The other day my friend Shannan posted this revelation on Facebook: “So all my life, I have been leaving the paper liners inside the foil cupcake liners when I bake. Guess what, y’all? YOU AREN’T SUPPOSED TO!”
I chuckled to myself. Of course you’re supposed to remove the paper from foil cupcake liners. It says so right there on the package!
I thought Shannan and my husband were the only people who didn’t know this. But based on my extensive research (which consisted of reading the comments on her Facebook post) I realized that most people were doing this wrong. Am I the only person who reads instructions?
Those paper separators are just there to keep the foil cupcake liners from sticking together. Even though they look the same as the regular paper liners, they’re not. Paper liners are usually coated with either quilon or silicone, both of which keep your muffins and cupcakes from sticking to the paper liners. The paper separators don’t have that coating.
Will they work? Sort of. They won’t be terrible, but they won’t be great.Are you using foil cupcake liners wrong? Click To Tweet
Cupcake baked in a paper separator:
Cupcake baked in a paper liner:
But what about the other directions on the foil cupcake liner package?
That’s right, you’re supposed to put the foil cupcake liners on a cookie sheet!
Will it hurt anything to use the foil cupcake liners in a muffin pan? No. But you’re wasting money. If you have muffin pans, you can use paper liners, which are cheaper.
Now, Shannan pointed out that she doesn’t put her foil cupcake liners on a cookie sheet because she’s afraid that they will spread out flat. They won’t. But, they will spread out some.
Here are cupcakes baked in foil cupcake liners. The ones on the left were baked in a muffin pan, the ones on the right baked on a cookie sheet.
I’d filled all of them 3/4 full, but because the ones on the cookie sheet spread out, those ended up being 42 grams, versus 31 grams for the ones in the muffin pan. A huge difference.
Of course, you could just fill the cookie sheet ones half-way instead, but they’ll be wide rather than tall.
Or, you might actually want a bigger muffin or cupcake, in which case go ahead and fill them 3/4 full and bake them on a cookie sheet. Just remember that you’ll end up with fewer cupcakes.
There are also foil cupcake liners that have decorative paper on the outside. Not only are these pretty, but I’ve found that they don’t spread out quite as much when baked on cookie sheets. The foil combined with the paper makes them a bit stiffer than the ones that are just foil.
The bottom line is, even if you’re doing it wrong, you’re still going to wind up with something delicious and acceptable. But if you want your cupcakes and muffins to be prettier, follow the instructions!