The Simple Extra Step You Need For Shiny Muffin Tops

We have plenty of culinary hacks to help you pull delicious, fluffy muffins out of the oven that also happen to be pretty to look at. Unless you're covering the tops of your snickerdoodle muffins with a texturally satisfying layer of sugary crumbs, however, we suggest an easy finish to help the tops of those muffins glean with promise and anticipation. Whether you're putting together strawberry cornmeal muffins or a cranberry orange muffins recipe, consider coating the tops of your muffins with a shiny glaze that can stand in for icing or serve as a slick foundation for the creamy drizzle of icing you'll add to finish your presentation.

We have TikToker @kelli_marks to thank for the inspiration behind this simple glaze. Simply mix equal parts sugar and your choice of liquid like water, juice, extracts, or even booze. Pair ingredients to build layers of flavor, like adding a sugary glaze made with lemon or orange juice to the top of a batch of strawberry muffins. Use a brush to coat the tops of the muffins generously before baking. 

Don't try to hide these muffin tops

These pretty glazes don't need to be limited to fruit-forward muffin recipes, either. A sugary glaze made with orange juice and sweetened with molasses or honey can be brushed on top of espresso chocolate muffins before adding a sweet crunchy topping of toasted nuts and chocolate pieces as a crowning garnish. 

Once you have the idea to add a bit of shine to your next baker's dozen, you can enhance these easy glazes with spices like cinnamon, ginger, or cardamom. Add a splash of bourbon for a subtle kick, or dash in an extract that can complement your chosen recipe. While vanilla, almond, and maple extract can add predictable sweetness to this shiny sugary glaze, coconut, banana, and coffee extract can help you bake muffins that will disappear quickly once taken out of your oven. (You can also make your own extracts to have on hand for your baking projects). Muffin tops that are this good-looking can be brought to the dining room table with plenty of pride and confidence.