Crispy, buttery goodness hiding moist, crumbly insides studded with fruit and nuts. Yes, the muffin top is clearly the best part of the muffin. Today I’m teaching you the ropes to create perfectly domed and delicious cranberry walnut muffin tops without any fancy gadgetry or specialized “muffin top” bakeware. It’s so easy I can’t believe I’ve wasted so many years eating the entire muffin.Muffin tops, I’d love to be your Valentine!
First, let’s talk about what happens to the bottom of the muffin. I browsed around online and the majority of the “muffin tops recipes” entailed baking muffins and then decapitating them. Not my style, so I set off on a mission to find a better way to bake muffin tops.
Before I stirred together the batter for these cranberry walnut muffin tops I prepared two baking pans to experiment toward a goal of muffin top perfection: a traditional rimmed cookie sheet and a muffin tin. I sprayed each baking pan with non-stick spray, preheated the oven, and started the muffin mixing process.Once the cranberry walnut muffin batter was ready, I used a cookie scoop to drop batter onto the cookie sheet, about two tablespoons per scoop. Then I continued and scooped the same amount of batter into each muffin cup. Just for the record, this recipe yielded about 24 muffin tops. In my book, that’s a lot better than twelve standard muffins. Double the snacking pleasure!
I popped the pans into the oven and eagerly watched in mouthwatering anticipation to see which method baking method would result in the beautifully domed, crunchy-on-the-outside muffin top goodness I was after.
And the clear-cut winner…..Baking muffin tops on a rimmed cookie sheet!
Not only were the muffin tops baked on a cookie sheet fluffy and tender underneath their beautifully domed and crispy exterior, but they were easy to remove from the pan too. The muffin tops that baked in the muffin tin wound up more like short mini-muffins rather than the luxuriously perfect muffin tops I was after.Bottom line, if you’re hoping to bake perfect muffin tops, bake them on a cookie sheet!
And add fruity goodness with a couple of handfuls of dried cranberries. Oh, and maybe a sprinkling of hearty walnuts too. Yep, folks, we’ve just entered muffin top euphoria. So, so good! Actually, so good my kids, who’d originally wanted to bake these to give to the neighbors, wanted to hoard them all for themselves. Didn’t happen, but they sure tried.
Let’s bake now, shall we?!
- 1¾ cup flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon orange zest, optional
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Grease two rimmed cookie sheets with baking spray or a silicon baking mat.
- Combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking soda) in a medium bowl and whisk together to blend. In another bowl combine wet ingredients (eggs, butter, and buttermilk) and sugar. Pour wet into dry and combine with the least number of strokes possible. Add in the cranberries and walnuts and orange zest, if using, just to combine. A few lumps here and there will lend to tender muffins. We don't want rubber muffin tops, folks!
- Using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop, dish out 24 muffin tops onto your prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake 10 minutes or until golden. Keep a close eye on these, as they'll go from golden to overdone in a very short amount of time.
- Remove to a cooling rack and enjoy with a steamy mug of coffee.
If you love breakfast like I do, be sure to check out more tasty recipes like this in the breakfast archives.
Other tasty muffins from around the blogosphere:
- Skinny Double Chocolate Banana Muffins from Joyful Healthy Eats
- Morning Glory Breakfast Muffins from Natural Girl Modern World
- Refrigerator Raisin Bran Muffins from Living Well Spending Less