Very often, the best part of a muffin is the sugar topping! This simple, yet deliciously sweet, sugar topping makes the muffin complete and can transform a fairly boring muffin into a sweet masterpiece.
If you are attempting to bake some muffins at home, bran or blueberry, or any other flavor in between, you might want to try out your very own sugar topping.
What is sugar topping, and how do you make it?
Sugar topping is exactly what the name suggests – a sugar that is sprinkled onto the top of muffins to give it a sweet, crunchy finish. There are specific types of sugar to use for sugar toppings, but you can use any sugar you have at home too.
To help make some delicious muffins, read on to find out all you need to know about sugar toppings on muffins, what it is, where to get it, and how to make it!
What Are Sugar Toppings on Muffins?
Sugar topping on muffins is simply some sugar sprinkled onto the top of muffins, which gives the muffin a tiny bit of an extra crunchy texture, and adds a pop of sweetness to each bite of the muffin.
A simple sugar topping really does take a muffin to the next level and brings together the sweetness and the flavor of the muffin together perfectly.
It is that little added detail that really can transform your muffin from boring to delicious, and it is definitely worth that extra little step when baking muffins!
What Sugar Is Best for Topping Muffins?
While you can use any sugar you have at home to top muffins, there are two types of sugar that work best, and it is worth using these to top muffins if you can get your hands on some.
The two best types of sugar to use on top muffins are Turbinado sugar and coarse sugar. Turbinado sugar, also known as coarse sugar, is definitely the favorite sugar to use, and for good reason.
Turbinado sugar appears similar to brown sugar, but it does not contain any molasses, and it is a minimally processed raw sugar. This means that Turbinado sugar does not become sticky when it is heated.
As it consists of larger sugar crystals, Turbinado sugar will not melt or become sticky on the top of a muffin, so you will be left with coarse sugar that holds its shape well, keeping texture on the top of a muffin.
Coarse sugar is also a good option to use. Coarse sugar, as the name suggests, consists of larger sugar crystals, which hold their shape well when exposed to heat, and sit well on top of the muffin, giving it a good crunch and added sweetness.
If you cannot find coarse sugar, you could use sanding sugar instead. It is slightly smaller than coarse sugar, but larger grains than granulated sugar, and you can often find it in various colors too, which is great if you wanted to add a pop of color to your muffins.
These are the best sugar options to use for sugar topping, but any sugar will do as long as it is fairly coarse.
Where Do You Buy Sugar Toppings for Muffins?
You can buy sugar topping for muffins from your local grocery store, as long as they stock Turbinado sugar or coarse sugar. That really is all you need to make a delicious sugar topping.
If you are having a hard time finding Turbinado sugar, or coarse sugar, at your grocery store, you could look for a specialist baking shop near you, as these are fairly common baking items that you should be able to find at a baking store.
Amazon, and other online retailers, also sell these types of sugar, so you should not have too much of a hard time finding the right sugar to use!
Do You Top Muffins With Sugar Before or After Baking?
Knowing when to top muffins with a sugar topping is really important to get the perfect finish!
It is best to top muffins with sugar before the muffins are baked in the oven, as it allows the sugar topping to crystallize slightly in the oven. This also makes the top of the muffin a little more crunchier, and it caramelizes the flavor a little more.
Topping the muffins with sugar once they have been baked will not have the desired effect, and the sugar will not stick to the top of the muffins, and will just fall off. Topping the muffin with sugar after baking will also not allow it to crystalize either.
It just will not have the same effect when topping muffins with sugar after baking, so don’t forget this step before placing the muffins into the oven!
How to Make Sugar Toppings for Muffins?
Making sugar toppings for muffins is really simple, and you really only need two ingredients (other than your muffin batter) – sugar and butter.
You do however need to use the right sugar if you can get your hands on it, either Turbinado sugar or coarse sugar, as these will give you the best, crunchiest, sweetest topping on your muffin.
To make a sugar topping for your muffin, you should make your muffin batter as usual, placing the batter into muffin cups in a muffin tin. Once all of the muffin batter has been placed in the muffin cups, you can start topping them with sugar.
Melt a small amount of butter in the microwave, and brush the tops of the muffins with some of the butter, making sure to not use too much as this could affect the way the muffins bake.
Once you have brushed the top of the raw muffin batter with butter, sprinkle the Turbinado sugar or coarse sugar onto the tops. The butter helps to hold the sugar in place and helps with the crystallization of the sugar as it bakes.
Bake the muffins as usual and allow them to cool when removed from the oven before eating.
What Other Baked Goods Can You Top With Sugar?
Sugar toppings are really popular with muffins, but there are some other baked goods that can be topped with sugar before baking too.
Other baked goods which are delicious with sugar toppings include scones, cakes, and even cookies!
You would need to top these with sugar before baking and use coarse sugar or Turbinado sugar as well to have that crunchy finish once the baked good is ready to eat.
You really can top any baked good with a sugar topping, it is up to how much you want to experiment!
Which Muffins Are Best With Sugar Topping?
Almost any sweet muffin will be delicious with a sugar topping, but there are some that are best when topped with sugar.
One of the best muffins to top with sugar is blueberry muffins, as the extra sweet addition helps to balance off the tartness of the blueberries in the batter, and the crunchy texture of the sugar adds to the softness of the blueberries.
Other great muffins to top with sugar include bran muffins, strawberry muffins, banana nut muffins, apple cinnamon muffins, and even pumpkin muffins.
How to Make a Nut Topping for Muffins
If you wanted to add a little more flavor and texture to your muffins, you could make a nut topping for the muffins instead.
This is similar to a sugar topping, with a few more ingredients. A simple recipe to follow for a nut topping for muffins is made with ½ cup of brown coarse sugar, ¼ cup of finely chopped walnuts, and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon.
These ingredients need to be mixed together and sprinkled onto the top of the muffin batter which has been brushed with some melted butter.
Sugar Toppings on Muffins
Sugar toppings on muffins are simply delicious, and if you have fallen in love with a type of muffin you have tasted at a bakery with a sugar topping, you might want to make your own muffins at home!
Making a sugar topping for muffins is really easy – you just need to use the right sugar, either Turbinado sugar or coarse sugar. Once you have spooned the batter into the muffin tins, brush the tops with melted butter, and sprinkle the tops with sugar.
Once baked, the sugar topping will create a beautiful crunchy top, and add a pop of sweetness to the muffin!
What Sugar Is Used for Topping Baked Goods?
Most of the time, sanding sugar is used to top baked goods. This is somewhere between granulated sugar and coarse sugar and it is more polished, so it has a better shine to it. It is also available in different colors to be a beautiful garnishing.
What Is a Chunky Sugar?
One of the coarsest sugars, or chunkiest sugars, is pearl sugar. This is a variety of white sugar that has a hard texture, and which is an opaque white color. It does not melt when exposed to heat.