Muffins aren’t just for breakfast, at least not in our house. My family enjoys muffins at any time of the day, for all occasions – sweet or savory. But there’s nothing more frustrating than baking up some of my favorite muffins and having difficulty getting them out of the pan.
So, I’ve gathered a few of the best ways to remove muffins from the baking pan whether you’ve used a paper liner or have baked your muffins right in the tins.
Here’s everything you need to know about getting muffins out of the pan and onto the plate!
How to Get Muffins out of a Pan
1 – Top Quality Muffin Tins
Whether you’re going to be baking your muffins right in the tin or using a paper liner, the quality of muffin pan you use really does matter. Avoid using inexpensive tins from the dollar store and invest in a top quality muffin tin that’s going to conduct heat throughout the pan.
My personal favorite is my non-stick muffin tin. Even though I have to be careful cleaning the non-stick material, muffins come out easily without having to use a paper liner and the bottom of the muffin is nicely browned without being over-baked.
2 – Muffin Paper Liners
Perhaps the best and easiest way to get muffins out of the pan is to use a muffin paper liner. You can purchase these in a basic white or with patterns and colors for special occasions.
I usually use a paper liner when I’m baking muffins that have a lot of fruit in them – the fruit makes the batter wetter and more likely to stick to the muffin pan no matter how well I grease it.
To use the liners just place them in the pan and fill with muffin batter. Then bake!
3 – Silicone Muffin Liners
An alternative to using paper liners are silicone muffin liners. They’re simple to use, reusable, and easy to clean and store. The first couple of times you use them, you’ll need to “condition” them – just wash in warm soapy water and dry well.
Then coat each liner with a bit of non-stick baking spray or a thin layer of vegetable oil. After these two times, there’s no need to condition with each batch of muffins you bake. If muffins start sticking, you can condition again.
To use, place the liners in a muffin tin or on a cookie sheet – then just fill each liner with muffin batter and bake. When baked, pull out of the oven and immediately remove the muffins from the liners.
Voila! You should have no problem getting muffins out of the pan.
Tip: I find the silicone muffin liners don’t work well with dense muffins, such as bran, where I want to get a nice browned muffin bottom.
4 – Greasing Well Matters
If you’re not using muffin paper cups, you’ll need to grease the muffin tin well. This means greasing right into the bottom edges of the pan as well as up onto the rim of the pan, so the muffin top doesn’t stick.
Dense muffins do well with just greasing, but for lighter muffins that are almost like cupcakes, I also flour the tins after greasing as added assurance that my muffins are going to come out of the pan without being ruined.
Be sure to tap the pan upside down over the sink to remove all excess flour – otherwise you’ll end up with muffins that have a floury bottom.
5 – Let Baked Muffins Cool
Once baked, pull the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack. Leave the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes before removing. This not only lets the muffins cool – it also lets them rest and pull away a bit from the sides of the muffin tin.
Tip: Don’t let muffins rest in the pan for longer than 5 minutes, otherwise the result may be soggy muffins!
6 – The Wet Towel Method
If the last couple of batches of your favorite muffins were stubborn to come out of the pan, you may have success using a wet towel. When taking the muffin pan out of the oven, place it on top of a wet towel on the counter.
Let the muffins rest for about 10 minutes and then remove from the pan. This technique often works well for sweet muffins that have a lot of butter in the batter.
7 – Easing Muffins from the Pan
Sometimes no matter what you do, those muffins are just going to refuse to easily pop out of the tins. You can use a utensil such as a thin pairing knife to ease muffins out of the pan – but you’ll need to be careful not to ruin them.
Carefully run the knife around the edge of each tin, being sure to press into the sides of the pan so the pressure remains off of the muffin.
Shake the pan gently before trying to remove muffins again. I’ve had success with this technique when using a thin pairing knife – another option is to use a metal skewer or crochet needle!
8 – Use a Warm Oven
If you’ve greased the pan with enough oil or butter, have tried the wet towel method, and run a thin knife around the edges and your muffins still won’t come out of the pan, try putting them back into the oven. Not a hot oven, but one that is warm with a pan of water on the bottom to create a bit of steam.
Place the muffin pan on the middle shelf and turn the oven on low. The warmth of the oven and the moisture from the water can help to ease the baked muffin away from the sides of the pan.
Leave in the oven for about 5 minutes and then try removing the muffins again. I find this method of taking muffins from the pan works well when I’ve baked a muffin that contains a lot of wet fruit, such as my peach streusel muffins.
9 – Freezing Out Stubborn Muffins
You’ll know when muffins just won’t come out of the pan no matter what you try – the first muffin you remove breaks apart, with half of it sticking to the pan. If this happens it just might be time for this technique.
Leave in the freezer for about one hour and remove. Take a thin knife and carefully run around the edges. Gently pop out the muffins.
Whether you’re baking delicate blueberry muffins with berries fresh from the garden or are baking up a batch of savory cornmeal and jalapeno muffins, you can use my tips here to get muffins out of the pan each and every time!
Of course, all of this can be avoided if you simply bake your muffins without a pan in the first place 🙂
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.