While I was an innkeeper I made a lot of muffins: apple cinnamon, chocolate chip, doughnut, lemon poppy seed, you name it, I probably made it. They were a blank slate, perfect for using up fruit, or experimenting with different toppings and flavors. Plus, what didn't get eaten in the morning, I would set out for guests to take for an on-the-go treat. Everyone wins!
Around a month ago, I pinned a tip on freezing muffin batter on our Pinterest. I was immediately intrigued. This would have been helpful at the inn for the occasional hectic morning. The only question was: would it really work?
I made a coffee cake buttermilk muffin recipe and decided to split the batter in half; one half to be baked immediately, and the other half to be frozen, then baked three days later. I intended on freezing them for an hour or two, then transferring them to a large freezer bag, but unfortunately I was out. I’ll be honest. I intended to at least cover them with saran wrap, but I forgot and they sat uncovered in my freezer the whole time.
When I was ready to bake them, I took them out of the freezer and let the oven preheat for around 20 minutes before popping them in. No defrosting!
The outcome? They were great, if not better, than the first batch! There were a few differences to note:
- The rise was different. The fresh batch baked-up and the excess on the tops sort of mushroomed over. The frozen batch rose to more of a peaked shape.
- The frozen batch had a better texture. I don't the scientific explanation for why this happened, but the crumb was slightly more moist.
- The topping was more pronounced. For this recipe there was a cinnamon-sugar mix sprinkled in between the layers and all over the top. In the original, the mixture almost melted in the muffin, in the center and the top. It was able to bake right into the batter. For the frozen, the center layer was more defined and separated, and the topping baked up crisper, sitting on top of the muffin instead of becoming mixed.
With this tip you can have muffins on-hand and ready in less than 30 minutes. I recommend putting them in a large bag after they’re completely frozen. I was worried that these would pick up some unsavory flavors from being uncovered in the freezer, but three days was short enough that it wasn’t an issue. This tip worked out great!