There are some baking supplies that seem unnecessary to a lot of new bakers. And one of the tools that confuse people is a cupcake liner.
You may think that the tray is in the shape of cupcakes, so why do I need to go out and buy paper liners and use those instead.
And you would be partly right. But there are very important benefits of using cupcake liners (and not just for cupcakes, either).
That is what this article would be about, along with teaching you when and how to use cupcake liners properly.
How to Use Cupcake Liners
Honestly, using cupcake liners correctly is as straightforward as you think it is, but there are some rules and tricks which can make your life easier.
Using the Right Type of Liner
Whether it is advertised as a cupcake liner or a muffin liner, it does not make much of a difference. Each type of liner can be used perfectly well for the other type of dessert. However, there are types of cupcake liners that can make a difference in your baking, depending on which one you use.
For instance, if you are baking muffins or if your cupcake batter is on the heavier side, you can either use two of the regular white liners or use a foil liner. Not only will a foil liner hold your batter so it does not lose its shape while baking, but it will also look pretty nice and shiny once it’s done.
Cupcake Liners as Decoration
Speaking of looking nice, while muffins tend to be more of a rugged looking dessert, cupcakes are almost always made, so they are too pretty to eat. One of the things that help them look that way is the right pattern or shape of the cupcake liner.
If you are baking for a special occasion, you might want to stick with the event theme and choose patterned cupcake liners that match that theme. Again, you can also use foil liners as they are quite eye-catching and look fancy.
Although foil cupcake liners do tend to be a bit more expensive, so definitely keep them aside for the really special occasions or when nothing else in your collection goes with the chosen theme.
You will also find different shapes of cupcake liners online, including ones that look like flowers like lotuses, roses, tulips, etc. Using those will definitely make your baked goods stand out amongst others.
Using the Right Sized Liner
Now, there are mainly three sizes of cupcake liners that you can get. The most standard one is the 2 inches by 1 ¼ inches liner. This is the size that people are most used to and the size that you can use comfortably for any recipe.
Of course, there are bigger and smaller options for cupcake liners. With the bigger liner (which is usually about 3.5 inches in diameter), you can make larger cupcakes or muffins for special orders or with leftover batter. Just be sure that it fits in your baking pan properly.
The liners for mini cupcakes come out at about 1 inch and are great to bake in for children’s parties (as they fit right into small hands and smaller appetites) or for snacking cupcakes, which you can eat a few of without feeling full.
A Few Cupcake Liner Tips
Again, there are not many ways in which you can go wrong with using a cupcake liner. However, there are some extra things to keep in mind while baking your next batch of delicious goodness.
Greasing Your Cupcake Liners
Yes, there is usually no need to grease your liners as they are designed to release the cupcakes or muffins easily without breaking them. But there are some recipes for which you should definitely grease your liners for an easier release.
For instance, if you are making an especially fluffy cupcake that is airy and delicate when baked (like angel’s food cake or ones that have beaten egg whites in them), then you need to lubricate the insides of the liners before pouring in the batter.
Of course, you can always brush them with butter, but the easiest way to grease your cupcake liners would be to spray the insides with cooking spray thoroughly.
Stop Your Cupcakes/Muffins from Drying
If your baked goods will be on the dryer side or do not have a lot of moisture in them in general (such as bran muffins), you definitely need to use cupcake liners and might also want to hold onto the liners a little longer.
When using plain white liners, the instinct is to get rid of the line as soon as you can and start digging into the food. However, keeping the liner on will help the cupcake/muffin hold onto its moisture and stop it from feeling dry in your mouth.
In case you are planning on storing your cupcakes outside the fridge, then you simply have to use cupcake liners for baking them in. This will help them stay fresh for at least a couple of days if you just store them.
Lining Heavier Batters of Cupcakes
You know how, when you put fillings in your cupcakes such as fruits or chunks of nuts and chocolates, and they all seem to fall to the bottom of the cupcake? Well, if that happens and you have not used a cupcake liner, then you may want to prepare yourself to scrub clean a sticky baking pan.
And if you want to avoid doing that, always use cupcake liners when baking cupcakes or muffins, which are denser and heavier.
The most foolproof way of making sure that your dense cupcake stays upright and does not topple under its own weight would be to modify your cupcake liners or use the type which can support a heavier recipe.
For this, you can either use two of your regular paper cupcake liners for extra support, or you can use a foil liner, which is made of a stronger material than paper.
Also, the chances are that you will always end up using the former method since most paper cupcake liners are cheaper than a set of fancy foil liners. However, if you are making cupcakes that have a dense batter and if you are baking them for an event, a nicely colored foil cupcake liner is the way to go.
While regular white cupcake liners are perfect as they are, it does not hurt to switch up the size and/or design of your liners, depending on the occasion, especially now that you know how to use cupcake liners effectively and with no chances of messing up!