Have you ever wondered, should I use butter or oil in muffins? I have! This recipe is for a basic vanilla muffin where I've used butter for some of the muffins and oil for the other. Today we're comparing which is better, butter or oil? Does using one over the other make a difference? Let's find out.
I love making muffins! But I've often wondered which way is better, to use oil in for muffins or butter? Which makes muffins softer, or more dense? Which makes muffins have a crinkle top, or a smooth top? Does one make muffins taller?
Before starting out on this test I already knew a few things, or thought I did. That butter yields a better tasting muffin but that oil makes a lighter fluffier muffin.
I made these muffins side by side at the exact same time with the same ingredients. The only thing different is that one was made with melted butter and the other sunflower oil. I chose sunflower oil because I like that it's a healthy oil and flavorless.
Instead of telling you which muffin to make I'm going to point out the pros and cons of each one, and you will be able to choose which is your preference!
In the photo at the top, in the pan, some muffins are made with butter and some with oil. Can you tell which is which?
You will have to pick which you'll be using, butter or oil for your muffins, then the rest of the ingredients stay the same.
- sugar - you can use white sugar but I like to use cane sugar
- vanilla extract
- baking soda
- baking powder
You can use this basic muffins recipe as a starter recipe. Add your favorite mix ins to it. The possibilities are endless. Here are some ideas.
- poppy seeds
- lemon or almond extract for a different base note
Making Basic Muffin Batter
To make a basic muffin you don't need any fancy tools, just a bowl and a whisk.
Grab a large bowl and to it add the butter (or oil), sugar, vanilla, egg and buttermilk. Whisk this together.
Sift in the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
Whisk everything together just until combined. You don't want to over mix the batter.
Line a muffin pan with muffin or cupcake liners (avoids muffins sticking to the pan) and fill each one with 3 tablespoons of muffin batter, this is the same amount as a traditional ice cream scoop.
Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes then decrease the temperature to 350 and bake an additional 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Basic Muffins: Oil Vs. Butter Results
The muffins made with butter had a richer taste than the ones made with oil.
They also had a crisper top.
The texture was good, I thought it was going to be a lot more dense than the ones made with oil but they really weren't. I think that's because I also used buttermilk.
Texture wise the muffins made with butter were not as fluffy and soft as the ones made with oil. They were still soft but just not as soft as the ones made with oil.
The muffins made with oil had a really nice taste but were not as rich as the ones made with butter.
If you had given me just the oil muffin (without side by side tasting the butter muffin) I would have been happy as a clam with it! The taste was really good, but if you want a richer taste I would use the butter.
The muffins made with oil had a very light and soft texture, they were perfect! The texture of the oil muffins was superior to the texture of the butter muffins.
I will also say using butter is probably best in a recipe that doesn't have a lot of flavor add-ins, like a basic muffin recipe. A blueberry muffin would be perfect for using butter in your muffins. Whereas a pumpkin muffin or chocolate muffin would be good to use oil.
More Baked Goods
- Blueberry Coffee Cake
- Irish Scones
- Banana Bread
- Overnight Cinnamon Rolls
- Twisted Sweet Cream Cheese Muffin Buns
- Raspberry Lemon Poppyseed Loaf
- ½ c butter, melted (or 82 grams oil)
- ¾ c cane sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- ½ c buttermilk
- 2 c all purpose flour
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- In a large bowl whisk together the melted butter (or oil), sugar, vanilla, eggs and buttermilk
- Place a sieve over the bowl of the wet ingredients and sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder
- Stir until just combined
- Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and add 3-4 tbsp of batter to each
- Bake the muffins for 5 minutes then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 13-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
- Remove the muffins from the oven
- Cool and serve
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 209Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 264mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 4g
This information comes from online calculators. Although moderncrumb.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.