Cheese and olive savoury picnic muffins

Easy and delicious! Packed with tasty olives and tangy cheese, these fabulous savoury muffins are perfect for picnics and lunch boxes, or just as a snack.

Oh, the joys of the English summer’s unpredictable weather!

We recently spent a lovely evening at the Botanic Gardens listening to live music and picnicking in the company of several hundred like-minded folks. Our decision to go had been a bit last minute though, and the picnic reflected our haste – humous, crudités, wraps, fishballs etc. Just whatever I’d been able to forage from the fridge.

Time to prepare

When we decided to go to another, similar event a week later, I had a much better run-up. I decided to make some savoury picnic muffins, packed with tasty olives and tangy cheese. You can use any cheese in these muffins, but I suggest a crumbly, flavoursome cheese such as Cheshire, Lancashire or even feta. (This is also a great opportunity to use up odds and ends of cheese.)

I am quite fond of a savoury muffin, and DH likes them too – he can’t eat bread, so any picnic food that doesn’t involve a sandwich is always going to get a nod of approval. My daughter Kipper loves them because it’s basically CAKE with OLIVES – two of her favourite things!

Easy and delicious! Packed with tasty olives and tangy cheese, these fabulous savoury muffins are perfect for picnics and lunch boxes, or as a snack any time.

Whatever the weather!

Of course, once these muffins were mixed up and in the oven, the heavens opened and it poured with rain. Although it had stopped before the concert was due to begin, we decided to abandon our picnic plan on the basis that it would be uncomfortably soggy under-bottom.

A picnic at home

Still, we put our most picnic-y tablecloth on the table, and at Kipper’s insistence put the radio on to provide the music. There was a little less fresh air (we did open the window) and a lot less rain, but we had fun nonetheless. She even had a little dance around the kitchen.

Easy and delicious

The muffin recipe is super easy to make. Weigh out the dry ingredients, whisk up the wet ingredients, and then mix the lot together. Bob’s your uncle. I spent a few minutes arranging olive slices decoratively on the tops, but you could skip that step if you’re in a hurry (or just can’t be bothered).

The picnic muffins were wonderful – eaten slightly warm, with a pile of fresh salad. Yum. Try taking a bite of muffin with a piece of tomato or some leaves of baby spinach. Delicious!

Do you like to eat al fresco? What’s your favourite picnic food?

There are more picnic opportunities coming soon. Fingers crossed for better weather!

Easy and delicious! Packed with tasty olives and tangy cheese, these fabulous savoury muffins are perfect for picnics and lunch boxes, or as a snack any time.

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Cheese and olive picnic muffins

Course Lunch, Snack
Cuisine British
Keyword cheese, olive
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 211kcal
Author Helen


  • 125 g plain flour (1 cup)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 60 ml milk (⅓ cup)
  • 60 ml natural yogurt (⅓ cup)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 65 g pitted olives, sliced (approx. 12-14 olives)
  • 50 g crumbled tangy cheese e.g. Cheshire, Lancashire, feta etc. (approx. ⅓-½ cup)


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and prepare a 6-hole muffin tin with silicon or paper liners.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, pepper and herbs.
  • Separately, whisk together the milk, yogurt, egg, oil and garlic.
  • Add the milk mixture to the flour, together with the olives and cheese - reserve some olive slices for the tops of the muffins if desired. Gently stir the mixture until just combined - do not overmix.
  • Divide the mixture between the muffin cases - they will be quite full. Decorate with the reserved olive slices if using.
  • Bake at 200°C (400°F) for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden, and a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
  • Cool on a wire rack and serve slightly warm or cold.


For a really golden top, brush the muffins with a little extra olive oil or melted butter after 18 minutes of baking, then return to the oven for the last 2-7 minutes.


If you enjoy a savoury bake, why not take a look at this delicious vegetable soda bread, these vegan savoury muffins with caramelised onions and smoked tofu, or these delicious muffins with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes.

I’m entering these yummy savoury muffins into the following link-ups:
Treat Petite, hosted this month by Cakeyboi and co-organised by  The Baking Explorer, with the theme ‘anything goes’.
Cook Once Eat Twice, hosted by Searching for Spice.
Love Cake, hosted by JibberJabber, on the theme of ‘it’s a mystery’ – because olives are a bit of an unusual ingredient in a cake, plus it’s just how I feel trying to predict the weather this summer!




  1. What am I missing? I followed the recipe, and I can’t even peel the paper liner off the muffins.

    • Really sorry to hear that Claire 🙁 The only thing I can think of is that maybe you missed out the oil? That would make them stick to the papers a bit more than usual. I hope they tasted OK anyway. Take care, Helen x.

  2. They are so delicious! I made vegetarian style. I replaced egg with 4 tbs sour cream. Thank You for recipe. My husband told- it’s best salty savory 😀

  3. Delicious easy to make muffins. How long do they last in the fridge. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. lesley@lostinfood

    I love the look of these savoury muffins, cheese and olives a lovely combination. Will have to make these.

  5. Angela / Only Crumbs Remain

    These sound fabulous Helen, and I just love the cute little slices of olives – definitely worth the coupleof minutes extra effort.
    Angela x

  6. Pingback:9 Perfect Picnic Recipes -

  7. What a great alternative to sandwiches. The cheese and olives combination looks delicious.

  8. I bet these taste soooo flavourful. The olives on top are so cute too. Thanks for taking part in Treat Petite!

  9. What a yummy combination of flavours – olive and cheese are perfect together! Thanks for linking up with #TreatPetite

  10. I’ve only made savoury muffins once before but really enjoyed them. I love the sound of these with the cheese and the olives. My children also love olives so this might well be a recipe they’d enjoy too! Thank you so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice.

  11. I rarely bake savoury muffins, but these sound amazing and look so tasty.

    • Thanks Nayna. I don’t make savoury ones often but they usually come out yummy! I made some with sundried tomatoes a while ago which were fab too. Give them a whirl!

  12. I have been lusting over these for days! They’d be really easy to veganise too (I’m not actually vegan but I like veganising things).

  13. Given how much I like savoury cheese-flavoured bakes I should do them more. These muffins, with olives as well, look super!

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