Muffin cups can help you create uniform muffins or cupcakes. Any recipe for cake or bread can be baked in a muffin pan. The adventurous can even use the cups to bake mini souffles and muffin-shaped frittatas. Muffin cups come in a variety of sizes; most muffin tins contain either 12 or 24 cups. As baking technology has evolved, muffin pans have been made from a variety of materials: from iron, steel and aluminum to nonstick bakeware and, most recently, flexible silicone that you can bend to pop out the muffins with minimal effort.
Things You'll Need
- Grease or nonstick cooking spray
Using Muffin Cups
Preheat the oven while you are preparing your muffin or cupcake batter. Temperatures will vary depending on the recipe, but most will call for about 375 degrees F.
Liberally grease the inside of your muffin cups, or spray with a nonstick cooking spray. This will help you remove the muffins with little crumbling after they bake.
Fill the muffin cups no more than 3/4 full. The muffins will rise as they bake, and overfilling will flatten the tops and make them stick to the top of the muffin pan. Using an ice cream scoop to fill the cups will ensure a consistent amount of batter in each cup.
Place the pan in the center rack of the oven, and set a timer so you don't leave them in too long.
Check the muffins a minute or two before the end of your estimated baking time, and use a toothpick to test for doneness. If the toothpick comes out clean, the muffins are ready.
Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove them and cool them the rest of the way on a cooling rack. If you're making cupcakes, let them cool completely before frosting them.
Tips & Warnings
- Use paper or foil liners to make muffin removal and cleanup easier. You won't have to grease the muffin cups if you use liners.
- If you run out of batter before you fill all the muffin cups, fill the empty cups about half full with water to help the rest of the muffins cook evenly and without burning.
- If you use paper liners, peel the paper away before eating the muffins.
- Photo Credit cupcakes image by mrslevite from Fotolia.com
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