How to Make a Copycat McDonald’s Egg McMuffin

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It's the breakfast sandwich that started it all: the McDonald's Egg McMuffin. Here's how to make your own at home—including that round egg.

McDonald’s Egg McMuffin is the original on-the-go breakfast. This morning meal is such an iconic part of the “Golden Arches” history that you may not have thought of making your own—but it’s easy to do!

What’s in a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin?

The breakfast sandwich consists of an English muffin, American cheese, real eggs and Canadian bacon. It made its first appearance in 1971 when franchise owner Herb Peterson was looking for a way to attract morning customers to his restaurant. Peterson convinced skeptical McDonald’s owner Ray Kroc to add the McMuffin to the breakfast menu nationwide, and the rest is breakfast history.

How Does McDonald’s Make That Round Egg?

The secret is to cook the eggs in a round egg ring like this. Set the ring on a hot pan, crack in an egg and let it cook. The finished egg is the perfect size and shape to fit on an English muffin.

How to Make a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin

This recipe makes one perfect breakfast sandwich. You need just a few basic ingredients as well as some tools: a three-inch egg ring and a nonstick skillet.

  • 1 English muffin, split open
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 slice American cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 slice Canadian bacon

Step 1: Toast and butter the muffin

Toast both halves of the English muffin until they’re golden brown. Spread the butter over the insides.

Step 2: Add the cheese

Place the bottom of the English muffin on a plate and lay the slice of cheese over it.

Step 3: Cook the egg

Cooked egg inside an egg ring in a black skillet.Nancy Mock for Taste of Home

Lightly grease the inside of the egg ring with vegetable shortening or oil, then set the egg ring on your nonstick skillet. Let the skillet and ring get good and hot over medium heat. Crack the egg into the egg ring and use a fork or the tip of a knife to pierce the yolk. Sprinkle the salt over the egg.

Here’s the big secret that I learned from a family friend, Oliver Alvarez, who works at McDonald’s: Add steam. Trapping steam around the egg while it cooks helps it set quickly, and gives it a puffy, light texture. To do this, pour a bit of water in the pan around the outside of the egg ring and cover with a lid. Let the egg cook for about three minutes until it’s set. Remove the pan from the heat, and gently lift the egg ring to reveal your cooked, perfectly round egg.

Use a spatula to move the egg onto the cheese slice on the muffin.

Step 4: Cook the Canadian bacon

Add the Canadian bacon slice to the still-hot skillet and cook it for one minute on each side. Slide the hot bacon on top of the egg. Add the top half of the English muffin to complete the sandwich, and enjoy it while it’s hot!

Pro Tips:

  • Look for metal egg rings with a little heft (instead of lightweight silicone). The extra weight will help prevent the egg white from seeping under the bottom.
  • Let the skillet and egg ring get hot before adding the egg. The heat will quickly set the egg white, which helps keep it in the egg ring.

Once you’ve mastered a classic Egg McMuffin, add your own twist. Use a slice of pepper jack cheese. Add a sprinkle of chopped chives or tarragon. Whisk the egg with chopped onions and diced green pepper before pouring it into the egg ring. Add a dash of hot sauce. The flavor combinations are endless!

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Nancy Mock
Discovering restaurants, tasting bakery treats, finding inspiration in new flavors and regional specialties—no wonder Nancy loves being a food and travel writer. She and her family live in Vermont and enjoy all things food, as well as the beautiful outdoors, game nights, Avengers movies and plenty of maple syrup. Find Nancy’s writing and recipes at her website: Hungry Enough To Eat Six.