Flat or Sunken Tops

Here are some helpful solutions for the common causes:

  • Inactive or insufficient leavening
    • It is critical to keep the baking powder can tightly covered. If baking powder absorbs moisture from the air, it will be ineffective as a leavening agent.
    • An incorrect amount of leavening was used in proportion to other ingredients, causing sunken tops. Generally speaking, the correct proportion of flour to leavening should be 1 teaspoon leavening for every 1 cup of flour. To measure leavening, spoon leavening into measuring spoon and level even with the top of the spoon with the metal edge of the can (baking powder), the top of the box (baking soda) or with a metal spatula. Learn more about leaveners.
  • Underbaked
    • Muffin was underbaked and cell structure wasn’t set. When the cell structure doesn’t set, the air spaces created by the leavening in the recipe collapses, causing the muffin to sink.
    • Oven temperatures vary over time. To insure the correct temperature each time you bake, always use an oven thermometer.
    • The oven temperature in the recipe may not have been hot enough. Try a temperature of 425º F. If this temperature is significantly hotter than the recipe calls for, reduce the baking time.
    • The best test to determine doneness is insert a wooden pick into the center of one of the center muffins before removing the pan from the oven. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs clinging to the pick, the muffin is done.