Tips & Techniques Baking & Desserts Mixing Muffin Batter

In the fast-and-easy muffin method, dry and wet ingredients are mixed separately before being combined. Sometimes a well is made in the center of the dry ingredients, and all of the wet ingredients are added to the well. The mixture is then beaten until smooth. In other recipes, the dry ingredients are added to the wet ingredients. Whatever the instructions, it is important not to overmix the batter, or the finished bread will be tough and often crumbly, with large irregular patterns of holes.

  • Mixing Muffin Batter 1. Mixing dry ingredients: In a bowl, stir together the flour, leavening and other dry ingredients so that the leavening is evenly distributed.
  • Mixing Muffin Batter 2. Combining wet and dry ingredients: In another bowl or in a glass measuring cup, whisk together the wet ingredients until smooth and blended, then add to the dry ingredients. Mix quickly to activate the gluten in the flour only slightly, until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. The batter may be lumpy; any lumps will vanish during baking. Finally, gently stir or fold in fruits, nuts or other additions.
  • Mixing Muffin Batter 3. Filling the pans: Spoon the batter into greased muffin cups, filling them three-fourths full or even with the rim of the cup, according to the directions in the specific recipe.
  • Mixing Muffin Batter 4. Adding a topping: If the recipe calls for a topping, sprinkle it over the batter, dividing it evenly among the muffins.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Muffins, by Beth Hensperger (Simon & Schuster, 2003).