Treat yourself with these easy cardamom cinnamon sugar muffins! They’re an excellent make-ahead breakfast or snack and are also perfect for brunch. Cardamom adds an earthy spice that gives these muffins a unique flavor without adding extra effort.
I’m into soothing recipes at the moment. I believe I’ve said this before – I consider baking muffins to be almost a zen-like experience in the kitchen. The process is so simple and therefore I find it relaxing (even more so if you can get someone else to help with the dishes). It’s kind of hard not to love that, especially when you ultimately get to enjoy fragrant, flavorful muffins with perfectly rounded tops.
The combination of cinnamon and sugar is also something I find soothing because it reminds me of childhood. My mother would often make cinnamon toast for me to snack on (see my cinnamon sugar ratio “recipe” to always have it ready to go when you need cinnamon toast). Sometimes I still crave cinnamon toast when I need comfort food.
So cinnamon sugar muffins sounded like a perfect comfort food recipe to make, and at the last minute I decided to throw in some warming ground cardamom. It’s not overpowering; cardamom is so wonderful in desserts. If you’re not familiar with it, cardamom is a spice that’s often used in Indian cuisine and it has a very fragrant, sweet, unique flavor. (You can see more of my recipes using cardamom here.)
Recipe Notes and Substitutions
You can omit the cardamom if you prefer to keep things more simple. It’s one of my favorite spices to add to desserts, but I get that it might not be everyone’s thing.
Use a good quality vanilla. Vanilla extract has gotten SO expensive, so I’ve been experimenting with various brands. Man, some of them can really screw up a recipe, especially a simple one like this. These muffins tasted terrible when I used the Costco vanilla. I recommend using brands like Nielsen Massey, Rodelle, or McCormick. You can get away with using a cheaper generic vanilla sometimes. Not here.
More Breakfast Recipes
You can also see my full archive of breakfast recipes here!
Cardamom Cinnamon Sugar Muffins
For The Muffins
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (see notes)
- 11 1/4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 2/3 cups)
- 1 cup whole or 2% milk
Cardamom Cinnamon Sugar Topping
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin (I used baking spray).
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to combine.
- Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, and vanilla.
- Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.
- Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full.
- Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they're a pale golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven, and let them cool for a couple of minutes, or until you can handle them. While they're cooling, melt the butter for the topping (this is easily done in the microwave).
- Whisk cinnamon, sugar and salt together for topping.
- Use a pastry brush to paint the top of each muffin with the butter, then roll in the cinnamon-sugar.
- Serve warm, or cool on a rack and wrap airtight. Store for a day or so at room temperature.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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