Bakery-Style Almond Muffins

These Bakery-Style Almond Muffins are light and tender, with a sweet amaretto glaze and crunchy almond topping.  They are so delicious, you’ll forget all about buying them at the coffee shop.

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Platter of Bakery-style Almond muffins with an amaretto syrup glaze and sliced almonds on top.

Homemade muffins feel so luxurious on a weekend morning.  They’re ready in less than an hour.  Baking makes your home smell incredible.  And what could be better than a hot muffin, steaming coffee, and the Sunday crossword puzzle?

Ever since we’ve gone through quarantine, I’ve enjoyed making breakfast sweets like Easy Cinnamon Rolls, Banana Bread Waffles, Pumpkin Spice Donuts, or Fruit And Nut Oatmeal Scones.

I’ve found myself dreaming up recipes to try and since almond is one of my favorite flavors, muffins seemed like the perfect choice.

These muffins have layers of almond flavor.  The moist, tender muffin has a hefty amount of almond flavoring baked in.  Then they’re topped with sliced almonds for more flavor and lots of crunch.  And finally, just to go way over the top, the baked muffins are slathered a couple of times with amaretto syrup.  I can’t think of a way to get more almond flavor into the muffins, but if I do, I’ll let you know.


For the amaretto syrup, you’ll need:

  • Water
  • Superfine sugar – you can use regular granulated sugar, you’ll have to stir it a bit longer to get it to dissolve completely.
  • Vanilla bean – You can use vanilla extract, but the flavor won’t be as pronounced.  Stir the extract into the syrup after you boil and reduce t.
  • Amaretto or almond liqueur – This adds sweetness and a ton of almond flavor.  You could use almond extract in a pinch.  The alcohol from the liqueur burns off when you reduce the syrup.

For the muffins:

  • Flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Buttermilk – this adds a great tang to the muffins and helps them rise even higher, but any milk will work.
  • Almond extract – this is the flavor bomb in the muffins.  The recipe calls for two tablespoons, not teaspoons.
  • Eggs – room temperature so they blend into the batter easier.
  • Butter – use the real thing in this recipe.  Margarine or shortening doesn’t work.  The muffins have a different taste and texture.
  • Sliced almonds – you could use ground almonds or chopped almonds, but the slices of almonds look pretty on top.

Muffin pan with bakery-style almond muffins topped with sliced almonds and an amaretto syrup glaze.

How Do I Make The Muffins?

This recipe has two parts – the syrup and the muffins.

First to make the syrup, combine all of the ingredients for the syrup in a saucepan.  Give it a stir to dissolve the sugar and boil it until you get a syrupy consistency.

Next to the muffins. Stir together the dry ingredients.  Then whisk the wet ingredients until combined.  Fold both mixtures together and fill a muffin tin.  Sprinkle the tops with almond slices and bake.

While the muffins are hot, poke holes in the top, around the sliced almonds, and spoon the amaretto syrup over them.  Let the muffins cool completely and spoon another layer of the amaretto syrup on top.

Now grab a cup of coffee and enjoy one…or two (we won’t tell).

Tips For Making The Best Muffins

  • Grease or spray the muffin pan very well, including the top of the muffin pan.  These muffins have the glorious muffin top that hangs over the cup.  This is the best part (remember the Seinfeld episode about muffin tops?).  If you use muffin liners, you’ll want to still spray the top of the pan so the muffin tops don’t stick.
  • Allow your eggs and buttermilk to come to room temperature before using them.  The eggs and dairy, when room temperature, form an emulsion that will trap air when baking.  This helps your muffins stay tender and rise higher.  
  • Don’t overmix the batter or your muffins will be tough.  Fold the wet and dry ingredients together just until they are combined.  This is about 10-12 turns of the spatula.  Folding is a technique where you use a mixing spoon or spatula to lift the dry ingredients and wet ingredients together and fold them over so that they combine.  Turn the bowl a quarter turn so you incorporate all the stuff together.  A few small lumps or streaks of flour are fine.  They will disappear during baking.
  • Because these are ‘bakery-style, you’ll want to fill the muffin cups all the way to the top.  This way, you’ll get the pretty, domed muffin top with the crunchy, delicious, ridge around the edge of the muffin top where it rested on the top of the muffin pan.  This is the reason to spray cooking spray on the top of the muffin pan.

How To Quickly Bring Eggs And Buttermilk To Room Temperature

In a perfect world, there would be ample time to allow the eggs and buttermilk to sit on the counter and warm to room temp.  But we don’t live in a perfect world.  Sometimes you get inspired or get a craving at the last minute and your dairy and eggs are hanging out in the fridge and you don’t have or want to wait two hours for the eggs and milk to warm up.  Here’s what to do:

  • For the eggs:  place the cold eggs into a bowl and fill the bowl with hot, but not boiling water.  Let the eggs sit in the hot water for 10 minutes.  To test the temp, remove the egg from the water.  If it feels cool to the touch, repeat the process.
  • For the buttermilk:  Buttermilk will separate if you try to warm it in the microwave.  Instead, pour the buttermilk into a cup and place the cup into a bowl of hot water.  Let it hang out in the hot water for 5-30 minutes, depending on how much buttermilk you need.  Stir it every so often, so it warms evenly.

Closeup of a bakery-style almond muffin with sliced almonds and amaretto glaze on top.

Can I Make Mini Muffins With This Recipe?

Yes!  Grease your mini muffin pan, including the top, and fill the cups to the top.  Bake at 375 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

How Do I Freeze The Muffins?

IF you have leftover muffins (I bet you won’t) wrap them separately in plastic wrap then store the muffins in a plastic freezer bag.

To eat, remove the plastic wrap and microwave on medium in 30-second intervals until warm.

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Muffin pan with bakery-style almond muffins topped with sliced almonds and an amaretto syrup glaze.



These Bakery-Style Almond Muffins are moist and tender with layers of almond flavor.  The best part is that you can whip them up in less than one hour.



For the amaretto syrup:

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup superfine sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 3 tablespoons amaretto or almond liqueur

For the muffins:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons almond extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • Sliced almonds to top muffins


Make the amaretto syrup.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, and the amaretto.  Stir well and bring to a boil.  

Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-12 minutes until the mixture has slightly thickened.  Remove from the heat, fish out the vanilla bean, and cool the syrup while making the muffins.

Make the almond muffins.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray or line with muffin cups.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, almond extract, eggs, and melted butter until well combined.

Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and fold together until just combined.  Be careful not to overmix the batter or the muffins will be tough.  The batter should be thick.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan until each cup is almost full.

Sprinkle sliced almonds on top of each muffin.

Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean – about 18-20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and poke a few holes on the top of each muffin, going in between the almond slices.

Spoon some of the cooled amaretto syrup over each muffin and allow it to soak in completely.

Remove the muffins from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

If desired, you can brush the muffin tops with the amaretto syrup once they are cool.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast, Brunch
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: bakery-style almond muffins, homemade muffins, breakfast muffins, almonds, amaretto,

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