Crispy, buttery goodness hiding moist, crumbly insides studded with fruit and nuts. Yes, the muffin top is clearly the best part of the muffin. Today I’m teaching you the ropes to create perfectly domed and delicious cranberry walnut muffin tops without any fancy gadgetry or specialized “muffin top” bakeware. It’s so easy I can’t believe I’ve wasted so many years eating the entire muffin.Muffin tops, I’d love to be your Valentine!
First, let’s talk about what happens to the bottom of the muffin. I browsed around online and the majority of the “muffin tops recipes” entailed baking muffins and then decapitating them. Not my style, so I set off on a mission to find a better way to bake muffin tops.
Before I stirred together the batter for these cranberry walnut muffin tops I prepared two baking pans to experiment toward a goal of muffin top perfection: a traditional rimmed cookie sheet and a muffin tin. I sprayed each baking pan with non-stick spray, preheated the oven, and started the muffin mixing process.Once the cranberry walnut muffin batter was ready, I used a cookie scoop to drop batter onto the cookie sheet, about two tablespoons per scoop. Then I continued and scooped the same amount of batter into each muffin cup. Just for the record, this recipe yielded about 24 muffin tops. In my book, that’s a lot better than twelve standard muffins. Double the snacking pleasure!
I popped the pans into the oven and eagerly watched in mouthwatering anticipation to see which method baking method would result in the beautifully domed, crunchy-on-the-outside muffin top goodness I was after.
And the clear-cut winner…..Baking muffin tops on a rimmed cookie sheet!
Not only were the muffin tops baked on a cookie sheet fluffy and tender underneath their beautifully domed and crispy exterior, but they were easy to remove from the pan too. The muffin tops that baked in the muffin tin wound up more like short mini-muffins rather than the luxuriously perfect muffin tops I was after.Bottom line, if you’re hoping to bake perfect muffin tops, bake them on a cookie sheet!
And add fruity goodness with a couple of handfuls of dried cranberries. Oh, and maybe a sprinkling of hearty walnuts too. Yep, folks, we’ve just entered muffin top euphoria. So, so good! Actually, so good my kids, who’d originally wanted to bake these to give to the neighbors, wanted to hoard them all for themselves. Didn’t happen, but they sure tried.
Let’s bake now, shall we?!
- 1¾ cup flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon orange zest, optional
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Grease two rimmed cookie sheets with baking spray or a silicon baking mat.
- Combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking soda) in a medium bowl and whisk together to blend. In another bowl combine wet ingredients (eggs, butter, and buttermilk) and sugar. Pour wet into dry and combine with the least number of strokes possible. Add in the cranberries and walnuts and orange zest, if using, just to combine. A few lumps here and there will lend to tender muffins. We don't want rubber muffin tops, folks!
- Using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop, dish out 24 muffin tops onto your prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake 10 minutes or until golden. Keep a close eye on these, as they'll go from golden to overdone in a very short amount of time.
- Remove to a cooling rack and enjoy with a steamy mug of coffee.
If you love breakfast like I do, be sure to check out more tasty recipes like this in the breakfast archives.
Other tasty muffins from around the blogosphere:
- Skinny Double Chocolate Banana Muffins from Joyful Healthy Eats
- Morning Glory Breakfast Muffins from Natural Girl Modern World
- Refrigerator Raisin Bran Muffins from Living Well Spending Less
Oh my goodness, Jelli! These look incredible! Love that you made muffin tops – totally my favorite part! The cranberry walnut combo sounds delicious!
Muffin tops have just begun in my kitchen. Can’t wait to try all kinds of new varieties to share with you Kelly. Glad you like them! Thanks so much for taking a second to stop by today.
Muffin tops are the best part of the muffin. I really should make just them. 😉
Such an amazing idea! Made my mouth water. Can’t wait to try them. Thanks for sharing 🙂
You betcha, Chellie! I can’t wait to make them again next week. Muffin tops are the best snack ever.
Chelsea @ Life With My Littles says
Genius! I’m glad you did some experimenting so we don’t have to! These look so good! I worked at a bakery that had muffin tops and they were always my favorite. Now I can make some at home!
Thanks, Chelsea. I’m curious, how did the bakery where you worked make muffin tops?
I’m suddenly glad that I didn’t rush out and buy a muffin top pan. I had no idea I could make them on a cookie sheet. Your muffin tops look awesome! I can’t wait to make a batch.
Alli, you know, I didn’t even know muffin tops pans existed until I started looking for a good muffin tops recipe. Here in Costa Rica I’d have never found one anyway and it goes against everything I believe in to ruin a beautiful muffin by slicing off the top, so I just HAD to find a way to make it work. So happy that all it takes is a cookie sheet! Hope you try muffin topping soon. 🙂
Jenn @ EngineerMommy says
I love muffin tops, and these look pretty tasty! Cranberry and walnut are a good match! I have to make more time for baking!!
Liz Mays says
I’d love to try making some of these for breakfast. It’s really cool that you can easily make them on a cookie sheet!
Valerie@Occasionally Crafty says
These sound amazing- and I love that you’re not wasting the “muffin” part! Thanks for experimenting for us!
Heather lawrence says
Oh this is too good! Whenever we make muffins for the kids they eat the tops and leave the rest wasting an entire muffin.
I need to make these and get them at their own game!
Great idea, Heather. Your kids will be happy and you won’t have to toss any muffin in the trashcan. Enjoy!
I always prefer the top of the muffin (I sound like I should have been on Sienfield, huh?) and these look absolutely delish. Love the cranberry walnut flavor combo–yum!
Tori Gabriel says
You are so right! The muffin top is definitely the best bit (not that eating it all is that big a hardship). It never occured to me you could make just the top! I am so making these!
I never knew you could only do the muffin top! Jackpot! Looking desperately for my cookie sheet!
Love the enthusiasm! You may never bake whole muffins again, wink wink.
Angelic Sinova says
Oh my, those cranberry walnut muffin top look so yummy! What a clever idea. I’ll definitely have to make myself a batch of them soon <3
Mimi "MimiCuteLips" Green says
Looks yummy, I am a muffin lover. I eat one every single day for breakfast. I’ve never tried cranberry though, I will give it a try.
Muffins every day for breakfast?! Can I come to your table tomorrow morning? 🙂 Hope you love the cranberry addition.
Rebecca Swenor says
Okay I have to admit I love this idea of the muffin tops because that is indeed my favorite part of the muffins. This cranberry walnut muffin top recipe I will have to try for sure. They looks so delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Jaime Nicole says
What a cool recipe! I never thought to just try and make muffin tops – we will definitely give these a try this weekend!
Be sure to report back, Jaime, on how the muffins tops turned out! I know you’ll love them.
Look at this presentation! Delish and this would be a good snack!
Terri Beavers says
Well now yummy. I love anything with cranberries in them and luckily so do the kids. I can’t wait to try these although they look too pretty to eat. But. I. Will. 🙂
Promise, they’re not too pretty to eat! Once you smell the orange zest and sweet bread scent wafting through the air you’ll be happy to dig in!
Yum. Cranberry walnut what a great combo I’ve never really tried before. These look so good, I will have to give these a try. I could sure go for one or two now!
Dallas-Fort Worth Health and Fitness Blog says
These muffins sound delicious. I never thought of making muffin tops similar to cookies. I’ll have to try these.
Cara (@StylishGeek) says
I’m guilty of favoring muffin tops, so this recipe is so perfect for me because I actually did not know how to make muffin tops! Thanks for sharing! Will definitely give it a try!