• Rachael Ray Yum-o! 12-Cup Muffin Pan

  • Wilton Recipe Right Muffin Pan

  • How We Tested

  • What to Know About Muffin Pans and Muffin Tins

  • Other Muffin Pans We Tested

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

Our Favorite Muffin Pans of 2021

  1. Best Overall

    Rachael Ray Yum-o! 12-Cup Oven Lovin' Muffin Pan

    Pros

    • Produces even golden-brown baked goods

    • Silicone grips make it easy to handle

    • Nonstick

    • Easy to clean

    Cons

    • Hand-washing recommended

    • Large

    Skip to the full review below
  2. Best Value

    Wilton Recipe Right Muffin Pan, 12-Cup

    Pros

    • Produces even golden-brown baked goods

    • Dishwasher safe

    • Inexpensive

    Cons

    • Small handle

    Skip to the full review below
Best Overall
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Rachel Ray Yum-o! 12-Cup Muffin Pan is the best muffin pan we tested.

Best Overall
Rachael Ray Yum-o! 12-Cup Muffin Pan

Thanks to its light bronze nonstick finish, the Rachael Ray Yum-o! 12-Cup Muffin Pan bakes up golden-brown muffins and tender cupcakes. It was one of the few pans we tested that yielded proper popovers—puffed up and crispy outside, hollow and custardy inside.

Rachael Ray’s pan is also easy to use. It has silicone grips that make it comfortable to maneuver while placing it in and pulling it out of the oven. However, the grips don’t increase the pan’s size significantly so it’s still convenient to stash away.

Although hand washing is recommended, the nonstick coating makes it effortless to clean. Also, a portion of the proceeds goes to Rachael’s Yum-o! charity, which educates kids about food and helps feed the hungry.

Pros

  • Produces even golden-brown baked goods

  • Silicone grips make it easy to handle

  • Nonstick

  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Hand-washing recommended

  • Large

Best Value
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Need to bake up dozens of muffins at a time? The Wilton Recipe Right Muffin Pan bakes delicious treats at a value price.

Best Value
Wilton Recipe Right Muffin Pan

The Wilton Recipe Right Muffin Pan proves that you don’t need expensive bakeware to get tender but crisp-crusted muffins, fluffy cupcakes, and popped-up popovers with an eggy cavity inside.

This lightweight nonstick muffin pan has a silvery finish and can safely be cleaned in the dishwasher. On either end of the pan, the rim is extended slightly providing a good grip when you’re moving the pan to and from the oven.

Pros

  • Produces even golden-brown baked goods

  • Dishwasher safe

  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Small handle

How We Tested

Testing
Credit: Reviewed / Sharon Franke

Testing muffin pans meant baking dozens of muffins, cupcakes and popovers. Here we compare the results of our tests.

The Tester

Hi, I'm Sharon Franke, and I’ve been reviewing kitchen equipment for more than three decades. Before that, I spent seven years cooking and baking professionally in New York City restaurants. At one bistro, I made apple strudel—dough included—from scratch every day. I've also made my share of fancy multilayered cakes with rich fillings and decorative frostings for celebrations of all kinds from kids’ birthday parties to weddings. But when it comes to home baking, nothing is as satisfying as whipping up a batch of humble, buttery, muffins bursting with blueberries or fluffy vanilla cupcakes.

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The Tests

In each of the 12 muffin pans I tested, I baked blueberry muffins, vanilla cupcakes, and popovers, looking to see how well the baked items rose and browned, and how tender they were. As I worked, I noted how easy it was to grease and fill the muffin cups, how comfortable it was to handle the pans, how well the baked items released from the pans, and how much effort needed to be put into getting the pans clean.

What to Know About Muffin Pans and Muffin Tins

All the muffin pans in our tests produced acceptable baked treats in a reasonable amount of time. The differences between them were primarily in the construction and ease of using the pans.

Some baking pans have silicone grips to give a good grasp while others have oversized rims that can be easily grabbed. Sturdier pans with additional features are more expensive, as well as larger, so that they require more storage space. However, we found it’s not necessary to buy a pricey pan in order to bake up tender cupcakes or buttery muffins.

A baking pan made from metal—like aluminized steel—conducts heat and maintains better heat distribution than one made from silicone.

Almost all muffin pans have a nonstick surface but their coatings come in a wide range of colors. Those that are darker hold in more heat and consequently give a thicker, darker crust while lighter colored pans impart a thinner, but still crispy crust.

In our tests, we found that nonstick muffin pans did a much better job of releasing muffins and popovers and left us with good-looking items. And as expected, they made clean up a whole lot easier. However, we recommend that even nonstick pans be greased as an extra guarantee that the muffins will be easily released.

Most muffin recipes are designed to produce ½-cup of batter for each of the12 muffin cups. While almost all muffin pan cups hold about a ½-cup of batter, there are some slight differences. When the cups are smaller, muffins and cupcakes spread out on top, forming a mushroom-like cap, rather than rise up.

Do You Need Cupcake Liners?

Cupcake-liner-testing
Credit: Reviewed / Sharon Franke

Should you use a cupcake liner? We baked up a batch that included a row of foil, paper, and a row without to see if they matter.

When I baked cupcakes, I liked to use paper cupcake liners. After all, doesn’t everyone? And they certainly made things a little easier. But during our testing, I baked one pan of cupcakes, using paper liners in four cavities, foil liners in four others, while just using butter to grease the remaining cups.

The cupcakes that were baked in the greased cups came out with a light golden-brown crust on the sides and bottom. Those baked with liners came out with no browning on the sides and light browning on the bottoms. Foil gave a slightly darker result.

If you’re one of those people who think the crust is the best part of baked goods, forget about the liners and take the time and effort to grease the pan.


Other Muffin Pans We Tested

Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Pro Muffin Pan

You’ll pay top dollar for the sturdy Williams Sonoma Goldtouch Pro Muffin Pan. Made of aluminized steel coated with a gold-toned nonstick finish, it has heft.

The baked muffins we made came out with lovely golden tops and browned sides, and cupcakes baked up with evenly rounded tops, ready for frosting. While popovers popped up high, their centers were muffin-like rather than hollowed out.

There’s a wide rim all around the pan that gives a good grip while transporting the pan to and from the oven. However, the extended rim means the pan will take up a little extra room in a closet or cabinet.

Pros

  • Produces even golden-brown baked goods

  • Large rim for easy handling

  • Sturdy

  • Dishwasher safe

Cons

  • Large

  • Expensive

Anolon Advanced Muffin Pan

The Anolon Advanced Muffin Pan is premium priced, but you can immediately feel that it’s a quality product. It’s a heavy-duty pan wit silicone grips on the ends which make it comfortable to grasp.

Everything we baked in it came out perfectly. Muffins and popovers had dark golden crusts and we were happy that when we taste-tested the popovers, they were moist, eggy, and hollow inside.

Although the manufacturer recommends hand washing this pan, its nonstick finish makes it easy to get clean.

Pros

  • Produces even golden-brown baked goods

  • Silicone grips make it easy to handle

  • Nonstick and easy to clean

  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Hand-washing recommend

  • Expensive

OXO Good Grips Nonstick Pro 12-Cup Muffin Pan

The OXO Good Grips Pro 12-Cup Muffin Pan has a golden nonstick finish that promotes even browning and prevents an overly thick dark crust from forming.

It turned out crispy but tender blueberry muffins, delectable cupcakes and popped-up popovers with tunnels inside.

This hefty pan has a wide rim with plenty of room to grasp it from all sides. But the large rim also means it will take up extra storage space.

Pros

  • Produces even golden-brown baked goods

  • Large rim for easy handling

  • Nonstick and easy to clean

  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Large

  • Expensive

  • Not dishwasher safe

GoodCook Sweet Creations Bake-Take-Serve Nonstick Cupcake Pan Set

The GoodCook Sweet Creations Bake-Take-Serve Nonstick Cupcake Pan Set with Tiered Stand gives you a lot for your money. The pan itself is fairly basic with a light gray nonstick finish. But it includes a securely latching lid with a handle for carrying your goodies to a bake sale or potluck. There are also five pieces stashed in the lid that easily assembles into a three-tier stand to display your creations.

This pan is dependable for muffins and cupcakes. However, the popovers we baked had the texture of a muffin even though they rose up high above the pan.

As the rim extends a bit on the ends, the GoodCook is easy to grasp when you’re popping it in or removing it from the oven.

Pros

  • Produces even golden-brown baked goods

  • Nonstick

  • Easy to clean

  • Includes storage lid and cupcake stand

Cons

  • Bulky to store

  • Not dishwasher safe

USA Pan 12-Cup Muffin Pan

The USA Pan 12-Cup Muffin Pan feels solidly built and has a light silvery silicone nonstick finish that gives baked goods a beautiful golden finish. However, it didn’t bake as evenly as other pans. And popovers didn’t pop up much and came out with a muffin-like interior.

There’s a large rim, particularly at the ends, that enhances this pan’s maneuverability. Although this pan is strictly hand wash only, the finish means it gets clean quickly.

Pros

  • Produces golden-brown baked goods

  • Large rim for easy handling

  • Nonstick and easy to clean

  • Sturdy

Cons

  • Large

  • Not dishwasher safe

  • Expensive

Chicago Metallic Professional 12-Cup Nonstick Muffin Pan

The Chicago Metallic Professional 12-Cup Nonstick Muffin Pan is a sturdy pan with a dark silicone-based nonstick finish. Both cupcakes and muffins came out perfectly but popovers didn’t rise up much nor did they have the characteristic hollow interior.

On either end of the pan, there’s a slightly extended rim to grip when you’re moving the pan. Hand washing is called for by the manufacturer.

Pros

  • Produces even golden-brown baked goods

  • Nonstick

  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Not dishwasher safe

AmazonBasics Nonstick Carbon Steel Muffin Pan

Although it’s a plain Jane, the AmazonBasics Nonstick Carbon Steel Muffin Pan does a nice job of baking. Things don’t cook quite as evenly as in some of our top-rated pans, and baked muffins tend to come out darker, but they brown without burning and have a moist and tender texture.

Popovers puffed up well, too, with the custard-like hollow centers that make them so beloved.

The cups in this pan are slightly smaller than standard which didn’t have much of an effect on cupcakes and popovers but caused muffins to spread out forming a cap. If you love muffin tops, there’s more crusty goodness to pull off and munch on.

There are no handles or extended edges to give you a good grip, but with care, you can certainly manage to get this pan in and out of the oven. Plus, it means the pan takes up minimal storage space. You’ll have to hand wash the AmazonBasics, but the nonstick finish makes it practically effortless to clean.

This pan comes in a set of two.

Pros

  • Inexpensive

  • Produces golden-brown baked goods

  • Nonstick

  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • No rim or handle

  • Hand-washing recommended

Made By Design Nonstick Muffin Tin Carbon Steel

The Made By Design Nonstick Muffin Tin Carbon Steel is from Target’s house line and sells for a rock bottom price. It has a graphite nonstick finish that gives pastries a dark, thick crust without over-baking them inside.

In our popover bake-off, it was a winner, producing tall and hollow popovers.

There are no frills on this pan. As it doesn’t have much of a rim, it requires careful handling and you’ll need to wash the pan by hand.

Pros

  • Inexpensive

  • Produces golden-brown baked goods

  • Nonstick

  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • No rim or handle

  • Not dishwasher safe

Trudeau Structured Silicone Muffin Pan

Rather than metal, the Trudeau muffin pan is made of silicone—a material that doesn't retain heat as well as metal. Our recipes didn't brown as well as the baked goods we made in nonstick pans. The cups are straight-sided which makes removing items after baking slightly more difficult.

The pan is reinforced with steel so it pan doesn’t wobble when you carry it. However, it is necessary to use two hands to maneuver the pan as, thanks to the silicone cups, it still lacks some stability. There are also grips to help you grasp it securely. When it comes to clean up, this pan can be popped in the dishwasher without any second thoughts.

Pros

  • Silicone grips

  • Dishwasher safe

Cons

  • Requires two hands to handle

Nordic Ware Naturals 12-Cavity Muffin Pan

I wanted to love the classic Nordic Ware Naturals 12-Cavity Muffin Pan that looks a lot like the one my mother used. It’s made of aluminum and is the only one I tested that doesn’t have a nonstick finish. Unfortunately, no matter how well I greased the wells, baked goods stuck badly, leaving me with messy-looking baked goods and gunk to scrub off the pan.

In this pan, everything took about five minutes longer to bake yet came out less well browned. Having said that, muffins and popovers did have a delectable thin and crispy crust.

As the Nordic’s rim is small, you need to take care when handling it. Hand washing is required to prevent the aluminum from discoloring. On the plus side, this pan is small, easy to store, and comes with a handy plastic storage lid.

Pros

  • Includes storage lid

Cons

  • Longer baking times

  • Baked goods stick

  • No rim or handle

  • Hand washing recommended

Meet the tester

Sharon Franke

Sharon Franke

Contributor

Sharon has been testing kitchen equipment for the past 30 years. Before becoming a cooking tools maven, she worked as a professional chef in New York City restaurants for seven years.

See all of Sharon Franke's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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