Muffins are one of the most popular breakfast pastries out there, the perfect grab-and-go option when you’re rushing out the door.
Mini muffins — the adorable bite-sized versions of regular muffins — are perfect for serving at a brunch or party when you need something for guests to nibble on.
Fortunately, any muffin recipe can be transformed into cute mini muffins, ideal for entertaining.
These tips will help you produce perfect mini muffins every time!
Converting a muffin recipe for mini muffins
Mini muffins are one third the size of regular muffins, which means that a big muffin recipe that yields 12 large muffins will produce 36 mini muffins.
How long to bake mini muffins
You can adapt any muffin recipe to a mini muffin recipe, but the difference in size means that there’s a difference in baking time. Mini muffins need a shorter baking time than their larger counterparts and can overbake quickly. If you’re scaling down a regular muffin recipe, use the same temperature as given in the original instructions.
With an oven temperature at 350 F or 375 F, most mini muffins need from 10-13 minutes to bake.
Check mini muffins for doneness with a toothpick or by gently pressing the top of the muffin to see if it springs back, just as you would for a larger baked good.
Choosing and using a mini muffin pan
Mini muffin pans are sold in several sizes. The smaller pans make a mere dozen mini muffins, while others can handle up to four dozen at a time!
Most recipes will make more than a dozen minis, so you might have to bake your batter in batches. Be sure to cool the pan completely and clean it off before adding batter for a second batch of muffins. The batter — no matter what kind of muffin batter you are using — can sit out on the counter until all the muffins have been baked.
Mix it up
With mini muffins, it is best to get a lot of flavor into the batter itself so that you can skip the mix-ins entirely. This means using extra lemon zest for a bright citrus muffin or being generous with the spices in other recipes. Small size shouldn’t mean less flavor!
If you do want to use mix-ins there are a few good options and a few ingredients you want to avoid.
Mix-ins to avoid for mini muffins
Fresh fruit is a common inclusion in regular size muffins, but it doesn’t work quite as well in a mini muffin. A single blackberry, for instance, will almost completely fill up the muffin cavity before batter has been added! With this in mind, I tend to shy away from fresh fruit in mini muffins and use other mix-ins instead.
The best mix-ins for mini muffins
Chocolate chips, dried fruit, and nuts are all excellent mix-ins because the can easily be chopped down to a suitable size. A swirl of Nutella, peanut butter or jam can also be good choices.
All wrapped up
Do you need liners for mini muffins?
Muffin or cupcake liners are a must for full-size muffins because they make it easy to remove the muffins from the pan and also give you a convenient way to handle the muffin without getting your fingertips sticky or greasy.
Mini muffin liners are available, but your mini muffins are probably better off without them.
The small muffin cavities on a mini pan are easy to grease with butter or vegetable oil, creating a nonstick surface for your muffin batter. Since your mini muffins will have fewer mix-ins than their larger counterparts, there is a smaller risk of them sticking to the pan in the first place. Simply run a butter knife around the outside edge of the muffin to release it and you’re ready to eat!
Speaking of eating, these bite-sized muffins don’t require much handling. They can be eaten in one bite and adding a wrapper just leaves you looking for a trash can when you could have been reaching for a second muffin.
Ready to get baking? Try this recipe for lemon mini muffins.
Lemon mini muffins recipe
Makes 18 muffins
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg white
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Optional: 1 teaspoon poppyseeds, 1 tablespoon finely chopped candied ginger, 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease 18 cavities of a mini muffin pan (or 12 cavities if your pan is smaller; this recipe can be baked in batches) with butter or vegetable oil.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a measuring cup, whisk together egg white, lemon juice, vegetable oil, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Pour lemon juice mixture into the flour mixture and whisk to combine. If desired, stir in one of the optional mix-ins.
Divide batter into mini muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.
Bake for 11-13 minutes, until the mini muffins are set and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, or with only a few moist crumbs attached. Turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool completely.