Is there anything better than waking up to the smell of freshly baked muffins?
It certainly is one of my favorite things!
But what if I told you that you could wake up to that same delicious smell without having to spend much time in the kitchen?
You can make muffin batter ahead of time and bake them fresh in the morning. In fact, making muffin batter the night before can be a great time saver for busy mornings. The taste and texture will be improved as well as the flavors have been able to marinate overnight.
In this blog post, we will discuss the best tips for making muffin batter ahead of time and how you can keep it fresh longer.
So let’s dive in right away!
5 Tips For Making Muffin Batter Ahead Of Time
1. Use Quality Ingredients
When making muffin batter ahead of time for homemade muffins or quick breads, it’s best to use ingredients that won’t spoil easily when stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
2. Use Room Temperature Ingredients
Be sure to bring all your dry ingredients like flour, sugar, baking powder, and any mix-ins to room temperature before combining them in a large mixing bowl.
You’ll also want your wet ingredients like melted butter, milk, vanilla extract, and eggs at room temperature.
Bringing ingredients to room temperature helps ensure the muffin batter mixes smoothly and the finished muffins have a moist texture once baked.
3. Refrigerate Immediately
Once your wet and dry ingredients have been fully incorporated using an electric mixer or by hand, immediately transfer the muffin batter to an airtight container like a large freezer bag or plastic wrap-covered bowl.
4. Let Batter Rest
It’s best to let refrigerated muffin batter rest for 24 hours before baking, as this allows time for flavors to develop and chemical leaveners like baking powder to fully activate.
The longer rest results in lighter, fluffier muffin tops compared to baking immediately. You’ll have fresh-baked muffins all week!
5. Add Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
For extra moist and flavorful homemade muffins, stir a few tablespoons of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt into the batter before refrigerating.
The tangy yogurt or cream adds richness and moisture that prevents staleness, even the next day.
Try it in bran muffin or blueberry muffin recipes for a delicious twist.
Portioning And Storing Pre-Made Batter
When making a large batch of muffin batter to store for later use, it’s important to properly portion and package the batter before freezing.
A standard practice is to use a muffin tin as an ice cube tray to freeze individual portions of muffin batter.
Simply spoon the batter into each muffin cup of the tin.
Once fully frozen, pop the cubes of batter out and place them in a labeled freezer bag.
This allows you to pull out only the number of portions you need when you’re ready to bake a fresh batch of muffins in the muffin pan.
For some varieties like bran muffins or chocolate chip muffins, you can also portion the batter directly into lined muffin cups of the tin before freezing.
Simply fill each muffin tray about 3/4 full with batter. Place the entire muffin pan in the freezer until fully frozen, then remove the frozen batter portions and transfer to a freezer bag.
When ready to bake, return the batter portions to the tin and bake without thawing. This eliminates the need to thaw and scoop batter with an ice cream scoop, saving a step in your muffin baking process.
For batter you plan to keep in the freezer longer than 2-3 months, it’s best to overwrap the freezer bags by placing them inside another freezer bag or wrapping them in plastic wrap or foil.
This helps prevent freezer burn which could affect the texture of the muffins or baked goods if baked later.
Be sure to label packages with the type of muffin batter and date, so you’ll know what you have on Christmas morning or the next morning when you want a quick treat without a trip to the bakery!
Make-Ahead Blueberry Muffins Recipe From Stored Batter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk (dairy or almond)
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 tsp lemon zest
To make the batter:
- In a large bowl, mix together the flours, sugar, salt and baking powder.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, yogurt, oil and eggs.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.
To store the batter:
- Scoop the batter evenly into 12 lined muffin cups of a muffin tin. Place the tin in the freezer until the batter is completely frozen.
- Remove frozen batter portions from tin and transfer to a freezer bag. Date and label the bag.
To bake muffins:
- Place frozen batter portions back into lined muffin cups.
- Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in tin for 15 minutes before enjoying.
Benefits Of Chilling Your Muffin Batter Overnight
Here are the most important benefits of chilling muffin batter overnight:
- Improved texture – Allowing gluten time to relax overnight results in muffins with a finer, more tender crumb. The chilling slows gluten development for a more delicate structure.
- Moist muffins – The overnight rest allows ingredients like yeast and leavening agents time to fully hydrate and activate. This leads to batter that rises higher and muffins that stay moist longer.
- Even rise – Chilling batter evenly distributes rising power throughout so each muffin rises to a uniform height in the pan. You won’t end up with some tall muffins and some short ones.
- Concentrated flavor – The longer rest intensifies flavors as ingredients have time to fully blend and develop. Subtle flavors like vanilla and citrus really shine through.
- Make-ahead convenience – With chilled batter you can easily bake muffins on demand by just portioning and baking. No last minute mixing required for early mornings or spontaneous guests.
- Storage flexibility – Batter keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days and allows for baking muffins fresh over several days as needed. It also makes freezing batter portions simple for future use.
Other Questions You May Have
How Long Can Muffin Batter Sit Out Before Baking?
Most muffin batters are best baked within 1-2 hours of mixing for optimal texture and rise. The chemical leavening agents like baking powder and baking soda begin to lose effectiveness the longer the batter sits out.
To extend the window, refrigerate batter for up to a maximum of three days as this slows the reaction. When ready to bake, allow chilled batter to sit at room temp for 30 mins before scooping.
On hot days aim to bake within 1 hour. As a general rule, if batter has been sitting out for over 2 hours and doesn’t rise much after scooping, discard and remix for best volume and texture.
How Long Can Muffin Batter Last In The Refrigerator?
Muffin batter can last up to three days when stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Make sure to check for signs of spoilage before baking though as every ingredient will have its own expiration date.
I personally like to keep muffin batter in the fridge for a maximum of 24 hours as I find this is the perfect amount of time for the flavors to marinate and for a light and fluffy texture to be achieved.
Can I Freeze Muffin Batter?
You can definitely freeze muffin batter.
The texture may be slightly different than when it is freshly made, but it should still bake up nicely.
To freeze your muffins, let the batter cool completely before transferring to an airtight container and placing in the freezer for up to three months.
When ready to bake, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before scooping into molds and baking as usual.
You can also freeze the batter in small batches, making it easy to grab a few tablespoons of batter whenever you need it!
This is especially useful if you don’t need to make a big batch of muffins at once.
How Can You Make Muffins Rise Higher
To make your muffins rise higher, make sure to use a good quality leavening agent like baking soda or baking powder.
This will help add structure and lift to the muffins.
You can also try adding a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice to your batter as this will cause a chemical reaction that will help the muffins to rise even more.
Also, be sure to not overmix your batter as this can cause the muffins to be dense and heavy.
Instead, fold in the ingredients until just combined for light and fluffy muffins that will rise high.
Can You Refrigerate Banana Muffin Batter?
You can refrigerate banana muffin batter.
The key is to use very ripe bananas, as this will help the flavors develop and make your muffins more flavorful.
Once your batter is made, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to two days before baking.
Can You Premix Muffin Mix?
Muffin mixes can be premixed ahead of time for convenience. Mix dry ingredients like flour, sugar, salt and leavening together in a large batch and store in an airtight container, lasting 2-3 months.
For a complete mix, stir in add-ins. When ready to bake, stir wet ingredients into the premixed dry just until moistened.
Fill liners and bake as directed, no last minute mixing required. Alternately, portion dry ingredients into “scoop” sizes for easy addition of wet mix before baking.
Premixed muffin mixes save time while still giving you fresh muffins.
How Long Can Muffins Last In The Fridge?
Freshly baked muffins can last in the fridge for about 5-7 days when stored properly in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag. The cold temperature of the fridge helps slow moisture loss and staling.
Muffins containing fresh fruit may start to mold more quickly, within 3-5 days.
For longer storage, muffins can be frozen for 2-3 months by wrapping each muffin individually then placing in a sealed freezer bag or container.
Thaw frozen muffins at room temperature before reheating or toasting.
So, by now I think it’s clear that you can indeed make muffin batter ahead of time.
It’s a great way to save time during busy mornings and you can even freeze it for a future baking session.
Just be sure to follow the tips mentioned above and you’ll have perfectly risen, delicious muffins every time!
So next time you’re craving freshly baked muffins, just remember to make your batter the night before, store it in the refrigerator, and bake it off in the morning.