Pairing, Making, And Savoring The Perfect Coffee-Muffin Breakfast Combo

10 min read FEB 16, 2024

Light and moist with delicately tender crumbs, sweeter than bread, but not as sweet as cake, versatile, delectably delicious…and the perfect companion to a freshly brewed, piping hot cup of coffee.

I’d say this pair rivals Forrest and Jenny, but frankly, the combination of a fresh cup of coffee and a perfectly paired muffin far surpasses just about any duo we can conjure up.

And, should this claim sound a bit outlandish, may I submit to you that perhaps you’ve simply not yet savored the right pairing?

Sure, coffee and muffins are a classic breakfast combination; however, just as some wines pair better than others with your dinner plate, varying roasts and flavors of coffee each have an optimal muffin companion.

So today, we want to tackle those perfect pairings.

We’ll list the best roasts per muffin type (savory, sweet, and more), then we’ll recommend a few pairings and share a few tantalizingly tasty muffin recipes you can try at home - including ideas for the best coffee roasts and flavors to pair with your kitchen muffin creations.

I don’t know about you, but my mouth is already watering, so let’s dive right in!

Coffee - Muffin Combos

When it comes to pairing coffee with muffins, there are a few things to consider.

Sure, it may seem like there’s no wrong combination here, I mean, we are talking about coffee and muffins after all, but depending on the roast or flavor of your coffee, the type of muffin you pair it with can sink or swim when it comes to a truly palate pleasing pair.

While muffins are often considered a type of cake, they are actually more like a bread.

This is because cakes and cupcakes are typically sweeter than muffins, and the fat content in each comes in a different form.

For instance, in a cake, the fat content is solid, and this is usually creamed together with sugar.

In the case of muffins, the fat source is almost always liquid or melted, as in the making of bread.

Muffins can be sweet, containing fruit, chocolate, spices, or some other confectionary addition. But, muffins can also be savory, containing nuts, cheese, veggies, and even meat in some instances.

So, when it comes to perfectly pairing coffee with these muffin types, your breakfast plans can easily be amplified by simply making your selection with a bit of intention.

Dark roasted coffees, for instance, have a more caramelized and slightly sweeter flavor due to longer roasting times, and this is generally considered the most versatile roast when it comes to muffin pairings.

Muffins are often compared to donuts, specifically cake donuts, as they seem to have a similar level of sweetness, and this classic muffin characteristic works to tame any bitter notes in coffee.

In other words, a sweet muffin and a piping hot cup of dark roast coffee is a match made in heaven!

However, as many folks can detect the bitter notes in just about any roast of coffee, even low acid, smooth, clean coffees like Lifeboost, this makes a sweet muffin (almost always) a safe bet for just about any roast.

But, when it comes to a classic medium roast, those sweet muffins take on a different role.

Combining a medium roast coffee with a sweet muffin, such as a blueberry or chocolate chip muffin, can result in a more balanced pair for your palate.

A medium roast will have slightly more acidity than a dark roast, and it will be slightly less sweet as it isn’t roasted as long or hot as a dark roast.

Overall, a medium roast is considered the most balanced coffee, and it’s likely due to this balance that most people choose a classic medium over darker and lighter roasts.

But, it’s also this balance that allows a medium roasted coffee to bring out the best flavors in the foods enjoyed alongside it…like muffins. And sometimes, bringing out the best flavors in baked goods and beverages requires balance on both parts.

A medium roast, even flavored medium roasts, shouldn’t overpower any flavors in your muffin selection, and the sweetness of the muffin should effortlessly bring balance to this combo.

For instance, lemon muffins, believe it or not, make a great pairing for a medium roast.

As far as flavored coffee selections, most of our flavored coffees here at Lifeboost are medium roasts.

So, when pairing a flavored Lifeboost Coffee selection with a muffin for a delicious breakfast, a general rule is to keep in mind the flavor combination as a whole.

Since each of our flavored selections are made using real baking extracts and essential oils, you can kind of view such pairings as if you were actually baking a delicious dessert.

When baking, you likely wouldn’t combine peanut butter, chocolate, and fruit. So then, you’d also commonly avoid pairing our Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Coffee with a blueberry muffin.

A chocolate chip muffin, on the other hand, can serve to enhance the chocolate flavor in such a coffee selection.

Then, flavored coffee selections with spice notes such as our Cinnamon Cappuccino coffee (my all time favorite of our flavored selections, might I add) pair perfectly with muffin ingredients that serve to highlight those sweet, spicy notes.

For example, a homemade apple cinnamon muffin paired with this flavored coffee is absolutely phenomenal!

The cinnamon notes are brought forward in both the coffee and the muffin, but the combination of the two results in a pleasantly realized creaminess as well.

Flavored coffee selections that incorporate fruit or vanilla pair deliciously with fruit and or spice muffins.

And, when all else fails, simply go back to that baking pair tip we mentioned above. Another example here? Our Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Coffee with a dark chocolate chip chocolate muffin would be divine!

Ohh, and simply because my mouth is watering when thinking of this combo, what about our wildly popular Chocolate Covered Strawberry Coffee paired with a simple (not double) chocolate chip muffin?

As strawberries are typically less tart than raspberries, this selection would already bring a touch of natural sweetness, so a less sweet muffin, which still incorporates a bit of chocolate, would be delightful.

But, what about savory muffins?

While you can certainly enjoy a light roasted coffee with other muffin selections, pairing a savory muffin with light roast can really bring out the subtle flavors in such baked goods.

Light roasts are generally brighter and more acidic, and these selections truly allow you to sample the flavors of the region where the coffee is grown.

But, a light roast isn’t nearly as caramelized and sweet as darker roasts, and the absence of this quality changes how you might think about muffin pairings.

Some examples of savory muffin additions include sharp cheeses, bacon, sausage, sun dried tomatoes, spinach, and more.

When you pair a light roasted coffee with such muffins, the coffee isn’t as rich, so it doesn’t mask the bold and smoky flavors of a sharp cheese, the richness of bacon, or the depth of flavor in an ingredient such as sun dried tomatoes.

And, if you’re not digging a savory muffin option, light roasts also pair well with fruit and nuts, making muffins which contain apples, pecans, walnuts, blueberries, cranberries, etc. excellent choices as well.

So, now that we’ve covered some coffee and muffin pairing basics, I think it’s time to get down to some specific combinations as well as a few recipes you can try at home.

Coffee Pairings And Muffin Recipes

Enjoy the following muffin recipes below, and take note of the coffee selections (regular roasts and flavored) which we’ve recommended to enjoy alongside these breakfast classics.

1- Healthy Apple Muffins

If you’re a fan of classic coffee roasts, try a light or medium roast alongside these delicious and healthy apple muffins.

But, if you’d like a flavored coffee selection to pair here, I would highly recommend any of the following Lifeboost flavored coffees:

  • Cinnamon Cappuccino
  • Cinnamon Apple Streusel
  • Southern Pecan
  • Frosted Carrot Cake


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup plain greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup milk (dairy or non)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ cups chopped apple (include peeling)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Grease muffin tins, then set aside.
  • Add melted butter, maple syrup, applesauce, greek yogurt, milk, eggs, and vanilla to a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.
  • Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon to the wet mixture and stir to combine.
  • Add flour to the mixture and mix until almost combined, then add chopped apples and finish mixing just until fully combined (in other words, don’t overmix the batter).
  • Scoop the batter into the greased muffin tins, filling each well roughly ⅔ full.
  • For regular sized muffins, bake for 16-18 minutes. For mini muffins, bake for approximately 12 minutes.
  • After you remove the muffins from the oven, allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the muffins from the tin and place them on a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!

2- Powerful Protein Muffins

Muffins often get a bad rep when it comes to healthy breakfast choices.

This is generally because they aren’t typically a very satiating breakfast option, and sometimes they can pack a sweet punch.

But, you can easily remedy this when you prepare muffins at home by incorporating your favorite protein powder.

The following chocolate chip protein muffins are fantastic on their own, but we recommend elevating this breakfast selection by enjoying them alongside a cup of dark or medium roast Lifeboost coffee.

And, if you’re looking for a flavored selection, any of the following Lifeboost flavored coffees would pair well here:

  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle
  • Mocha Caramel Latte
  • Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel
  • Caramel Macchiato


  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (64-67 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup chocolate chips


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Line a muffin pan with muffin liners and set aside.
  • Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then add peanut butter and applesauce, stirring until well combined.
  • Fold chocolate chips into batter.
  • Divide batter into muffin tins evenly, filling each to ⅔ full.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean (minus any chocolate chip residue).
  • Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!

3- Double Chocolate Muffins

These muffins are moist, flavorful, sweet, and delicious…a perfect sidekick to our dark roast.

But, if you’d prefer a flavored coffee companion here, I’d recommend any of the following Lifeboost Coffee flavored selections:

  • Irish Cream
  • Midnight Blueberry Mocha
  • Tiramisu


  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups chocolate chips
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 ¼ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon freshly brewed Lifeboost Dark Roast Coffee


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners. (This recipe should make roughly 18 muffins.)
  • Add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips to a large bowl and stir to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and coffee. Once combined, pour in melted butter and whisk again.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to combine. The batter will be lumpy.
  • Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each tin almost to the top.
  • Bake for 5 minutes at 425, then turn the oven temperature down to 375 and bake for 9-11 minutes. When checking for doneness, these muffins will still have a few crumbs evident on the tester even when done.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes prior to serving. Enjoy!

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Medium Roast.

Headshot of Becky Livingston Vance
Becky Livingston Vance Content writer

Becky is a mother, educator, and content writer for Lifeboost Coffee. She has had three years’ experience as a writer, and in that time she has enjoyed creatively composing articles and ebooks covering the topics of coffee, health and fitness, education, recipes, and relationships.


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