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Tea Muffins

These Tea Muffins are very simple, mildly sweet, vanilla-scented muffins perfect for breakfast, afternoon tea time, or after dinner. Enjoy them with lots of butter and preserves. Six simple pantry ingredients and less than 15 minutes of your time are all you’ll need.

Tea muffins piled high on a serving plate with a pot of tea in the background.

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This may not make sense to some of you, but I don’t usually like my sweets to be overly sweet. I almost always want a bite or two of dessert after dinner, but I prefer for it to be just slightly sweet.

Like these little Tea Muffins. The whole batch of 18 mini muffins has just two tablespoons of sugar in it. I haven’t figured out the math, but that’s just a “dab” per muffin. To me, they’re just the right amount of sweet.

They’re really quick to make with no need for a mixer. A whisk and a bowl are all you’ll need to make these bite-sized muffins to serve with tea or coffee.

Personally, I enjoy these best with just a little butter and a cup of creamy coffee. They’re also very good with a tiny bit of preserves. Strawberry and peach are my favorites.

❤️ Why We Love This Recipe


  • It uses just six ingredients.
  • Takes less than 15 minutes of hands-on time.
  • It’s the perfect “little bite” to satisfy a sweet tooth.

🛒 Ingredient Notes


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  • Self-Rising Flour – In the south, we’re fortunate to have White Lily brand flour. It’s made from soft winter wheat and gives baked goods a distinctively tender texture.
  • Sugar – You’ll need just a little white granulated sugar.
  • Canola Oil – Any brand you like will work. The oil makes the muffins nice and moist.
  • Milk – Regular milk works better than reduced fat in this recipe.
  • Egg – Just one is all you need.
  • Vanilla Extract – Use a good quality vanilla for the best flavor.

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🥄 How To Make Tea Muffins


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray 18 mini-muffin cups with cooking spray and set aside.
A yellow mixing bowl containing dry ingredients and a whisk.
STEP 2.
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar.
Measuring cup containing wet ingredients for the recipes.
  1. Measure the oil and milk together in a measuring cup. It’s much more convenient than measuring them individually! They’re both going into the dry ingredients anyway, so why not.
Pouring wet ingredients into dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
STEP 4.
  1. Add the milk and oil slowly to the dry ingredients. Whisk the wet ingredients and dry ingredients gently to combine.
Whisking an egg and the vanilla into the muffin mixture.
STEP 5.
  1. Beat in the egg and vanilla just until combined.

👉 PRO TIP: Don’t overmix or you’ll make the batter a bit tough. And speaking of the batter, this one will be thin. About as thin as crepe batter, believe it or not.

Mini muffin tins filled with batter.
STEP 6.
  1. Fill the prepared mini muffin tins with the batter. You can fill them pretty full. The batter won’t run out as it bakes.
Mini muffin tins with baked muffins.
STEP 7.
  1. Bake for 6-7 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Watch carefully as you don’t want to overbake these. They’ll become dry if you do!
  2. Let the muffins cool in the tins for about 5 minutes. Turn them out and cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Serve with butter and/or preserves.
Tea muffins piled high on a serving plate with a pot of tea in the background.

🤔 What if I don’t have self-rising flour?


No problem, just make your own. For each cup of self-rising flour, mix 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon fine (table) salt, plus 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder. Mix well.

❓ Should I sift the flour?


Modern commercial flours are very refined and clump-free. There’s really no need to sift them, but you can if you like.

🍚 How do I store tea muffins?


These muffins will keep at room temperature for about 4-5 days in a tightly sealed container. To freeze, place completely cooled muffins in an airtight, freezer container and store for up to 4 months. Thaw and enjoy.

Lana Stuart.

More Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

📖 Recipe

Tea muffins piled high on a serving plate with a pot of tea in the background.

Tea Muffins

You'll need only six ingredients and less than 15 minutes to make these bite-sized vanilla-scented Tea Muffins. Serve them plain or with butter and jam.
4.75 from 4 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Breads
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 18 mini muffins
Calories: 66kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Spray 18 mini-muffin cups with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar.
  • Measure the oil and milk together in a measuring cup. Add slowly to the dry ingredients, whisking gently to combine. Beat in the egg and vanilla just until combined. Don’t overmix. Batter will be thin.
  • Fill mini muffin tins with the batter. Bake for 6-7 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  • Let the muffins cool in the tins for about 5 minutes. Turn them out and cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Serve with butter and/or preserves.

Notes

  • No self-rising flour? Make your own. For each cup of self-rising flour, mix 1 cup of all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon fine (table) salt, and 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder. Mix well.
  • These muffins will keep at room temperature for about 4-5 days in a tightly sealed container. To freeze, place completely cooled muffins in an airtight, freezer container and store for up to 4 months. Thaw and enjoy.

Nutrition Information

Serving 1 | Calories 66kcal | Carbohydrates 7g | Protein 1g | Fat 4g | Saturated Fat 1g | Trans Fat 1g | Cholesterol 10mg | Sodium 7mg | Potassium 19mg | Fiber 1g | Sugar 2g | Vitamin A 24IU | Calcium 10mg | Iron 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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— This post was originally published on April 12, 2016. It has been updated with additional information.

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14 Comments

  1. Could you substitute a different oil instead of canola oil?

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      You could try any mildly flavored oil (corn oil, vegetable oil) or melted butter.

  2. Princess tea time sounds like a lovely idea. These beautifully formed teeny tea muffins would be perfect.

    Miss P

  3. I plan to try those for my next lazy afternoon. Like, maybe, 2020…. In the meantime, I can dream about them.

    Miss P

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      You need to schedule a lazy afternoon for yourself. For real!

  4. Dianne Evans says:

    This recipe for Tea Muffins is the exact recipe that I served at Horseshoe Plantation in the 1970’s and I published in my cookbook Bobwhite Quail & Buttermilk Biscuits in 1984. Did you see the recipe in my cookbook? Mine (same recipe) makes 24 little muffins. I didn’t add vanilla and since they’re not sweet, I also served them for lunch with soup. Dianne

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Hi Dianne. Yes, this is an old recipe that I’ve had in my files since at least the 70’s. Many of my friends used to make them for showers and parties back then. They are just sweet enough to me to call them a dessert muffin. I wouldn’t think of these as savory at all but some folks might.

      1. Dianne Evans says:

        They are more of a “bread” type if you leave out the vanilla. That’s how I made them and still do as a little side bread. Since you’ve had your recipe since the 1970’s and we’re from the same area….we probably got it from the same source!!!! I don’t know where I originally got mine either…I just know it really comes in handy when you want a little “bread”. People really love it!!!

      2. Dianne Evans says:

        I tried to respond to your e-mail about Horseshoe Plantation and my cookbooks but it was rejected and e-mail didn’t go through. Dianne

      3. Dianne Evans says:

        Those ’70’s recipes were the best, weren’t they! Love your recipes!!!!

    2. This is a basic muffin recipe. I have an almost identical recipe in my 70’s Betty Crocker cookbook. It just calls for a little bit more sugar. They are really good.

      1. Lana Stuart says:

        Yes, Oma, it is a great basic muffin recipe. So good with coffee or tea and just a bit of soft butter on the muffin!

  5. Love those cute little muffins, Lana. Thank you.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      You’re welcome, Liz. Enjoy the recipe!