How to Make Muffins Without a Muffin Pan

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There’s a good chance you already have the ingredients you need to make muffins in your house. These ingredients are often simple and easy to find. From eggs to milk, sugar, and flour, these are things that are easily available from your local store or are in your pantry already. So what is keeping you from making delicious muffins for breakfast or as a snack for the family?

If you are like most households, the answer to this question will probably be a muffin pan. You might have all the ingredients you need and the desire to make muffins, but you simply don’t know how to make muffins without a muffin pan.

Even though this can be inconvenient, it’s not a big problem. There are several ways to make muffins without using a muffin pan. Let’s explore a few of them below.

Tips on How to Make Muffins Without a Muffin Pan

You may have all the ingredients in the world, but unless you have a Michelin-starred kitchen in your home, you are unlikely to have all of the tools and utensils you may require at all times.

Thankfully, most utensils in any kitchen can be repurposed if you know what you are doing. This brings us to our first tip:

Homemade Muffin Liner

There’s a very good chance that you already have non-stick parchment paper or, better yet, aluminum foil at home. With these, you can easily make your own homemade muffin liner.

Here’s how to go about it:

  • Take a pair of scissors and cut your parchment paper or aluminum foil into 5X5-inch pieces.
  • You can make your homemade liners stronger by making them double-layered. Keep the aluminum foil on the outside and the parchment paper inside. This also means you can easily reuse the outer aluminum foil should you want to do so.
  • To shape the liners, simply wrap the foil or parchment paper around the bottom of a glass or cup.
  • Take a measuring cup and press it down around the paper to achieve a flat bottom.

There you have it, your very own homemade muffin liners that can be used in baking muffins just as you would use any other store-bought liners. Once your done making your liners, fill them with your muffin batter and carefully place them on a sheet pan to put in the oven.

Freestanding Baking Cups

Freestanding baking cups are a studier and more convenient option than typical liners or baking cups. Not only do they not distort when placed under the weight of the batter, but they are also a good way to do away with muffin pans altogether.

One of the biggest advantages of using this option is that you only need to place them on a sheet pan, fill them with the muffin batter, and put them in the oven. You don’t need a muffin or cupcake tray whatsoever.

You can easily find freestanding baking cups online or in your local grocery store. Some come with ruffled edges, much like traditional paper muffin liners, while others are made of foil paper. They also come in different sizes, from mini to standard and jumbo, so you can experiment with your muffin sizes as desired.

Finally, these freestanding baking cups bake much faster than your traditional metal muffin tin, and many of the available options are disposable, so you don’t need to worry about washing them after.

Several Paper Muffin Liners

Muffin paper liners on their own aren’t sturdy enough to withstand the weight of the batter or the oven’s heat. However, you can get around this problem by using multiple paper muffin liners simultaneously. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Start by placing the liners on a baking sheet; it’s advisable to use a baking sheet with a lip because these paper liners are prone to leaking batter, and lipped baking sheets can prevent the batter from dripping through to your oven.
  • Position the liners close to each other so that they are touching. This will ensure that the muffins support each other during the baking process, as the paper liners aren’t sturdy enough. Even though you might not get perfectly rounded muffins, they will still be muffins nonetheless.
  • When pouring the batter, don’t fill the liners to the brim; this will place undue pressure on them regardless of how many layers you use.
  • You can use mason jar lids to give the stacked liners extra support.

How many liners you use will depend on the kind of liners you have at home. You can easily stack two or three at a time to make them sturdier. Muffins baked in materials such as paper liners will finish faster than those baked in metallic baking trays. You are advised to check on these muffins sooner than you typically would when using a muffin tray.


Ramekins are tiny ceramic or glass dishes used for individual desserts or soufflés. Thanks to their shape and size, they can easily be used as replacement muffin trays when needed. The thing about using ramekins as a replacement for a muffin tray is that you have to eat the muffins right at home and from the ramekins themselves.

Here are some tips on how to use ramekins to make muffins at home:

  • While it’s okay to put your ramekins straight into the oven, it’s advisable to lay them out on a baking tray. This keeps them together and allows you to remove them from the oven all at once, rather than individually.
  • Before introducing the batter, use a paper muffin liner or grease and flour each ramekin.
  • Arrange the ramekins as you see fit on the baking tray and pop them into the oven.

It should be noted that since ramekins are often made out of glass or ceramic, they will heat at a much slower rate than your typical metal muffin pans. This means that your muffins will take a bit longer to bake. You can tidy up the kitchen as you wait. You can even try making your muffins in the air fryer using the ramekin method.

These are just a few practical ways to make muffins and other baked goods at home without using a muffin tray.

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