Salted Caramel Buttermilk Brown Sugar Muffins

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Cinnamon Brown Sugar Muffins — Soft, fluffy muffins that are sweetened with brown sugar and flavored with cinnamon. Drizzle salted caramel sauce on top if you’re feeling extra decadent! 

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Muffins — Soft, fluffy muffins that are sweetened with brown sugar and flavored with cinnamon. Drizzle salted caramel sauce on top if you're feeling extra decadent! 

I love when muffins get a nice domed top. And when they’re dripping in salted caramel.

But not all of muffins get that coveted dome. Nor are they always drenched in caramel.

But these are both. I was hoping for the best with the shape and texture because I adapted one of my most popular recipes, Cinnamon-Sugar Bread.

It totally delivered for the muffins and they’re soft, wonderfully moist, and the crumb has the perfect balance of density and lightness.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Muffins — Soft, fluffy muffins that are sweetened with brown sugar and flavored with cinnamon. Drizzle salted caramel sauce on top if you're feeling extra decadent! 

The batter has melted butter, oil, and buttermilk. The later two in particular keep quick breads and muffins soft, moist and supple.

To sweeten the batter I used brown sugar, which provides wonderful depth of flavor because as the muffins bake, the butter and brown sugar caramelize, creating subtle caramel undertones.

And clearly I played up the caramel flavor by drizzling the muffins with salted caramel. Make your own or use store-bought. The muffins don’t ‘need’ it, but why not.

The muffins are so fluffy that they’re are almost like eating cupcakes for breakfast, minus the frosting. And in place of it, all that caramel.

Which I’m not exactly complaining about.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Muffins — Soft, fluffy muffins that are sweetened with brown sugar and flavored with cinnamon. Drizzle salted caramel sauce on top if you're feeling extra decadent! 

Ingredients in Brown Sugar Muffins

To make this easy muffin recipe with brown sugar, you’ll need the following basic ingredients: 

  • Unsalted butter
  • Buttermilk
  • Egg
  • Oil
  • Vanilla extract
  • Brown sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Salted caramel sauce (optional, for drizzling) 

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Muffins — Soft, fluffy muffins that are sweetened with brown sugar and flavored with cinnamon. Drizzle salted caramel sauce on top if you're feeling extra decadent! 

How to Make Brown Sugar Muffins 

Making muffins with brown sugar is as easy as making regular muffins! Here’s a basic overview of the recipe: 

  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power; set aside.
  2. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup or medium bowl, add the buttermilk, oil, egg, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the buttermilk mixture to the melted butter and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the brown sugar and whisk to combine.
  5. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, optional salt, and stir until just combined.
  6. Distribute the batter evenly among each cavity of a greased muffin pan. 
  7. Bake until the tops are domed, puffed, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs dangling but no batter.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Muffins — Soft, fluffy muffins that are sweetened with brown sugar and flavored with cinnamon. Drizzle salted caramel sauce on top if you're feeling extra decadent! 

Recipe Variations to Try 

The basic recipe is a great jumping off point for tweaking to your liking. Some variations to try are: 

  • Add mini chocolate chips
  • Add chopped nuts 
  • Add dried fruit (chop into small pieces, if needed)
  • Top with shredded coconut 
  • Rather than topping with salted caramel, try a vanilla cream cheese or a browned butter glaze

Can a Buttermilk Substitute Be Used? 

Yes! I used real buttermilk but if you don’t keep it on hand, I highly recommend using powdered buttermilk. If you don’t use buttermilk often, but sometimes see a recipe that needs a small amount, but think you won’t use the rest of the jug before it goes bad, then the powder is for you. Shelf stable, keeps for ages.

Or make buttermilk by souring your own milk. Add about 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk, wait 10 minutes for it to curdle, then use as indicated.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Muffins — Soft, fluffy muffins that are sweetened with brown sugar and flavored with cinnamon. Drizzle salted caramel sauce on top if you're feeling extra decadent! 

Tips for Making Muffins with Brown Sugar

Brown sugar: You can use either light or dark brown sugar to make this recipe. Dark brown sugar has a more robust flavor, while light brown sugar contains less molasses. 

Buttermilk: If you make a buttermilk substitute using milk and vinegar, do NOT use skim milk. Use 2% milk if that’s what you have but whole milk is best. 

Caramel sauce: You don’t have to top the cinnamon brown sugar muffins with caramel sauce, but it’s highly recommended! Add the caramel sauce just before serving so that the muffins don’t get soggy. 

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Muffins — Soft, fluffy muffins that are sweetened with brown sugar and flavored with cinnamon. Drizzle salted caramel sauce on top if you're feeling extra decadent! 

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Muffins — Soft, fluffy muffins that are sweetened with brown sugar and flavored with cinnamon. Drizzle salted caramel sauce on top if you're feeling extra decadent! 

Pin This Recipe

Yield: 12

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Muffins

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Muffins

Soft, fluffy muffins that are sweetened with brown sugar and flavored with cinnamon. Drizzle salted caramel sauce on top if you're feeling extra decadent! 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • salted caramel, for drizzling (storebought or homemade

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a Non-Stick 12-Cup Regular Muffin Pan with paper liners or spray well with floured cooking spray (I prefer the cosmetic look of no liners); set pan aside.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power; set aside.
  3. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup or medium bowl, add the buttermilk, oil, egg, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the buttermilk mixture to the melted butter and whisk to combine.
  5. Add the brown sugar and whisk to combine.
  6. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, optional salt, and stir until just combined; don’t overmix. Batter will be lumpy and don’t try to stir the lumps smooth or muffins will be tough.
  7. Using a large cookie scoop or 1/4-cup measure, distribute the batter evenly among each cavity of the prepared muffin pan. Cavities will be between 2/3 and 3/4-full; don’t exceed 3/4-full or muffins could overflow because they rise very well.
  8. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until tops are domed, puffed, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs dangling but no batter. Bake until done; watch your muffins and not the clock. Allow muffins to cool in pan for about 10 minutes before carefully removing.
  9. Drizzle muffins with salted caramel as desired. Don’t add the caramel until you’re ready to eat them because they could get soggy.

Adapted from Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread

Notes

Storage: Muffins are best fresh, but will keep airtight for up to 5 days at room temp; or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 162Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 177mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 0gSugar: 18gProtein: 1g

More Easy Muffin Recipes: 

Dulce de Leche Churro Muffins — Brushed with melted butter, rolled in cinnamon-and-sugar, and filled with dulce de leche or caramel sauce, these FAST and EASY muffins are so soft, moist, and PERFECTLY decadent! 

Dulce de Leche Churro Muffins - All the flavors and satisfaction of fresh churros but in muffin form with no frying involved! Brushed with melted butter, rolled in cinnamon-and-sugar, and filled with dulce de leche or caramel sauce, these FAST and EASY muffins are so soft, moist, and PERFECTLY decadent! 

Mini Cinnamon Sugar Muffins — These mini muffins taste like fried donuts, but they’re baked and healthy! 

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Donut Muffins - Recipe at averiecooks.com

Mini Snickerdoodle Muffins — Bite size muffins that are coated in cinnamon-sugar that will remind you of snickerdoodle cookies, but in adorable mini muffin form!!

Caramel Apple Muffins — Soft, fluffy, springy, loaded with chunks of apples, and so much CARAMEL flavor!!

Healthy Oatmeal Muffins— These healthy oatmeal muffins won’t jeopardize your New Year’s resolutions and are skinny jeans-friendly. No oil, no dairy, and just 1/4 cup of brown sugar!

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Pumpkin Muffins — These mini pumpkin muffins are coated in cinnamon sugar and are bursting with fall flavor! Even better, they’re fast, easy, and accidentally vegan! 

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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Comments

  1. Hi Averie! I’ve been baking overtime recently (it’s a stress reliever), and these muffins were possibly the best thing to come out of my oven! The lead character in my new novel also bakes for stress relief, and I was wondering if it would be okay if I linked to your recipe in my FB page to say that this is something like what she would bake–and maybe my readers would like to try the recipe too. Would you be okay with that? The page is here: https://www.facebook.com/BarnerSanders/

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad these turned out so well! Feel free to link up :)

  2. I made the brown sugar muffins a few times now and everyone always LOVES them! They’re super easy to make and delicious without being too sweet.

    Rating: 5
  3. I tried your raspberry bread (using fresh raspberry from the garden), cinnamon ribbon (I was lucky to have one slice), and this recipe at least twice because my family loves the basic recipe. The first time I made the muffins we only had caramel syrup at home. My husband decided to cut the warm muffins in half, add butter and the syrup then let it soak for a couple of minutes like “tiramisu.” The second time I made the muffins I added a cup of Heath Chocolate and Toffee Bits and didn’t need the caramel syrup. It was yummy and everyone wanted seconds but they were to late cause someone ate half a dozen already. I posted it here: https://www.facebook.com/cookneatwithfitfoodie/posts/2155087144773578

    Rating: 5
  4. Per your suggestion on your Raspberry Bread page, I just made this recipe for my dad, adding fresh raspberries from his garden. The only change I made was, that I used only a 1/2 of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of white/granulated sugar plus folded in the raspberries. We were using the small muffin pans and I thought too much brown sugar would make the mini muffins looked burnt. I was right, and next time I may use 3/4 cup white and 1/4 cup brown as they still are a bit dark. But this was a very generous recipe and tasted very good. It made 48 mini muffins plus 12 regular sized muffins, by adding about 4 cups of berries. We only filled the cups half full, which was good, or they would have run over. Thanks for your awesome recipes! Have always appreciated them!

  5. You have many awesome recipes,especially the raspberry things,and anything with caramel/caramel and salt can’t wait to make them.Keep bringing yummy recipes.

  6. Blogged about this recipe, instead of caramel I put in dark chocolate chips. Muffins turned out so delicious!

    Blog – BrianaVeniana.Wordpress.com

    1. Oh I’m so happy to hear that you loved them and you can never go wrong with dark chocolate!