Whether as a quick snack, an on-the-go breakfast, or a sugary dessert, muffins have almost no haters!
One tricky aspect of making these baked goods is getting enough height to create those beautiful domed tops.
I ran into this problem all the time with my muffin batches back when I started making my own. I know people who are still dealing with deflated muffins even after years of baking at home!
Luckily, I came across several ways to bake taller and fluffier muffins, and today I’m sharing the ones that really work!
So, if you want to know how to make muffins rise higher, the following methods offer the best results.
1 – Get the Temperature Right
The first thing you should pay attention to is the baking temperature. If you bake the muffins at the wrong temperature or one that isn’t ideal, chances are you’ll encounter mishaps.
For example, your muffins may spill over the molds while baking. Some of the batter might even drip down into the oven and cause a terrible burn smell.
While most conventional muffin recipes recommend baking between 325 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit (160 and 190 degrees Celsius), I say it’s better to bake muffins at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius).
You might be worried that this won’t work since many muffin recipes tell you to avoid baking at such a high temperature. But these recipes don’t care about getting the muffins to rise higher.
Baking at a high temperature activates the leavening agent faster, which makes it more likely to produce a significant rise for the muffins.
Of course, you should reduce the baking time when you set the temperature higher. Generally, you’ll get a good rise by baking between 18 and 20 minutes at this temperature.
You’ll probably need to experiment a bit at first depending on the type of muffins you’re making.
2 – Use Room-Temperature Ingredients
A common mistake I noticed among home bakers is that they use cold ingredients when making muffins.
It’s certainly easier to just take ingredients out of the refrigerator and start mixing up muffin batter right away. However, doing this won’t get you the volume you’re after.
Using room-temperature ingredients eliminates the interference of the cold with the rising process.
This means you should keep set ingredients such as butter, milk, and eggs on the counter to warm up before use. An hour or so in advance should be enough.
3 – Don’t Wait Too Long to Put the Muffins in the Oven
Too much time between mixing the batter and putting the muffins in the oven is another mistake that prevents the muffins from effectively rising.
If your recipe calls for baking soda, you should pay extra attention to this tip. Waiting too long could affect the leavening agent, and the muffins may not form the domed tops you’re hoping for.
Why? Well, when you mix the wet and dry ingredients, they start reacting. We’re looking to have the leavening process happen under heat so it’s more vigorous. Leaving the batter at room temperature for too long “wastes” some of the rise.
I recommend spooning the batter into the muffin tins as soon as you finish mixing. Then, transfer the tins to the oven to start baking as soon as possible.
Don’t forget to preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit so it’s good to go once you’re done mixing and spooning. I mean, sitting around waiting for the oven to finish preheating defeats the whole point of this tip!
4 – Make the Batter Thicker
Next, you should try making the muffin batter as thick as possible. Thin batter doesn’t do as well when you’re trying to make tall, fluffy muffins.
Generally, when the batter is too thin, it’s because you added too much liquid. You can thicken up the batter by adjusting the measurements of the ingredients.
For example, you can use more flour to make the batter less soupy. You can also add slightly less butter or oil depending on the consistency at hand.
When it comes to muffin batter, you want to be able to easily transfer it with a spoon. The batter shouldn’t be so runny that you could pour it.
Playing around with the ingredients is often necessary to get the consistency just right. You could also try following a different muffin recipe if you think that the one you’re using isn’t working out.
5 – Fill the Muffin Tins Properly
Filling the muffin tins properly will also help you get those beautiful tall muffins with domed tops.
If you follow all of the tips above and fill your tins all the way, your muffins should rise higher.
This does fly in the face of traditional muffin baking advice as most recipes tell you that filling the muffin tin half full or three-fourths full is the way to go.
But that won’t work for height.
When you fill the tins all the way, you’re going to have more batter to work with. More batter makes it more likely for the muffins to rise higher.
Stop filling the muffin tins when the molds are nearly full. Don’t let the batter flow over the edges.
Keep in mind that going down this route may leave you with fewer muffins than the recipe promises. For example, you may wind up with enough batter for 9 muffins instead of 12.
6 – Try Steam Baking
This tip has been trending on TikTok recently, but it’s been around for years!
The idea is that steam produces air bubbles within the batter, which causes the granules to expand. This results in fluffier muffins with some extra rise.
As you’re filling the muffin tin molds, leave 1 or 2 of the middle molds empty and fill them with hot water instead. This also promotes even baking and prevents burning.
7 – Don’t Open the Oven
It can be pretty tempting to check on the muffins as they bake, but I’d avoid that as much as possible.
Opening the oven door lets out the trapped hot air, causing a sudden drop in the temperature that we’re trying to keep high and constant. This gets in the way of proper rising, so you can forget about tall muffins.
8 – Don’t Remove the Muffins from the Tin Right Away
You may be in a hurry to try the muffins or clean up the tin after baking, but you still should wait a few minutes before taking the muffins out of the molds.
Letting the muffins rest for about 5 minutes will help maintain their structure and shape.
9 – Cool Upside Down
After allowing the muffins enough time to rest in the tin, you’ll transfer them to a wire rack or a tea towel for cooling.
But instead of placing the muffins on their bottoms, have them stand upside down.
This improves the dome look, enhances volume, and prevents the bottoms from getting soggy.
There’s a lot to remember when you’re trying to make your muffins rise higher and form those gorgeous domed tops.
Luckily, pulling this off isn’t that hard once you get used to the process!
You need to make sure that you bake the muffins at a high enough temperature, use room-temperature ingredients when making the batter, and get the batter thick enough.
Once the batter is ready, fill the tins right away, get them into the oven, and start baking as soon as possible. Be sure to fill the molds until almost full, and apply steam baking.
After baking, let the muffins rest for a few minutes in the tin before placing them upside down to cool on a wire rack or tea towel.
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.