Make It Monday: Easy “Formula” to Making Amazing Muffins Every Time

ready to eat
A mound of 18 scratch muffins–they were gone by the end of the day!

As I mentioned in last week’s post about what I learned from Amy Dacyczyn, I learned to save and savor just about every leftover or spoonful of something left in a jar or bottle by cooking or baking it into another form. One of the staple recipes I learned from The Tightwad Gazette was on how to make the “Morning Muffin.” What I love about Amy’s recipes is that they aren’t really recipes. They are more like “formulas.” You don’t have to painfully measure or use the perfect ingredient in order for the recipe to work out well. You can “make do” with what you have, as I always do. My husband usually devours any muffin I make, the kids are way more picky but they LOVED the batch I made that are shown here. I think it was because I added more sweetener than I usually do, and the muffins were nice and moist because of a little bit of leftover jam and apple sauce I added in. Little bits here and there truly make a difference in how something tastes or bakes!

I am going to first post the formula which I use from The Tightwad Gazette, then the ingredients I used today while following the formula. Hope that makes sense 🙂


Amy D. basic muffin formula
…a page from The Tightwad Gazette.

If you can’t clearly read the image of the page in the book, here’s Amy D.’s formula:

  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups grain (flour, cooked or uncooked oatmeal)
  • 1 cup milk (or replace a tiny bit of milk with another liquid like fruit juice)
  • Up to 1/4 cup fat (oil, butter)
  • 1 egg
  • Up to 1/2 cup sweetener (sugar, honey)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (a tiny bit more if you have oatmeal in the batch)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Up to 1 and 1/2 cup additions (seeds, nuts, coconut, chocolate bits, fruit, etc.–but if using liquid-y fruits, adjust the milk addition above)

Ingredients I used for this batch:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour + 1/2 cup of uncooked oatmeal
  • almost 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder (since I have oats in batch)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • handfuls of flaked coconut and shelled sunflower seeds + unmeasured leftover apple sauce and probably 1 tablespoon of leftover strawberry jam
  • NOTE: you don’t HAVE to make sweet muffins. You can make them with vegetables using the same exact formula, but omitting the sugar if you prefer unsweetened zucchini muffins, for example.


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Mix dry ingredients in large bowl and use fork to adequately combine.
  • Mix wet ingredients separately, then add in to dry ingredients.
  • If the mix is too “wet” or loose, add more grain. If too dry, add tiny bit more liquid.
  • Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray.
  • Fill each individual muffin tin 3/4 way.
  • Optional: Top each muffin with any addition (cinnamon sugar, coconut, etc.)
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until done and let cool before removing from tins.


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Tune in every Monday for a new basic recipe to start your own cookbook. Stay tuned for next week’s Make It Monday recipe from Aimee!!

~Marilyn, TFF