Unlike cupcakes, muffins are more closely related to bread in that they may be savory or sweet, call for less sugar, and typically contain less fast. Many people may struggle to make good homemade muffins normally because they follow the same general guidelines for baking cupcakes. The best tips for making muffins are to not over mix the ingredients and to use only fresh products. It is also important to ensure the muffins rise properly by using even measurements and watching for uneven baking.
When making homemade muffins, it is important to mix the ingredients properly to avoid dry, heavy or rough textures. Normally, the wet ingredients are mixed separately from the dry ingredients before they are finally mixed together. Many bakers suggest mixing the ingredients by hand to avoid over mixing. The goal is typically to have lumpy batter where the dry ingredients are merely moistened. This should create light and fluffy muffins that rise well.
While the method of mixing is important, the quality of the ingredients is also key. Some people suggest using wet ingredients at room temperature to allow for better mixing and quicker baking. Fresh ingredients are also preferred, especially fresh baking soda and baking powder as this helps the muffins to rise higher. Added ingredients, such as nuts and dried fruits, should also be coated in flour before being added to the batter, as this may prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the homemade muffins during baking. These may also be placed on top of the batter just before the mixture is put in the oven.
Some people may think that cups filled higher with muffin mix will result in bigger tops on the homemade muffins; however, this may actually result in flat tops that overspill on the pan. This is because there is not enough room in the cups for the batter to fully rise and fluff. The cups should instead be filled approximately two-thirds to three-fourths of the way full. To ensure that the appropriate amount of batter is in each cup, an ice cream scoop or soup ladle may be used. Greasing the bottoms of the cups and halfway up the sides may also aid in creating bigger muffin tops.
It is important to make sure that the homemade muffins are baking evenly. The first way to do this is usually to make sure the oven is fully preheated. Many people also suggest adding water into any empty cups before placing the tray in the oven. This allows the heat to distribute evenly and may even prevent the pan from deforming. Some bakers even suggest placing the pan on a baking sheet to prevent the bottoms of the muffins from over baking.