Does Using Marbles to Make Heart Shaped Muffins & Cupcakes Really Work?

Have you seen the tip that suggests using marbles to make heart-shaped muffins and cupcakes?  If you’re hoping to use this technique to bring 25 heart shaped muffins to the school or office Valentine’s Day party, you better read this first!

To test the reliability and validity of this technique I used two recipes.  The first was Mairlyn Smith’s Double Chocolate Banana Muffins from her Healthy Starts Here Cookbook.  Mairlyn doesn’t mess around when it comes to making muffins that are healthy and super tasty.  The amount of fibre packed into these moist and delicious muffins makes them a special treat – there’s power in them there muffins!

heart shaped double chocolate banana muffin

The second recipe was my own lemon poppy seed muffin recipe that’s lemony and delicious – I promise to post it at some future date.

lemon poppy seed muffins hearts

How to Make Heart Shaped Muffins without a Heart Shaped Muffin Pan

Use muffin liners and a marble to force the batter to bake into beautiful heart shaped muffins or cupcakes.

marble in muffin tray

double chocolate banana muffins

Or, if you don’t happen to have marbles, you could also use crumpled up bits of aluminum foil.

tin foil in muffin tray

Important Notes

1. Fill the muffin liners first, then add the marble/tin foil ball.  Things get pretty messy if you try to fill the liners when the marble is already in place.  The photos showing the empty liners with the marbles behind them are for demonstration purposes only.

2. Fill the muffin liners only half full.  If you fill your liners too full, the batter will rise and spread beyond the heart shaped confines of the liner, thereby ruining the heart shaped effect.  This will like mean you’re recipe will end up making a few more muffins than it states.

Does it Work?

Well, let me share my family’s commentary after I pulled them out of the oven.

Boy (12): “What happened to the muffins?”

Girl (10): ” Awe, look they’re hearts!”

Hubby: “Mmm, muffins.”

I’d say this pretty much sums up my results.  In both cases, I did NOT get consistent results.  About 60 – 70% of my muffins came out looking like identifiable hearts. The other 30-40% simply looked like dented muffins. However, 100% of the muffins were eagerly welcomed and consumed!

I couldn’t pinpoint a specific reason for why some worked and others didn’t. Even when I made sure not to overfill, the muffins were still misshapen regardless of whether I used a marble or a piece of tin foil.

Here are a few photos that show the mixed results.

baked double chocolate banana muffin

baked double choco muffin no heart

lemon poppy seed muffins not hearts

lemon muffin in tray with marble


The Verdict

It was definitely a fun and tasty experiment. Would I rely on this technique for supplying heart-shaped muffins to a school or staff Valentine’s Day party – NO. The results were too unpredictable. But, it’s definitely worth a try for around the house. You’re bound to get at least one beautiful heart shaped muffin to offer each family member. And the rest, trust me, they’ll get eaten!

Did you find this useful?  Have you or would you ever try this kitchen hack?

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