The Easiest Hack For Getting Fluffier Muffin Tops

For many people, the very best part of a muffin is the top. Elaine Benes of "Seinfeld" once called the muffin's bottom region its "stump" and declared the top as king, saying, "It's crunchy, explosive, it's where the muffin breaks free of the pan and does its own thing." And she's right. The stump, contained by the muffin tray liner, lacks the golden brown surface that makes the muffin's crown the star of the show. Most people concur. When given the choice, they'd choose the top over the stump any day. 

Food52 agrees, explaining that bigger is better because there is more surface area (or muffin top), which equates to more cooking time and more space to become golden and crisp. They achieve this "bigness" by using "freestanding paper baking cups." The Kittchen also embarked on a quest for the "domed top" found in bakeries. After making some of the biggest mistakes you can make when baking muffins, the outlet determined that one major problem was not having the oven hot enough, as the requisite temperature should be a steamy 425 degrees. 

While this advice is greatly appreciated, it turns out that one chef has a foolproof hack for achieving humungous muffin tops, and you'll never believe how easy it is. 

Muffin success depends on how you use your muffin tray

What's the secret to achieving mammoth muffin tops? Broma Bakery's Sarah Crawford recently shared in an Instagram post that the key is to "only line half of your muffin tins." Apparently, this allows more heat to surround the muffins, which dramatically increases their ability to rise. Admittedly, this only enables you to bake half a batch at a time, but those beautiful muffin tops are so worth it. 

But Crawford isn't finished divulging her secrets just yet. On her blog, she recommends putting enough dough in each muffin liner to make it 3/4 full, as this will help create a domed crown. And don't mix the batter to death. If you do, your muffins will lose their fluffiness and instead turn into a dense brick-like lump. Yes, the whole thing will taste like a stump.

So, there you have it: the secret to monstrous muffin tops. The key to the vault. You can achieve crispy gold muffin domes worthy of making Elaine Benes proclaim, "Top of the muffin to you!"