The Common Mistake You're Probably Making With Your Muffin Batter

All hail the muffin: basically a dessert masquerading as a breakfast item. Muffins make it socially acceptable to sink your teeth into a sweet at any hour of the day. And for those of us who love muffins, we have so many varieties to choose from, from classic blueberry muffins to autumnal pumpkin muffins to nutty pecan pie muffins.

Unlike many other bakery treats, muffins are actually fairly simple to make at home. Considered a quick bread, muffins rely on chemical leaveners such as baking soda and baking powder to achieve their stature, and not fussy yeast. And while the majority of us have probably turned out tasty or even super-delicious muffins at home, they usually seem to lack something compared to the sky-high, perfectly domed muffins we've picked up at the local café: height.

So if your muffins turn out flat or lack that impressive rounded top, read on to find out an easy trick to achieve impressively risen muffins right at home.

Let your muffin batter rest

It seems like we're all short on rest these days — and, as it turns out, muffins are no exception. Ever wondered why bakery muffins often boast a gorgeously rounded top that seems conspicuously absent when we bake at home? That's because many professional muffin makers let their batter rest instead of mixing it up and scooping it directly into tins.

According to Kitchn, letting muffin batter rest overnight before baking it the next morning is standard practice in many pro kitchens. Why? As the batter rests, the starches in the flour slowly absorb the liquid in the batter, which causes them to swell, creating a thicker batter. It also gives the gluten, which is formed during the mixing process, time to relax, lending the batter a structure that will be able to support an impressive dome, but which won't yield a tough pastry.

When making muffins, it's recommended to let the batter rest overnight in the fridge, but if you don't have time, even an hour will help, per The Kitchen Whisperer. In the morning, scoop the cold batter into your muffin tin, bake in a preheated oven, and watch as your muffin tops climb to the lofty glory that is their birthright.