Muffin Pan Recipes – 24 Clever Uses for Your Muffin Pan
I love my muffin tins. I actually have about a dozen of them, in small, medium and large. But I have to say it’s the little mini muffin pans that I use the most. My husband calls them bite size as he pops them into his mouth, but for me they are a few glorious bites of something sinfully good that in its full size would be way too many calories. Or, so I tell myself, when in all honesty, I usually end up indulging in more than one and more often than not end up consuming more calories than from a normal size… but still… it took me longer and I enjoyed it more!
Muffin tins are most often used for baking but I want to encourage you to think beyond the basic muffin or cupcake when you look at your pan and consider muffin pan and mini muffin pan recipes. You can use a muffin tin to make all sorts of foods not only look “cuter” but also become more convenient and transportable – ie. no knives, plates, forks needed! Almost all of these muffin pan recipes look great on buffet tables and can be enjoyed either hot or cold. There are muffin pan recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and anytime in between. Fabulous ideas, but I must warn you that a few of the mini muffin pan recipes listed get quite involved. But don’t worry, most are quite easy and cheats are available for most of the more involved ones. Anyways, there are hundreds of things that you can do with a muffin pan or a muffin tin, but here are some of my favorites ordered by time of day. Use these, or just get ideas to create your own mini muffin pan recipes.
Breakfast Muffin Pan Recipes
1) Bacon, Toast & Eggs:
Serving bacon and eggs to a crowd? Don’t stand over the stove all morning, just fill your muffin tin once and forget about it with these bacon and egg muffins. It’s the whole meal – toast on the bottom, bacon on the side and egg in the middle. Make sure to partially brown the bacon first though or it will not cook through. You can also substitute a circle of bologna or ham for the bacon so you don’t have to pre-cook the meat.
*Also, be sure to use the normal size muffin pan for this muffin pan recipe as it will overflow the mini pan.
2) Granola Cups:
Here’s a great way to start the day: Make these granola cups ahead of time and then just fill them with a scoop of yogurt in the morning. If there are any remaining later in the day, you could always put a scoop of ice cream in the middle for dessert or just eat them plain.
3) Donut Holes:
These apple cider donut holes are fabulous fresh out of the oven, but if there are any leftover they can be popped into your mouth at any time of day.
4) Mini Frittata:
Frittata cups make for a great breakfast, fairly healthy yet still fluffy and cupcake-like. You can also use a quiche recipe and make them in a muffin pan, just place a circle of pie crust in the bottom of each hole before filling with egg mixture.
5) Leftover Smoothie:
These frozen treats pop nicely into the blender for a refreshing coffee drink anytime of day. Any remaining amounts of smoothie go well in a mini cupcake tin. Once frozen, you can pop them into a freezer bag to use whenever you please.
6) Hash Brown Patties:
Hash browns whether homemade or from a package and made easier and more convenient and amazingly crunchy in muffin tins. This is a good muffin pan recipe, but you can cheat and buy the already shredded potatoes to just place in the pan (after spraying with cooking spray or greasing the cupcake pan).
7) Mini Pancakes:
Mini Pancakes – these little gems can be topped any way you like. Or, you could add a slice of banana into each hole of the muffin tin along with the pancake batter.
Lunch/Dinner or Appetizer/Snacks Muffin Pan Recipes
Moving on to the rest of the day, check out these cool options for lunches, dinners and snacks.
8) Pepperoni Balls:
Love popping these little guys and they make a great party appetizer. I have to admit that they are a little tastier if they are deep-fried, but most of us don’t need that extra fat. We sometimes make our own bread dough, but we often use the Bridgeford dough that you purchase in the grocery freezer and then let a loaf rise on the day you need it. This loaf was actually in my freezer a little too long, that’s why it didn’t rise as much as it should have (it will normally rise up over the pan) but still works fine.
So, break off a little piece of prepared dough and make it sort of flat in your hand. Then put a little chopped pepperoni and a little square of cheese, preferably mozzarella or provolone, into the center and then close it up to make a ball. I was out of block cheese and only had shredded cheese when making these, but a little square works much better so you’ll get a gooey gob of cheese when you bite it open. These are better bite size and thus made in the mini muffin pan.
Place the balls in the mini muffin tin and bake at 350° for about 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Pepperoni balls are awesome, who needs a whole pizza anyways?
9) Crab Cakes:
Mini Crab Cakes. These are delicious and there’s not the mess of hand patting all those patties – just spoon them into the cupcake pan for this delicious muffin pan recipe.
10) Ceasar Salad with Croutons:
Ceasar Salad with the crouton as a bowl – very cute first course for a special dinner party.
11) Healthy Muffin Recipes – Healthy Kale Cups:
Healthy Kale cups. I must admit I have not tried these yet, the rest of the family needs a little convincing about the benefits of kale before I want to make a whole batch.
12) Mini Lasagna:
These Mini Lasagna’s are made with wonton wrappers already cut the perfect size for this regular muffin pan recipe.
13) Impossible Chicken & Broccoli:
If you’ve tried Chicken and Broccoli Impossible Pie, then you will also love them in miniature. If you’ve never tried making one, then you must grab your Bisquick and press this link to head over to Betty Crocker to see the picture and recipe. It’s so easy to make and you will not believe the transformation that happens after you place them in your oven.
14) Mini Burger:
Burgers! These neat little packages have a huge surprise inside – you will want to use a larger muffin tin for this option and be sure to use very lean ground meat.
15) Mini Frosted Meatloaf:
Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes. This cupcake will surely fool the kids and possibly adults alike – meatloaf “frosted” with mashed potatoes! You can use your own recipes, just be sure that the meat is lean or you may start a fire in the oven if there is too much grease that starts to drip over.
16) Individual Mac & Cheese:
Here’s a classic that can be eaten warm or cold – Macaroni and Cheese. This muffin pan recipe is better in the regular size muffin pan, so you still get gooey softness in the middle.
17) Mini Corn Dogs:
Corn Dogs A corn meal muffin with a slice of hot dog in the middle. You can cheat here and use a little box of “jiffy corn bread mix” and slip a piece of hot dog in the middle before baking -just be sure to use a quality hot dog, such as Hebrew National or Nathan’s Skinless hots.
Make your own cup a soup by storing leftover soup in frozen ready-to-use circles. Use the larger muffin tin for soup – pour some into each hole and then freeze. When frozen, tip the muffin pan over to place them into a freezer safe bag. Whenever you feel the urge for a cup of soup, just grab one out and heat it up. Actually, each muffin hole holds about 1/2 cup of liquid.
Desserts – Mini Muffin Pan Dessert Recipes
19) Mini Cookies:
Chocolate Chip Lava Cookies. These are a little involved, but if you are going to put ice cream on them anyways, just use your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough recipe and spoon it into a mini muffin pan to cook and then top with ice cream while still warm.
20) Mini Pies:
Mini Pies, a great idea whatever the filling. You can use ready pie crusts (just use a biscuit cutter to make little circles) and then fill with cinnamon apples, or whatever your favorite pie, just minimized.
21) Mini Cannoli Bites:
These are so classy – Cannoli bites. This muffin pan recipe looks elegant and has an edgy presentation, but if you want an even easier route and have a crowd that you want to gather round then check out her recipe for cannoli dip at the bottom of the her recipe page.
22) Mini Smores:
Smores are a classic taste that never gets old.
23) Bite Size Brownies or Mini Fudge:
No fuss brownies. Have you ever tried to cut your brownies while they are still warm? They tend to stick all over your knife and you really can’t get a clean line. Same thing with really moist brownies even after they are cooled. Problem solved with a mini muffin pan. They don’t cook long enough to get a hard edge like a big pan often does and they are so moist inside. Any brownie mix or homemade brownie recipe cooks up quick and moist in a mini muffin pan or a regular size cupcake pan. Make brownies as usual and then bake them at 350° for about 8-10 minutes if mini and 12-15 minutes if large.
You can also use your mini muffin tin to make bite size fudge, again proving that your mini muffin pan is not just for baking. Make no bake fudge by combining a can of sweetened condensed milk, 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips and a pinch of salt in a saucepan on low heat until melted smooth then remove from heat and add a teaspoon of vanilla. Then pour it into little mini muffin pan liners in a mini muffin pan and put it in the fridge. After the fudge has hardened, simply pop them out of the pan and place them in an airtight container. Again, it saves you from having to cut the fudge and it keeps from having cut edges which dry out much quicker than sealed edges – you’ve just extended the best by date of your fudge!
24) Peanut Butter Cup Cookies:
Saved the best for last – that is if you like the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. This is my go-to cookie and favorite of all muffin pan recipes. And, of course, it’s made in one bowl. Make peanut butter cookie dough (recipe below) and place bits of it in the mini muffin tin and bake at 375° for about 5-6 minutes. Take them out and press an unwrapped peanut butter cup into each hole. Put them back in the oven for 1-2 minutes.
I just can’t stop eating these when they’re warm! But they also freeze well and can be zapped real quick in the microwave for that just baked flavor any time.
Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe
Stir in large mixer bowl:
1&3/4 Cup Flour (all-purpose)
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
Then Add 1/2 Cup of each of the following 4 items:
Firmly packed Brown Sugar
Peanut Butter (creamy is best but chunky works too)
2 Tbs. Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
Place in mini muffin tin then in Preheated 375° oven for 5-6 minutes.
Unwrap a bag of miniature peanut butter cups while they are baking and place one in the center of each baked cookie. Place them back in the oven for 1-2 minutes (unless they are already done, then don’t return to oven). Returning them to the oven makes the chocolate melt into the cookie, so you don’t see the ridges of the peanut butter cup anymore (mine were already done before adding the cups so you can see the ridges in the picture).
We hope these pictures and muffin pan recipes will bring your muffin pans out of the cupboard. Check out our FAQ to find out new uses for old tools. You just might find that you have other tools hanging around your kitchen that can be put to some new uses!
Don’t have a muffin pan, we suggest you get at least one.
If you can resist after looking at all these muffin pan recipes, then you’ve got fantastic will power!
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