- August 3, 2022
- by Amy Gorin, MS, RDN
- 2 Comments
Healthy Coffee Muffins
Want an easy coffee muffin recipe? These healthy coffee cake muffins will be the healthiest coffee muffins you ever eat!
If you’re looking for a delicious breakfast, you’ve come to the right place. These easy coffee cake muffins will fuel your mornings right.
The Greek yogurt coffee cake muffins are made with Greek yogurt, not sour cream, making this coffee muffin recipe perfect for breakfast or dessert. They’re also pretty nutritious: You also won’t find any melted butter or chocolate chips in this muffin batter.
The simple coffee cake muffins will be the best coffee cake muffins you’ve ever tasted.
How these coffee muffins came to be
I have to tell you the story of how these healthy coffee muffins came to be. Every so often, as many of us do, I bleach my teeth. I have the dentist-grade style equipment where you can’t drink anything dark like coffee or tea until you’re finished.
And sometimes the process takes a week or so. Life can be pretty brutal without coffee!
A few years back, I was having the hardest time without caffeine while bleaching my teeth. So I thought, why not add coffee to a baked good?
After all, inspiration tends to strike pretty well under strange circumstances! Thus, this recipe was created, and I’m pretty excited to share this coffee muffin recipe with you here.
When I created this recipe and decided to impulsively bake with coffee I was lacking some typical muffin-making ingredients, like milk. But that didn’t stop me from whipping up these instant coffee muffins.
I experimented in the kitchen and found a way to add plenty of moisture to the muffins with other ingredients, including Greek yogurt (my spice muffins and my yogurt veggie dip are also made with Greek yogurt!) and eggs.
Both of these ingredients add satiating protein to this coffee cake muffin recipe.
I added minimal added sugar to this recipe.
Because of this, it only contains granulated sugar and no brown sugar. There’s also no crumb topping or streusel topping, which also helps cut down on the added sugar content. Plus, you don’t need any baking soda in this recipe.
Now, I think these whole-wheat coffee cake muffins are pretty delicious and make a mean addition to the breakfast table, mid-teeth-whitening adventure or not.
How much caffeine is in a coffee muffin?
I’ve experimented plenty with cooking with coffee, including with my healthy coffee smoothie, and have found that instant coffee works really terrifically in baked goods. That’s what I used in these muffins.
If you’re wondering how much caffeine this recipe packs, a teaspoon of instant coffee offers 31 milligrams caffeine, per the USDA database.
Since this recipe is contains a little over 2 Tablespoons of instant coffee, that means each muffin has about 16 milligrams caffeine.
That’s not quite the amount in the average cup of coffee or shot of espresso, but it’s still something! And I kind of love making caffeinated muffins, as with my matcha green muffins.
You’ll need a few ingredients to make these healthy coffee muffins:
Flour: This recipe uses both all-purpose and whole-wheat flour. If you’re gluten free, you can use all-purpose gluten free flour instead.
Instant coffee: This is what gives these healthy coffee cake muffins their delicious coffee taste––and caffeine boost!
Eggs: These help bind everything together and add protein to the muffins.
Greek yogurt: This is what makes the muffins so moist. It also adds protein.
Vanilla extract: I love cooking with this, which adds sweetness without added sugar.
The health benefits of coffee
In moderation, coffee is a low-calorie treat—it has just 2 calories per 8 ounces. It may also be beneficial to your health. I’ll tell you why!
A large, prospective study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows that drinking coffee may reduce your risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer and the fifth most common cancer in the United States.
When researchers studied 447,357 volunteers, they found that drinking more than 4 cups daily reduced melanoma risk by 20 percent.
Not surprisingly, no benefits were linked with drinking decaffeinated coffee, which contains between 2 and 12 milligrams of caffeine per cup.
Of course, there’s a very small amount of caffeine in each of these healthy coffee cake muffins, but I’m assuming you’re eating it in addition to your daily coffee intake.
The study authors say that many of the compounds that coffee contains, such as caffeine and polyphenols, may play a protective role in skin cancers caused by UVB rays.
Additionally, when coffee is roasted, the process generates a form of vitamin B3 found to help protect against skin cancer caused by UVB rays in animal studies. However, this research is preliminary.
More than four cups of coffee provides a lot of caffeine: Depending on the type and brand, this amount can contain between 108 and 1,387 milligrams caffeine. The upper end is if you buy all your drinks from Starbucks.
This may land well beyond the recommended daily cap of 400 milligrams. Too much caffeine could lead to troubled sleep, increased heart rate or an upset stomach.
But if you have risk factors for melanoma—such as fair skin that freckles or burns easily, red or blond hair, or a family history of melanoma—speak with your doctor about possibly increasing your coffee intake.
For others, maintaining a moderate amount may be helpful enough.
To help you figure out exactly what you can safely drink daily, use this info on how much caffeine is in common coffee drinks:
- 8 ounces instant coffee: 27 to 173 milligrams
- 1 ounce espresso: 47 to 75 milligrams
- 8 ounces latte or mocha: 63 to 175 milligrams
- 8 ounces brewed K-cup: 75 to 150 milligrams
- 8 ounces brewed coffee: 95 to 200 milligrams
- 10 ounces (small) Dunkin’ Donuts coffee: 132 milligrams
- 12 ounces (tall) Starbucks coffee: 260 milligrams
- 1 coffee cake muffin: 16 milligrams
And remember: The most important steps you can take to lower your risk of melanoma and other skin cancers include spending less time in direct sunlight (the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.).
It’s also so important to use a daily sunscreen, notes lead study author Erikka Loftfield, a Yale University doctoral student completing her dissertation research at The National Cancer Institute.
Aim for a broad-spectrum (which protects against both UVA and UVB rays) SPF 30 or higher.
Helpful kitchen tools
These kitchen items will make whipping up healthy coffee cake muffins that much easier.
Making these healthy coffee muffins is pretty easy! You probably already have most or all of the ingredients for these muffins in your kitchen. Go ahead and whip up a batch of the easy coffee cake muffins for breakfast today!
First, preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, ¾ cup sugar, and 2 Tablespoons instant coffee.
In a separate mixing bowl, mix together eggs, yogurt, butter, and vanilla extract, blending thoroughly. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stirring only enough to dampen the dry ingredients.
Coat non-stick muffin tins with spray oil, then spoon batter into muffin tins, filling about three fourths of the way full.
In a small bowl, combine remaining sugar and instant coffee; sprinkle mixture over the top of the muffins. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, and enjoy! This recipe makes 14 muffins.
16 milligrams per muffin
They are not, but you can easily make them gluten free by swapping out the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours for all-purpose gluten-free flour.
If you want to make them even sweeter, top them with drizzle icing. Let the muffins cool to room temperature before icing them.
You can! If you want to make smaller muffins, you can make coffee cake mini muffins by using a mini muffin tin. If you’d like, you can use a muffin tin with paper liners, but it’s not necessary to do so.
Pair one of these coffee cake protein muffins with some plain Greek yogurt and berries for breakfast.
More coffee recipes
If you enjoy these healthy coffee muffins, you’ll also like:
- USDA database
- Coffee Drinking and Cutaneous Melanoma Risk in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, Journal of the National Cancer Institute
- Erikka Loftfield, a Yale University doctoral student completing her dissertation research at The National Cancer Institute
Healthy Coffee Muffins
- 1 cup all-purpose flour or all-purpose gluten-free flour, if needed
- ½ cup whole-wheat flour or all-purpose gluten-free flour, if needed
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- ¾ cup and 1 ½ tbsp sugar, divided
- 2 tbsp and 1 teaspoon instant coffee, divided
- 4 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1¾ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup (8 Tablespoons) vegan butter, softened to room temperature or spreadable butter or light butter alternative
- ¾ tsp vanilla extract
- Spray oil
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, 3/4 cup sugar, and 2 Tablespoons instant coffee.
- In a separate mixing bowl, mix together eggs, yogurt, butter, and vanilla extract, blending thoroughly. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stirring only enough to dampen the dry ingredients. Coat non-stick muffin tins with spray oil, then spoon batter into muffin tins, filling about three fourths of the way full.
- In a small bowl, combine remaining sugar and instant coffee; sprinkle mixture over the top of the muffins.
- Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, and enjoy!
Let me know what you think of these weight loss muffins! I hope you love this easy coffee muffin recipe. Have you ever tried cooking with instant coffee? What did you whip up?
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A little confused by directions in recipe. By following the recipe it appears to include adding 4 tablespoons not the 2 plus 1 teaspoons in the ingredient list.
I reread the article and it says 2 tablespoons plus the extra. Maybe that could be clarified. Other than that they sound pretty tasty.
Hi Michael, thank you so very much for catching that! I have updated the instructions to reflect 2 Tbsp.