Baking with your little ones or younger siblings is a fun activity for the weekend unless you don’t mind the clutter and complete havoc that might wreck your kitchen.
It would be a clever way to draw them away from screens for who does not love a fudgy brownie or a crumbly New York cheesecake? Or soft and moist cupcakes with buttercream icing on top?
But imagine preparing the entire batter and raising their expectations only to find out that you are out of liners. So, if you hurriedly want to know how to bake cupcakes without liners, you have come to the right place.
Follow the quick and easy steps down below to bake your delicacies and enjoy them.
The Things You Will Need to Bake Cupcakes without Liners
Here are a few of the things you would need to go ahead with your baking:
The Right Tray
The material of the baking pan would dictate the amount of baking time in the oven and how it will impact the finished look. All muffin trays come in either 6 or 12 cup holders.
Aluminium is highly conductive so it would cook the batter faster with minimal browning as it reflects the thermal radiation produced. You can look for aluminum trays with steel edges to prevent warping.
Non-stick pans are made of stainless steel with a polytetrafluoroethylene coating that allows the batter to rise more gently and create a fluffier consistency. However, they are very fiddly to clean and the surfaces are easily prone to scratches and flaking off.
While silicone promises the best of both aluminum and non-stick by having high conduction and Teflon’s non-stick properties, they do not hold their own shape and require baking sheets to be used.
Although the supple nature of silicone makes it easier to remove the cupcakes, you must be careful not to crumble them while doing so.
Types of Grease
Recipes usually have clear instructions on the kind of grease that you should use. But if they skipped that step for some reason, there are few options for you to try.
Butter tastes wonderful and adds a caramelised richness to your baked goods. However, it fails to prevent the batter from sticking to the pan as the milk particle in it acts as glue.
On the other hand, clarified butter is a better option as it provides the same flavour but does not cause any sticking as the milk solids are removed.
Coconut oil or bacon fat acts as good greasing agents to prevent the batter from sticking. You can also try vegetable shortening which contains fat but no water.
Using flour is often unnecessary as it is mainly used to stop batter without leavening agents from collapsing. Moreover, if you are making chocolate or dark batters, it will result in an unalluring white crust alongside the edges. Then, you can opt for cocoa powder instead.
Steps on How to Bake Cupcakes without Liners
If you have decided on the material of your pan and your greasing agent, gather them around and follow the next few steps.
Step 1: Check the Tray Size
While different materials can be used to bake cupcakes, pastries, and other dishes, make sure to also check the pan size before you pour batter in. Different sized trays need different cooking time in the oven so check your recipe to choose the right tray.
Wipe away any dust residue with a clean dish towel.
Step 2: Grease the Pan
Place your greasing agent in a cup or a small bowl and heat it in the microwave for a few seconds. The grease should be melted but not too hot.
With a pastry brush, coat the bottom of the cups and then the sides. If you do not have a brush, you can also use a paper towel.
Tip: Wait a few minutes to pour the batter in after greasing to avoid the fat from pooling at the bottom.
Step 3: Use an Alternative of Liners
If you are using a silicone pan and must use some sort of liner, try using parchment papers instead. Cut up parchment papers or wax baking sheets into squares a little larger than the holes of your baking tray.
Place the sheet on top of them and with the bottom of a glass, gently press them into the cup. Use your fingers for slight adjustments.
Step 4: Pour the Batter in
Fill the cup 2/3rd of the way. Leave space for the batter to rise and hold a uniform shape. Do not overfill as they might spill and stick to the top rim.
Step 5: Bake
Cupcake liners, no matter how thin, affect the baking time. So, depending on the size and material of the pan that you have chosen, adjust the time accordingly.
Step 6: Let It Cool
Once it is done baking, let it sit and cool down for 10 minutes. Do not attempt to remove the cupcakes before they have had a chance to cool or they might collapse. Run a butter knife or a spatula along the edges and pop them out with a little nudge. Jiggle the tray slightly if you need to loosen them up.
Step 7: Continue to Let It Cool
Place them on a wire rack and continue to let them cool until they have reached room temperature.
Step 8: Icing
Now, it is time to prepare the icing! Let the young ones go wild and express their creative genius by frosting the cupcakes however they want. And I should remind you to keep a few damp towels nearly since it will definitely be a mess.
Now that you have ditched cupcake liners and successfully managed to pull of your favourite cupcake recipe, you might be wondering if you really do need them.
Reasons Why You Should Not Use Cupcake Liners?
Cupcake liners are useful for holding up the shape and keeping your hands clean amongst other things. And you cannot ignore how pretty they look when you present them to your guests. But you can still live without them and for pretty good reasons as well.
They Cost Money
Even the cheapest option at the supermarket can sum up to a large amount that you could be spending somewhere else. They are an unnecessary expense and can even go to waste if you buy the wrong size for your pan.
They Are Environmentally Unsustainable
Not all baking papers are bio-degradable and can contribute to landfills, especially if you use unbleached parchment paper.
Health-Risk for Children
Cheaper quality cupcake liners do not remove as smoothly and can leave bits and pieces behind. This can be harmful if the parchment paper is bleached as it contains toxic dioxins which can be harmful if ingested, especially by children who are not so mindful.
Using cupcake liners is an optional step that you can easily skip. So, if you have forgotten to get it during your latest grocery run or realised that you are out a little too late, do not worry.
You can still bake your cupcakes and eat them, all the while avoiding going out for an unnecessary errand. Just add a few additional steps before and after the baking process and you will soon master how to bake cupcakes without liners.