In the time it would take a normal person to stir up a batch of muffin batter, preheat the oven and then bake them, i am able to microwave the muffins eat a few clean up the kitchen and then blog about it.
Erin and I love muffins and I make them probably about once a week. This week i made them 3 times, because of a recent discovery or should i say "happy accident". I was baking a batch of muffins that i read about on Meredith's blog, and i had made this recipe once before and decided it needed a little help. So i added a dash and a half of salt and a shiny green apple. And because i added the apple there was now just a little extra batter at the end, too much to throw out, and enough that it would have made the others overflow and then I'd have a messy oven to clean or a smokey house. And i didn't want to get another muffin tin dirty and wait another 14 minutes for just 2 muffins. So in this conundrum i was in... I decided I'd find a small dish and bake a muffin blob along side it. But the small 1 cup Pyrex dish i had only said "Microwave Safe" and not Oven safe. So i microwaved it. And lo and behold it turned out, It puffed up and got all cake like. The apples cooked and it was a wonderful muffin. Erin and I ate it and then had to wait another 14 minutes for the others to bake.
So because I am a man of science. I decided to try it again this time only with a less healthy recipe. (hold on the timer is going off for the control group)
So as I expected the ones baked in the oven look a little nicer, more rounded and a slight goldeny color. But the taste isn't far off. I will definitely microwave my muffins again.
I have included a few pictures to document my results.
These muffin cups are great, i got them at Bed Bath and Beyond for $7 and they are microwave safe and oven safe. They are easy to clean and were perfect for my little experiment. The batter you see is chocolate chip, not blueberry. If Erin wouldn't have been gone you could have seen some high quality shots but instead you get some camera phone pictures.
This is one baked in the microwave next to one still in batter form. The color doesn't change much but the texture and size does quite a bit.
Here is a side by side comparison of the 18 minute oven baking against a 45 second microwave bath.
Here is another side by side cross-section comparison. Not a huge difference really, both spongey and both taste excellent.
Here is a close up of the microwaved miracle. Final conclusion.... they taste about the same to me. I'd say if you're going to give them away then go ahead and bake them because they look better. If you're looking for a fast and easy breakfast or a treat.... the microwave is the way to go. And if you don't want to go out and spend the money on these cute little silicone cups then they'd probably work in any plastic cup or small glass dish. And then you can just bake them when you want them, and the leftovers you probably put in the microwave anyways. Just save the batter in the fridge and have a hot and easy muffin whenever you want it. And if you're looking for a tasty yet healthful muffin recipe, check out Meredith's blog. (I added a bit of salt and replaced some of the flour with soy protein powder and you could even try an apple.)
Tomorrow i'll try out cupcakes in the microwave... check the comments to see how they turned out.