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Feb 24, 2009 05:41 PM

Muffin batter overnight?

I was too ambitious in my baking plans for the night. I've got some pound cakes in the oven baking now and I'd planned to put in some muffins when the cakes came out but I think I'll be too tired. I'd love to just make the batter tonight and bake them off in the morning but will the muffins suffer if the batter is left in the fridge until morning? I have a feeling they might. Anyone tried this before?

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  1. any batter that uses a chemical leavening such as baking soda or powder, or eggs must be baked as soon as it get wet or it will not rise. You can measure the wet and dry ingredients and keep them separate, but once they are mixed it must be baked.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Kelli2006

      Thanks! I thought that was the case. Some shortcuts just don't work, I guess.

      1. re: Kelli2006

        I'm curious... why is it that it's okay (and even sometimes recommended) for cookie dough to rest/chill for several hours? The NYT chocolate chip cookie recipe, for example, calls for chilling the dough for 36 hours:

        In the accompanying article, a commentator says that the resting time allows "the dough and other ingredients to fully soak up the liquid — in this case, the eggs — in order to get a drier and firmer dough, which bakes to a better consistency." The article also talks about the differences in cookies baked 12, 24 and 36 hours after the dough was mixed. Since these cookies do contain leavening, why is it that they still rise after resting so long? (Or do they not rise so well? I haven't actually made the recipe.


        Sorry for going so OT!

        1. re: fbf242

          "the dough and other ingredients to fully soak up the liquid — in this case, the eggs — in order to get a drier and firmer dough, which bakes to a better consistency."

          You just answered your own question.

          Think about the difference in texture between a muffin (moist and pillow-y) versus that of a cookie (chewy and dense).

          1. re: ipsedixit

            I should have been more clear and limited the reply to cakes and quick-breads, instead of all chemically leavened bake goods.

      2. the longer muffin batter sits, the more the baked muffins decrease in volume...this occurs more rapidly and noticeably in recipes with baking soda, recipes with double-acting baking powder fare a little better (you can usually store those in the fridge for a few days). however, all batters are best if baked within 24 hours.

        you do have another option - freeze the batter. it may be too late for you to do it tonight, but i'll give you the instructions in case there's a next time...

        line your muffin tin with foil or paper baking cups/liners, and fill with the appropriate amount of batter. give them a quick freeze in the tin, then remove from tin and transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag labeled with the info. when you're ready to bake the muffins, put the frozen, filled cups/liners back into the muffing pan & bake according to the recipe, adding anywhere from 5-10 minutes (depending on muffin size) to the baking time.

        ETA: i should have read the OP more closely - i thought the batter had already been made. as Kelli2006 and rtms said, if possible, it's best to prepare wet & dry portions separately, then combine just before baking.

        1 Reply
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          It's too late now but I agree w/ keeping the dry and wet separate and mixing just before use. It takes no time to mix, as long as it calls for oil and not butter.

        2. You could, but I think they will be less "fluffy." Batter should be baked when you make it. It is not best to leave over night. I have froze and it worked, but still not as good as I would of liked.

          1. I agree with Kelli2006. You can prepare the muffin tins, the dry ingredients and the even the wet ingredients (keep these - egg the fridge). It'll take a few seconds to mix the muffin batter and throw them in the oven.

            1. I agree with everyone. That said, I have one muffin recipe that is specifically designed to either bake now or later. The batter will keep, covered in the fridge, for up to 2 weeks. I've made it for years. Here it is:

              Sunset Magazine's Bran Muffins:

              3 C. whole bran cereal (like All-Bran)
              1 C boiling water
              2 eggs, lightly beaten
              2 C buttermilk
              1/2 C vegetable oil
              1 C. raisins, currants, chopped pitted dates or chopped pitted prunes
              2 1/2 t. baking soda
              1/2 t. salt
              1 C. sugar
              2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour

              Mix the bran with the boiling water in a large bowl to evenly moisten. Set aside to cool completely.

              Add eggs, liquids and dried fruit. Mix well.

              In another bowl, stir dry ingredients till thoroughly blended. Then stir into bran mixtures. You can bake all or some now or cover tightly and put in fridge for up to two weeks. When you get ready to bake, be sure to stir to make sure the fruit is distributed evenly.

              To bake, spoon into greased 2 1/2" muffin cups. Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes or till tops spring back when lightly touched. Serve hot.

              Yiel: 2 to 2 1/2 dozen.

              1 Reply
              1. re: PAO

                I've seen these and wondered how they worked with the leavening. The Washington Post had recipes for a muffin batter that could last up to two months in the refrigerator.