Sometimes, you need a new cookbook. Sometimes, you need a new specialized cookbook. Enter: Muffin cookbooks galore. I don’t know why, but I keep hearing Inigo Montoya’s voice saying “cookbooks galore” and had to make a meme out of it. Hey, it makes me laugh.
If you don’t make many quick breads, man oh man, you need to give it a try. You can browse the muffin and loaf cookbooks below and give a little look-see at the article on how to make muffins and other quick breads, so you know what to expect. As for me? I make muffins or other quick breads multiple times a week. I can’t seem to help myself.
I’m not the only one in our house. We all make muffins (though I think I’m the only one who makes loaves). Making muffins is fast, so I guess that’s part of why we make them so often. Even if a recipe flops, which doesn’t happen often, but it does happen, it’s a small time and ingredient investment. I mean, if I make a cake with a ton of eggs and a fancy frosting, and that flops, I’ll be way more upset over the time and energy spent with that thing than with the ten minutes it took me to make some muffins.
Without further fuss, here’s a whole slew of muffin and quick bread cookbooks or cookbooks with a heap of muffin or quick loaf recipes for your reading (and coveting) pleasure. Have fun!
Muffin and Quick Bread Cookbooks
125 Best Quick Bread Recipes (2002) by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt Amazon eBay
No muffin recipes in this 7 x 0.75 x 10.25 inch cookbook. Outside of muffins, it covers all things quick bread. Chapters include: Quick Breads for Every Season; International, Grains, Seeds, and Nuts; Tea Biscuits and Scones; Brunch, Coffee, and Snacking Cakes; and Crepes, Pancakes, and Waffles.
Poppy Seed Oat Bread, Gingerbread with Warm Lemon Sauce, Rhubarb Orange Bread, and Swiss Apple Bread have my attention. Don’t those just sound amazing?
These cookbooks aren’t big on images, but at 192 pages, there will be plenty of recipes to keep you busy. Honestly, quick breads aren’t going to have huge variances in appearance anyway, so don’t bypass a good cookbook just for that.
500 Best Muffin Recipes (2003) by Esther Brody Amazon eBay
My earlier 1999 version, The 250 Best Muffin Recipes by Esther Brody is well-worn and absolutely splattered with splashes and spills. I’ve been using it for so long, the recipes I’ve made don’t even have dates for when I first made them, but may have “5*” or “Excellent” or “Very light and sweet, but needs lemon peel” scrawled across the page.
It is the cookbook the boys and I turn to first when we go to make muffins. The oldest always wants Golden Oatmeal Muffins. The youngest loves Lemon Poppy Seed. They’ve been baking their favorites for years now. This is the cookbook I used when learning to make muffins and it’s the one I turn to weekly. One recipe even has “The boys loved the volcanoes” written across it. Funny, as those volcanoes are a sign of overmixing! I know that NOW, but then? I didn’t have a clue.
Esther Brody’s 500 Muffins cookbook includes our old favorites plus 250 other recipes in a 6.25 x 1.25 x 9.25 inch, 384-page cookbook. Yes, there are some really “out there” kind of muffin recipes, things I would never bake. That’s just the way it goes. Maybe my misses are your hits. But for me? There are enough that hit the mark to make even the smaller, older version a “must.”
750 Best Muffin Recipes: Everything from Breakfast Classics to Gluten-free, Vegan and Coffeehouse Favorites (2010) by Camilla V. Saulsbury Amazon eBay
Camilla V. Saulsbury has authored multiple books and is the winner of the $100,000 national chicken cook-off as well as Food Network’s $25,000 “Ultimate Recipe Showdown” for cookies. She’s also super into different types of muffins, as you’ll find in the sections of gluten-free and vegan muffins that compose this 512-page cookbook.
This 7.12 x 1.26 x 9.96 inch book separates the muffin classics; like bran, pumpkin, mocha, and so on; before it divides muffins up into categories as revealed in the title. The section on global muffins, however, does actually feel global in range. Limpa Muffins, Sticky Toffee Muffins, Cannoli, and Baklava Muffins feel familiar but also a bit different. I mean, classic non-muffin flavors translated to the simple muffin? Call me intrigued.
Best Quick Breads: 150 Recipes for Muffins, Scones, Shortcakes, Gingerbreads, Cornbreads, Coffeecakes, and More (2000) by Beth Hensperger Amazon eBay
It’s another work by Beth Hensperger. She is one busy muffin-baking lady! Here’s the blurb, “This new collection of recipes from Beth Hensperger, 100 of them from her much-loved The Art of Quick Breads (now out of print) plus 50 brand-new creations, has favorite fare for breakfast on the run, lazy Sunday morning repasts, and elegant holiday brunches.” But that’s not all, of course.
Recipes for syrups, sauces, jams, and curds add even more bling to the humble muffin and quick bread. Yes, the muffin chapter is one of the shorter chapters in the book with around a dozen recipes, but when you add in the rest of the quick breads (including a section featuring gingerbread!), you’ve got yourself one delicious 400-page, 7.33 x 1 x 9 inch, cookbook.
Better Homes and Gardens Quick Breads Cook Book (1975) Amazon eBay
You might already be familiar with the format of these vintage cookbooks. I love them. I just LOVE them! I think they are so much fun to read. This BH&G cookbook featuring quick bread recipes is no different and, at 96 pages, is similar to other books in the series.
The book opens with a few tips and tricks. The rest of the chapters are: Memorable Coffee Cakes and Scones, Magical Muffins, Praiseworthy Biscuits, and Quick Bread Assortment (a collection of doughnut, pancake, and waffle recipes, plus a few more goodies).
Some recipes use packaged mixes, while others are entirely homemade. Recipes that begin with a mix are tagged with a little stamp, so it’s easy to tell what’s what.
Breakfast in Bed Cookbook: The Best B&B Recipes from Northern California to British Columbia (1990) by Carol Frieberg Amazon eBay
This concept has been done before. In fact, I own a few of them. I just can’t resist cookbooks using recipes from B&B’s. When I used to travel around Indiana for Little Indiana, bed and breakfasts made our most wonderful memories. Yes, that was even with a toddler in tow. The owner(s) or innkeeper(s) were thoughtful and pleasant in a way hotels can’t ever match. And the breakfast…well, when was the last time you raved about breakfast at a hotel?
There is, however, a good chance that you will rave about this book. Scones and Muffins provides almost a dozen new muffin recipes to try, like Orange Yogurt Muffins, English Tea muffins, or Oatmeal Peach Muffins. Then there are Coffee Cakes and Cobblers; House Specialties; Egg Entrees; Casseroles, Quiches, and Frittatas; and French Toast, Pancakes, and Waffles. The book closes with a chapter on Fruits, Sauces, and Smoothies; and Breads.
You won’t find images, but you will find some illustrations throughout to pep it up. At close to 300 pages, it’s a hefty book as it is. This 6.25 x 0.75 x 9 inch book will keep you busy. As the author writes, “. . . Make each morning count.”
The Breakfast Book (1987 by Marion Cunningham Amazon eBay
She writes, “Cooking is one of the legacies we can leave to the future, and I would like to be remembered for my baking.” Based on this book alone, why yes, yes she will (and is). You likely recognize her name from Fannie Farmer books.
At 336 pages, with 288 recipes, this lengthy work goes beyond quick breads. Still, you’ll discover all sorts of muffins, scones, and coffee cakes to keep your kitchen smelling all sorts of cozy for weeks and months to come. Plus, there are 40 menus. You know how I love reading menus.
Almond Coconut Coffee Cake, Fresh Ginger Cake, and Raw Apple Muffins are on my list. Everyone needs to make room because Boston Brown Bread Muffins, Chewy Brown Sugar Muffins, and Cranberry Orange Muffins are too. After taking another gander, I see a few more. We will all be busy in the kitchen after browsing through this one.
Breakfast with Friends: Seasonal Menus to Celebrate the Morning (1995) by Elizabeth Alston Amazon eBay
As you’ll see below, this isn’t the only Elizabeth Alston cookbook on this list. I love her work. LOVE it. This 8.5 x 0.75 x 10.5 inch, 212-page hardcover cookbook also includes illustrations, not images, with a unique arrangement. Chapters include: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, Big Bashes, Breakfast for Health-Conscious Friends, and Breakfast Basics.
There are menus, shopping lists, and a handy dandy game plan section detailing how to begin the menu well in advance of the event. They are fantastic! She offers up fabulous tips and tricks throughout the book guaranteed to put any host at ease.
Cinnamon Chocolate Coffee Cake, Oat Nut Muffins, and Fresh Pear and Vanilla Muffins are just the beginning. Cookbook readers, you will just love this one!
The Complete Muffin Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to Making Great Muffins (2005) by Gloria Ambrosia Amazon eBay
This is a cookbook with an emphasis on healthy ingredients and less sweet muffins. If this ain’t you, skip this one and move along. But, if unbleached white flour, whole wheat flour, brown rice flour, buckwheat, oat, rye, and soy flour are common items in your pantry—you might want to settle in.
As you might imagine, the sweetener in this muffin cookbook isn’t white sugar. Brown sugar, applesauce, honey, maple, molasses, brown sugar, or apple juice concentrate are the focus in this one.
I like the quick recipe reference section. It lists the muffins in each chapter along with their main ingredients. So, if you feel like apples or buckwheat or sunflower seeds, you can skim through the list to find what you want, as well as see the other ingredients at a glance. It’s a neat feature and one of the many ways in which this 216-page, 7.5 x 0.5 x 7.5 inch, cookbook is a little bit different from the rest.
Mad About Muffins (1998) by Dot Vartan Amazon eBay
Relive the watercolor illustration glory days of the 1990s with this cookbook. Hey, I was part of it too. Mom always gave me a calendar for Christmas when I was a kid and, for a couple years, mine featured watercolor illustrations of Victorian homes. I don’t know why, but I JUST Googled that and…I found them! Even though this has absolutely nothing to do with muffins, you can check out the late 1990s calendar by Sue Wall that once hung on my wall for a little walk down memory lane. Now, back to this nostalgia-evoking cookbook.
The blub inside says that the author was upset when her local bakery closed, leaving her muffinless. So, she decided to make her own. It reads: “Now you can benefit from this energetic lady’s labor as she shares some of her favorites, ranging from the far-from-banal basics to the epitome of the exotic.” “Exotic” in 1998 meant mincemeat, Armenian bulgur, kiwi mango, spicy Italian pizza, and lox and cream cheese muffins.
The more basic muffin recipes, those “far-from-banal” basics include custard, caraway cheese, tipsy apple (which has me intrigued), wine and cheese, and rice pudding. A chapter on fruit muffins and a chapter on vegetable muffins rounds out the bunch. It’s cute and fun, 134 pages long, 9.46 x 0.56 x 7.38 inches, with tips accompanying the recipes (like serving suggestions, for example).
Mostly Muffins: Quick and Easy Recipes for Over 75 Delicious Muffins and Spreads (1984) by Barbara Albright and Leslie Weiner Amazon eBay
Do you remember Chocolatier magazine? Barbara Albright was the editor-in-chief. Other accolades include the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame 1999 and the Chocolate Manufacturers’ Association Chocolate Lovers’ Hall of Fame. She had something like 25 cookbooks and knitting books to her name before she tragically passed in 2006 from a fast-moving brain tumor.
Her friend commented in an article about her passing, “I never ever saw a bad day out of that woman,” said Amy Barr, a longtime friend. “Her life was brownies and margaritas.”” I can think of no obit with a more wonderful quote and the hint of a life well-lived spikes my curiosity. Goodness, I would love to write about Barbara Albright for this site, but the online info is pretty slim. Sigh.
Based on Barbara’s body of work, she was also a big fan of quick breads, with multiple cookbooks devoted to the topic. I find it interesting that this 5.34 x 0.3 x 5.6 inch cookbook includes a recipe for a spread using tahini. This was 1984! Tahini wouldn’t be a thing until decades later. Sweet and savory muffins and a section of spreads leave little doubt as to why, decades later, this 112-page cookbook still garners high praise.
The Muffin Cookbook: Muffins for All Occasions (1989) Amazon eBay
Spiral-bound cookbooks aren’t my favorite book design, but I admit I like the looks of this one. You may already own a couple of these kind of cookbooks by the Favorite Recipes brand. I love when you open the book and there are illustrations sharing the items featured on the front page.
It’s not so big, with just over 90 pages total, but it packs a punch. After a brief introduction chapter, the rest of the chapters are: Great-Start Muffins, Savory Muffins, Snack-Time Muffins, Microwave Muffins, and Dessert Muffins. Images are included, though not with every recipe.
As a child of the 1980s, this cookbook includes low-fast and microwave baked muffins. While I’m not sure about either of those things, there are traditional recipes a plenty. Streusel Raspberry Muffins, Banana Poppy Seed Muffins, and Wisconsin Blue Cheese Muffins caught my eye. Tropical Treat Muffins are a little different too.
Muffins & Biscuits: 50 Recipes to Start Your Day with a Smile (2017) by Heidi Gibson Amazon eBay
Honestly, I swear the cover of this cookbook was half a muffin and half a biscuit, with the honey splitting the two images in half. Does anyone else see that? No? Well, I may be slightly over-caffeinated, but with all this talk of muffins, I had to grab one. And, if you give a writer a muffin while she’s writing, she’s going to need a cup of coffee to go with it. Hence, more coffee than I need.
No matter. Let’s press on, shall we? This cookbook is on the smaller side, at 8 x 0.75 x 9.25 inches, and 176 pages with a total of 50 recipes divided between two baked goods and a selection of spreads. That’s okay if the recipes are really good and these look really good.
The writer owns The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen restaurant and professes a life-long love for muffins and biscuits. Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Muffins, Ginger Peach Muffins, and Morning Glory Muffins sound especially appealing to me.
Muffins: Fast and Fantastic (2020) by Susan Reimer Amazon eBay
It’s 1993. You move to the UK with your husband and two small kids (you adventurer, you!). Muffins are, somehow, not a thing (so sad). So, you make a cookbook about muffins that’s published in 1996, becomes a best seller, and hits its fourth printing in 2020.
If you need images, this cookbook featuring muffins offers one with every recipe. Since this is a UK thing, measurements are in metric weight (grams) and volume (ml), but it nicely includes American cup equivalents. If you are gluten-free, milk-free, egg-free, or on a sugar-restricted diet, you’ll find instructions regarding that too.
Orange Carrot Spice Muffins, Apple Raspberry Muffins, Hazelnut and Chocolate, and Peanut Butter Muffins would make my “eat now” list. I’m always on the lookout for a good peanut butter muffin recipe.
Muffins: Sixty Sweet and Savory Recipes…From Old Favorites to New (1984) by Elizabeth Alston Amazon eBay
It’s a hardcover muffin cookbook, 5.27 x 0.45 x 7.27 inch, and 256 pages long. It may date back to the mid-1980s, but people love it still. How much do they love it? Well, this little book sold over 300,000 copies. Let that sink in for a moment.
I’m biased. I LOVE Elizabeth Alston. Okay, so I don’t know her, but I have a couple of her cookbooks in my collection. They are just fun and neat and good. When I see her name on a cookbook while I’m browsing a used bookstore, I’m pretty sure I make a happy little sound, and scoop it right up. That’s how much I adore them.
Please overlook the fact that it lacks images. There are a few black-and-white illustrations, so that’s something, right? Even today people still rave about her blueberry muffin recipe. Yes, they ARE in the book. There are recipes for Double Corn and Green Chili Muffins, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, Cranberry Almond Sour Cream Muffins, Nutmeg Muffins, and Thyme and Onion Muffins. Here, I tend to think of myself as a sweet muffin gal, but Elizabeth’s book might help me make the switch to savory. Why isn’t it a part of your collection yet?
Muffins: Tantalizing Recipes for Delicious Muffins (2010) Amazon eBay
The hardcover of the 9 x 0.75 x 9 inch book feels nice in your hand. At 96 pages, the slim volume managed to catch my eye thanks to the vibrant purple cover. Inside, obvious signs of an enjoyed cookbook sold me even more.
This cookbook loves to use sunflower oil or peanut oil. If you, like me, typically use canola or vegetable oil, then you can swamp out like I will. As to the superfine sugar found in many a recipe, blast your granulated sugar in the food processor for a second or make another swap. I’ll sub in butter for the margarine too. Yet, with all these swaps, I’m still excited about this cookbook.
Chapters include: Sweet Indulgences, Healthy Choices, Savory Muffins, and Special Occasions. I’m most interested in the “Sweet Indulgences” chapter. Double Chocolate Muffins, Apple and Cinnamon Muffins, and Fudge Nut Muffins sound like us.
One Bowl Baking: Simple, from Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts (2013) by Yvonne Ruperti Amazon eBay
The blurb reads, “In this one-of-a-kind recipe collection, Yvonne shows how to create beautiful, delicious, and wholesome desserts from scratch using just one bowl. No mixer, no food processor. It’s for anyone looking for the ease and convenience of box mix baking, but with quality ingredients and gourmet results. Best of all, practically all of the recipes are mixed and in the oven in just 15 minutes or less. That’s it!” If that doesn’t draw you into this 7.38 x 0.63 x 9.13 inch cookbook, I don’t know what will.
At just over 200 pages, and around 100 recipes, this is no little book. But, baked goods encompass a big variety, so don’t expect great gads of muffin recipes. Upside-down sticky pecans muffins, Buttermilk Cake Donut Muffins and Peaches and Cream Streusel Muffins make up a couple tantalizing options among the handful of nice muffin recipes.
Pillsbury: Best Muffins and Quick Breads: Favorite Recipes from America’s Most-Trusted Kitchens (1999) Amazon eBay
I have a Pillsbury cookbook similar to this on cookies and it is in falling apart condition from years of frequent use. This cookbook looks to be the same idea, filled with recipes and tip talk, a color-coded system of informative flags. These range from a “make-ahead tip” to better share how much can be finished ahead of time to a “recipe fact” or a “recipe variation.” I have found those items marked with the “editor’s favorite” flag do tend to stand out as 5* amazing, just an FYI.
Each recipe in the 7.85 x 0.7 x 8.8 inch book is accompanied by nutritional information, but the focus of this cookbook isn’t on healthy muffins. If that’s your bag, you may appreciate the handy guide in the front of the book, “Making Skinnier Muffins and Quick Breads.”
Chapters divvy up between Sweet Muffins; Savory Muffins; Biscuits, Scones, Popovers and Doughnuts; Quick Breads; Coffee Cakes; and Butters and Spreads. At 240 pages, with photos, this is a “must have” in my book.
Quick Breads (2003) by Beatrice Ojakangas Amazon eBay
You know Beatrice Ojakangas for all things Scandinavian baked goods. This time around, Beatrice offers up recipes for classic quick bread loaves, muffins, coffee cakes, and then some. Chapters include: Tea Breads; Dark and Rich Breads; Savory Quick Breads; Sticks, Rolls, and Corn Breads; Old-Fashioned Coffee Cakes; Holiday and Ethnic Cakes; and Spreads for Breads.
Golden Tangerine Nut Bread, Cardamom Buns (a quick bread version of the yeasted original), and Walnut Pear and Apple Coffee Cake sound like just the thing on a gloomy morning. I can almost taste them.
At 5 x 0.3 x 7 inches and 128 pages, this won’t be the largest cookbook you own, but it will be much-loved, especially if you enjoy Beatrice’s other works. Don’t expect images, but sweet illustrations.
Totally Teabreads: Quick & Easy Recipes For More Than 60 Delicious Quick Breads & Spreads (1994) by Barbara Albright and Leslie Weiner Amazon eBay
You might recognize the cover design and the authors’ names from above. This time, however, the focus is on all things quick bread loaves. Oh, and some spread recipes too to make it fancy.
This is 144 pages at 5.28 x 0.42 x 5.92 inches of quick breads divvied up by Sweet, Savory, and Healthier (and then the spreads, of course). Chocolate Chocolate-Chunk Bread, Spiced Apple Raisin Walnut Teabread, and Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread jump out at me.
These cookbooks receive great reviews. After all, the recipes are simple and uncomplicated. What’s not to love about that? Besides, we love Barbara Albright and Leslie Weiner collaborations, don’t we?
The Ultimate Muffin Book: More Than 600 Recipes for Sweet and Savory Muffins (2004) by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough Amazon eBay
Ignoring the comment the authors make about not knowing the origin story of brownies (which we do), this is a hefty manual on all things muffins. Expect lengthy help with a fat section on technique and a separate guide to toppings, sure to jazz up any muffin.
This cookbook arranges muffin recipes not by type, but by name. So, yes, there are muffin recipes here from A-Z. From almond to zucchini. Be forewarned that images will not be found inside. This is still a recipe-filled cookbook devoted to muffins, even without images. Start with basic muffins you know, get comfortable, and then the lack of images won’t throw you.
Williams Sonoma Muffins (2003) by Beth Hensperger Amazon eBay
The book doesn’t make it clear that this one is written by Beth Hensperger. What a shame, because Beth + the brand familiarity that is Williams Sonoma = a helluva match!
Opening with the classics, you know: The lemon poppy seed, the blueberry, and the chocolate chip muffin recipes you expect to find in a muffin cookbook, is a nice move. The rest of the chapters include: Fruit, Vegetable, Savory, Coffee Cakes, and Quick Loaf Breads.
Full-color images, technique, tips, and clear instructions will prove helpful to new bakers. The quality of the recipes will leave everyone wishing the 8.25 x 0.6 x 9 inch book was more than 112 pages long (good thing there are a few more Beth books in this list).
I think all these cookbook titles prove something: Muffins deserve more respect. After all, the history of muffins (and other quick breads) is (surprisingly) interesting. Add in all the variations and you’ve got one fab baked good.
Okay, who did I miss? Please, let me know. I’d love to add your favorite quick bread cookbook to the list. Share the title, author, and year (if possible). Feel free to pass along the names of your beloved recipes from them too, since we all look forward to those tried-and-true recipes. You can never have enough recipes, right? Right!
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