Move over blueberry muffins, these Parmesan Cheese Muffins are here to stay! They are cheesy, buttery and so soft! Perfect as a grab and go breakfast, snack or even as a side dish to stew or soup.

A pile of parmesan cheese muffins.

When we were in Brazil earlier last year, I went out to shop for cookbooks – as I often do when I’m there – and decided to grab a coffee and a treat at the bookstore’s Starbucks. 

Now, I’m a fan of Starbucks regardless, but I gotta say I love their menu down there. Pão de queijo, dulce de leche everything (pastries, lattes, frappucinos), croque monsieur, coxinhas, empanadas and – yours truly – parmesan muffins! 

As I gazed in awe at all the delicious options, my dad recommended the parmesan cheese muffins, so we went for it. After all, who could say no to parmesan?

Holy cow, you guys! After I took the first bite, I looked at Tim – who just a few seconds earlier was acting a little grumpy because of the fact that we were visiting an American chain coffee store in a foreign country instead of some trendy local place – and he was having the same reaction. Pure bliss! How can something sold at Starbucks be that life changing?

Well, we eventually had to come back to the U.S. and to Starbuck’s American cheese muffin-less menu. And so I was forced to create my version!

I’m so glad I did. They are very easy to make and even better than the ones we had in Brazil! Trust me, one bite and you will never look at sweet muffins the same way again.

A tin of parmesan muffins

How to make Parmesan Cheese Muffins

Despite their name, these muffins are more bread than muffins. But don’t worry, no kneading is required!

The recipe starts with active dry yeast that needs to be dissolved in warm milk before being mixed with the remaining ingredients. Once it’s all bubbly and smelling… well, yeast-y, all you gotta do is whisk everything together in a bowl. No need to dust off the mixer, a whisk or a wooden spoon is all you need!

The batter is then poured into a muffin tin, covered and left to rise for one hour. I know, I know. That is a nuisance and you want to eat your muffins NOW. But I told you those were bread-y, didn’t I? Besides, it will be worth it, you’ll see.

A few tips:

  • Grate your own cheese! Always! Not only it tastes better, but it melts more smoothly. Some pre-grated cheese might contain starch to keep the shreds from clumping together in the bag and that means that they don’t melt together as well when cooking.
  • Avoid overmixing the batter. Once you mix the dry with the wet ingredients, stir just enough to be cohesive. Overmixing will lead to a harder texture!
  • Don’t fill the muffin tins all the way to the top. The dough will rise quite a bit, so make sure to leave some space for them to grow.
  • Grease that pan (or use muffin liners)! Otherwise, you might have trouble getting the cheese muffins out. 
  • Transfer the baked muffins from the tin to a wire rack to cool. Leaving them to cool in the pan can result in soggy muffins.

Ingredients for parmesan savory muffins

What ingredients do I need to make parmesan muffins?

You don’t need a whole lot to make these. And chances are you already have most of the ingredients in your fridge/pantry!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Parmesan cheese – freshly grated, pretty please!
  • Instant yeast
  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • An egg
  • Butter
  • Seasonings: salt, pepper, oregano and thyme.

And while these muffins are out of this world as is, you can easily customize them with some fun add-ins. You can add bacon, diced pepperoni, olives, jalapeños, dried tomatoes, change the herbs I used and even use other kinds of cheese!

A tin of parmesan muffins before going to the oven.

How long do savory muffins last?

These parmesan cheese muffins will stay fresh at room temperature for about 2 to 3 days. Make sure to let them cool completely before storing in a sealable container, or the excess heat can cause condensation, resulting in soggy muffins.

A good tip to extend their freshness is to line the container or bag with a sheet of paper towel, add the muffins and cover them with another sheet of paper towel before sealing with the lid. That way, if they release any moisture, it get be absorbed by the paper towels.

Can I freeze cheese muffins?

If you’re not planning on eating your muffins within the next 3-4 days – or if it’s too hot where you live – I recommend freezing them.

They freeze well in an airtight container or freezer bag, and will last 2-3 months. When ready to eat, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator and gently warm in the oven.

Oh, I can’t wait to make them again!

A close up of the inside of a parmesan cheese muffin

I don’t say this lightly: I’m seriously obsessed with these parmesan muffins! They go great with a cup of coffee but also as an accompaniment to any meal.

And while they can be enjoyed at room temperature, there are few things as satisfying as biting into one of those while they are still warm!

A close up of a parmesan muffin

Parmesan Cheese Muffins

Yield: 6 jumbo or 12 regular muffins
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Move over blueberry muffins, these Parmesan Cheese Muffins are here to stay! They are cheesy, buttery and so soft! Perfect as a grab and go breakfast, snack or even as a side dish to stew or soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm milk (see notes)
  • 1 packet (1/4 ounce or 10 grams) instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 7 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the warm milk, sugar and yeast. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, combine the flour, parmesan, salt, pepper and herbs in a large bowl. Reserve.
  3. When the yeast is bubbly and smelling like beer, add the egg and melted butter and whisk until well combined.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and stir or whisk until smooth. Do not overmix.
  5. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray or grease with oil. Pour the batter into the muffin tray, being careful not to fill it all the way to the top. You can sprinkle the muffins with extra parmesan and herbs, if desired.
  6. Cover the tray and let the dough rise for 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Once dough has risen, bake the muffins for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let them cool slightly. Then, remove the muffins from the tray to a cooling rack so they can cool more.
  9. Serve warm!

Notes

  1. The water temperature should be between 105 and 110 degrees F. Water below 70°F may not be warm enough to activate the yeast. Water that's too hot (about 120 degrees F) can damage or kill the yeast. While a thermometer is an useful tool to have, you can find out the water's temperature by touching it: it should feel comfortably warm and not at all hot.
  2. Read post for storing and freezing suggestions.

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A collage of parmesan muffins photos