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Store-bought box mixes make it easy to bake up a batch of muffins, but the flavor can sometimes be a little underwhelming. Luckily, there are lots of easy ways to upgrade your box muffin mix! For a blast of fruit flavor, stir your favorite fresh or frozen berries into the batter. If you want to add a little crunch or texture to your muffins, try stirring in chopped nuts or toasted coconut flakes. You can also play around with flavors by incorporating vanilla extract, cinnamon, pumpkin purée, and so much more!

Adding Fruit to the Batter

  1. 1

    Incorporate fresh or frozen berries for a healthy burst of flavor.

    If you love the flavor of berries, consider adding fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries to the batter. If you use strawberries, be sure to cut them into smaller pieces before adding them. You can also replace fake or dried fruit in the original mix with delicious fresh fruit.


    • For example, many blueberry muffin box mixes have fake blueberry bits or tiny dried berries in them. Pick out the original fruit bits from the powdered mix and replace them with a handful of frozen or fresh berries.
    • Add berries to plain bran muffins or to fruit-flavored muffins.
  2. 2

    Upgrade the batter with a handful of diced fruits for a fresh taste.

    Fresh peaches, strawberries, apples, pears, and bananas are great options, but you can experiment with any of your favorite fresh fruits or use whatever is in season. Dice them into blueberry-sized pieces before you add the fruit to the batter.


    • Diced canned pineapple and sliced cherries can add a refreshing tropical flavor to your muffins.
    • Oranges, grapefruits, and grapes might not be the best options because they don’t mix well with batters or bake favorably.
    • Diced fruit works best in plain muffin mixes or mixes that already have a fruity flavor.
  3. 3

    Toss a handful of dried fruit into the batter for a chewy texture.

    Dried cranberries, tart cherries, and sweet mango are an excellent addition and add a nice texture to any muffin. If you don’t have anything else on hand, even a handful of plump raisins can elevate your muffin mix to the next level.


    • Try this with oat bran muffin mix or intensify the fruit flavor of classic blueberry muffins.
  4. 4

    Stir in banana or pumpkin purée to add flavor and density.

    If you like your muffins dense and hearty, a fruit purée is a great additive. Try adding 1 mashed banana or a spoonful of pumpkin purée to the batter and mixing it in thoroughly.


    • If you’re feeling adventurous, you could also experiment with carrot or sweet potato purée!
    • You can add a banana to almost any muffin mix that you want with good results. If you’re adding pumpkin, it’s probably best to start with plain muffin mix.
  5. 5

    Update a plain muffin mix with lemon zest for a bright citrus flavor.

    To create a classic lemon poppy seed muffin, zest 2 lemons and add the zest to the batter. Then, stir in 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of poppy seeds to create a satisfying crunch. Spoon or pour the batter into the muffin tins and bake the muffins according to the package instructions.


    • This works best for muffin mixes that don’t already have a strong flavor, like a plain or bran muffin mix.

Incorporating Ingredients to Change the Texture

  1. 1

    Add a spoonful of chopped nuts to the batter for a crunchy texture.

    Chopped walnuts, pecans, and almonds are all great options for this. Not only will they contribute flavor and texture, but they will also add healthy fats to the mix. Simply stir the nuts into the batter and enjoy!


    • For a little more crunch, sprinkle the top of unbaked muffins with a layer of nuts before popping them in the oven.
    • For a sweeter treat, use candied nuts.[7]
    • Chopped nuts are a great addition to any muffin flavor!
  2. 2

    Stir in a spoonful of hemp seeds, flax meal, or chia seeds for a healthy option.

    Hemp seeds and flax meal have a slightly nutty flavor and will provide a nice texture. Chia seeds are mostly flavorless but they can impart a hearty denseness and texture. Best of all, these additives are extremely healthy.


    • Chia seeds absorb a lot of liquid. If your batter feels a bit thick after you mix it up, add a splash of whatever liquid your recipe calls for.
    • The nuttiness will work great with almost any muffin mix flavor you have on hand.
  3. 3

    Incorporate toasted coconut for a rich, flavorful texture.

    Stir a spoonful of the toasted coconut into the batter itself. Then, after you pour the batter into the muffin tin, sprinkle a little more of the toasted coconut on top of each muffin.


    • The extra on top will provide a satisfying crunch after you take the muffins out of the oven.
    • Try adding toasted coconut to fruity muffin mixes, like raspberry or strawberry muffins. It also works great in sweeter muffins, like chocolate chip muffins.
    • Toasted coconut goes great with other tropical additions like diced pineapple, dried mango, and cherries!
  4. 4

    Add a handful chocolate chips for a gooey, decadent muffin.

    If you don’t have milk chocolate chips, try chopping up your favorite chocolate bar instead. The melted milk chocolate will add a burst of flavor and create a chewy, gooey texture that’s hard to resist!


    • You can also try sprinkling M&Ms on top of the muffins right before you pop them in the oven.
    • Feel free to experiment with a variety of flavors. For example, try adding peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, or dark chocolate chips to the batter.
  5. 5

    Use coconut or almond milk instead of water for moist muffins.

    Most box muffin mixes call for water to create the batter. If you want a richer flavor and moist texture, swap out the water for the same amount of something richer, like coconut, almond, or soy milk.


    • You can try this with any muffin mix flavor to add moisture.
  6. 6

    Whip up a streusel topping to create a sweet, crunchy topping.

    Stir together 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of butter, 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of flour, and 1 tablespoon (15 grams) brown sugar in a small bowl until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Aim for a gritty, sand-like consistency. Then, pour the prepared batter into the muffin tins and sprinkle the streusel on top before you pop the muffins in the oven.


    • A streusel topping is a great addition to any muffin flavor.

Experimenting with Spices and Other Flavors

  1. 1

    Upgrade any muffin recipe with cream cheese for a rich, decadent twist.

    Mix the muffin batter and spoon or pour it into the muffin tins. Then, remove the cream cheese from the fridge and dice it into


    inch (0.64 cm) piece while it’s still cold. Add a spoonful of diced cream cheese on top of each muffin cup and bake the muffins according the the recipe instructions.


    • The cream cheese will sink into the batter while the muffins are baking.
  2. 2

    Add 1 teaspoon (4.9 ml) of vanilla extract to enhance the flavor.

    Vanilla extract imparts its own lovely flavor to the muffin batter, but it also enhances the flavor of the other ingredients. You can also try out other extract flavors, like almond and lemon, to create different flavor profiles.


    • For example, add 1 teaspoon (4.9 ml) of lemon extract and 1 teaspoon (4.2 grams) of poppy seeds to your batter to whip up a classic batch of lemon poppy seed muffins.
  3. 3

    Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, or cocoa powder for rich, flavorful muffins.

    Use 1 teaspoon (4.2 grams) of your chosen spice. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cocoa powder are delicious options, but they are hardly the only ones! Allspice and pumpkin pie spice are also excellent. Raid your spice cabinet to see what else you have and experiment until you find the perfect spice or spice blend.


    • For example, spice up banana muffins with cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg. Toss in a handful of walnuts for good measure!
    • Upgrade a basic muffin mix with cinnamon and vanilla.
    • Enrich pumpkin muffins with pumpkin pie spice and chopped pecans.
  4. 4

    Use brown sugar instead of white sugar for a sweeter, richer flavor.

    If you’re making muffins from scratch, cut the granulated white sugar from the recipe and use the same amount of brown sugar instead. Brown sugar is a little sweeter and imparts a rich, maple-like flavor to the muffins.


    • You can also sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar on top of the muffins before popping them in the oven to add a little crunchy sweetness.
  5. 5

    Glaze the top of your muffins with cake frosting for an extra sweet treat. If you love rich baked goods, try topping just-baked muffins with your favorite canned cake frosting. For example, if you made chocolate muffins, spread a German chocolate frosting on top. Take lemon poppy seed muffins to the next level with a glaze of lemon icing. The possibilities are endless!

Community Q&A

Add New Question
  • Question

    Can I add chopped fresh strawberries to either bran or oatmeal muffin mix?

    wikiHow Staff Editor

    Staff Answer

    Yes, you definitely can! Those flavors would pair nicely. Be sure to cut the strawberries into small pieces before adding them, though!

  • Question

    What can I substitute for nuts in a recipe (I have a nut allergy)?

    wikiHow Staff Editor

    Staff Answer

    Hemp seeds and flax meal have nutty flavors — you could try one of those (as long as you’re not allergic to them).

  • Question

    Do I need to soak dates before adding them to muffin mixes?

    I soak all dried fruit — raisins and apricots as well as dates. Everyone seems to like it better.

  • Question

    Can I add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder as well as chocolate chips to a box banana bread mix

    Yes. It will be pretty rich, but if you like it that way, it will be fine.

  • Question

    Can bananas be added to muffin mixes?

    Absolutely. Overripe ones are perfect.

  • Question

    Can I use applesauce instead of oil in muffin mix?

    Yes, you can. It gives the same amount of moisture and has less calories, and does not affect the taste.

  • Question

    What can I add to the mix so it doesn’t become too moist?

    I like to add oats, but in a pinch have also added whatever boxed cereal I have on hand. For bigger cereals, like Cheerios, you may need to crush the cereal a bit first.

  • Question

    Can I add sour cream to store muffin mixes?

    Yes, but if you are using it to replace the required liquid, you may need more than the amount originally called for. Consider adding a tiny bit of sweet to offset the tang, like fresh fruit or a touch of honey.

  • Question

    Can I use orange juice in muffin mix (cranberry-orange)?

    Yes. You can substitute orange juice for any water or milk needed. A zest of orange will give it even more fresh flavor.

  • Question

    Can I substitute butter for oil in the banana bread mix?

    I always substitute butter for oil in muffin and cake mixes, so it should be fine! Try unsalted butter.

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Unanswered Questions

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  • If the recipe calls for water, use club soda or carbonated water instead. It will make the muffins lighter, and less dense.

Thanks for submitting a tip for review!


  • Watch for allergy warnings on the package. Keep in mind that all packaged mixes have soy products (e.g. oil and protein) which may trigger a reaction from allergic people.

About This Article

Article SummaryX

If you want to improve your store-bought muffin mix, try stirring in some fresh or frozen fruit or adding chopped nuts or chocolate chips. To add fruit to your muffins, toss a handful of berries, chopped strawberries, or diced apples into the batter. You can also mix a handful of dried fruit, such as raisins, dried cranberries, tart cherries, or sweet mangos, into the muffin batter. For a more dense muffin, add 1 mashed banana or a spoonful of pumpkin puree to the mixture. In order to add a crunch to your muffins, try stirring in a spoonful of chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds. You can also try stirring in a spoonful of hemp seeds, flax meal, or chia seeds for a healthier option. For a sweeter treat, try putting some chocolate chips into your mixture. To learn how to experiment with adding spices to your muffin mixes, keep reading!

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