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So I just tried this recipe for banana muffins. They taste great (even directly after baking) and the texture is really nice and soft - like a muffin is supposed to be.

The problem: They don't rise like I want them to do.

This how I want them to look: image1

And this how they look like (not my picture, but identically): image2

I already found this: Why don't my muffins rise and develop tops properly? The accepted answer has many great hints, but I truly don't believe any of these points target my problem. I thought that I maybe didn't fill the forms enough, but the recipe is for 12 muffins and I made, using 100% of the batter.

I baked them on the middle tray of my oven, using heat only from the top and bottom, no ventilation.

So I think that maybe they don't rise that nice because of the banana? Is it possible that the banana makes the dough so heavy that is gets soft but doesn't rise that much? Or do you have any other ideas what could cause this - is it allowed to post the recipe?

Edit: Ok, so here is the recipe:

  • 180 g flour (I used Type 550 wheat flour)
  • 120 g brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 75 g melted butter
  • 4 ripe mashed bananas
  • 1 egg
  • some vanilla seeds

First I mixed the sugar, the egg, the butter and the mashed bananas together and added the vanilla seeds. Into a separate bowl I sieved the flour, baking powder and the baking soda, then I added the salt. After that I combined the dry-mix with the wet-mix. At that stage I notice some bubbles in the batter which was a good sign I believe. I put the batter into my muffin form and baked it approx. 20 minutes at 180 °C.

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It is allowed to post recipes, there is a question on meta about that. Posting recipes can help to troubleshoot things, so go ahead. –  Mien Jul 2 '12 at 20:22
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OK, the recipe is for 12 muffins - but are you sure that the recipe writer expected such unusually high tops? See also that the answer you linked to says "they're not supposed to double in size like bread" and a comment below notes that a recipe for 24 muffins should be baked in 17 hollows to get high tops. –  rumtscho Jul 2 '12 at 21:05
    
No I am not sure about the high tops. But how to make 17 Muffins out of the same amount of batter? I mean of course I have to fill the form really really full, but actually I already filled them to the top, so how is this supposed to work? Does this guarantee high tops? –  Sven Jul 2 '12 at 21:27
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

If the muffins have a slightly chemical flavour, it could be that there is not enough acid in the recipe to react with all the baking soda. Bananas do contain malic acid and citric acid but you could try adding some lemon juice to be sure. You could also play around with the proportions of baking powder to baking soda. Try 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and just 1/2 tsp baking soda.

I also notice that the muffin in your picture looks slightly anaemic compared to your ideal muffin. Get an oven thermometer if you don't already have one and check that the middle tray of the oven is reaching the correct temperature.

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As others have suggested, try pre-heating your oven. You also seem to be using a lot of butter, you could try reducing it.

There's nothing shocking with your recipe. I made banana muffins daily for two years in University and I used a ratio of 400g/200g/100g flour/butter/sugar and mine were perfect almost every time.

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Did you preheat the Oven?

At our facility we preheat to 400F then lower to 360F just as soon as we close the door. Why? Muffins do not rise enough (we feel) in a warm oven. The time the oven door is open also cools the oven itself 30-40 degrees. So we preheat, then it's at the right temp as soon as the door is closed.

We try to cook fast in a hot oven rather than slow in a warm oven. You have to achieve the chemical reaction part rather quickly or it fizzles out.

That is only one of many reasons for small round tops, as you're finding out. Here is another article that may also help the train of thought.

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