The Muffin Pan Can!

January 12th, 2010 by Beth Somers

Muffin pans are work horses, both inside and out of the kitchen. Aside from the obvious muffins and cupcakes, they can be used in so many creative ways. I recently read a magazine article that suggested using muffin tins as centerpieces for a table, putting candles and ornaments in alternating cavities to create something familiar yet special. I loved the idea, and it really got me thinking about all the ways I use my muffin pans.

In the kitchen…

    • I mix up a frittata using whatever vegetables I have on hand. The eggs and veggies get poured into standard sized muffin cups, which makes portion control a breeze. After eating one or two, I freeze the rest to have on hand for a healthy, on-the-go breakfast in no time.
    • Meatloaf is another great muffin tin recipe. I mix up my ground meat, breadcrumbs, and seasonings, and pat the mixture into muffin cups. Because there is more even heat distribution from each cup, these mini meatloaves bake much faster than a traditional meatloaf – perfect for weeknight dinners.
    • There are lots of great finger food recipes that utilize muffin pans. Chicken Italiano Cups look fancy and have tons of flavor.

Gelatin Cup

  • Use any size muffin cup to mold gelatin. To unmold the set gelatin, dip the bottom of the muffin pan in warm water for 10 seconds to loosen it. Invert the muffin pan onto a sheet tray. If the gelatin doesn’t unmold, use a butter knife to loosen the edge – it will slide right out. Serve it with Vanilla Whipped Icing for a special treat. I finished this one with a Premade Red Icing Rose. The icing leaf adds a little splash of color – look for this icing decoration at Wilton retailers this spring. It’s brand new!
  • Speaking of flowers, I keep an extra set of muffin tins – one mini, one standard, and one jumbo that I don’t bake in at all. They are exclusively reserved for storing and transporting delicate royal icing flowers. Dried flowers can be stacked in between sheets of wax paper, or right on Icing Flower Squares. The different cavity sizes ensure that flowers fit perfectly, and won’t rattle around in transit when I’m delivering a wedding cake.
  • Even cupcakes can get creative! Use a jumbo muffin pan to make Lemon Burst Mini Cakes. Cutting off the top and turning it upside down gives a normal cupcake a quick makeover.

Outside of the kitchen…

  • Standard sized muffin tins can organize a messy desk drawer. Loose paper clips, rubber bands, and spare keys are contained very neatly.
  • I keep my jewelry in mini muffin tins. My earrings, necklaces, and rings each get a private compartment, and nothing gets tangled.

These are definitely can-do pans, but this is just my little list. What kinds of interesting things do you do with your muffin pans?

Beth Somers Beth Somers is the Senior Test Kitchen Manager and has taught at the internationally acclaimed Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionery Art in Darien, IL. As a competitor on the Food Network's Cupcake Wars, she shined as a champion during season 6. Before joining Wilton, Beth honed her pastry skills at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago. Beth loves showing people how fun and easy it can be to bake and decorate amazing sweet treats with Wilton products.

17 Replies

  1. Deborah R says:

    I have been thinking about how to make and freeze ahead some breakfast items and mini meatloaves. I never thought to use muffin pans to get perfect portions. Thanks for a great tip!

  2. Rita says:

    All of those are great ideas! Can you also share the baking temps and times so we can try your recipes, too?
    Thanks!
    Rita

    • Gretchen Homan says:

      When baking, the temperature you should use is the temperature called for in the recipe or mix you are baking. Try baking the meatloaf 25 to 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F.

  3. Brenda says:

    My favorite bead store uses muffin tins for all the beads they sell. It makes it very easy to find those special beads for your next necklace.

  4. Diana Viera says:

    All wonderful ideas! Here’s another one ~ put sprinkles, perils, etc., for dipping cupcakes or other decorating accessories at your fingertips instead of having so many jars in your work area.

  5. Leigh says:

    I have used my muffin tins to make mini quiches and mini shepherd’s pies. I pinch off pieces of pie crust and roll into small balls, then use my fingers to press out the crust into the bottoms and sides of the muffin cups.

  6. Arlene says:

    Hi would like to know if the recipe say preheat oven. How long should i preheat my oven and when i should start preheating?

    • Lelsie says:

      My suggestion is get a temperature gauge, like in the grocery store in the baking isle, hang it in the oven. It will help you bake at accurate temp, and give a dry run of the per-heating the oven. Mine takes about 12 minutes, yours may be quicker, or longer. Then you will know for future reference.

  7. DONNA says:

    SO MANY GREAT IDEAS! I USE MY MUFFIN TINS TO FREEZE LEFTOVER CHILI. I SPRAY EACH ONE WITH A LITTLE PAM AND FILL WITH CHILI, THEN PUT IN THE FREEZER UNTIL SOLID.I THEN TRANSFER TO A FREEZER BAG FOR STORAGE. THIS MAKES IT EASY TO THAW OUT THE NUMBER OF PORTIONS NEEDED. GREAT WHEN NEEDED FOR HOT DOGS- ONE MUFFIN TIN PER HOT DOG.

  8. A pretty and useful tip for a muffin tin is to store fresh herbs on your counter. Basil, Cilantro and Parsley all stay fresh if you treat them like cut flowers. Fill your muffin tins half-full with water and then store a different herb in each cavity. It looks great and your herbs are right at your finger tips!

  9. forex robot says:

    Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

  10. tomc says:

    That’s a very clever tip. Muffin tins are indeed ‘work horses’ in the kitchen. Got a few to store some herbs like basil and parsley. Even use it for my windshield repair kit.

  11. Roberta says:

    I found a rubbery square thing in the back of my cabinet. It says,”Wilton Square” on the edge. My question: can I bake bite sized cornbread in it? 350-400 degrees.

    • Lelsie says:

      Yes, you can bake individual, bite sized cornbread. Fill each well about 3/4 full and bake in oven temp suggested for recipe, but cook for shorter length of time. Cupcake size or Sm loafs will bake quicker than larger single pan. Maybe 15 to 18 minutes… check your oven to assure the temp is correct

      You can also use the Wilton square baking cups to insure the cornbread comes out of the pan perfectly…

  12. Marie says:

    A few years ago my daughter bought me your heat resistant rubber cupcake trays…they are wonderful. I don’t see them in the stores anymore. Is there a problem with them?

  13. Thank you for the great tips and ideas. I’m planning an Afternoon Tea for the ladies in my ministry and the muffin pan ideas are really awesome. Can’t wait to try some of them!!!

Leave a Reply

To prevent spam please solve the math problem below :