I have been making a lot of muffins lately. Sometimes I get tired of greasing the tins every time, so I use paper cups to minimize the work and clean-up. A lot of the time they peel off with no trouble at all, but with banana muffins they always stick. I have to confess, the recipe I use actually says not to use paper cups (with no explanation why), but I defied the rule, and was sadly proven wrong as half of each muffin clings to the paper. Curious as to why this might be, I contacted the King Arthur Flour baking hotline, a free service where professional bakers can be contacted by phone, email or chat to answer your baking questions, emergency or otherwise. Unfortunately the person who replied to my email could not explain why banana muffins stuck to the paper but other muffins didn’t.
So I turned to a basic internet search where I learned of a few options. One suggestion is because of the pleats in the paper cups, and the wet batter baking into them; but that doesn’t explain why other muffin batters don’t stick. Another suggestion was that there is not enough grease in the muffin batter. This could be true, there isn’t much oil in banana muffin batter, and I actually left the oil out of the ones I made. And lastly in my little search, someone said it is because the banana melts and softens while heating, then as it cools it sticks to the paper. This makes the most sense to me, since bananas are more soft, wet and chunky than other muffin additions, like grated carrots or raisins, making them more likely to stick as the melted sugary globs cool.
Everywhere I looked, they all suggested spraying the paper cups with cooking spray or grease, which makes me say “why wouldn’t you just grease the pans and save some wasted paper?” – which is what I will do with my banana muffins from now on. I’m curious to know if anyone has any other suggestions as to why banana muffins stick? Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them!