donut pan idea no. 51: top of the muffin to you!

Donut pan idea no. 51 is muffin tops! Like the ones Elaine and Mr. Lippman sold at "Top of the Muffin to You!" in a Seinfeld episode titled (what else) The Muffin Tops? A donut pan makes it very easy to bake up nice, wide muffin tops with only a bit of a "stump" in the shape of a donut on the bottoms. Perfectly engineered for it, really.

My friend Sheri recently shared a photo of some black and white cookies she baked, and I had just made Drake's Cakes in the donut pans, which ended up in silly email exchange about all of the great food references from Seinfeld. Along with the cakes and cookies, there's Elaine's "Big Salad", the Mulligatawny soup, the babka, Kramer's wayward Junior Mints, and probably many more than that. All so funny, but when our family friend Anna was here yesterday she reminded me of the one that trumps them all: pudding skin singles. So unappetizing, and so hilarious!

The first episode of the very first season of Seinfeld aired 23 years ago today, if you can believe that. No better time than now to make a batch of muffin tops!

Go to "read more" below to read more!

I've adapted this recipe because it makes a pretty high top, but you could try this with any muffin batter that is fairly thick and will stand up out of the pan prior to baking. Be sure to allow at least an hour in the fridge for the batter to thicken to more of a dough-like consistency.

To make six GIANT muffin tops and one muffin ring, or eight NICE SIZED muffin tops and two muffin rings (my preference), you will need 1/4 c. unsalted butter, 1/4 c. vegetable oil, 1/2 c. sugar, 1/3 c. brown sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp. baking soda, 3/4 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 2 2/3 c. flour, 1 c. whole milk and 1 c. fresh blueberries. You will also need baking spray for the pans.

Being by creaming the butter, oil and sugars together in a large bowl. Use a hand held electric mixer, or even quicker, just use your hands.

When you are done creaming the butter/oil/sugar mixture, add the two eggs and mix until they are fully incorporated, but try not to over mix.

Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, gently fold in the baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla. Stir in the flour, alternating with the milk. Start and end with the flour.

Finally, mix in your blueberries.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour (or leave it in the freezer for 45 minutes maximum).

When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to 425ยบ. Spray your donut pans with baking spray, then using a cookie or ice cream scoop, fill each donut pan cavity high with the batter, approximately a 1/2 c. in each (depending on the size and how many muffin tops you want). Because the batter is cold, it should be able to stand above the top of the pan anywhere from 1/2-1". This is the first time in all of these projects that I have just plopped something down on top of the centers. Fun! Make sure you save a little batter to put in a pastry bag and pipe a few muffin rings while you're at it. If you'd like, you can sprinkle the tops with a little extra granulated sugar.

Bake the muffin tops for 17 minutes, slightly less for the tray with the muffin rings. The tops should be lightly golden, and a toothpick inserted into the centers should come out clean. Cool for ten minutes on racks in the pans.

After ten minutes you can take the muffin tops out of the pans and finish cooling on the racks. If you've made really big ones like the one on the right in the photo below, you might end up with some lines imprinted in the bottom of those larger muffin tops due to their weight. No big deal.

Here's a huge one:

And one at a more civilized size (the batter was divided into eight muffin tops plus two rings):

I've taken to doing test runs of these donut pan projects and have eaten quite a few of these in last few days, as have my upstairs neighbors and our friend Anna, and the kids. They are wonderful, and free of "stumps", as Elaine would say!


  1. Replies
    1. Everyone around me has eaten them, as I did a few test runs last week, and let me tell you, THEY ARE! Thank you for commenting, Kelly! xo


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