Muffins aren’t just delicious, but are so easy to make. Not only are they easy and delicious, but I can literally walk into the kitchen, decide to bake something, and walk out 10 minutes or less later with a full muffin tin happily baking away (depending on whether or not my 2 year old wanted to “help”). The only problem I have is remembering the ratio and making sure I add everything. Baking ratios don’t come with anything beyond the basic ratio, so I thought I’d share a quick guide to explain the ratio, list the basic ingredients, tell you how to mix, and let you know how to bake them. The best part is it also works for making quick breads. Yes, same ratio and everything!
The Muffin Ratio: 2:2:1:1, flour to liquid to fat to eggs
The magic ratio for muffins in 2:2:1:1. This means 2 parts flour to 2 parts liquid to 1 part fat to 1 part eggs. The really important part is remembering to use the same unit of weight for each part!
What that really means is the fat and eggs should each weigh about the same. So, if you have 113 grams of butter, or 1 stick of butter, the eggs should also weigh about 113 grams. That would be about 2 large eggs.
The flour and liquid should each weigh about the same, too. Since it’s 2 parts flour and 2 parts liquid, they each should weigh more than either the fat or the eggs. Twice as much, as a matter of fact. If your eggs weigh about 113 grams, your flour and liquid should each weigh somewhere around 226 grams. If you’re adding in a wetter ingredient like fruit, you might want to cut back on the liquid and add a bit more of the flour.
As you can probably tell, the ratio is a bit slim on ingredients. In addition to the flour, liquid, fat, and eggs, you’ll also need baking powder or baking soda and a bit of sugar. A bit of salt is also optional. Personally, I don’t use it because I always forget. See what I mean about forgetting the ingredients?
The general rule of thumb for how much baking powder or baking soda is 1 teaspoon per cup of flour. I usually use a measuring cup the first couple of times I make something so I can get a rough idea of how many cups of flour I’m putting in so I can roughly figure out how much baking powder I should use. If I use about 226 grams of flour, I usually add a teaspoon and a half of baking powder.
For sugar, it’s 2-4 tablespoons of sugar per egg. I prefer my muffins be on the sweeter side, so I go for the full 4 tablespoons, but it’s completely up to you how much you want to add.
Now let’s talk about the liquid. You’ll notice it doesn’t say anything about what kind. That means you’re free to use what you’d like. I usually go with milk. I like to think it’s makes for a richer baked good than water, but I haven’t yet tried it with water, so I can’t say for sure. Now, the liquid isn’t always a liquid, per se. If you’re using a puree like pumpkin puree or mashed bananas, that would be considered your liquid. So, your liquid could be a puree or an actual liquid. And if you don’t have quite enough puree, you can always add a bit of liquid to make up the difference.
I’d like to note that eggs aren’t strictly necessary. One of my husband’s colleagues doesn’t eat eggs, so I was forced to find a substitute. I chose applesauce and haven’t gone back. Personally, I find using applesauce makes for a moister muffin while eggs made it a drier. If you choose to use applesauce, don’t pay attention to what egg substitution sources say. Instead, weigh out the applesauce to the weight you want and adhere to the ratio. I usually weigh my butter first and then match the applesauce to match the butter. Quick hint: 1 stick (half a cup) of butter weighs the same as one snack container of applesauce.
So, there you have it: some type of flour, a liquid/puree, fat, eggs/applesauce, baking powder/baking soda, sugar, salt, and anything you’d like to mix in.
Muffin Mixing Method: Let it be Lumpy
Do not overmix. It should be lumpy and just combined.
The dry ingredients and the wet ingredients are mixed separately and then the wet ingredients are added to the dry. The fat is melted and mixed in with the wet ingredients. Mix until everything is just combined. It shouldn’t become smooth. At this point, if you’re adding anything, add it and gently fold in until just combined.
Lately, I’ve been enjoying making berry muffins as my local market seems to think berries are in season (it’s early February, and they are not), so my favorite thing has been to sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar. If you’re going to do so with any muffin, be sure to add it before baking.
Baking: Temperatures and Time
I’ve read a few ways to bake muffins. Some say to set a temperature of anywhere between 350 and 400 degrees with decreasing bake times as the temperature goes up. My favored way, though, is to heat the oven to 400 and then turn it down to 375 after putting the pan in the oven. I’ve found my muffins have become beautifully golden brown with some very nice muffin tops about 25-30 minutes later.
When the muffins come out of the oven, let them rest in the pan for a few minutes and then move them to a cooling rack to stop the baking process.
And that’s it! I hope this makes ratio baking muffins easier. If you’re looking for a bit more guidance, do check out my recipes for Pumpkin Quick Bread and Triple Berry Muffins.
For my adventures in ratio baking or other recipes, stop by the Kitchen.
9 thoughts on “A Quick Guide to Ratio Baking Muffins”
Thanks for this guide. I’ve been relying on a chocolate muffin box mix as my base for way too long. I’m trying out your ratios and adding all the extras to see how it turns out. I take a fairly delicious unhealthy muffin and add bran cereal, flax seed, hemp seed, chia seed and collagen powder to justify eating it for breakfast!! Thought to add less flour because added 50 grams cocoa powder, but mix was too wet. We’ll see…but at least I know I’m close and will be able to tweak it from here.
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I’m so glad you’re finding it useful! Adding so much good stuff to unhealthy muffins sounds like a great idea. The weight of the cocoa powder should replace the same amount of weight of the flour (for the purposes of ratios, cocoa powder is basically just brown flour). Most of my mixes have been a bit on the wetter side and have still baked up well, so I hope you’re able to find something that works well for you! Best of luck and happy baking!
How do the rations change if you’re making Gluten Free muffins?
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Sorry for the delay. I haven’t actually made gluten free muffins yet, but have made gluten free cakes. Generally speaking, the flour can just be swapped out for the gluten free flour and it should work. When it came to the cakes, I found I had to adjust to ensure the cake was tender (by adding a little less sugar and a little more fat) and had structure (by adding a bit more egg). I don’t know if that will help you, but a straight swap usually works well enough. Good luck!
If you’d like to read more on how I adjusted to make a gluten free cake, here is the link: https://thelilycafe.com/2019/10/18/adventures-in-ratio-baking-baking-gluten-free-cakes/
How would you add things such as dried or fresh fruit, spices, etc.? I’d like to have a go-to muffin mix that I can customize based on what I have on hand or what add-ins I’m in the mood for.
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Spices should be mixed in with the dry ingredients and anything extra, like fruit, should be saved for a quick mix in at the end. I hope this helps you develop your own muffin mix!
Thanks for the info!
Under which catagory does honey go under. it is a sweetener but runny. What if you use applessauce as a sweetener not a egg replacer would it then go under liquid? What about bits of fruit like raisins or apple or even veggies do they concidered part of the flour/dry ingredients catagory? Thank you for your patients.