Savoury Cheese and Onion Muffins Recipe

Looking for the best Cheese and Onion Muffins recipe?

You can prepare our quick & easy Cheese and Onion Muffins at home in less than one hour.

Cheese and Onion Muffins are a perfect savoury breakfast or on the go snack. Serve slathered with sweet butter or cream cheese with a bowl of soup or salad.

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Muffin History

A muffin is an individual-sized, baked product most commonly associated with morning mealtime. It’s one of the most popular on-the-go breakfasts that can easily be made ahead and stored in the freezer to enjoy later.

Muffins can refer to two distinct baked goods, a part-raised unsweetened flatbread that is baked and then cooked on a griddle, and a cupcake-like sweet or savoury quickbread that is leavened with baking powder and baked in a mold.

While the most common quickbread muffins are sweetened (such as lemon blueberry muffins, mincemeat muffins and morning glory muffins), there are also savoury varieties such as jalapeno cheddar cornbread muffins and cheddar apple muffins.

The flatbread “English Muffin” variety is of British origin, and dates from at least the early 18th century, while the quickbread originated in Canada and America during the 19th century.

One 19th century source suggests that muffins may be related to the Greek bread maphula, a cake baked on a hearth or griddle. Culinary historians also look to the Old French mou-pain, meaning soft bread, which may have been corrupted into “mouffin.”

The word is first found in print in 1703, spelled moofin; it is of uncertain origin but possibly derived from the Low German Muffen, the plural of Muffe meaning a small cake. The expression muffin-man, meaning a street seller of muffins, is attested in a 1754 poem, which includes the line: “Hark! the shrill Muffin-Man his Carol plies…”

One of Canada’s top selling cookbooks of the 1980s was Muffin Mania, which helped popularize muffin making from Newfoundland to British Columbia. Homemade muffins were originally prepared as a healthy breakfast option, high-fibre mid-afternoon snack or low calorie dessert.

In 1997, muffins were popularized once again in Seinfeld’s now famous “The Muffin Tops,” episode. Like many muffin lovers, Elaine shared her love for only eating muffin tops. She hilariously talks about the fact that muffin stumps are not worthy of consumption as they don’t have the desirable crunchy texture. She shares the idea of opening a store that sells just muffin tops with her ex-boss and is outraged when he steals her idea.

When he offers her 30% of the profits to help his struggling business, they initially give the unused stumps to a homeless shelter. But after they get complaints about the missing muffin tops by a charity worker, they have to get rid of them elsewhere. Newman eventually takes the muffin stumps off their hands, smiling with glee!

Best Muffin Tools & Equipment.
Best Muffin Tools & Equipment.

Best Muffin Tools & Equipment

Before making a batch of Cheese and Onion Muffins make sure your kitchen is outfitted with essential bakers tools.

  • Mixing Bowl Set: It’s important to have a set of durable mixing bowls. We love stainless steel mixing bowls with a good grip. When making muffins you’ll typically need a large mixing bowl to sift your dry ingredients into, and a medium or small mixing bowl to beat your wet ingredients.
  • Measuring Cups: Ensure you have a set of measuring cups with a flat top rather than a spout, so you can easily use a knife to level off your dry ingredients like flour and sugar.
  • Measuring Spoons: We love these durable stainless steel measuring spoons that will help you accurately measure spices, baking soda and baking powder.
  • Whisk: This stainless steel whisk has a great grip and is helpful when beating eggs into other wet ingredients.
  • Sieve: It’s essential to have this tool in your kitchen so you can ensure all your dry ingredients are separated and don’t clump in the wet batter.
  • Bakers Scale: Use this digital scale to weigh flour and other ingredients that require a weight measurement.
  • Spatula: We love this rubber spatula as it also acts as a spoon so you can easily drop batter into each greased muffin cup.
  • Muffin Tins: We only use silicone muffin tins as they allow you to easily remove baked muffins from the tin with minimal baking spray required.
  • Baking Spray: Ensure your cupboards are stocked with baking spray so your muffins don’t get stubborn and refuse to slide out of the pan.
  • Cooling Rack: A sturdy cooling rack is a must to ensure your muffins cool without falling apart or getting soggy. They need breathing space to let out the steam before storing.
  • Storage Containers: We love doubling our muffin recipes so we have leftovers to store in the fridge or freezer to enjoy later.
Ingredients you'll need to make our Cheese and Onion Muffins recipe.
Ingredients you’ll need to make our Cheese and Onion Muffins recipe.

My Family Loves Cheese and Onion Muffins

One of my fondest memories growing up as a kid was waking up in the morning at our family cottage in Muskoka and smelling freshly baked muffins.

My family’s two favourite recipes were Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins and Lemon Blueberry Muffins. In the summer we’d forage for wild blueberries and incorporate them into out favourite baked goods. My sister was the family blueberry fan while I was mostly obsessed with the marriage of banana and chocolate.

My family is obsessed with the classic cheese and onion pairing. We love incorporating caramelized onions into pasta sauces like Mac & Cheese and our favourite savoury pastry entree is an Old School Cheese and Onion Pie.

In this muffin recipe we’ve flavoured the batter with onion powder, garlic powder, caramelized onions, parmesan and cheddar cheese. We top the muffins with a sprinkle of shredded parmesan cheese, which browns and gets crispy while baking in the oven.

Love baking for your family? Check out our best healthy muffins for kids list!

Combine dry ingredients, wet ingredients, shredded cheese and caramelized onions.
Combine dry ingredients, wet ingredients, shredded cheese and caramelized onions.

Buying VS Making Homemade Muffins

Today, muffins are often sold at grocery stores, McDonald’s cafes and coffee shops like Starbucks and Tim Horton’s. Unfortunately most commercially prepared muffins are simply cupcakes without the icing.

Read the ingredients list and you’ll find store bought muffins are full of sugar, fat and “flavourings” rather than real fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs. The excessive sugar, salt, fat and additives in commercial muffin recipes allow the grocery stores and coffee shops to extend the shelf life so they don’t go stale as quickly as a homemade muffin would.

The best way to enjoy healthy muffins is by preparing them at home, allowing you to control the proportion of ingredients. We suggest eating muffins fresh the day they are prepared. If you have any leftovers muffins pack 3-4 in a ziplock bag in your fridge and simply warm them up the next day in the oven. You can use a microwave to reheat muffins but they won’t produce the desired crunchy texture.

Any remaining Cheese and Onion Muffins should be stored in the freezer and can keep for 2-3 months. We like to double our muffin recipes when we prepare them so we have a storage of yummy muffins in the freezer that we can easily enjoy several weeks later.

Sprinkle shredded parmesan on top of Cheese and Onion Muffins before baking in the oven.
Sprinkle shredded parmesan on top of Cheese and Onion Muffins before baking in the oven.

Homemade Cheese and Onion Muffins Recipe

There’s no better comfort food than a steaming, moist Cheese and Onion Loaf, sliced and served with melted butter or cream cheese.

We prefer to prepare homemade Cheese and Onion Muffins as they are small individual portions. Homemade muffins can be easily stored in the freezer to extend their shelf life and are a great on-the-go breakfast snack.

So what qualities make the best Cheese and Onion Muffins? The perfect muffin must be crunchy on the outside, well leavened so the muffin cap holds its shape and doesn’t shrink when cooled and feature a moist and light interior.

Looking to prepare easy Cheese and Onion Muffins? Baking is a science so you can’t just lower a muffin recipe’s fat and sugar content or you will bite into a chewy, hard and unappetizing product.

Remove Cheese and Onion Muffins from the oven once they have browned and the parmesan topping is crispy.
Remove Cheese and Onion Muffins from the oven once they have browned and the parmesan topping is crispy.

Cheese and Onion Muffins Tips

If you’re looking to prepare Cheese and Onion Muffins on a whim and are missing a few ingredients at home don’t worry!

You can easily substitute whole wheat flour if you don’t have All Purpose. Or use buttermilk if you don’t have access to regular milk.

We prefer to make caramelized onions with the sweet vidalia variety. You can substitute for Spanish cooking onions, red onions or shallots.

We’ve incorporated cheddar and parmesan cheeses in our muffin batter but you could substitute for another shredded cheese like havarti, gouda, manchego or gruyere. During the holiday season we like to incorporate crumbled blue cheese into the batter and topping for an extra special treat.

The one tip I give all muffin making beginners is to avoid over-mixing the batter. Light and fluffy muffins are made by reducing the amount of gluten in the batter. If you whip muffin batter with a beater the final product will be as hard as a hockey puck.

For best results, form a well in the dry ingredients and pour your wet ingredients inside. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. The finished batter should be fully incorporated, so be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl so you don’t find unmixed flour. The most important rule to muffin making: when mixing, less is more!

Cheese and Onion Muffins are an easy on the go breakfast or afternoon snack.
Cheese and Onion Muffins are an easy on the go breakfast or afternoon snack.

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Serve Cheese and Onion Muffins slathered in butter or cream cheese.
Serve Cheese and Onion Muffins slathered in butter or cream cheese.

Best Cheese and Onion Muffins Recipe

Print Recipe
3.84 from 6 votes

Cheese and Onion Muffins

Looking for the best Cheese and Onion Muffins? Our quick & easy savoury muffin recipe features cheddar, parmesan and caramelized onions.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American, canadian
Keyword: Cheese and Onion Muffins, cheese muffins, Onion Muffins, Savoury Muffins
Servings: 10
Calories: 237kcal


  • muffin tin
  • oven
  • Mixing bowls
  • cheese grater
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • spatula


  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 cup Vidalia Onion chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp White sugar
  • 1 tbsp Onion powder
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 cup Canola oil
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese grated
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated


  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • In a non-stick skillet over medium heat stir butter and chopped onion. Sauté for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned.
  • In a large mixing bowl mix all dry ingredients together and stir in cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup of parmesan.
  • Beat egg, milk, oil and caramelized onions into a separate bowl and add to dry ingredients. Fold gently until just combined.
  • Spoon Cheese and Onion Muffins into well-greased cups. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with remaining 1/2 cup parmesan cheese then bake for 15-20 minutes.


Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 19.5g | Protein: 9.3g | Fat: 13.7g | Saturated Fat: 5.4g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 234mg | Potassium: 234mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 3.2g | Calcium: 286mg | Iron: 1mg

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