Sure, baked muffins taste heavenly, but ovens aren’t always the most reliable. Maybe it’s too hot to tolerate oven heat. Or maybe you just want to try something new.
They say that cooking is an art, but baking is a science that you follow to a tee. So, can you really replace ovens in a basic muffin recipe?
The answer is yes, you can make muffins in less than 30 minutes without needing an oven at all.
If you’re wondering how to make muffins without oven baking, you’ve come to the right place!
In this post, you’ll find a perfect batter recipe and three alternative ways to cook muffins at home.
Let’s dig in!
How to Make Muffins With No Oven at Home
Before we get to our no-oven baking techniques, we need to start with the best batter mix for your delicious little treats.
The classic fluffy muffin recipe can be hard to perfect, but the secret is mixing the right batter consistency.
Check out this foolproof recipe to make 12 mouth-watering muffins:
Step #1: Get the Necessary Ingredients
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of yogurt or sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ oil or unsalted butter
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- A pinch of salt
- A few drops of vanilla extract
- Graham crackers, confectionery sprinkles, or nuts (optional)
- Berries or chocolate chips (optional)
Step #2: Mix the Batter
Add your wet ingredient first in a bowl and whisk it till you get a homogenous paste. That includes milk, butter, egg, yogurt, and vanilla extract.
Then, gradually, add the mix of dry components. These are sugar, flour, baking powder, and cocoa if you’re making a chocolate batter.
Step #3: Add a Flavor Boost
If you’re going to flare up your batter with a filling, now’s the time! Mix in the batter one final time and make sure the bowl is deep enough.
Berries and chocolate chips are the most common muffin fillers. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a zucchini twist.
To prepare your toppings, crush some crackers or nuts to give the bake a nice texture and lifting color.
Step #4: Choose a Baking Method
Now, you have your batter all mixed up, and you’re ready to start the actual bake.
There are multiple ways you can make muffins at home with no oven. You can use a microwave, air fryer, electric steamer, or even a skillet on a stovetop!
Choose the most suitable technique for you, and let’s check out the details with all the tips and tricks!
1 – Microwave Baking
Some microwaves have a convection setting that works best to simulate an oven-back, but you can still use yours on regular mode.
A major plus here is the rotating dishes that most microwaves have. It saves you the hassle of shifting the tray during the bake.
The best thing about replacing regular oven baking with a microwave is how fast it is! In only a few minutes, you can have a nice tray of fluffy, moist microwave muffins.
How to Make Microwave Muffins
- Check if the microwave has a pre-heat setting to get a more even bake on the batter. If your model doesn’t have this option, feel free to skip this step.
- Pour the mix into microwavable cups and lightly tap each container to get rid of air gaps.
- Distribute the cups around the microwave’s tray and set the timer for 30-45 seconds.
- Prick the muffin with a toothpick to test if the batter is still liquid and needs another round.
Tips and Tricks
- One downside to microwave muffins is that they lack the golden surface of oven-baked ones. Besides caramel drizzles, use crushed crackers or nuts to add texture and color.
- Never use aluminum foil in a microwave. Double-check that the silicone cups you’re using are microwave compatible.
- On the highest power, the batter should cook fully in a minute or two, at most. However, we recommend splitting the time into multiple segments to avoid overcooking.
- To evenly reheat the bake, put one or two at a time back into the microwave and set the timer for 15-20 seconds.
2 – Electric Steamer Baking
We were surprised by this one, but it turned out that steaming is a very reasonable technique for ovenless baking.
Steamed muffins aren’t exactly the same as baked ones. The cup won’t be as dense, but it’s still delicious.
As long as you have an electric steamer at home, you can make the fluffiest muffins you’ve ever seen!
Let’s see how:
How to Make Steamed Muffins
- Fill the electric steamer halfway with water and let it pre-heat while you mix the batter.
- Pour in the muffin batter and tap the sides to fill the molds evenly.
- Once the muffin cups are in the steamer basket, reduce the heat to medium and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
- Don’t take the muffins out immediately after cooking. Instead, let them cool down inside the steamer first to avoid shrinkage.
Tips and Tricks
- Midway through the cook, open the lid and wipe it clean to prevent the droplets from raining back on the batter. Be careful not to burn your hands. though!
- Don’t steam the batter on the highest setting on the steamer. Otherwise, it could boil and lose its consistency.
- If you don’t have a steamer on hand, use a skillet with a small amount of water and cover the top with a lip.
- Steamed muffins are also microwavable. So, feel free to reheat them up just like you would with microwave bakes.
3 – Air Fryer Baking
Did you know that you can cook muffin cups in almost all air fryers? They’re convection ovens, after all!
Air fryers are notorious for their crispy results. With this method, you get a nice golden crust on the top.
The only catch here is that you may need to do multiple batches depending on the size of the basket in your air fryer.
Check out the steps:
How to Make Air Fried Muffins
- Preheat the air fryer on medium heat for 5 minutes or so.
- Space the muffins in the basket and keep in mind that they’ll rise and puff out. You might need to cook two or three only at a time.
- Follow the instructions for the bake setting on your air fryer. It’s usually 320 °F for around 10 minutes.
- Take the basket out halfway to make sure there’s enough space between the cups, and they won’t mush together as they rise.
Tips and Tricks
- If you don’t have silicone cups at home, double up on the paper ones to support the muffin’s shape.
- Line your basket with parchment paper if you’re concerned about over-spillage. You can cut some holes into it for better air circulation.
- Keep in mind that air fryers add more browning and texture than regular ovens. It doesn’t mean that the batter is burnt.
- Take your muffins to cool down outside the convection oven and start preparing the next batch!
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about no-oven muffin recipes:
Q: Can you use aluminum foil inside air fryer baskets?
A: Yes, unlike microwaves, air fryers are compatible with aluminum. You can use aluminum muffin cups as long as you use paper liners to minimize sticking.
In general, it might be safer to avoid acidic ingredients with aluminum foil since the reaction can be toxic.
Q: Can you make eggless microwave muffins?
A: Yes, eggless microwave muffins are very easy to make, and they’re delicious little treats. You’ll need to substitute it with condensed milk or a mix of water, baking powder, and oil.
On the other hand, you could use mashed extra-ripe banana or avocado. A ¼ cup of applesauce works nicely for vegan recipes.
Q: How to make a fluffy muffin batter?
A: Using the wet ingredients cold can take away some of the fluff in the batter because it’s harder to get a uniform mix with them.
Instead, we recommend leaving the components at room temperature for half an hour before mixing, especially the butter, eggs, and milk.
Q: Can you store muffin batter in a fridge?
A: Yes, it’s possible to store your homemade batter mix in the fridge. You can chill it overnight for up to 12 days safely.
Alternatively, you can freeze the batter and store it for months. Just make sure to store smaller portions separately so you won’t have to thaw and then re-freeze.
Q: What is the best way to store fresh muffins?
A: First, you should let the muffins cool down completely in the open air. Then, you can transport them to an airtight container.
Line the container with paper towels to keep the bake from getting soggy. You can even cover the top with another towel.
That’s a wrap on our alternative baking guide. By now, we hope you know how to make muffins without oven baking.
With our three muffin-making methods, you can get the same classic treat. Go for a microwave, electric steamer, air fryer, pan, or skillet. Whichever is available on hand.
Be careful around the kitchen, and don’t let a broken-down oven take dessert away from you!
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.