Cracked Pepper Cheddar Muffins

Tangy buttermilk and sharp cheddar pair perfectly in these amazing Cracked Pepper Cheddar Muffins. So easy to make and delish for breakfast, brunch, or a quick snack, everyone loves the flavor in these easy cheesy muffins!

Cracked Pepper Cheddar Muffins on a blue rimmed plate

Sharp cheddar, freshly cracked black pepper and tangy buttermilk – what could be more delicious? Pack all this into a tasty and easy-to-eat muffin, and you’ve got a delish muffin that everyone will talk about! 

Y’all, don’t you just think muffins are the perfect food? I love grabbing one when I’m in a rush out the door but still need breakfast, the kids love them in their lunches, and they make the perfect late lunch or snack with a cup of coffee.

And these savory muffins are just too good! The Cracked Pepper Cheddar Muffin recipe is easy to follow, and the black pepper in them is perfect and adds just the right amount of peppery spice to make the cheddar really pop! 

Grab your ingredients and make these amazing sharp cheddar muffins today!

Cracked pepper cheddar muffins on a milk glass plate


  • Self-rising flour
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Egg – Just 1 egg.
  • Buttermilk 
  • Cooking oil – I like using vegetable or canola oil.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese – Shredded.
  • Butter 
  • Salt – Coarse salt like kosher or flaked salt.
Cracked pepper cheddar muffins in a blue muffin pan

Self-Rising Flour Vs. All-Purpose Flour

I love using self-rising flour, but what’s the difference between self-rising flour and all-purpose flour? Self-rising flour already has the baking powder – the leavener (what makes baked goods rise) – and some salt added to it. It’s just a quick shortcut that means less time cooking and more time for eating!

How To Make The Best Cracked Pepper Cheddar Muffins

  1. Preheat your oven to 375-F and spray a muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the self-rising flour and pepper in a large bowl. 
  3. Whisk the egg, buttermilk, and oil in a second bowl. 
  4. Add the egg, milk, and oil mixture to the flour and mix until just combined. Don’t overmix.
  5. Stir in the cheese.
  6. Fill the muffin cups ⅔ of the way with the batter and bake.
  7. Brush the tops of the cooked and still-hot muffins with the melted butter and sprinkle a tiny bit of coarse salt on top. 
  8. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the muffin pan. 
  9. Serve warm, and enjoy!

Variations and Substitutions

  • No buttermilk? You can use regular milk instead. Just use whatever you have on hand.
  • Swap the cheddar for your favorite cheese – strong-flavored cheeses work best. Try pepper Jack if you like more spice, aged gouda, swiss, or even smoked cheeses.
  • All-purpose flour can be used instead of self-rising flour; just add 3 teaspoons of baking powder to the 2 cups of all-purpose flour.
  • Cut the cheese into tiny cubes or chunks for little pockets of cheesy goodness in the muffins.

Recipe Tips

  • Don’t overmix the muffin batter, and fold in the shredded cheese at the end.
  • This recipe is easily doubled if you want more muffins.
  • Bake the muffins in a jumbo muffin tin if you want jumbo muffins, but they’ll take a few more minutes to bake.
  • Cheese is naturally salty, and there’s some salt in the self-rising flour, so you don’t need to add more salt to the batter.
  • Flaked salt or kosher salt sprinkled on top adds a lovely salty crunch to the muffin.
Cracked Pepper Cheddar Muffins on a blue rimmed plate

How Do You Know When Muffins Are Done?

It can be hard to tell when muffins are cooked, so grab a toothpick! Insert the toothpick into the middle of one of the middle muffins, and if it comes out clean – or with just a crumb or two clinging to it – then they’re done! Give them a few more minutes to bake if the toothpick has raw batter on it.

Serving Suggestions

I love these muffins on their own or as a part of a tasty brunch. Pair them with Candied Bacon, a delish breakfast hash, breakfast rollups, or Grandma Lynne’s Eggs & Onions. Or, just warm up one of these amazing cheddar cheese muffins and add a pat of butter to it – perfection!


These easy cheese muffins are best eaten while still warm and fresh out of the oven. You can store leftovers in the fridge for a few days if tightly wrapped in plastic, or freeze them! Muffins freeze fabulously; package them in a resealable plastic bag and freeze them for up to a month.

Cracked Pepper Cheddar Muffins

Servings 12 Muffins


  • 2 Cups self rising flour
  • 1/2 Tsp coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/4 Cups buttermilk Can use regular milk too
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 1-1/2 Cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • sprinkling of salt


  • In a large bowl, combine the flour and pepper. In another bowl, with the egg, milk, and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moist end. Fold in cheese.
  • Spray your muffin pan with cooking spray. 
    Phil muffin cups 2/3 of the way full. Bake at 375 for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 
  • Brush the tops with melted butter and a little sprinkling of salt on each one. Cool for five minutes before removing them from the pan. Serve warm.


Some buttermilks are thicker than other buttermilks. If the dough dough needs more liquid, add a splash or two more.
All purpose flour can also be used instead of self rising. Just add 3 teaspoons of baking powder to 2 cups of all purpose flour.

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