Lifting a well-baked, perfectly shaped muffin off a pan is a delight. However, it’s not always possible.
Muffins end up sticking to the pan if you don’t grease the pan properly before adding the batter.
So, how should you grease muffin pans?
9 Different Ways to Grease Muffin Pans
You can choose any of the following ways to grease a muffin pan.
The good news is that all of them work equally well.
1. Use Butter and Flour
This is a relatively easy way to grease muffin pans and always gives good results. Follow these steps:
- You will need one tablespoon of butter per muffin. Melt the required quantity of butter so that it spreads easily.
- Dip a pastry brush in the butter and brush it all over the surface of each muffin tin.
- Make sure to grease all the sides and corners properly.
- Wait for a minute until the butter sets in the pan.
- Dust all the surfaces of the pan generously with flour. All the butter should be completely covered.
- Tip the pan to get rid of any excess flour.
- Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tray and proceed to bake as usual.
2. Grease with Butter Only
If you want to avoid a mess when greasing the muffin tin, you can avoid dusting it with flour.
For most types of batter, the muffin will lift off the pan if you use just butter.
Most recipes for muffins that use butter end up producing slightly greasy batter.
So you will usually need just enough butter to cover the entire surface of the muffin tray.
You can use the butter that remains on the paper to grease the pan.
Simply rub the paper all over the surface of the tray to cover it evenly.
Then, pour the batter into the greased tray.
Alternatively, you can also melt refrigerated butter till it’s just runny.
Use a pastry brush or kitchen towel dipped in butter to spread it over the muffin tin.
Butter will transfer a creamy flavor to the baked item. So if you don’t coat it with flour, the muffin will taste buttery.
3. Grease with Cooking Spray
An easy way to grease muffin pans without creating much mess is to use cooking spray.
All you need is a can of cooking spray for this method.
It saves you the trouble of cleaning a pastry brush afterward.
For this method, choose a neutral-tasting cooking spray.
Spray all the surfaces of the pan with a generous amount of cooking spray.
Hold the nozzle at a distance to make sure the spray gets into the base and corners.
Coat all the sides but don’t allow the oil to pool at the base. This can spoil the flavor of the muffins.
4. Grease with Shortening
Shortening is a good alternative to butter for greasing muffin pans.
Since it has no taste, it will not affect the flavor of the muffin. It’s also easily spreadable.
Use a pastry brush to spread shortening on the tray. Alternatively, you can also use a kitchen towel.
Dip it in the shortening and run it all over the surface of the muffin tray to spread it evenly.
Pour the batter over the greased tin and proceed to bake as usual.
5. Use Baking Grease
Professional bakers prefer to use baking grease to grease muffin pans.
It’s easily available in the baking supplies aisle at most supermarkets. You can also make it at home.
The recipe for baking grease is equal parts of oil, shortening, and flour.
Mix the three ingredients thoroughly and combine with a whisk till the mixture turns light and fluffy.
You can make it just before baking and store the excess in the refrigerator.
Bring to room temperature before using again.
To grease a muffin pan with baking grease, follow these steps:
- Dip a pastry brush or kitchen towel in the baking grease till well-coated.
- Run it all over the surface of the muffin tray.
- Ensure that all surfaces are evenly covered. Get the grease into the corners and base as well.
- Let it sit for a minute or two.
- Pour the muffin batter into the molds without overfilling.
- Bake as usual.
6. Use a Silicone Muffin Tray
If you want to skip the entire process of greasing a muffin pan, replace your metal pan with a silicone muffin tray.
Technically, these pans don’t need any greasing.
You can easily push the finished muffins out of the pliable molds once they are cooked.
Nonetheless, you can also apply a light coat of cooking spray to prevent any sticking.
The downside of using silicone muffin pans is that they aren’t sturdy.
To stabilize and handle them easily, place the pan on a cookie sheet.
7. Use a Non-Stick Pan
Non-stick muffin pans have a layer of Teflon or PTFE on their surface.
This non-stick material prevents food from sticking. So it will easily come off the surface.
However, depending on the quality of the non-stick coating, you may have to lightly grease the surface.
Apply a thin layer of butter, oil, or cooking spray to ensure that the muffins lift off the pan easily.
8. Use a Muffin Liner
One of the easiest ways to prepare a muffin pan for baking is to line each mold with a muffin liner.
This method is reliable and practical when you want to cook many muffins.
It’s cleaner and makes it much easier to handle the pan.
Muffin liners are usually made of baking paper, parchment paper, or aluminum foil.
Since the paper is heat-resistant, you can place them in the oven.
Some people prefer to spray a thin layer of cooking spray on muffin liners before adding the batter.
However, this is optional.
You can add the batter directly into the liners. Fill the liners halfway with the batter to prevent overflowing.
It will get set in the shape of the liner and be easy to remove and use.
9. Line with Parchment Paper
A cheaper alternative to using muffin liners is lining a muffin pan with parchment paper.
It produces similar results and saves you the trouble of greasing the pan each time.
To make parchment paper liners, cut 5-inch circular strips of parchment paper. Push them into each mold.
Some parts of the parchment paper will stick out of the tin.
However, this isn’t a problem as it makes it easy to lift the muffins out after baking.
Add the muffin batter into the molds just above the halfway mark. Then, place the pan in the oven and bake as usual.
After cooling the baked goods, you can gently lift the muffin with the parchment paper from the tin.
Since the muffin lifts easily without anything sticking to the pan, cleaning is easy.
However, the muffins may not be perfectly round when done.
There are many ways to grease muffin pans. They are quite easy and hardly take a few extra minutes.
And the results are always worth the time.
It can make all the difference between having crumbly and misshapen muffins and those that look perfect.