Monday, November 5, 2012

TWD -- Muffing the muffin assignment

A complete disaster. That was my experience with this week's Tuesday's With Dorie assignment baking Buttermilk Crumb Muffins from Baking With Julia. I don't know where I went wrong, so I am curious to read everyone's posts to see how they fared.

It's not that I've never made muffins before. I have been making them for more than 50 years -- all kinds of muffins. So inexperience could not be a factor.

Muffins before baking, some of which were overfilled
I followed the recipe, weighing the ingredients to make sure the proportions were as written. I will admit that on my first go-round, I filled some of the muffin pans about two-thirds full, not half full as the recipe indicated. I used my ice cream scoop to fill the paper-lined muffin pan, something I invariably do when making muffins. I would estimate that my muffin scoop holds about 1/3 cup of batter.

The first pan of muffins not only sunk, but had spread all over the pan. I obviously should have heeded the warning of one-half full. But why did then sink?

Notice the sinking
Before making the second pan of the muffins, I watched the video hoping to see what I might have done wrong. I noted that Marion Cunningham, the baker for that episode with the Baking with Julia PBS series, sprayed her muffin pans instead of using paper liners. But, Marion Cunningham filled her pans about two-thirds full. What gives?

Instead of getting 14 to 16 muffins, I got a total of 20 muffins. And that was after overfilling my muffin cups on the first baking.

The muffins appeared as if they were only slightly sunken after a 25-minute spell in the 350 degree oven. So I had high hopes. I let the muffins rest about five minutes, then tried to slip them out of the pan as Marion Cunningham did on the video. No such luck. Then I started prodding and prying with a knife -- again no luck. I all but had to get a wide spoon and scoop the muffins out of the pan. You can see by the accompanying pictures, it was NOT A PRETTY SITE.

The disasterour second batch
Then I really got suspicious. I started looking at other muffin recipes and found they didn't have near the same amount of sugar. And, why did I get 20 muffins using a standard muffin pan when the recipe stated I might expect 14? If I had filled the first batch one-half full as directed, I might have gotten 22 muffins out of the recipe. The Blueberry Muffins on the following page make 18 muffins with 1 3/4 cups of flour. And they are to bake for only 18-20 minutes in a 400-degree oven. So, help, follow bakers. WHAT WENT WRONG???? Was it the recipe, or me?
What was left in the pan


  1. I had absolutely the same exact issue - and this is not my first time around the muffin block.
    I am not sure what the issue was, since I was pretty meticulous about following the recipe this time through. I thought the crumb topping might have been the culprit (too heavy for the batter to rise).

  2. Personally, I think it's the recipe. ;) I made a half batch, filled the liners halfway, and got 12 muffins. They came out smaller, definitely smaller than in the video. But even though they were smaller, they still sank a little in the middle! I haven't figured it out (maybe Cher's right and the crumb topping was the problem), but since I wasn't overly impressed with the flavor, I probably won't be trying these again! Oh, well!

  3. I missed the part about filling the tins only half full! I filled mine almost to the top and came out with only 12 muffins. I did not have the issue of them sinking. I did use 1 cup less sugar and substituted butter for the shortening.

  4. I made half a batch. Filled the tin three quarters and somehow they turned out ok. I did not change the recipe much except for reducing the sugar a teensy little bit. Sorry yours did not turn out.