Ina Garten's Pro-Tip For Baking Perfect Muffins Every Time

Ina Garten smiling
Ina Garten smiling - Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Picture this: You've expertly prepared the batter, transferred it into a muffin pan, and the aroma of freshly baked muffins fills the air. It's finally time to remove them from the oven, but when you try to, you're met with the unfortunate realization that the muffin tops have stuck to the pan and will break off if you're not careful. This common muffin-making mistake can occur even with the perfect recipe, but the good news is Ina Garten has a pro-tip that will prevent it from happening.

As the celebrity chef shared in an Instagram reel, all you need is a little cooking oil or nonstick spray. Most people don't use oil when baking muffins, because the muffin liners act as a barrier between the muffin batter and the pan. But while this is effective for the bottom part of the muffins, it doesn't have any effect on the muffin tops. Therefore they can easily stick to the edges of the pan, which ultimately causes breakage when you attempt to take them out of the pan. Garten's simple solution is to grease the entire top of the muffin pan.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

Preventing Overflowing Muffin Tops

Muffins stuck in pan
Muffins stuck in pan - Maliflower73/Shutterstock

Muffin batter typically sticks when excess batter overflows out of the cups during baking. Oil does make it easier to unstick the muffins from the pan without accidentally breaking off the tops, but it doesn't prevent the overflow from occuring in the first place. To address this, Ina Garten uses an ice cream scoop to portion the batter. As she shared on an episode of "Barefoot Contessa" republished to YouTube, this ensures every muffin is made with the same amount of batter, rather than some being overfilled and others underfilled.

You might assume that Garten's ice cream scoop-sized portions would lead to muffins with flatter tops, but filling generously muffins isn't what creates high-domed muffins, it's actually gluten development. This can be achieved simply by taking the extra step to refrigerate your muffin batter, which means there's no reason you'd need to risk overfilling your muffins, especially since it will make it likelier to stick to the muffin pan and break.

How To Remove Muffins That Are Stuck In The Pan

Freshly baked muffins sitting in oven
Freshly baked muffins sitting in oven - Lara Hata/Getty Images

If you employ both of Ina Garten's muffin hacks, you won't have to deal with muffins that have damaged, stuck-on tops. But let's say you didn't bother using an ice cream scoop and forgot to grease the pan. Fortunately, there's a way to get them out without breaking them. Instead of trying to remove them out of the pan immediately, chill the muffins first, then place the pan upside down and give it a good whack. The muffins should come out, but if they don't, you can also place a damp, heated towel underneath. The steam should help dislodge the stuck-on batter, and with the help of a butter knife you'll be able to remove the muffins from the pan a lot easier.

The next time you bake muffins, don't forget the oil or the ice cream scoop, and while you're at it, perhaps try sprinkling on some sugar on top before putting them in the oven — another pro-tip Garten swears by. As long as you use a muffin recipe that's also full of flavor, like apple cinnamon walnut muffins, you'll end up with a perfectly baked batch every time.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.