How to Grease a Muffin Pan

Learn how to grease a muffin pan so that your muffins turn out perfectly every time! You'll never have muffins stick to the baking pan again, and you can say goodbye to the butter knife that you always seem to use to dig out those stuck-on muffins.

unlined blueberry muffins in a silver tin.
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So you just made a tasty batch of mixed berry muffins (or any of these other delicious muffins recipes!) but they are completely stuck to the pan! You attempt to dig them out, and they just fall to pieces. It's the most frustrating thing, right?

Well, there are tons of ways to grease a muffin pan so this won't ever happen again! Muffins are too delicious to have them fall apart, simply because they're stuck in the pan.

You don't have to use nonstick pans in order to keep your muffins from sticking! So, keep reading and find a few tips and tricks to try out the next time you bake a delicious muffin, like coffee cake muffins.

Meatloaf muffins? Yes! Move away from the traditional meatloaf and make this quick, healthy and tasty version of turkey meatloaf muffins. These individual meatloaf servings are perfect for meal prepping or just for dinner tonight.

Why You Should Grease a Muffin Tin

Whether you choose to make jumbo muffins in jumbo muffin pans, make mini muffins in their little tins, regular-size muffins or even cupcakes, if you don't grease the pan properly your treats can get stuck, and then the pan is a pain to clean.

There are plenty of ways to keep those fluffy treats intact, from greasing them to using muffin liners.

You can even use muffin tins to make meatloaf muffins and egg muffins — which can be super messy, so greasing the tin properly is super important.

Your future self will thank you that you don't have to spend hours of scrubbing baked-on batter out of you muffin pan!

And they will have the loveliest texture, like this:

Golden blueberry muffins on a wooden bread board with blue and white linen.

Types of Muffin Pans

Professional bakers will all have different options on what is the best muffin pan. The most popular type of muffin tin has a non-stick surface.

But don't be fooled by the non-stick name: This does NOT mean your muffins won't stick to the sides of each cup. So it is still very important to grease or line each cavity of a nonstick pan.

Muffin tins stacked on each other.

In recent years, jumbo muffin pans (for those large, bakery-style muffins) and mini muffin pans (for tiny, party-size treats) have become increasingly popular. It can be more difficult to find cupcake liners that will fit these pans, so learning how to grease a muffin pan will come in handy here!

There are also muffin pans entirely made of silicone! Silicone muffin pans are really inventive and your muffins are almost guaranteed to never stick. But, their downfall is that they may increase the bake time of your muffins.

Metal muffin pans will bake your muffins more thoroughly and evenly than a pan made of silicone. So, whether you purchase something that is stainless steel or non-stick, (or maybe uncoated aluminum muffin pans) learning to grease the pan well will be beneficial!

Hot Tip: Muffin pans that are darker in color will likely bake your muffins more quickly. It is important to grease darker pans well and watch your muffins closely as they bake. Take them out of the oven as soon as the tops have a golden brown color. You may need to bake your muffins and lower temperatures and reduce the baking time as needed.

You can even find pans that are exclusively for making muffin tops, which is ideal if your favorite part of the muffin is the fluffy top.

Simplify your breakfast routine with Make Ahead Breakfast Frittata Muffins. With this delicious recipe, you'll have breakfast prepped for the week. These frittata muffins are packed with flavor and you can even customize them to use up the vegetables you have on hand.

3 Ways to Grease a Muffin Tin

Before you grease your muffin tin, you must ensure that it is completely clean and dry. Use scouring pads to remove previously baked-on bits of food.

Don't use scouring pads on nonstick muffin pans though! It can scratch the nonstick coating and ruin your pan. Soak muffin pans that have a nonstick surface in warm soapy water and scrub with a gentle sponge to remove baked on food.

Once your muffin tin is clean and dry, try of one of these methods and see what you like best!


Butter is one of the best ways to grease a muffin pan without spray. There are a few different ways to you can use it.

Take a stick of butter at room temperature, and then peel back the packaging to expose one end of the stick of butter. Grease the pan with the stick of butter making sure to reach all the crevices of the muffin pan. Use your finger to spread it around.

If you'd rather not use a stick of butter, or you don't have enough butter to make that first method work, melt a few tablespoons of butter on the stovetop or in the microwave. Once melted, use a pastry brush or your fingers to grease each muffin tin in melted butter.

With this method, you'll want to make sure that butter doesn't pool in the bottom of each muffin cup. Use a few paper towels to soak up any excess butter.

Can of spray spraying into muffin tin.

Cooking Spray

Cooking spray is the easy way to grease a muffin pan! And there seem to be new sprays hitting the shelves all the time now. My personal favorite is avocado oil spray.

Some other options are coconut oil spray, vegetable oil spray, olive oil spray or the classic PAM butter spray. Any high heat spray will work!

To grease a pan with nonstick cooking spray, shake the bottle and hold it a few inches away from your pan. Spray the pan lightly and evenly until each cup is greased.

There is such a thing as too much spray though! Don't let the spray pool in the bottom of the muffin cups or you'll wind up with too-crispy edges on your muffins.

If a pool does form, grab a paper towel and spread the oil around the pan until it's evenly covered and there nothing is pooling.

Muffin batter pouring into a cupcake liner in muffin tin.

Other Methods

Maybe you prefer to use paper liners instead of greasing your tins. That's okay! Hang on to these methods for one of those times that you run out of liners and you're ready to make baked goods.

Or, if you don't have a way to grease muffin tins and you're out of liners, you can line each cup with parchment paper. Cut medium sized squares out of parchment paper and place them into each slot of your cupcake tin. Fill with muffin batter, and bake!

Another great option are these reusable silicone cupcake liners. They reduce waste, make for easy cleanup of your muffin tray and are dishwasher safe.

Paper towel wiping a muffin tin.

If you have some coconut oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, or solid vegetable shortening sitting in your pantry, you can use that to grease your muffin pan in a pinch. Just put a little oil on a paper towel and run it across each cup in the muffin pan.

How to Store Muffins

Once you've baked those beautiful muffins in a greased tin, you need to store them well! Muffins are best fresh, but they can be just as good a day or two later — or even a month later — if stored properly.

I have a whole post about how to store and freeze muffins, but here’s the gist:

Store in an airtight container, lined with paper towels to help collect condensation from residual heat in the muffins. Let the muffins completely cool before storing them.

The best way to store muffins depends on how soon you want to eat them: 

  • Within 3 days of baking them: Store them on the countertop at room temperature. 
  • In the next few days: Store them in the fridge, but with the risk of a change in texture. Alternatively, store what you’ll eat in the next few days using the countertop method, then freeze the rest. 
  • Within the next 3 months: Store them in the freezer — reheat when you get a muffin craving! 
Healthy Lemon Blueberry Muffins are the perfect thing to kick off the school year. These muffins can easily be made ahead of time for the week and are perfect for serving to your kids. They'll love the sweet taste of the blueberries and you'll love that they're refined sugar free and healthy for them!

Muffin Recipes

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