How to Make Muffins Without a Muffin Pan

Banana nut, blueberry, cinnamon – every muffin is a good muffin. So it’s not surprising that most people want to whip up a batch in their very own kitchen. But what can you do if you have a hankering for muffins and don’t own a muffin pan?

While I implore you to purchase a muffin pan ASAP, you can get by in the meantime. There are so many wonderful alternatives to a muffin pan, from reusable free-standing baking cups to ice cream cones. You can even make homemade liners using foil!

Hey, there! My name is Michelle; welcome to this post! If you’ve found yourself in this article, then you’re here to know one thing: how to make muffins without a muffin pan. And I’ve got you covered! Below, I’m sharing my top six ways to make muffins sans muffin pan.

Delicious muffins we’re coming your way!

6 Ways to make Muffins Without a Muffin Pan

Muffins don’t actually require a muffin pan – although I highly recommend purchasing one if you plan to bake muffins regularly. In the meantime, you can use one of these top six substitutes for a muffin pan. (It’s not hard, I promise!)

1. Silicone Baking Cups

My favorite swap for a muffin pan is silicone baking cups. Silicone is one of my favorite materials to bake with because it is nonstick, dishwasher-safe (hello, easy cleanup), and provides an even bake – which is critical for fluffy and delicate little muffins!

To use silicone baking cups in place of a muffin pan, all you need to do is line up your baking cups on a baking sheet. Then, fill the liners and bake for the directed amount of time per your recipe. 

2. Paper Liners

I know, liners are supposed to go in the muffin pan. But when you’re in a pinch, you have to make do, OK?!

Using paper liners is super simple. Not only that, but they’re cheap, so you won’t end up paying more than a few bucks for some tasty muffins.

However, paper liners are not very sturdy. That said, you want to use at least two or three paper liners per muffin. Stack the paper liners, place them side-by-side on a baking sheet, pour the batter in, and let them bake according to your recipe.

3. Ice Cream Cones

Birthdays are typically accompanied by a giant birthday cake and endless scoops of ice cream. But that results in two things: a lot of work and a big mess. Enter: the era of an ice cream cone cupcakes and cake pops.

But who said ice cream cones could only be used to make a cool cupcake treat? 

Flat ice cream cones can also be used to bake yummy muffins. Plus, they’re entirely edible, reducing waste. 

You’ll do it the same way: line up the cones on a baking sheet. Place them next to each other for some added stability. Fill ‘em up with batter (⅔rds full) and bake them for the recommended time. 

Of course, you’ll need to be very careful maneuvering the loaded ice cream cones into the oven. You don’t want your ice cream cones to look like they’ve been the victim of a “Strike!” in bowling. 

4. Ceramic Cups

Your trusty ceramic cup or mug doesn’t have to be reserved for early-morning coffee excursions; it can also be your go-to for baking muffins.

Now, how long you bake your muffins depends mainly on the size of your oven-proof mug or cup. For instance, if you use ceramic teacups, you can fill them up 2/3rds of the way full and bake them according to your recipe’s directions.

But if you have larger ceramic cups or mugs, you need to make some adjustments:

  • Fill them up all the way and increase the baking time by 10 to 20 minutes
  • Fill them up about halfway and tack on a few extra minutes

Honestly, if you’re going to go this route, my biggest suggestion is to keep an eye on your muffins. Check them when they’re “supposed” to be done. If they’re still raw, continue checking every five minutes until they’re perfectly cooked.

5. Cake Pans

Do you want to eat a muffin but don’t really care what it looks like? Then you might consider the cake pan method.

With this technique, you’ll be treating your lovely muffins like a “cake.” That said, you’ll fill the cake pan with muffin batter (2/3rds high). Then, put them into a preheated oven.

Note: Reduce the oven time by 10F when using this technique. You’ll also need to tack on an extra ten to 15 minutes for the muffin batter to cook thoroughly, as the muffin batter is thicker and more dense compared to the cake batter.

When it’s finished, you can serve the muffin like you would a slice of cake. Or you can use cookie cutters to make nontraditional muffin shapes that everyone will want to try.

6. DIY Liners

If you don’t have any of the items mentioned above, don’t panic – there’s hope yet. 

You can make DIY liners using aluminum foil. Yes, that’s right – handmade liners only take about five seconds to create. Don’t believe me? Then watch this short video:

All you need to do is find a round container (flip it upside down if you need to). Then, place a small 5×5 square of aluminum foil on top. Fold down the edges, so it creates a distinct circle. Lift the “DIY liner” off the container and use it the same way you’d use any other type of muffin liner.

So easy and convenient, right?


I bet you never thought there were so many cool ways to make muffins without a muffin pan! But hey, before you make a batch of muffins (can you save me one, please?)I recommend checking out these frequently asked questions!

Can you use a cupcake pan to make muffins?

Do you only have a “cupcake pan” and want to make muffins? Then you’re in luck – because they’re the same thing. That said, go ahead and use the “cupcake pan” for your muffins and vice versa.

Is Pancake Mix the same as muffin mix?

Pancake mix is not the same as muffin mix. Although they’re relatively similar, pancakes have more liquids, while muffins have more sugar and fat. That’s why pancakes are lighter and fluffier, while muffins are denser and thicker.

What’s the difference between a muffin and a cupcake?

Although they’re similar (and both are very delicious!), muffins and cupcakes aren’t the same. Cupcakes contain far more sugar, so they’re sweeter, lighter, and fluffier than muffins. They’re also topped with frosting or other decorations. Muffins are less sweet and denser.

Make Muffins Without a Muffin Pan Today!

Although it will be easier to bake in a muffin pan, you don’t need one to make muffins. Muffins can be made in silicone baking cups, paper liners, ice cream cones, or ceramic cups. You can also go the nontraditional route with a cake pan or make DIY liners using foil.

Have you ever made muffins without a muffin pan? How did you do it? Did you use one of these methods or a different one?

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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