How do they get those giant muffin tops? Here are a few tricks. Along with a delicious banana, almond, currant muffin recipe.
Ever find yourself waiting in lines at stores and your mind begins to wonder at the most random things? On this particular day I was standing in line with 4 people in front of me and listening to what they were ordering - large ice coffee with milk and sugar, sesame bagel with cream cheese toasted says one customer and moves off to the side. I notice the clock that says 7:15 am and breathe in the aroma of coffee and warm baked goods. I hear the young girl behind the counter call out, “Mike” and a gentleman wearing a suit and tie steps up and grabs his hot coffee and a small bag with what I can only guess is some sort of breakfast sandwich and he darts out of the door as another person walks in. I have been to this coffee café every day for the last few years ordering my medium hot dark roast black coffee but, this morning was different. I looked over at the brightly lit display of biscotti’s, jelly pastries, fruit bars and muffins.
Then I think, wait how in the world do bakeries get those huge mountain muffin tops? I have made tons of muffins and they never look like this. I continue to stare at the beautifully domed, golden brown crispy tops with sprinkled sugar of top of blueberry, corn, chocolate chip, banana, bran and now finding myself in a muffin coma as one of the girls grabs a blueberry muffin for a customer. I am imagining the bakers in the kitchen putting some magical muffin top secret ingredient into the batter, or maybe it’s the industrial convection ovens, or a special pan, or the muffin fairies, or or….. then I hear next…..hello…..next…. I can I help you. I quickly snap out of it, step up to the counter and order my usual black coffee. I walk out of the café with coffee in hand and think; ok I am now on a mission, a quest to find out how bakeries get those big muffin tops!
As soon as I get to work I turn on my computer and ask google how to get amazing tops on muffins. Although baking is one of my passions, I have never been able to achieve the great domed muffin top. I followed other recipes to preheat oven to 350, fill muffin pan to 1/2 full, and bake for about 15-20 minutes. This isn’t really wrong and they tasted awesome, super moist with plump blueberries or the sweetness of banana but never achieved the mountain top. I soon found out there are a few possible tricks in accomplishing this. When I typed in “how to get huge muffins tops on muffins” in Google, an array of information popped up. Do they all work? I was about to find out. Websites are listed at the bottom for more details.
Here is what I found:
Three times a charm? I made 3 different batches on 3 different occasions… yes just a little determined and persistent. As you will see I made a couple silly mistakes that resulted in flat tops in the end. Oh sure they all tasted amazing and they didn’t stick around for very long, just no muffin top. At least my husband is not complaining he gets to eat them all.
Fail number 1 Blue berry muffins.
Everything was going great, made sure ingredients were room temperature, measured everything exactly, and pre-heated my oven at 425. I gently folded my wet ingredients and dry ingredients together, and added the blueberries to the batter. I used an ice cream scoop to fill liners to the top, put them in the oven and impatiently waited and waited and turned the oven light on 100 times and waited. When done, I happily pulled them out and looked at the little baby muffin tops in sadness. Although golden and crispy, not what I was looking for. What could have possibly gone wrong? Maybe it was the frozen blueberries; they were really cold when I added them to the batter. Ok that must have been it.
Fail number 2 blueberry muffins.
This time I bought fresh blue berries and kept them out of the fridge. On the same day I was also making brownies so I was multi-tasking which lead to fail number 2. I had everything right, room temperature ingredients, gently mixed together, filled to the top, and added a bit more baking powder. However, I did not let the batter set. Once I took out the brownies, I put in the muffins and waited and waited, turned on the light as watched. I was so excited to see my muffin tops rise! I literally clapped in excitement. I finally took them out and they looked good with a slightly bigger top than the last batch but were not golden brown. What is going on?? Then with all my multi-tasking I remembered I did not raise the temperature to 425 first. It was already set on 350 for the brownies. I did not get the nice dark crunch on the top. But, once again tasted awesome and my husband toasted them with a little butter – perfect.
Success at number 3 banana currant almond muffins
Finally the beautiful golden muffin top I was looking for. I decided to make small adjustments in a few ingredients. I increased the baking powder slightly and added just a couple tablespoons more of flour and sifted the dry ingredient together. Instead of fresh blueberries I used dried currants and almonds slices for added crunch. This time I chilled the batter for a couple hours. While it was chilling, I went out and bought a new muffin pan that holds 6 giant muffins instead of the 12 I was using. Came back and pre-heated the oven to 450. I filled the muffin liners to the top and baked for 12 minutes then, turned the heat down to 375 and baked for another 12 minutes. They came out perfect! I not only got an awesome golden, crunchy muffin top but, they tasted amazing, the extra baking powder and flour did not affect the flavor, they were super moist and delicious! For an extra tip make a list and go by every step exactly. Baking is a science and if there is just one mis-step as I discovered it will cost you in the end.
Banana Currant Almond Muffins
Yields: 5-6 large muffins
Time: 45-60 minutes