Make Muffins in a Sheet Pan, Because You Can

October  6, 2017

The favorite item in my mom's kitchen was always the cookie sheets. Battered and well-seasoned by years of heavy use, her baking sheets were thin and warped on the edges with a worn, mottled patina, thanks to the hundreds of batches of cookies she'd baked on them.

I love those sheet pans because their presence signaled warm cookies ahead. As an adult, I love my sheet pans for so much more. Restaurant chefs and bakers have long appreciated the versatility of sheet pans, but only lately has this bit of kitchen knowledge become mainstream. These days, you can't open the food section of a newspaper (or browse cookbooks in a bookshop or read food blogs) without stumbling upon a recipe for sheet pan cooking. Everyone, suddenly, is discovering how clever it is to cook dinner on a sheet pan.

It's a new way to think about one-pot cooking! The large surface area makes it perfect for roasting vegetables; lining your pan with parchment makes it virtually mess-free to clean up. If you throw all the ingredients for a recipe onto the pan (protein + starch + sauce), everything melds together beautifully as it cooks. Bonus points for getting a crunchy texture and crisp edges on things like chicken skin and meatballs and rice.

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I'm glad we're all embracing the sheet pan cooking concept, but what about baking? We're overlooking the most useful and smart way to utilize a sheet pan.

Take any basic batter, from brownie batter to cake batter to muffin batter, and spread it onto a parchment-lined (or well-greased) sheet pan with high edges. Bake until just set and golden on the edges, then remove from the oven and let it cool. It's quick and easy with no need for portioning batter into pans or muffin tins. You can try this technique with popover batter or even pancake batter!

Try it with any one of your favorite muffin recipes.

I particularly love baking muffin batter on a sheet pan. You get to skip the whole paper liner step, and the result is akin to a giant muffin top (which is the best part of a muffin, duh). Your muffins stay wonderfully moist and soft but you get lots of golden, crisp edges. Try it with any one of your favorite muffin recipes; I've included my best basic blueberry recipe here. I like to sprinkle lots of turbinado sugar over the top before baking, but that's optional. And by optional, I mean delicious, please do it.

What muffin recipe are you going to put in a sheet pan? Let us know in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • morag
  • Nicole S. Urdang
    Nicole S. Urdang
  • Ava Monique George Stewart
    Ava Monique George Stewart
  • food52fan
  • Sare Hare
    Sare Hare
I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.


morag June 3, 2019
I tried this with a banana muffin recipe that had a pecan oatmeal crumble topping.
The kids said it was perfect because you get topping with every bite!
Nicole S. October 13, 2017
Great idea! I also just put my muffin battery in a 9" round cake pan. It may take a bit longer to bake but it's just as good as a muffin and travels more easily than they do. Also, people can cut as much or as little as they want.
Nicole S. October 13, 2017
Batter, not battery.
Kat October 13, 2017
Genius! I will need to try this...I love the whole muffin (not just the top) so this will be great for my family.
Ava M. October 12, 2017
Purist here. The taste will be similar to a muffon but this is "sheet cake". It will be divine. It works with any batter. It takes very little time to bake.

food52fan October 12, 2017
Oooh, those blueberry "muffins" look delightful, bursting with berries! You're right about the top being the best part of the muffin! I would love to try this with a pumpkin and apple muffin recipe for company this week.
Sare H. October 12, 2017
Could I substitute with coconut flour?
ozbaker October 12, 2017
You cannot substitute all-purpose flour with coconut flour. You could use a gluten-free flour blend instead by weight and substitute perhaps a half ounce
of the 8 1/2 ounces with coconut flour.
Nancy October 9, 2017
Great idea - sounds easy, and I love the results of more "muffin top" texture!
judy October 7, 2017
I came across this method for pancakes a few weeks ago. Used my 100% buckwheat pancake mix. It worked very well. No standing over the stove frying each cake. 15 minutes in the oven and terrific pancakes. Freeze very well for later as well. Quick breakfast with jam and out the door. Nicer than toast. Now I'll try this method. I don';' like making muffins because they are fussy. From reading the notes and comments, there may be a bunch of options for the sheet pan. I already do cookies this way!. And of course we have seen slew of sheet pan dinners recently. And I just came across a steak method. I am going to try that with pork chops. So .....what a great time saver this sheet pan is turning out to be!
FrugalCat October 7, 2017
That pan of blueberry muffins looks fabulous! I would love to have one of those for breakfast with an iced coffee.
PhillipBrandon October 6, 2017
What would popover batter do in a sheet pan?
Posie (. October 6, 2017
It'll puff, like a Yorkshire pudding somewhat or a Dutch baby. Not as lofty as a proper popover, but still airy and delicious!