how to make muffins without a muffin pan, muffins recipe, homemade muffins

I was shocked to discover that one of my friends thought she couldn’t make muffins without a muffin tray; a type of pan used for baking muffins. The muffin batter is poured into the individual pockets and as the muffin bakes, a top forms over the pocket while the base of the muffin is baked in the shape of the cup.

While these special baking pans make creating muffins a whole lot easier, they’re not integral to your enjoyment of the small, round breakfast cakes. Why miss out on the enjoyment of making muffins, even without a muffin pan? If you’re unsure how then here for you is our guide on how to make muffins without a muffin pan.

It’s even possible to turn making muffins without a muffin pan to your advantage. I’m personally a big fan of making blueberry muffins in a normal baking pan to create a kind of blueberry breakfast bread that’s much easier for me to portion off each morning. The baking process is pretty much the same, with the same dough, the same cooking time, and the same taste and texture in the finished product.

You’re just using a normal baking pan and not a special muffin pan. And who doesn’t like making things easier for themselves? No one, that’s who. Especially in the kitchen, and even more so when it comes to baking!

cupcakes, cupcakes recipes

The difference?

My breakfast bread is enjoyed in rectangular slices rather than as a round muffin. Ok, they may not look the same, but make no mistake; they sure do taste the same. And if your family are anything like mine, they’ll wolf them down in the morning before leaving for school or work without even noticing the shape. Believe me, they won’t care one bit that you’ve made yours without a muffin pan. 

Even without a muffin pan, though, you can make round muffins without embracing my heathen ways. How? It’s just so simple and easy, as you’ll see…

Here are some tricks on how to make mini-muffins without a pan.

Use Multiple Liners

cupcake liners, cupcake liners paperIf you’ve ever made muffins or cupcakes in the past, you’ve probably got a big packet of paper or foil muffin liners sitting in one of your cupboards. The grocery store sells these in pretty big packets compared to how many you actually use when making muffins each time. You generally find that you have plenty left over. Be sure to take a look before going to the store to be any more.

It turns out that these things are stiff enough that they’ll stand up on their own without any special pan. For best results, use two or even three paper liners. Foil liners are often robust enough to work on their own, however.

To make muffins with this method, simply place your doubled or tripled liners on top of a baking sheet or tray. If you’re worried about spillage, it’s best to use something with a lip. Fill them according to your recipe and cook as if you were using a muffin pan. After the same amount of time and same temperature in the oven…and hey presto! You’ve got the same muffins without having used a special muffin pan.

Use Jar Lids

But what if you don’t happen to have a big packet of paper or foil muffin liners just sitting in one of your cupboards from previously? No problem! You and your family don’t have to miss out on your delicious muffins. And it doesn’t mean that you have to go to the store to buy that paper or those foil muffin liners either. You can use other items that you’ll commonly find that you already have in the kitchen. Here’s how to make muffins without a muffin pan or liners.

how to make cupcake from scratch, customized cupcakeIf you want to add a bit of structural support to your muffin liners, try placing them in mason jar rings or even oven-safe teacups. You’ve probably got either or both to hand in your kitchen. Be sure to check next time before you start to make those delicious muffins. Anyway, This usually isn’t necessary if you’ve doubled your liners, but it can often let you get away with a single layer when you otherwise couldn’t.

Make Your Own Liners

Of course, it’s easiest to use store-bought cupcake liners for these tricks, but you can make your own in a pinch if you’re making muffins without a muffin pan. Simply mold baking paper (parchment paper or wax paper are ideal, but aluminum foil will work in a pinch) into a cupcake-like shape using the bottom of a glass or teacup.

The stiffer the paper the better.

It might take a few tries to get your homemade liners into the shape you want. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, however, you’ll be able to crank out a plethora of homemade liners and be making muffins without a muffin pan in no time.

cupcake liner silicone, parchment cupcake liner

It’s worth noting that it might be tempting to use tape to shape your muffin molds. Tape isn’t the smartest thing to put in the oven for long periods of time, but if it’s not touching anything you’re planning to eat you’re probably not going to have a major issue throwing it in a 375 Fahrenheit oven for a half-hour.

blueberry cupcakes, blueberry cupcakes recipeWhat you will have issues with, however, is getting the tape to stick to parchment or waxed paper. If you insist on using tape (and it’s not the best idea), I’d suggest wrapping the molds entirely in masking tape so it only has to stick to itself. Again, though, you’re much better of simply molding them with pressure and patience. I think that it’s worth it so that you’re able to make muffins without a muffin pan or liners.

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The Normal Recipe, Without The Pan

Even without a muffin pan, you can use cupcake liners in order to make muffins or cupcakes at home. Simply use one of the tricks above to make durable liners, throw your liners on top of a cookie sheet or baking tray, and follow your recipe as you would with a cupcake pan. In next to no time you’ll be making muffins without a muffin pan for your family, friends, and you yourself to enjoy…

Nobody will know that you skipped the muffin tray unless you tell them!

If you’re a bit less worried about the shape of your muffins, however, try using a greased baking pan and just make a muffin cake. It’ll taste the same, it just won’t be muffin-shaped. You might have to slightly adjust your cooking time depending on the size of your pan and what it’s made out of. Just stick in a toothpick as your muffin cake gets close to done. When it comes out clean, your cake is fully cooked.

So there it is; how to make muffins without a muffin pan or liners. It’s easy, as you can see. When it comes to the kitchen, and especially baking, anything that makes it simpler and easier is a good thing, right? Just follow the suggestions above, and I hope that you’ll be making muffins without a muffin pan or liners in no time for all to enjoy. Just keep the spoon for yourself to lick. Happy baking!

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Peter's path through the culinary world has taken a number of unexpected turns. After starting out as a waiter at the age of 16, he was inspired to go to culinary school and learn the tricks of the trade. As he delved deeper, however, his career took a sudden turn when a family friend needed someone to help manage his business. Peter now scratches his culinary itch on the internet by blogging, sharing recipes, and socializing with food enthusiasts worldwide.

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