What Are the Best Tips for Making Muffins from Scratch?

Dee Jones

Many people find the idea of making muffins from scratch daunting, but keeping a few guidelines in mind will make the process run more smoothly. The dry and wet ingredients should be mixed separately, and the batter shouldn't be over mixed. Make sure the oven is set at the right temperature to ensure the muffins will be cooked to the proper doneness. After the muffins have baked and removed from the oven, they should be removed them from the muffin pan as soon as possible. It's pretty easy to adapt scratch recipes as well, as long as you balance the liquid and the dry ingredients.

It is important not to over mix the ingredients when making muffins from scratch.
It is important not to over mix the ingredients when making muffins from scratch.

When making muffins from scratch, the baker should place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and use a fork or whisk to mix them together. After the wet ingredients are mixed in a separate bowl, they can be added to the dry and combined gently. Over mixing the batter will often result in tough muffins that have an uneven texture, and peaked rather than round or domed tops. Muffin batter should be lumpy; it should be mixed only until the flour and other dry ingredients are moistened.

One of the most important steps when making muffins from scratch is prepping the pan the muffins will be baked in. Many people choose to use paper muffin cups, which can make clean up easy. When not using paper cups, greasing both the insides of the pan as well as the top surface will help make the muffins easier to remove; greasing the top makes cleaning up any spills easier.

A common mistake made when making muffins from scratch is overfilling the cups of the muffin pan. The muffin cups should only be filled about 2/3 to 3/4 full of batter, otherwise the tops will be flat rather than round or domed. If any of the cups are left empty, it can throw off the baking time; adding a little water to the empty cups can help minimize this, and also may prevent the pan from bending or warping in the oven.

When adapting recipes to make muffins from scratch, it's important that the cook keeps the dry and liquid balance. Wet ingredients, like fruit purees, will typically need to have more dry ingredients so that the batter doesn't become too liquid; they will usually also need additional leavening. Dry additions, like nuts, can usually just be added to the dry portion of the mix and don't need additional liquids.

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