14 Alternative Uses For Your Muffin Tin Beyond Cupcakes

Muffin tins are one of those kitchen tools that can be found in almost every household. They come in handy whether you are baking muffins for sleepy weekend mornings or whipping up a batch of cupcakes for a birthday party. Made with either flexible silicone or nonstick aluminum, muffin tins are essential bakeware to have around, earning their rightful place beside cookie sheets and cake pans. But these pans can be used for so much more than just muffins and cupcakes.


Muffin tins come in several varieties, making them great for lots of dishes. Mini muffin tins make the perfect bite-size hors d'oeuvres, while larger 6-cup muffin tins can help create a heartier meal. Furthermore, muffin tins can withstand high and low temperatures, making them great for both baking and freezing. Here are the many ways you can use your multifunctional muffin tin to its full potential, from creative appetizers to single serve desserts and everything in between.

1. Bake on-the-go egg breakfast cups

It's no secret that a muffin tin makes breakfast easy, but baking eggs in a muffin tin is just as simple as baking a batch of muffins. For a tasty and quick breakfast-on-the-go, try using cupcake liners or a silicone muffin tin, which makes for easy and fast cleanup. A dozen of these egg muffin cups can be made in a standard muffin tin for a simple grab-and-go breakfast throughout the week.


Baked egg muffin cups are essentially mini egg scrambles that can be customized with your favorite ingredients. Whisk eggs together with your favorite omelette fillings such as diced meats, shredded cheese, and chopped vegetables. Pour the egg mixture into the muffin tin cups and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Serve up this protein-packed breakfast on busy mornings or meal prep for the week and reheat egg cups in the microwave on your way out the door. For a nutrient boost, separate the whites from the yolks and mix in fresh veggies for healthy egg white breakfast cups.

2. Form taco shell bowls

Taco night can be one of the most fun dinners of the week. Crunchy taco shells, perfectly seasoned meat, and an array of toppings are always a crowd pleaser. However, taco night can quickly turn into one of the messiest dinners out there, as crunchy shells crumble and fillings tumble out of the taco shell. Thankfully, a handy muffin tin can help take taco Tuesday up a notch without the cleanup.


Bake taco cups with a muffin tin for a fun way to switch up your taco shells. Cut soft tortillas into a smaller shape that fit inside the muffin tin cups and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-20 minutes until they hold their shape and are crispy. Fill with all your favorite fillings and toppings, then chow down on this mess-free meal.

A muffin tin can also help make a healthy taco salad. Flip the pan upside down and fit a soft tortilla in the empty space between the muffin cups. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until crispy, about 10 minutes. Fill with shredded lettuce, taco meat, diced tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, and all your favorite taco toppings for a delicious and fresh taco salad.

3. Freeze soup, stock, and broth

A big batch of hot soup is the perfect meal for a cold and dreary day, just what the doctor ordered to warm you up. Bone or meat-based soup broth made from vegetables is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including fiber. If you have leftovers hanging around your refrigerator, why not use a muffin tin to freeze them?


A muffin tin can help you divide leftover soup or extra broth and stock into individual portions thanks to the pan's individual cup compartments. Simply fill each cup and place in the freezer until the contents are frozen solid, then store in a freezer-safe zipper storage bag. A standard 12-cup muffin tin is perfect for freezing portions of broths and stocks, while the larger 6-cup muffin tins have a larger capacity, making them perfect for freezing soup in single servings for meals. When you are in the mood for a bowl of soup, simply put a frozen soup serving in a pot and gently melt until the soup is melted and warmed through.

4. Make meatloaf muffins

Meatloaf is a quick dinnertime staple that's about to get easier thanks to your muffin tin. Meatloaf muffins are perfectly portioned and simple to make with your favorite meatloaf recipe. A muffin tin also allows you to prep the meatloaf muffins ahead of time and pop the whole pan in the oven when you're ready to cook, perfect for making meatloaf for a crowd.


Grease the muffin tin with cooking spray before making the meatloaf muffins for easier removal. Be sure to use an 85/15 or 80/20 lean to fatty blend of ground beef to ensure that you will not bake dry meatloaf. Mix the ground beef with the ingredients from your favorite meatloaf recipe, portion into the muffin tin cups, and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes until brown and cooked through. For Thanksgiving at any time of the year, sweet and savory turkey meatloaf muffins topped with cranberry sauce are a delicious dinner dish. To put a creative spin on this dish, pipe creamy mashed potatoes on top of the meatloaf muffins to make them look like frosted cupcakes.

5. Transform corn dogs into corn dog muffins

Corn dogs are one of those foods that conjure up memories of carnivals in summertime. The earliest history of corn dogs dates back to 1924 when Francis G. Matson filed a patent for an invention involving an egg and flour breading that paved the way for a modern day corn dog, but without the stick. Five years later, Stanley S. Jenkins filed a similar patent, adding the stick. While neither inventor is credited with creating the corn dogs of today, they both paved the way for the future of this popular state fair food.


Not every home has a deep fryer, so when a craving for corn dogs hits, grocery store freezer aisles typically come to the rescue with frozen corn dogs ready to heat and eat. However, making corn dogs at home is much easier than it seems; all you need is a muffin tin, a package of hot dogs, and corn muffin mix. Line muffin tin with paper liners then pour in about ¾ cup of batter. Chop a hot dog into pieces and put a few inside the corn muffin batter. Bake in the oven according to the corn muffin mix box instructions and serve with mustard or ketchup. These corn dog muffins are perfect for families with picky eaters and are a healthier alternative to the deep fried version.

6. Create custom ice cubes

For hosting cocktail parties and serving poolside drinks, the presentation of ice cubes can really make a difference. An ice cube frozen with fruit, herbs, and edible flowers inside can make for a picture-perfect drink. Thankfully, there's no need to buy a fancy ice cube tray to make these eye-catching ice cubes. The secret to making infused ice cubes for drinks is a muffin tin.


A silicone muffin tin works best for this muffin tin ice cube hack since the flexible material makes it easier to pop the ice out, but a metal muffin tin can also work. It is recommended that you use mini muffin tins for this hack since they make perfectly sized ice cubes for glasses, but the standard 12-cup muffin tin makes big ice cubes perfect for a bowl of punch. Before freezing, add your favorite fruits with water to bring a fun pop of color to any drink. Lemon, limes, and oranges make a refreshing combination for ice water, while mixed berries are delicious in iced tea. Lime and mint ice cubes are perfect for a mojito. Try different combinations for tasty ice cube creations.

7. Prepare mini pizzas

Mini pizzas are a great snack. But let's face it, the miniature snacks we love so much do not taste as good from the grocery store freezer aisle. At home, mini pizzas are fun and easy to make using a can of refrigerated pizza dough, a jar of sauce, a bag of shredded cheese, and your favorite pizza toppings, all baked in a muffin tin.


To make muffin pan pizza bites, roll pizza dough into balls and mix in a bowl with sauce, cheese, and toppings. Transfer the mixture into the muffin tin cups and bake according to the pizza dough package instructions. To make deep-dish pizza bites in the muffin tin, press the pizza dough into the bottom of each muffin cup. Top with sauce, cheese, and toppings, then bake. These mini pizzas are super customizable and make great appetizers or late-night snacks. Bake up mini pizza bites for parties or give make-your-own pizza night a fun twist.

8. Roast melted onions

If you have never tried melted onions, this is your sign to make them. Melted onions are a delicious dish that can be served as an appetizer, beside a main entree, or as a topping for pizza and sandwiches. Onions are cooked slowly over low heat in butter or oil, allowing them to soften, becoming sweet and caramelized for a deep flavor and buttery texture. Melted onions make for a truly delicious dish and are a low-maintenance recipe to make since the oven does all the work.


Melted onions are effortless to make if you have a muffin tin on hand. Soak onions in water for an hour before slicing in half from root to stem and placing in the muffin tin cups. Roast the muffin tin melted onions for 20 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit until they begin to soften. Brush the onion halves with olive oil or butter, sprinkle on some salt, pepper, and breadcrumbs, and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes.

9. Plate up a platter of mini desserts

When you are hosting a crowd, it helps to have a variety of food to suit everyone's tastes, and the same goes for dessert. It may seem daunting to prepare an array of different dessert options, but whipping up dessert for a crowd is easier with a muffin tin. This kitchen tool eliminates the need for slicing cakes and pies, and desserts will be perfectly portioned for your guests.


The dessert options are endless with a muffin tin. You can make the old standby cupcakes or try something new like muffin tin cookies and brownies. Individual muffin tin pies are simple to make with this pan; just press store bought pie crust into the muffin tin cups, fill with your pie filling of choice, and bake until golden and bubbly. Single serving muffin tin tarts can be made in a flash with store-bought sugar cookie dough. Press the cookie dough into the muffin tin cups, bake according to package instructions, then let cool completely before adding spoonfuls of jam and topping with fresh fruit. This muffin tin kitchen hack may just become your next go-to trick for catering to a crowd.

10. Scoop ice cream sundaes with edible bowls

Looking to take your ice cream sundaes up a notch? Sundaes are a delicious dessert, but if you are looking for something more exciting than a bowl, look no further than your muffin tin for the answer to your dessert dreams. Ice cream cones are a popular summertime treat that you have probably had before, but edible cookie bowls are a fun way to upgrade your ice cream sundae game.


For an easy, tasty, and sturdy cookie bowl, use store-bought cookie dough. Press the dough into the muffin tin cups and bake according to the directions on the package. After they cool, fill with scoops of ice cream and your favorite ice cream sundae toppings, top with whipped cream, and place a cherry on top. Mix and match different cookie dough with your ice cream sundae. Go for a classic sundae with a chocolate chip cookie bowl, vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, and sprinkles or make the ultimate peanut butter explosion with a peanut butter cookie bowl, chocolate ice cream, your favorite peanut butter candies, and peanut butter sauce. Ice cream sundae cookie bowls are perfect for a birthday treat or a summertime snack.


11. Set up a condiment tray

Muffin tins can be used for so much more than just cooking. One of this kitchen tool's practical uses is the ability to hold things in each muffin cup compartment, making a convenient serving tray in a pinch. For your next backyard barbecue, transform your muffin tin into a condiment tray. Fill each compartment with ketchup, mustard, relish, onion and tomato slices, and other favorite condiments. Leave out spoons and tongs to easily transfer condiments from the muffin tin onto plates. The individual muffin cups in the pan help keep condiments organized and separated.


If barbecue season is behind you, use a muffin tin as a taco topping tray. Fill the compartments with sour cream, cheese, shredded lettuce, guacamole, and more of your favorite toppings. If you are serving a crowd, try using the larger 6-cup muffin tins as serving trays. The larger muffin cups will hold more ingredients, giving you have more time to socialize with guests and less time monitoring the serving tray.

12. Assemble a snack board

A muffin tin's practicality knows no bounds. Just like it makes a perfect condiment tray, a muffin tin can make an excellent snack plate. Load up the muffin cup compartments with things like vegetables, fruit slices, crackers, and hummus or other dips for a tasty snack. This method is great for making an after school snack board for the kids with all their favorite healthy snacks. Muffin tins also help keep food separated for those eaters who do not like their foods to touch. It can be made ahead of time and covered with plastic wrap then kept in the refrigerator until snack time hits.


This method works for any of your snacking needs. For a more adult-oriented mid-afternoon nosh, enjoy a muffin tin charcuterie board with your favorite meats and cheeses, crostini, crackers, jams, and fruit. When you need snacks for movie night, fill your muffin tin with popcorn, chips, candy, and other movie snacks.

13. Mix up fluffy pancake muffins

Sweet, fluffy, and satisfying, pancakes are the perfect breakfast. Making pancakes can come with its own set of challenges; they are easy to undercook and overcook, they need to be cooked in batches to use up all that extra batter, and they often look more like misshapen blobs rather than picture-perfect pancakes. Your muffin tin can take the hassle out of making pancakes, with no flipping required.


Instead of spending all that time in the morning flipping flapjacks, mix up a batch of fluffy pancake muffins in the oven. Use a box of pancake mix to have breakfast on the table in a flash. Grease the cups of a muffin tin with a little butter or cooking spray. Pour pancake batter into each compartment of a muffin tin and bake for 15 minutes until the pancake mix has set. Feel free to customize these pancake muffins with your favorite flavors like blueberries and chocolate chips, or even make lemon ricotta pancakes. Serve these tasty pancakes on a plate with maple syrup, chopped fresh fruit, and whipped cream for the ultimate weekend breakfast.

14. Serve sides of mac and cheese

Warm and gooey macaroni and cheese is one of the most sought after side dishes at the dining table. Whether it is made from scratch or a box, it's almost guaranteed that everyone will save room on their plate for mac and cheese. With a muffin tin, you can make pre-portioned servings of mac and cheese to ensure everyone gets the same bite.


Muffin tin baked mac and cheese makes perfectly sized individual portions. Use paper liners to form these mac and cheese bites into muffin-shaped sides, which makes them fun to eat with a fork or with your hands. Plus, they are easy to pack away in a lunchbox for school or reheat as leftovers. Use your favorite mac and cheese recipe for this dish, but a baked mac and cheese recipe with crunchy cracker topping is the best for this muffin tin hack. The crispy edges, melty center, and buttery topping take mac and cheese to the next level.