What Kind of Muffin Pan Should I Use?

Author: Chef Sydney

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What are Muffin Pans?

A muffin pan is an oven-safe pan with individual cups used to hold batter.  Muffin pans are also called cupcake pans, cupcake trays, or muffin trays.  Muffin pans usually come in a size of 12, but can also come in 4, 6, or 24.  Muffin pans can come in mini, regular, or larger sizes for different sized muffins or cupcakes.

What are Muffin Pans Used For?

Muffin pans are used for holding batters or mixes while they bake in the oven.  Muffin pans are usually made to make muffins and cupcakes.  Other uses for muffin pans include homemade peanut butter cups, baked egg cups, or even some types of no-bake desserts.

Muffin pan filled with freshly baked chocolate cupcakes.

What are the Different Types of Muffin Pans?

  • Silicone
  • Stainless Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Nonstick
  • Light or Dark Colored

Silicone: Silicone muffin pans are good for sticky batter because of the nonstick properties of the pan.  Silicone muffin pans are usually flimsy and require a baking sheet underneath them to support them in the oven.  They don’t cook food as evenly as other types of pans.

Stainless Steel: Stainless steel muffin pans are very strong and durable.  Stainless steel muffin pans are usually nonstick.  This type of muffin pan is slower at conducting heat, which means your food may not cook as quickly as they would in an aluminum pan.

Aluminum: Aluminum muffin pans are one of the most popular kinds of muffin pans.  Aluminum muffin pans distribute heat evenly and cook food evenly.  While aluminum muffin pans are reasonably strong, they can dent easily.  They also warp easily when facing temperature changes.

Nonstick: Nonstick muffin pans are usually metal pans made with a nonstick coating.  This means that you may not have to grease the pan before placing your batter or food into the cups.  Nonstick pans have to be replaced when the nonstick coating wears off.

Light and Dark Colored: The color of metal can affect how food bakes.  Darker metal muffin pans typically brown food faster and can cause the bottoms to burn before the food finishes cooking.  Lighter muffin pans usually cook more evenly and create a golden-brown bottom on food.

Recipes Using Muffin Pans

Decorated Cake Pops

Bake your favorite cake recipe and cool. Using your hands, crumble the cake in a bowl until it resembles crumbs. Spoon a small amount of frosting into the cake crumbs and mix until combined. Scoop out the cake crumb mixture and roll into a ball. Insert a lollipop stick and dip the cake balls in melted milk or white chocolate. Fill the wells of the muffin pan with different toppings like sprinkles, nuts, and chocolate chips. Dip your cake pop into the toppings and place on a baking sheet to refrigerate.

Miniature Cheesecakes

Create a no-bake cheesecake in a muffin pan! Mix melted butter and crushed graham crackers together and line the bottoms of the muffin pans. For the filling, combine softened cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, heavy cream, and sour cream into a bowl. Spoon the filling into the muffin pan and place the pan in the refrigerator to set.

Baked Egg Cups

Make scrambled egg cups in the oven. Pour eggs, a splash of water, vegetables, and seasoning into a liquid measuring cup. Whip together with a fork and pour mixture into a greased muffin pan and bake.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Enjoy your favorite chocolate cake in cupcake form. Prepare your favorite chocolate cake batter as directed. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and fill about halfway with batter. Bake cupcakes for about half the time you would for cake until cooked. Drizzle homemade caramel over the top for a sweet touch.


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