Tips on making crunchy large muffin tops

The perfect muffin has a thin brown crust, a slightly rounded top with a pebbled appearance and a moist, even interior. There should be no peaks, no tunnels which are usually caused by excessive mixing and too much liquid (muffin batter should not be fluid).

Who doesn’t love an extra large cafe style over filled muffin with a crunchy muffin top? If a muffin doesn’t fit those criteria – I don’t buy it. Muffin tops are the best bit! You’ll know all about this if you’ve seen Seinfeld.

Here are some tips I’ve gathered over the years on how to achieve a perfectly delicious muffin top (the edible kind):

  1. All pastry chefs will tell you to ensure ingredients needed are to be used at room temperature (that means eggs and butter shouldn’t be used straight from the fridge). Leave it out first before you use it.
  2. Make sure that you add each egg one by one, instead of dumping it all in one go. This is to ensure that each egg is properly incorporated in the batter.
  3. Fill your muffin pans with batter almost all the way to the top. Forget about what other recipes say (2/3 full). You want that bigggg dome effect not a flat limp muffin top. This just means that a 12 yield muffin recipe will give you 9-10 muffins instead.
  4. In order to get pretty domed muffins, start by baking the muffins at a very high temperature (about 220C) and after a few minutes lower it to the temperature that the recipe suggests. The higher baking temperature means that the outside edges of the muffin will set while the middle is still liquidy. The center continues to rise as the muffin bakes inward, and voila! We get muffins with impressive domed tops.
  5. If the muffin tops start to brown too fast on the outside but are not fully baked yet, open you oven and cover the pan with aluminum foil.
  6. Make sure your batter is thick. You don’t want a liquidy batter so if that happens to you make adjustments in your recipe – perhaps you need more flour, perhaps less butter or oil. Remember it should be “spoonable” not “pourable.” I think that’s a pretty good test!
  7. Don’t over mix the batter. This is very important. Mix just until all the ingredients are fully combined. Some batter recipes are just meant to have a lumpy look. Resist the urge to mix! Leave it as is!Baking time differs if you make mini muffins (8-12 mins), standard muffins (15-20 mins) and jumbo muffins (25-35 mins). You’ll know it’s done when a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Once you have mixed both wet and dry ingredients the acids in the leavening agents begin to work right away and if you leave them in the counter top too long then they become ineffective. If you want yummy looking muffins get it in that oven quick!
  9. I’ve heard some people fill empty tins in the muffin pan half full of water for even baking. I’ve never required this but it could help? Let me know!
  10. Always place your muffin tin in the center of an oven rack positioned in the center of the oven. Muffins closer to the oven wall will cook more quickly than those in the center. You may wish to flip the muffin tin half way during cooking but its best not to disturb the cooking process.

Hope these tips help with your marvelous creations 🙂

Please leave me some comments below if you have any other great tips!