What causes the muffins to be tough, heavy or rubbery?
A. Two things: too much egg and using a dark, nonstick pan. A large-size egg, about 1/4 cup, will give you the best results.
Q. What causes muffins to be coarse in texture with large holes and peaked on top instead of rounded?
A. You'll get these results if you mix the batter too much. Remember, you need to stir the ingredients together just until they're moist. If the oven temp's too high, you'll have the same problem. Double-check the setting, or you may have to experiment a bit with baking time, especially if you think your oven temp isn't quite accurate. Using a dark, nonstick pan will give you these results, too.
Q. What makes the muffins too moist?
A. Too much milk, especially if you're using paper-lined baking cups, and not baking them long enough will give you muffins that are too moist. Be sure to measure ingredients carefully. To measure milk, place a liquid measuring cup on your counter, pour in the milk, bend down and check the amount at eye level. Bake the muffins for at least the minimum time given in the directions. If they're not golden brown, continue baking, checking on them every minute to see if they're done. You may have to experiment a bit with the baking time, especially if you think your oven temp isn't quite accurate.
Q. What's the problem when muffins don't rise?
A. Three things will keep muffins from rising fully: not having the oven temp hot enough, not mixing the batter enough and using muffin cups that are too large. Start by heating your oven for 10 to 15 minutes before baking to bring it up to the temperature called for in the recipe. You may have to experiment a bit with the baking time, especially if you think your oven temp isn't quite accurate. Be sure to mix the batter until all the ingredients are moist. And finally, use the size of muffin cup called for in the directions.
Q. Why are the sides and bottoms of my muffins dark when I use a dark or nonstick muffin pan?
A. Dark pans absorb heat better than shiny ones. To compensate for this, try reducing the oven temp by 25ºF when you use dark pans.
Q. How can I fill muffin cups evenly and be sure to get the number of servings specified on the package?
A. To fill medium-size muffin cups, use an ice-cream scoop or a 1/4-cup measuring cup. Fill them 2/3 to 3/4 full. This will give you muffins that are all a similar size and the number indicated on the package.
Q. Can I make jumbo muffins in medium muffin cups?
A. You'll have to use a pan with jumbo muffin cups to make jumbo muffins. But you can make extra-large muffins in a medium muffin cup pan. Also, see Specialty Muffin Baking Chart.
Q. Why do some muffin mixes call for vegetable oil?
A. Vegetable oil helps make muffins tender and moist.
Q. What can I substitute for the vegetable oil?
A. Instead of vegetable oil, you can use melted margarine, butter or shortening.
Q. In a muffin mix that calls for water, can I substitute milk?
A. We don't recommend using milk instead of water because the milk can make holes in the paper liners or the sides of the muffins.
Q. Why are the muffins slightly sweet?
A. Muffins need a little bit of sugar to add flavor and tenderness and to keep them moist and fresh, even when they're reheated. The sugar also makes them more tolerant to overmixing.
Q. When preparing blueberry muffin mixes, why should I drain and rinse the blueberries?
A. If you don't drain them, you'll end up with blue-colored muffins! Also, draining helps keep excess liquid out of the batter.