Oberlin Blogs

An Unofficial and Unauthorized Ranking of DeCafé Muffins

December 4, 2023

Ida Rosenstein '26

I have always considered myself a “muffin enthusiast.” Muffins are, above all else, versatile. They can be the perfect breakfast, snack, or even a dessert if you are so inclined. When I arrived at Oberlin, I was thrilled to discover a great variety of muffin options at DeCafé and Market, our café-style dining hall that features quick and grab-and-go food. Whenever I need a quick breakfast in the morning or to save for the next day, I almost always grab a muffin from DeCafé. While I have, most likely, not been able to try every muffin that DeCafé has to offer, I wanted to compile my thoughts on the various flavors here to help guide you in your muffin selection process.

Note: This is a very subjective list and reflects only my taste. I acknowledge that I have my own biases and that this ranking is certainly not objective. This list is ranked from my personal least favorite to my favorite.

The Everything Bagel Muffin

It pains me to put any muffin so low, especially for a newcomer just now finding its footing. Personally, I enjoy an everything bagel or sprinkling the seasoning on avocado toast, but I am unsure if it works on a muffin. The everything bagel muffin is very dry and instantly falls apart in your hands. The texture and consistency is reminiscent of a biscuit. This muffin is vaguely savory because of the seasoning, but the batter itself is a bit too sweet to combine well with the salty and seedy topping.

The Strawberry Muffin

The elusive strawberry muffin appeared near the end of second semester last year. Aesthetically, I can appreciate it. This muffin was very pink and had an even pinker crumb topping—very cute! However, for my own breakfast tastes, this one was far too sweet. I can see the potential in this muffin, though! Lighter on the strawberry flavoring, and this could be a winner. 

The Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin

This muffin falls just a bit below average for me because of how sticky it can be. Lemon poppy seed muffins are one of my favorite flavors, and this muffin hits the mark in tanginess. If the muffin top weren’t so sticky, it would be higher on this list. 

The Mocha Chocolate Chip Muffin

Chocolate is, and always will be, an excellent addition to any pastry. It’s a classic for a reason—you can never go wrong with it. The mocha chocolate chip muffin is wonderfully chocolatey with just the slightest tinge of coffee. With chocolate chips on a chocolate base, this muffin is very rich, making it the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth. My main critique of this muffin would be that, sometimes, it is too rich for breakfast, which, unfortunately, brings it down a bit because of its lack of versatility. 

The Carrot Muffin

DeCafé’s carrot muffin is soft, fluffy, and gently sweet. It is sufficiently moist and fulfills the role of a muffin: to serve as a snack, breakfast, or dessert food. I am always pleased when I have it, but not exactly enchanted, making it an excellent example of average muffin quality. 

The Blueberry Muffin

A classic, hard-to-go-wrong-with option, the blueberry muffin is ever reliable! The blueberries provide a nice touch of tang to the sweetness, and the top is coated with a buttery streusel topping. The blueberry muffin knows its job and does it well. Unfortunately, it’s been a while since DeCafé has supplied them since the start of the semester, so I have dearly missed it as a treat.

The Banana Muffin

I am a big fan of banana-flavored anything, so this muffin quickly won a place in my heart. Though simple, with only a slight streusel topping (much less than the blueberry muffin), this muffin has the ideal level of moistness. Because, like the blueberry muffin, this is such a tried and true formula, I don’t have much to say about the banana muffin. But do not take that as a negative! DeCafé provides an exemplary model of a classic banana muffin. 

The Sweet Potato Pecan Muffin

A rising star in the DeCafé muffin selection, the sweet potato pecan muffin burst onto the scene as an unexpected but welcome surprise. When it initially arrived, the muffin was brimming with flavor but a tad dry. However, the second time it turned up in DeCafé, it seemed the recipe had changed to create a more moist texture—dry muffin no more! While it didn’t taste very much like sweet potato to me, the nutmeg shined through, proving it to be the most autumnal muffin yet. 

The Zucchini Muffin

We end on a high note: the beloved zucchini muffin. While there are many delicious muffins to choose from, zucchini reigns supreme as the perfect balance of moist yet crumbly. They are flavorful and strike the ideal point of sweetness: sweet, not overwhelmingly so, just the right amount for breakfast. The zucchini muffin is simple yet effective: heartier than the carrot muffin but lighter than the mocha muffin. Never once at Oberlin have I ever had a subpar zucchini muffin. They are reliably delicious!

Similar Blog Entries


March 4, 2024

Thorin Finch

An eclectic collection of poetic musings on the everyday experiences of Oberlin students.
Thorin Finch