How we tested
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.