How to Get Muffins Out of Pan

Muffins got stuck to the pan? You’re not alone. This is a common occurrence whether you’ve greased properly or not. The good news is, there is no need for wasted baked treats. With a freezer, dull butter knife, or a hot towel, you can excavate stuck-on muffins in no time.

Hello! My name is Michelle, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t end up with half of my muffins stuck in the pan from time to time. No matter how long I let muffins cool before removing them from the pan, I always end up with at least a few pesky muffins that just don’t want to leave their baking “home”.

Sound like you? Whether you want some new ideas for removing stucked muffins out of your tin or you’re dealing with a stuck-on nightmare, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re taking a good hard look at how you can remove muffins, whether they’re semi-stuck or holding on for dear life.

Keep reading for some simple tips for getting muffins out of tin!

How to Get Stucked Muffins Out of Pan

I hate wasting food – especially when it comes to one of my favorite baked goods, muffins. That said, I have tried out a few different methods for getting muffins out of the pan, no matter how stuck they are.

1. Use a Dull Butter Knife Around the Edges

The best trick to remove muffins from the muffin pan is to use a dull butter knife and inch along the edges. Sometimes, if my knives are washing, I will use a spoon to do this trick, too. So don’t worry about absolutely having to use a butter knife.

To perform this method, all you need to do is slide the kitchen utensil gently along the exterior of the muffin. You’re basically trying to disconnect the muffin from the pan. Be careful, though. If you do this too hard and too fast, you might prick your muffins. 

Sure, they will still taste great even if you knick your muffins. However, they definitely won’t be winning any baking prizes!

2. Freeze Them

Another great option is to play a game of freeze tag with your muffins. Well, kind of. Let your muffins cool off entirely. Then, stick them in the freezer for at least thirty minutes,  although a full hour is best.

What will this do? Basically, the muffins will be able to mold together a bit more. This means that they will be more solidified, making it simpler for you to pop them out of the pan.

That said, when the hour is up, “tag” your muffin pan and pull it out of the freezer. From there, it should be a cinch to pop them right out. If not, then you may need to grab that handy dull butter knife or spoon and pry them out. 

3. Hot Rag

Don’t want to wait for cooling and freezing? I get that. I don’t always have all the time in the world when I’m baking. If you’re looking for a quick tip, this is it. Simply get a clean towel piping hot by pouring boiling water over it. Wring it out (carefully – it will be very hot).

Then, place the muffin pan on the hot rag. The steam from the hot water will help the muffins to release. However, I still suggest you use that trusty dull butter knife to slide along the edges. Think of the butter knife as your foolproof backup plan.

4. Warm in the Oven

Stubborn muffins? They need to go back into the oven. Not because they need to cook, but because they’re ornery and need a little more heat to get the job done.

When warming in the oven, it’s best to place an oven-safe bowl of water underneath. This will create the steam that is necessary for the easier removal of muffins. 

Be careful not to cook for too long, though. At this point, your muffins are fully cooked. You don’t want to end up with dried-out muffins. Typically, five to ten minutes is enough to satisfy pesky stuck-on muffins.

When the timer is up, remove the muffin pan with your oven mitt and use a dull butter knife to help pry them out. (And yes, I know every tip mentions using the dull butter knife. Clearly, it’s an essential tool for achieving muffin removal success!)

How to Avoid Muffins Sticking to the Pan

Wouldn’t it be better to avoid stuck-on muffins in the first place? Absolutely. With that in mind, I’m going to give you a few extra tips on how to avoid muffins sticking to the pan in the first place.

  • High-quality muffin tinsLet’s start right at the source; the muffin pan you’re baking with. A cheap option will be more susceptible to stuck-on messes than a high-quality muffin tin. Don’t be afraid to spend a little more on better quality!
  • Paper muffin liners – Here’s where price doesn’t matter as much. Muffin liners are the best way to make sure your muffins will come out of the pan with no messes. Plus, there are lots of styles and colors to customize your final presentation.
  • Silicone muffin liners –  This is another great option. They’re easy to use and reusable, which means more money in your pocket. However, muffins can stick to the liners, which presents another issue. 
  • Grease! – If you’re not using muffin liners, then you must grease your muffin tins (and silicone muffin liners if using them). Spraying down the whole muffin pan inside and out is recommended. You can also use butter or your favorite cooking oil too.
  • Don’t overbake – Seriously, if you overbake your muffins,  you’re going to have a far more challenging time removing them from the pan. This is with proper greasing, too. Check on your muffins regularly!

Keep in mind that sometimes nothing works. Some muffins are simply destined to be stuck to the pan, and that’s okay – because now you know how to successfully get them out no matter what.


Now you know everything you need to know to get muffins out of a pan. But if you’ve still got a few prying questions, take a look below.

How long should muffins cool before removing them from the pan?

Unless you’re using the freezer trick, then you should always remove your muffins for anywhere between two and five minutes before removing them. Anything longer than that will allow the muffins more time to stick onto the pan, and that’s what we’re trying to avoid!

Do You Let muffins cool in the pan?

Yes, you will let the muffins cool in the pan for the first two to five minutes. After they are removed, though, they should be placed on a wire rack to cool equally.

What can I do with ruined muffins?

Okay, so your muffins got stuck, and you accidentally demolished them trying to remove them from the pan. Don’t worry! ‘Ruined’ muffins that still taste great can make a delightful bread pudding. 

Final Thoughts

Muffins get stuck to pans whether you grease them or not. If you’re struggling with ornery muffins, the best thing to do is use a dull butter knife to pry them out gently. If that doesn’t work, consider freezing or using heat to help release the muffins.

How do you get your muffins out of the pan? Do you use any of these tricks? Share with us!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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