If you’ve ever thought that the traditional muffin shape was just a little too boring, you might consider looking up some shaped bakeware to help you solve the problem. I’ve seen flower-shaped cakelet pans and heart shaped mini cake pans, but the Zoo Animal Muffin Pan from Nordicware puts out even more creative shapes. This cast aluminum pan bakes up a menagerie of cute animals that will make your muffins and cupcakes anything but boring. The eight shapes include a monkey, a whale, a giraffe, an elephant, a lion, a hippo, a rhino and a clown fish (I would have preferred a zebra to a fish, but then I’m not a bakeware designer!). The pan is nonstick, so your shapes should pop out easily, but if you grease and flour the inside of the pan, you should have even better results.
Since each cavity is a little bit bigger than your standard muffin cup, your zoo muffins might need an extra minute or two in the oven to bake all the way through, so keep an eye on them and test them with a toothpick before taking them out. If you’re baking muffins, you won’t need any frosting. If you use these to do cupcakes, you can easily decorate them once they’ve cooled.