Quick Mini Muffin Tip

posted by Andrea | 10/14/2011

I absolutely LOVE mini desserts!

I love mini pies, mini cheesecake bites, mini bread loaves, mini cakes, mini cookies, mini candy bars, those mini desserts at Applebees {for only $1} etc. etc. I just think it’s more fun to eat a mini dessert, especially when you’re already full from a delicious meal and don’t really NEED those extra calories anyway.

Mini desserts are the perfect “little something sweet”, and some of my all-time favorite mini foods/desserts are mini muffins and mini cupcakes!

A couple years ago I asked for mini muffin pans for Christmas, and ever since then, I almost exclusively bake mini muffins and cupcakes over full-size muffins and cupcakes. Not only can I get almost 3 times as many, but they are just so cute… and the perfect size for an after dinner treat or mid-morning snack.

However, the one thing that always bugs me about making mini muffins is how difficult it is to get the batter into those tiny little muffin holes. I always seems to spill it on the sides and top of the muffin tin, making it harder to clean.

I’ve tried several different options:

  • scooping the batter with 2 spoons — very messy
  • using a gravy ladle – even messier!
  • putting the batter into a pastry bag — this was less messy, but way more time-consuming and sometimes the batter was too thick for a pastry bag
  • pouring the batter from a measuring cup — still pretty messy and not great for the thicker batters

So as you can see, I was never totally satisfied with any of these options. 

 

But then last week —  totally out of the blue — I decided to try scooping the dough with my mini cookie scoop {yes, I have a mini cookie scoop because I always make mini cookies!}

It worked perfectly!

The amount of batter in the scoop was exactly the right amount for the mini muffin tin “cups”, it wasn’t messy, it wasn’t difficult, and I didn’t even spill one drop of batter on the top of my muffin tin!

Plus, by using such a perfectly sized scoop, all my muffins turned out almost exactly the same size {which means they all baked evenly too}.

Seriously, why did it take me so long to figure that out! 

We’ve been enjoying these mini banana chocolate chip muffins for the last couple of weeks, and when they’re gone, I think I’ll whip up a batch or two of some pumpkin spice muffins!

Do you have any genius kitchen quick tips to share?

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11 comments

  1. goldengirl

    10/14/2011

    I love to use my scoops for this purpose, too. Did you know they also make a medium and large size as well? If you don’t have them, I suggest you make the investment. I use mine so much, I had to buy a new set — just one of the baking/convenience indulgences that I allow myself . :) Happy baking!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, I do have the medium size scoop as well — use it all the time! I don’t have the large because I don’t have a need for it at this point… but my small and medium scoops are constantly in use!

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  2. sarah

    10/14/2011

    scoops are so useful for baking in general, I use mine for batches of cookies too. I hate rolling the dough and having messy hands, even worse is little helpers and their messy hands (personal pet peeve) But we all love scooping and squeezing the dough onto the tray with the scooper. I tried the scoop for the muffins I’m making this morning and I don’t know why I didn’t think to use it before. Thanks for the tip :)

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  3. Dianne@Baking4Six

    10/14/2011

    Glad you discovered the “trick” ~

    p.s. I did know about the scoop, trick… but, that’s because baking is one of my passions :)

    [Reply]

  4. Cortney

    10/14/2011

    Just finished making pumpkin chocolate chip mini muffins with my cookie scoop. Mini muffins are so much fun for kids too! It really is an awesome trick.

    [Reply]

  5. Shannon

    10/14/2011

    When you make mini muffins, do you shorten the baking time at all?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, you can usually shorten the baking time by a few minutes — however all ovens are different so if you’re not used to making mini muffins, you’ll definitely want to keep a close eye on your oven to make sure they don’t over cook!

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  6. Johane

    10/15/2011

    In industry we use scoops EVERYWHERE! If you get them from restaurant supply shops, then you can actually have a whole bunch of sizes from mini (3/4 oz) to giant (well over 3 oz).

    At home I have a 3/4 oz and a box store scoop that I received as a gift when my larger scoop died…

    I use the 3/4 oz to make:

    Meatballs, truffles (I end up cutting them in 1/2 for reasonable portion size), cookies, fudge balls, muffins…

    I use the larger scoop to make:

    Giant meatballs (to be stuffed with cheese or other sweet morsel), muffins, small pancakes, to fill tarts…

    I also use either scoop to do portion control. As example: the large scoop for egg salad sandwich (or the like…); serving rice, mashed potatoes, peas…; the smaller scoop for making pizza pockets (sauce, cheese…) or other such dumpling because truth be known a pizza pocket is really just a giant dumpling; toppings on nachos or pizza…

    Scoops are perfect for assembly line production.

    I tend to do a lot of my work in assembly line, so as a right handed person, I tend to have my unprepped food on my left, my “working food” in front of me (just under my knife generally), and my prepped food to my right. That is unless I’m scooping something, then I’ll work from right to left. The idea is to not cross over my work area and to have fluidity of movement. When all you have is a couple of hours to prepare lunch for a few hundred hungry kids, you learn as many time saving tricks as you can! ;)

    [Reply]

  7. Katie

    10/17/2011

    Wow! For the spilling of batter that you mentioned, your muffin tins look great! How do you clean them afterwards? When I clean them, they still tend to have a stained look to them where I dropped the batter.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Katie — I actually always wipe up the spilled batter BEFORE I put the muffins in the oven. Yes, it takes some time {which is why mini muffins were so annoying to me} but it saves a lot of clean-up time in the end.

    I also spray my muffin tins with non-stick spray, and now that I’m using the cookie scoop, I honestly don’t spill anything. So my muffin tins stay nice and clean and just need a quick wash in the sink after I’m finished!

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  8. Amelia

    03/12/2012

    Have you ever considered making your own Taco Seasoning? There are recipes for it on “All Recipes” and it’s very economical and better for you too! I make my own Taco Seasoning and Italian dressing.

    [Reply]