Friday, 15 October 2010

Crown Muffins - The Secret to Making BIG Cafe Style Muffins !

The best bit of a muffin is the crown - a big mushroomy type top which overhangs the stump. All too often the stump part can be a bit boring ... but I'll forgive this for a good crown.

For years I tried to make muffins with the big puffy crown and despite every attempt - they ended up a mess. I thought that you needed to put in just enough mixture into the silicone mould or traditional bakeware tin to fill it to the top. My expectation was for the mix to over-run a little and give the big mushroom top.

Despite trying many different mixes, the batter would volcano over the top and the crowns of my muffins would run and stick together. If I was REALLY lucky, I might get one or two out whole - but more often than not, I'd lose great chunks of the crown.

So - HOW DO THEY DO IT ? I wanted to be able to make those cafe style muffins like you get in Starbucks and Costas but simply could not achieve it at home.

Earlier this year, I finally had a lighbulb moment.

The secret is in the tin !

A bit more digging clarified just that. The big commercial bakeries use a tin with a rebated head. You pop in a paper muffin cake case / liner and fill it to just over the top with the batter. As the mix rises, it flows into the rebated head section of the tin and then rises some more to create the dome.

That bit established - you try finding a crown muffin tin. I've only managed to find one place on the net that stocks ones that will fit in a domestic oven. Those used for the likes of Starbucks and big bakeries are a commercial size that we "normal" people simply cannot use in our kitchens.

Until now that is. Over the last couple of months I have been developing my own. These will be available from 1st December 2010 at Don't forget - you'll find them here first in silicone as I designed them !!!!!


These are large, 6 cell silicone moulds. They take American Jumbo Muffin paper liners which have a BASE diameter of 60mm - a good bit bigger than the standard 50mm base size muffin cases generally available in stores and online. We have had a good selection of the paper cases in various patterns and colours produced too with these moulds. A lot of effort has been put in to keeping these liners / cake cases as low cost as possible..

As cafe style muffins look rather "naked" without their wrappers, we will be including a starter pack of paper cases with every one of our American Jumbo Crown Muffin Moulds.

I decided to opt for a slightly larger than standard stump part of the muffin with our own Crown muffin cake pans / moulds as tests showed that by making the stump a little bigger in diameter, the cake in this part of the form says much more moist and does not tend to have the drier nature that many of the ones from commercial bakeries do.

Being silicone, you do not have to use paper liners at all. You can choose to lightly grease with butter and then flour - tapping out any excess before filling with your desired mix. This will ensure perfect release every time. If using paper cases, it's still worth greasing and flouring the rebated head part of the mould only - or use a tiny dot of Wilton's Cake Release to run round them with the tip of your finger. If your cake mix has a higher sugar content than fat content (as is ofter the case) failure to so this in a non stick tin of any kind generally leads to sticking Cake mixes are renowned for it. This is why you grease and line or grease and flour even non stick traditional tins for cakes. Silicone is no different ! Low sugar content versus high fat content in cakes or bread generally will never stick at all and this step is not required.

These are pretty big muffins - the size and shape (but with a bigger diameter stump) of the ones you will find in the big coffee chain shops. Each mould has 6 cells. To fill all 6 cells, you require the same amount of mix as you would to fill 12 normal muffins or cupcakes. The 6 cell Crown muffin mould is almost the same footprint size as a 12 muffin mould or traditional bakeware tin - though it is about 25% taller. This is because the rebated head section takes up a lot of room !

oops - these are orange and poppy seed muffins pictured that I made tonight. Recipe will follow tomorrow hopefully as it's time for bed now...

AVAILABLE FROM 1ST DECEMBER - order from (international shipping available) or by phone on 01953 452525

Sarah-Jane Nash -
Silicone bakeware - specialists in cake pans, soap moulds and chocolate molds. Shipping worldwide.


  1. OH Sarah Jane you must read of my old posts. I think We are both somewhat obsessed when it comes to baking ...LOL

    I am so going to order you jumbo muffin mould. How wonderful to have it in silicone. the domes have always been an obsession for me. So glad I have you as a friend! :P

  2. Zurin - will email you in a minute.

    The muffins you made look superb. The straight sided paper cups give a higher rise - and the streusel topping helps enhance the crown.

    Normal paper muffin / cake cases with the tapered sides cannot achieve that.... and those paper cups that are very popular in Asia are not easy to obtian in the UK.

    I took 11 of these into work today (after sacrificing the one above - for photography of course) last night. They all disappeared in under 2 hours. Could actually have done with taking more !

  3. I too want 2 sets of these moulds as soon as they are available. But I want to make....INDIVIDUAL CUSTARD TARTS in them. The base will hold plenty of egg custard and i can just see the fluted pastry ridge in the rebated section at the top! Oh and how about magnificent bakewells..much better than mr K !!

  4. now your giving away all the secrets of food service....everyone will be able to make those huge muffins they all love at home!! Great job Sarah Jane, I'm glad to see how creative you are in coming up with so many wonderful designs to share with us!

  5. Glad to know the secrets he he they look gorgeous!

  6. Those muffins are way too tempting - I reckon you'll have me converted to baking quite soon :)

  7. Beautiful big muffins and awesome design! I'm impressed that you created this mold when nothing else would do! Bravo!

  8. Virginia - I can see those custard tarts now. Can't remember last time I had one... but I LOVE custard tarts. Mmmmm !

    Chef Dennis - why thank you. I'm honoured :-) I did get my pizza stone out the shed after reading your post about bread. I've made about 3 loaves since and a couple of pizzas. That's a another post.

    Ananda - they're huge. Make sure you are hungry if you make these.

    Cosmic Goddess - If I wasn't so in love with my new Kitchenaid artisan mixer, you'd convert me to raw !

    Susi - I love this new mould and am VERY pleased with it. It's a bit sneaky to show it off now when no one can get one yet, but it won't be too long before people can get their hands on them.

  9. Beautiful muffin and lovely mold. Nice to have visited here, looking forward to come here often. Best wishes.

  10. lovely to have you visit. Thanks for posting :-)

  11. I've seen those before, the tin version. But I bet the silicon mold is nicer - better clean-up I bet.

  12. Thanks for the tips! I agree the type of mold/baking pan you use effects the muffins/cupcakes. These look reallyy good.

  13. You hit the nail on the head with this one. I like your driving spirit to go after exactly what you wanted and to develop your own too! It looks great

  14. These are now available here :

  15. Sarah, This muffin really looks jumbo size to me. Will definitely love to try it.

  16. Just a quick comment about the molds (yup! That's how we spell it in the USA). Made my first batch yesterday and it came out really well; very moist and flavorful. I'm just an old bachelor so I just used a boxed mix. A few things I'd like to mention to your readers concerning the paper cups. The jumbo muffin cups I can find here in the states are not a very good fit. In fact, I had to fold them in half and trim them with scissors so, if you're from the US you might consider purchasing the muffin cups sold by Sarah unless you don't mind doing a little more work. Also, I don't see it mentioned but if making from a mix you'll have to adapt the oven time. My box of Betty Crocker called for 425 for 15-20 minutes. Mine came out perfect at 24 minutes. I think you're right, using the muffin papers does hold in some of the moistness. On mine, I substituted 1/4 cup of plain yogurt for each egg and that probably made them nice and moist as well. Most recipes call for filling your tins 2/3 full. I filled mine right up to the rebate and it worked out fine, filling the rebate and giving me a full, fluffy crown.

  17. Glad you like the crown muffin moulds / molds Skip.

    You may be interested to know that I was making them over the weekend too. I've got a new recipe I'll put on the blog shortly with photos.... hopefully in the next day or two.

    I don't use packet mixes as I like the challenge of baking from scratch. You'll find the recipe very moist and very easy to make if you feel up to having a go.

    BTW, don't forget that you can review the moulds you have bought on our website - . I'd love to see photos too if you took some.

    Happy baking !


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