Muffin-Top Pans

Published September 1, 2011. From Cook's Illustrated.

With a muffin-top pan, you can make just the part of the muffin that’s many people’s favorite—the browned, crispy crown—and skip the stump.

Overview:

With a muffin-top pan, you can make just the part of the muffin that’s many people’s favorite—the browned, crispy crown—and skip the stump. We tested five pans priced from $10.89 to $16.50. Each featured wide, shallow cups 1/2 inch deep that held almost a full batch of our Cranberry-Pecan Muffins batter (with a few tablespoons left over). All the pans produced similarly crispy muffin tops, but some tops looked a whole lot better than others. Three models had flared sides that allowed the batter to rise up and spread across the pan, leading to flattened, lopsided tops. Our two preferred pans shared a nifty cup design, in which the curving sides contained the batter and guided it upward to create even, elegantly domed muffin tops. Our top pick formed generously sized, perfectly shaped muffin tops. Our runner-up can be used for baking smaller-size muffin tops and features wide rims that make it easy to grab the pan with oven mitts.

With a muffin-top pan, you can make just the part of the muffin that’s many people’s favorite—the browned, crispy crown—and skip the stump. We tested five pans priced from $10.89 to $16.50. Each featured wide, shallow cups 1/2 inch deep that held almost a full batch of our Cranberry-Pecan Muffins batter (with a few tablespoons left over). All the pans produced similarly crispy muffin tops, but some tops looked a whole lot better than others. Three models had flared sides that allowed the batter to rise up and spread across the pan, leading to flattened, lopsided tops. Our two preferred pans shared a nifty cup design, in which the curving sides contained the batter and guided it upward to create even, elegantly domed muffin tops. Our top pick formed generously sized, perfectly shaped muffin tops. Our runner-up can be used for baking smaller-size muffin tops and features wide rims that make it easy to grab the pan with oven mitts.

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  • Product Tested

    Results Key:

    Good ★ ★ ★ Fair ★ ★ Poor
  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Recommended

    Wilton Nonstick 12-Cavity Whoopie-Pie Pan

    Marketed as a whoopie-pie pan, our runner-up has cupped sides (like our top pick) that shape round, uniform muffin tops, albeit smaller ones (3 inches wide). Extended, curved rims on both ends of the pan made handling it with oven mitts a breeze.

    • Release ★★★
    • Ease of use ★★★
    • Muffin Top Appearance ★★

    $11.99

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Recommended with Reservations

    Fat Daddio's 6-Cup Muffin-Top/-Crown Pan

    Like the Chicago Metallic pan, this one turned out uneven, misshapen muffin tops that didn’t have the same visual appeal as those produced by our favorite pans. On the plus side: Although the pan does not have a nonstick finish, muffins released easily from the cups after baking.

    • Release ★★★
    • Ease of use ★★
    • Muffin Top Appearance

    $11.95

  • Recommended with Reservations

    Fox Run Craftsmen Nonstick 6-Cup Large Shallow Muffin Pan

    This pan made uneven 3½-inch-wide muffin tops that resembled squat, dumpy regular muffins. The fact that they released easily from the pan couldn’t compensate for their homely look.

    • Release ★★★
    • Ease of use ★★
    • Muffin Top Appearance

    $10.89

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