’ll let you know how that goes!

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  20. Trudi says

    Living here in Colorado over 5300 ft., baked goods can definitely come out dry and then dry out even more quickly once out of the pan. I’ve been tweaking recipes and adding sour cream to all my muffin and quick bread recipes for years. The best banana bread I ever tasted used sour cream in the recipe and that’s what got me started. So moist! Experiment . . . you can either just add about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of sour cream to the regular recipe even if there is no milk called for, substitute either sour cream or buttermilk for all the milk or even just cut your milk by half and replace the rest with sour cream. As other people commented, yogurt works well, too! If you don’t feel like adding sour cream but want a little more moistness, you can add an extra egg. You’ll soon get a feel for what works the best for each recipe!

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  21. Julie says

    I confess. I made them immediately after reading about freezing the batter. I’m thrilled because I don’t really care for the taste of muffins after they have been frozen. Now I can have the convenience and fresh baked taste. Yum!

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  22. Lisa says

    I am so glad you addressed this issue of the muffins being dry. I thought I was the only one and was doing something wrong. I can’t wait to use sour cream and taste the difference. As for freezing muffin batter, I love this idea! I have been freezing cookie batter in individual scoops for years but never once thought of doing it for muffins! Thanks so much for all the tips to help us be more efficient in the kitchen!

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  23. says

    Last year my sister started making a banana muffin recipe and they turned out SO light and fluffy – I was amazed! Our family has been using whole wheat ever since I can remember so we are used to baked goods being heavier but I was so surprised at how good these muffins kept turning out so I looked at the recipe and found that it called for buttermilk. It really made a difference!

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  24. Janet says

    Would this also work for gluten free muffins? I seem to have a problem with everything coming out dry and crumbly when I bake GF (I use brown rice flour).

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    Hannah Reply:

    I was doing gluten and dairy free last winter and would use almond milk yogurt in muffin recipes. They turned out really well but I was using a flour blend that had white and brown rice, potato flour, etc. Not sure if that makes a difference.

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    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    It should still help them with moisture. Gluten free is notorious for being dry and dense. I hope this helps…I haven’t tried it yet with GF.

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  25. Emily W says

    Amazing! I took a pouch of blueberry muffin mix and did just that, 1/2 cup sour cream instead of 1/2 cup milk and they were beautiful, fluffy, and delicious.

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  26. says

    I’m so happy I found this tip…I can’t wait to try! I have a muffin recipe from my dad (who usually has great recipes!) but the muffins were dry after one day. I put sour cream in my sugar cookies…I should’ve thought of that! Glad you did :)

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  27. Erika Theising says

    I am new to milling my own wheat and have found the dryness of muffins to be an issue. Are you using the sour cream substitution in a recipe originally calling for plain (all purpose) flour.

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    Laura Reply:

    Yes, often the original recipe called for all purpose, and I sub freshly ground hard white wheat and sour cream. :)

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