muffin breakfast collage family homemade

Budget Bites: Healthy Homemade Muffins Solve the Breakfast Dilemma

muffin breakfast collage family homemade

Mom was right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You cannot afford to miss it for many reasons. Here are three, which come from reliable medical research.

Why is Breakfast So Important?

Body weight

People who are successful at losing weight and keeping it off are faithful members of the “breakfast club.” 


People who eat breakfast may be better equipped to fight off colds and flu. An impressive study found that those who developed more than one illness over the 10-week study were less likely to be breakfasters. The reasons why breakfast might be a protective factor are not entirely clear.


Skipping breakfast doesn’t reduce one’s daily calorie intake. The truth is if you skip you will more than make up for it later in the day. But those who eat breakfast find it easier to resist high-fat foods during the day. It remains a well-known fact that breakfast boosts metabolism all day and fires up your brain cells for faster, clearer thinking. 

Breakfast Do’s

2-hour rule

Eat when you can but within two hours of waking.

Eat what you enjoy

You are more likely to create a life-long habit if it’s something you enjoy.

Make it convenient

If breakfast is time-consuming and complicated you are not likely to stick with it. Have on hand “grab and go” breakfast items that are both tasty and affordable.

Resist drive-thrus

Fast food is expensive and typically unhealthy.

The Perfect Solution

If you are tired of cereal, made-from-scratch healthy muffins are perfect for your breakfast dilemma.

Freezer trick

Generally, muffin batter needs to be baked as soon as mixed. Or, you can make the batter and follow the instructions for filling the paper- or foil-lined cups, but instead of putting them into the pre-heated oven, pop the pans into the freezer.  

When the muffins are frozen hard, transfer them to a plastic bag or freezer container; write the baking temperature on the bag so you don’t have to search for the recipe again later.

When you are ready to bake them, place the frozen muffins back into the muffin pans and straight into a preheated oven, increasing the baking time by only 5 or 6 minutes. You can bake all the muffins at once or one to two at a time as needed.

Seminary Muffins

Chocolate Muffin with Chocolate Chips

A reader sent me this recipe with no explanation for the name, only that these muffins are delicious and healthy. As for the “Seminary” reference, growing up in a family of die-hard theologians, I’ll bet it comes from someone’s seminary days when a family’s food budget cried out for inexpensive options. This recipe muliplies well for a substantial amount of muffins.

healthy scratch muffins
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 7 votes

Seminary Muffins

Healthy made-from-scratch, these muffins check all the boxes: Delicious, nutritious, inexpensive!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Baking, Breakfast, Muffins
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Calories: 224kcal


  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar light, or dark
  • cup applesauce
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tspn baking soda
  • 2 tspns baking powder
  • 1 ¼ tspns salt
  • 1 tspn ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts


  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease one 12 cup muffin pan or use paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, combine egg, banana, brown sugar, applesauce and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  • Gently stir the flour mixture and the quick-cooking oats into the banana mixture.
  • Fold in the walnuts and [optional] chocolate chips.
  • Divide batter between the 12 prepared muffin cups.
  • Bake in preheated oven (or freeze at this point) for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove muffins from pan and place on a cooling rack for a few minutes before serving.


Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 245mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg

6-Week Bran Muffins

Freshly baked bran muffins cooling on a rack


Here’s a recipe that breaks all the rules about either baking or freezing muffins as soon as the batter is mixed. This batter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six weeks and baked as needed! With a batch on hand you can enjoy the luxury of fresh-baked muffins every morning. This recipe makes 28 muffins for about 35 cents each. 

At the risk of over-promising, I’m telling you this: These muffins are so moist, so delicious and super versatile. This unbaked batter will last in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks, no kidding!

Freshly baked bran muffins cooling on a rack
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 7 votes

6-Week Bran Muffins

At the risk of over-promising, I'm telling you this: These muffins are so moist, so delicious and versatile. This unbaked batter lasts in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks, no kidding!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 32
Calories: 229kcal
Author: Mary Hunt


  • 4 eggs
  • 2 ¼ cups white, granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter melted; or substitute vegetable oil
  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tspns baking soda
  • ½ tspn salt
  • 1 cup raisins (optional) craisins, or other dried fruit
  • 5 ⅓ cups Kellogg’s All-Bran Original, Bran Buds, Rasin Bran or other wheat bran cereal


  • Put eggs, sugar and butter in a large bowl; whip with a wire whisk to mix. Whisk in buttermilk; mixture will look curdled. Add flour and baking soda. Whisk until just mixed. Stir in bran.
  • Scrape batter into a refrigerator container. Cover and refrigerate. (If you want to bake batter without storing, let it stand 15 to 20 minutes for bran to soften.) 
  • To bake: Heat oven to 375 F. Grease muffin cups or use foil baking cups. Stir batter gently to mix. Scoop 1/4 cup into each muffin cup. For baking just a few, a toaster oven works fine. Bake about 20 minutes, or until springy to the touch in the center. Let cool 5 minutes before serving hot.


Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 210mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 437IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 3mg



trio of banana muffins with sliced bananas on placemat
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
4.93 from 13 votes

Best Banana Muffins, Ever!

Best banana muffins, ever!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Baking
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 259kcal



  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 ripe bananas (4 medium or 3 large), mashed
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • cup butter, melted

Crumb topping

  • cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups or line with muffin papers.
  • In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 
  • In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter. 
  • Stir the banana mixture and optional walnuts into the flour mixture just until all are moistened. 
  • Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle crumb topping over the tops
  • Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin, comes out clean. Err on the side of underbaking, even if the centers appear to be a little sunken.
  • To make crumb topping, in a small bowl, mix brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon.
  • Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.


For a gluten-free option, substitute all-purpose flour with a measure-for-measure gluten-free flour such as King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour or Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour.


Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 259mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 236IU | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg


blueberry muffin with crumble topping
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
4.60 from 15 votes

Einstein Blueberry Muffins

Actually, I call them Einstein Muffins. That’s because every time I make them, I feel like a genius. You can feel like a genius, too.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time22 minutes
Total Time37 minutes
Course: Baking
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 201kcal



  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk*
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Crumb Topping

  • ½ cup white sugar
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup butter, diced
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  • In a bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt, and baking powder. 
  • Place vegetable oil into a 1-cup measuring cup; add the egg and *enough milk to fill the cup. Beat slightly with a fork. 
  • Mix this into the flour mixture, stirring until fully incorporated. Batter will be very thick.
  • Fold in blueberries. 
  • Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes or until done. which means when a toothpick is inserted, it comes out just barely clean. Caution: Err on the side of underbaking for the yummiest, moistest muffins. Yield: 12 muffins
  • To make the crumb topping, place sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  • Mix with a fork until crumbly and sprinkle over muffins before baking.


Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 140mg | Potassium: 113mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 401IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg





Delicious homemade muffins to make breakfast a required subject
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 7 votes

Big Batch Muffins

This recipe is designed to use up small amounts of leftover dry cereal (any variety in any amount). It yields about 40 muffins. Usually made with a bran or wheat type cereal, you can get creative with what you have. Use up what’s left in all those boxes that are taking up space on the shelf. Toss in a few raisins, chocolate chips or nuts, too.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 40
Calories: 184kcal
Author: Mary Hunt


  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 9 cups dry breakfast cereal
  • 4 cups buttermilk (or buttermilk substitute*)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5 tsp baking soda


  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • In a large bowl, mix together oil, sugar, eggs, and dry cereal.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
  • Combine mixtures, alternately with buttermilk. Mix all until well incorporated, but don't overmix.
  • Pour batter into greased muffin tins (or line with cupcake papers) until about 2/3 full. (If batter seems too thin, let it rest a few minutes and it will thicken.)
  • Bake at 400 F. for 20-25 minutes


*To make one cup buttermilk substitute: Pour 1 tablespoon white vinegar into a glass measuring cup. Add milk up to the one-cup line and stir. Place cup in the microwave on 50% power for 45-60 seconds. Stir and use in place of one cup of buttermilk. Multiplies well.


Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 184kcal


Delicious homemade apple muffins that are healthy to eat and easy on the budget
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 7 votes

Apple Muffins

For less than the price of one muffin from Panera Bread, I can make this entire recipe and come out with a dozen delicious, healthy muffins, and in less time than it would take to get in the car, drive to the mall, find a parking space, stand in line, get the muffin and make my way back home.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time18 minutes
Total Time33 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 151kcal
Author: eMeals®


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute or 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 3/4 cup apple peeled, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts optional


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together brown sugar, egg substitute, and oil until smooth. Add applesauce and diced apple, and stir to combine.
  • Add applesauce mixture to flour mixture, and stir just until combined, being careful not to over mix. Fold in chopped nuts if using.
  • Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Don’t over bake! Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
  • Enjoy!


Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 157mg | Potassium: 118mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 24IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

More from Everyday Cheapskate

how do i clean a bbq grill black charcoal bbq in backyard
assorted frozen dessert slushies strawberry pineapple blueberry
how to cook eggs fried poached hard boiled scrambled
The Complete Guide to Storing Fruits and Vegetables book on kitchen countertop knolling
DIY muffin liner homemade tulip baking lavender cutting board shadows
traditional st patricks day meal corned beef and cabbage potatoes carrots
quick dinner recipe italian cheesy meatball bake casserole dish
spicy homemade pico de gallo vegetable chopper tomato onion jalapeño cilantro
women serving small bites for appetizers party

Please keep your comments positive, encouraging, helpful, brief,
and on-topic in keeping with EC Commenting Guidelines

Caught yourself reading all the way 'til the end? Why not share with a friend.

10 replies
  1. Bonnie says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! I used raisins instead of nuts. I prepared the dry ingredients the night before then finished with the rest in the morning. I used my toaster oven and the tops & bottoms burned a little at 15 mins on the bottom rack. Should I decrease the temp or not bake as long?

      • I didn’t specify that I used my new Itoaster/air fryer oven so and made half the apple muffin recipe since its just me. says:

        5 stars
        I didn’t specify that I used my new toaster/air fryer oven and half the apple muffin recipe since it’s just me, I guess there’s a learning curve to its use. They were still delicious! I’m definitely making these again.

  2. Joan says:

    5 stars
    Those apple muffins are a delight! Moist, fluffy, with perfect sweetness and spice.
    As I write, they are still warm and my husband asked me if I would make some for him to take to the office on Friday.
    Thank you, Mary!

  3. Patricia Goff says:

    5 stars
    I haven’t eaten breakfast in years. I have coffee for breakfast, coffee for a snack, coffee for lunch, coffee for a snack and then a lean cuisine for supper. If I eat breakfast I am hungry all day and eating all day so I quit and now I hardly get hungry. Coffee is homemade not store bought….

  4. Gina Stevens says:

    5 stars
    I can attest that these blueberry muffins are the best I ever had. One day when I needed a dessert and only had one egg… What a pleasant surprise! Thank you, Mary!


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How was it?