Muffins are a very versatile baked good that people will make for different occasions. Sometimes people will make them purely because they want to have a dessert; other times, they will be made to accompany dinner.
If you’re making muffins and you find that you’re having a tough time getting them to turn out right, that could be disheartening. Some have noted that getting the them to brown on top is difficult for them.
Why wouldn’t the muffins brown on top the way that they’re supposed to? Is something that you’re doing wrong keeping the tops from browning as expected?
Read on to learn all about baking muffins and why they might not be turning out right. You should be able to learn how to turn things around once you’ve read all of the information.
You Aren’t Baking Them for Long Enough
One possibility is that you’re simply not baking your muffins for long enough. If your muffins aren’t browning on top, then perhaps you gave up before they had a chance to brown.
It’s normal to be worried about leaving your muffins in the oven too long because you don’t want them to burn. However, you don’t want to take them out of the oven too soon or they won’t turn out properly.
The best thing to do is to turn the oven light on and keep an eye on your muffins when it gets close to the recommended baking time being done. Many people also try to brown the tops of them by leaving them in the oven at a lower temperature.
For example, you could lower the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and let the muffins bake for a further five minutes. This might give them the perfect amount of time to brown on top without burning on the bottom.
What If the Muffins Burn?
When the muffins that you’re trying to bake are burning, this means that you’re leaving them in the oven too long. You could also be baking them at a higher temperature than you’re supposed to.
Any muffin recipe that you’re going to use will come with a temperature recommendation for baking them. You should ensure that you’re following the temperature recommendation to get the best results.
Set a timer to ensure that you don’t leave them in the oven for too long as well. The only notable thing about this is that it’s unlikely that your muffins would burn without browning on top, but burning them is definitely not ideal.
Try to be more careful about following the right temperature directions as well as baking time recommendations. Remember that some ovens will run a little or might have hotspots that you will need to deal with too.
For instance, some ovens will burn things more the closer that they get to the sides of the oven. This means that baking a tray of muffins closer to the center of the oven is usually going to be ideal.
Try a Different Oven Position
Trying a different oven position might help you to brown your muffins at well. As you know, ovens have racks that will allow you to place trays on them, and which level you place the trays on will make a difference.
Placing a tray of muffins on the top rack will be more likely to help them bake faster. Placing them on the bottom rack will make it take more time in most ovens.
Sometimes you will need to play around with the positioning of your muffins to get the best results. Ovens will differ and finding the ideal position for them to get them brown on top might take some trial and error.
A recipe might ask you to place the muffin tin on the middle rack, but you might find that you get better results on the top rack in your oven. Knowing your oven and how it bakes things can help you to get the brown muffins that you’re going for.
What If the Tops Turn Out Peaked?
Another common issue that people talk about is that muffins will turn out peaked on the top. This is pretty normal, and you generally expect to see a domed shape on top if things go as planned.
However, what people usually mean by saying their muffins are peaked on top is that they are more peaked than usual. If they are coming to a strange peak at the top that makes them more closely resemble a mountain than a dome, something has gone awry.
This occurs when you mix the muffins more than you should. Typically, mixing muffins a little too much will lead to results such as this, and you can get things to turn out normal by only mixing them enough to get things moist.
Thankfully, having your muffins peak a bit too much won’t ruin them or anything. It just might make them a bit less aesthetically pleasing if you were going for a traditional muffin look.
Getting the Ingredients Wrong
Getting the ingredients wrong might cause some issues when baking muffins. If you accidentally got the measurements wrong when putting together your muffin mix, things will be thrown off.
Recipes give you recommended temperatures and baking times based on the exact measurements of the ingredients in the recipe. If things get thrown off significantly, getting the right results will be more difficult.
For example, you could use too much flour or use one less egg than you needed to. If your muffins aren’t browning properly, it’s also possible that they aren’t baking properly.
It’s always going to be wise to make sure that you double-check your ingredients to ensure that you get the measurements right. This helps you to prevent little mistakes that will hold you back from baking the muffins that you have been craving.
Filling the Muffin Cups Too Much
Finally, you should consider that filling the muffin cups too much will be a problem. Some people make the mistake of filling muffin cups all the way to the top when they’re first starting out.
You don’t want to do this because the muffins are going to rise as they bake. The general recommendation is to fill the cups about 75% of the way to get the best results.
If you fill the cups too much, everything is going to overflow and it’s going to make a big mess. Not only will you have issues with getting the muffins to brown, but you’ll also have problems getting them to bake right.
When everything gets all over the place, it’s even possible that muffin batter could fall into the oven. You don’t want this to happen, and it’s just another reason why you should be careful when baking.
If you follow the advice above, you’ll have a much better chance at getting the muffins to turn out well. You can enjoy brown muffins with beautiful domed tops so long as you do things the right way.
Don’t fret over making a few mistakes, though. Even if your current batch didn’t turn out perfectly, it’s always going to be possible to do better next time.
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.