Good Question: How Do I Make Just Three Muffins?

Here's a slightly unusual question from Kathy in Australia. It might have some practical use, though, for those of you baking for just one. If you've ever wanted to really downsize a muffin recipe, you might find some tips here:

I've recently been given an electric muffin maker. Trouble is that it only makes 3 muffins at a time and most muffin recipes use at least one egg to make about a dozen muffins. I have found one eggless recipe that I can modify but am interested in what suggestions you have for a replacement for the egg (which is very difficult to downsize!). I believe that vinegar is one option used by vegans but am unsure of quantities.

Kathy, what an unusual little gadget! We had never seen the Muffin Magic Baker before this question, so we did a little research. Turns out it's made by Breville (a very popular brand in Australia, as well as here in the US). It actually doesn't even seem to be available here; you can see the Amazon listing here:

Breville Muffin Magic

On the surface, this little gadget looks like a classic unitasker, but we think that it might actually be quite useful for those in dorm rooms or efficiency apartments, especially considering it's very inexpensive (if you can find it). This baking blogger also raves about her Muffin Baker.

So, if you have one of these Muffin Bakers, what do you do with it? Kathy, we have a couple suggestions. First of all, feel free to experiment. If you split a recipe and it calls for 1 egg, why not throw it in? If anything the muffins might just be a little moister or gummier. Also, try making two batches -- this muffin baker bakes each batch in about 12 minutes.

But if you want to be more precise about it, try one of the recipes from this cookbook:
Small-Batch Baking, by Debby Maugans Nakos (Workman 2004)

You can find one of the recipes from it here:
Apple Nut Oatmeal Muffins - This looks like it just uses one egg yolk, instead of the whole egg. Perhaps this is a good template for you to create other small-batch muffin recipes.

You could also try experimenting with other non-muffin recipes like cornbread, biscuits - even pancake batter!

And finally, you could consult some vegan recipes and find ideas for using egg replacer, which of course you can use in much smaller amounts.

Related: Good Question: What Can I Bake Without An Oven?

(Images: Amazon)