Easy Muffin Base

Easy Muffin Base

Muffins make the world go round.

Well, my world, anyway. There are certain days (or weeks) when facing the day is just hard. Maybe I have to work a 12-hour day before heading home to my kids, or maybe a student of mine has been going through something rough and I’m absorbing the pain. It’s not always cake!

On days like that, I need an easy breakfast to throw together. This muffin base is simple, butter-free (and therefore a health food, of course), and easily customized. I chose lime zest (a.k.a. summer in a whiff) and white chocolate chips, but you can use any old mix-ins. It’s all about making your mornings as happy as possible!

Easy Muffin Base

I know it’s pretty common for people to whine about winter, so I try not to do it a lot. But being honest here, this time of year is an endless struggle for me. You see, I have an autoimmune disorder that restricts the blood vessels all over my body. In warm weather, my blood flows freely and I feel energetic, vibrant and positive.

But when winter hits, I range from a partial lack of feeling in my arms and legs (and even other parts of me on bad days) to a continuous ache in those areas. It’s totally manageable, but there is a tangible difference between the person I am in warm weather and the person I am right now. I’m just waiting for the seasons to shift so that things can get better.

Easy Muffin Base

And I don’t even mean to complain (though it reads that way, I know), because I’m really lucky. At least my problem is seasonable and it’s workable. A lot of people suffer with chronic pain and exhaustion and there’s not anything they can do to make it better.

While I like to think of the Sylvia Plath quotation that there’s not a whole lot that a good book and a good bath doesn’t fix, we all know what happened to her. So I think it’s really important to focus on self-pampering when possible. That could be wrapping yourself up in a cozy heated blanket at work with a mug of tea, or taking a bubble bath at night, or taking a 20-minute power nap, or having muffins for breakfast. Or why not do it all?

Easy Muffin Base

Well, time often gets in the way, but that’s why I love these muffins. They take no time at all to make (the video will show you!) since it’s a simple matter of mixing dry ingredients with wet ones, and then you’re done. Check it out!

This time of year, I start baking with citrus more, especially lime. Lime to me is summer. When I zest a lime and the aroma reaches my nose, I feel sunny days and sand and margaritas. These muffins reached me at the heart of my winter blah feelings and really helped alleviate some of the grayness everywhere.

Easy Muffin Base

And white chocolate with lime is the best. If you haven’t gone for that tangy-sweet combo, try it now!

It’s totally okay to hate on a season for whatever reason, but just be sure to self-pamper. After all, there’s no guarantee than anyone else will do it for you. Make some muffins, grab some tea and have a moment!


Easy Muffin Base


2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
lime zest (one lime)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Line a 12-yield muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the next three wet ingredients. Add the sugar and mix well. The add the dry ingredients and stir until all is combined. The batter will be lumpy.
  4. Add your desired mix-ins (I used the lime zest and white chocolate chips). Using an ice cream scoop, fill each muffin liner about two-thirds of the way full.
  5. Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes until golden. Cool and enjoy!


I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner. This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker. Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.

This Post Has 28 Comments

  1. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

    Muffins make EVERY day better!! And I’m like you in the winter – I don’t have the pain, but I have numb hands and feet for months on end. I don’t know how people live in the snow!
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted…Peanut Butter Candy Bar PieMy Profile

    1. Mir

      The snow is just sucky. It’s pretty for about one minute and then you just want it to all go away!

  2. Medha @ Whisk & Shout

    Love the idea of just having a muffin base to customize on! And whoa- I never would have thought to combine lime zest and white chocolate chips, but that sounds amazing. Winters are rough, and I agree that being serious about self care can make things a whole lot easier 🙂
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout recently posted…{One Pot} Vegan + GF Mexican Style Fajita RiceMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I love lime and white chocolate. Give it a shot, Medha!

  3. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    Haha, yes, butter-free definitely makes it a healthy food.
    I love the idea of having a basic recipe like this and then it can be customised to add different flavours.
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy recently posted…Comment on Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Bake by DanniiMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Well, not having butter can’t hurt. 🙂

  4. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    This sounds like a great muffin base! I could eat muffins just about every day and would have a blog dedicated to just those if I could…I love them! I also love the combination of white chocolate and lime. Sounds delicious for breakfast or snack!
    Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Blueberry Cheesecake Stuffed French ToastMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Gayle! You should do a muffin blog. No question. 🙂

  5. Kate @ Framed Cooks

    Mir, you have such a strong outlook on life. I’m sending good strong spring-is-almost-here vibes your way. And this muffin base is so great for getting a jump on breakfast – did you see the Sam Sifton column in the New York Times about all the great things about making and eating breakfast? He would love your approach to muffins!
    Kate @ Framed Cooks recently posted…Cobb Salad FrittataMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Almost spring. Yay! And no, I’ve gotta check that column out now. Thanks so much!

  6. Shashi at RunninSrilankan

    Mir – I sure do agree – some days just demand muffins – not a bowl of oats or cereal – but muffins! And what a great idea to have a tried and tested base to work with – thanks so much for this recipe!
    Shashi at RunninSrilankan recently posted…Creamy Kale & Popcorn Shrimp Quinoa BakeMy Profile

    1. Mir

      There are definitely muffin days!

  7. Manali @ CookWithManali

    Sorry to hear about your problem Mir but hopefully it will be nice and bright soon 🙂 Thanks for sharing this recipe, looks super easy!
    Manali @ CookWithManali recently posted…Chunky GuacamoleMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I’m so looking forward to spring. I always get so happy then!

  8. Michele @ Alwayzbakin

    Sorry to hear you have to go through that Mir. Sounds like you know how to handle it though. These muffins sound fabulous. I don’t blame you for wanting to bake with lime at this time of year. The thought of being outside with a margarita sure sounds good right now! I don’t take advantage of the perks of living in Florida enough, that’s for sure. 😉
    Michele @ Alwayzbakin recently posted…Samoa Cookie CupsMy Profile

    1. Mir

      It’s mainly just an inspiration to go to warm climates more. VERY jealous of your warm weather!

  9. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    Mir, I hear you on sometimes needing something more for breakfast . . sometimes, a smoothie alone won’t cut it for me . . thanks for sharing about your autoimmune disorder. . I love your attitude. and I agree, it’s usually something that a good book and a good bath will fix. . I’m all for self-pampering ! and muffins! and cookies! love this easy muffin base!! We all need one in our lives!
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted…Mini Berry Tarts with Lemon CurdMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I love the self-pampering. If I don’t do it often enough, things get grim!

  10. annie@ciaochowbambina

    I’m sorry you have to deal with this. I’m not usually one to wish for time to move faster, however, I will now. Come on chirpin’ birds, Mir needs you! And I need these muffins! So delicious – as usual! Thanks, friend!!
    annie@ciaochowbambina recently posted…Winter Sunset Cocktail (Video)My Profile

    1. Mir

      Oh, man. I love chirping!

  11. Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary

    Oh my gawsh, I had no clue you have autoimmune disorder, Mir. I’m so sorry to hear that, and I hope the season changes quickly up by you! (Won’t lie I hope it stays winter a little longer – but just by ME. Not you.) You definitely need to cozy up under a heated blanket and stuff your face with these easy muffins on repeat. You deserve it! 😉 LOVE these, my dear! Love how easy they are and I LOVE that you made them with white chocolate and lime! I could eat these daily! Delici-o-so! Cheers, doll and I hope your limbs feel better. 😉 <3
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary recently posted…Honey Mustard Chicken Tacos with Brussels Slaw {Slow Cooker}My Profile

    1. Mir

      I’m glad there was no chocolate this time! And muffins must always be eaten under a blankie. 🙂

  12. Kim | Low Carb Maven

    I’m sorry to hear about your autoimmune disorder, my mother struggles with the same symptoms you describe among others and winter time is a terrible time for her. She has Raynuad’s. Take care and keep warm….

    On another note, I love these muffins. The lime and white chocolate are a classic combination and one which I would have no problem devouring!

    1. Mir

      Yep, it’s Raynaud’s. It can be a real bummer. Thanks for the good wishes!

  13. Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks

    I hope warm weather gets here soon and you can start feeling more like yourself, Mir! These muffins really sing spring with that lime in there. And white chocolate chips? Say no more. Great video too!
    Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks recently posted…Cranberry and Blueberry GaletteMy Profile

    1. Mir

      It was in the 60s today, so that was awesome!

  14. Jen | Baked by an Introvert

    I’m sorry to hear about your condition, Mir. Warmer weather is right around the corner and you can start to feel like yourself again soon! This looks like the perfect muffin. Love the lime and white chocolate!!
    Jen | Baked by an Introvert recently posted…Irish Chocolate Coffee Bundt CakeMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I’m so excited for spring. I get much happier then!

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