Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Silicone Cupcake Baking Cups

A while back I had to throw away my standard 12-cup metal muffin pan. Evidently, it had baked too many muffins and cupcakes. The last time I used it, I had two pans in my oven, one 6-cup metal muffin pan and the 12-cup metal muffin pan. Both were full with cupcakes in paper liners. When they were only about 1/2 way through the baking time, I started to notice a lot of smoke in the house. I opened some windows and turned on the exhaust fan hoping to clear the smoke. Of course, the kids were in bed asleep and no amount of effort on my part could keep the smoke detectors from going off. You know, it is not easy to explain to a 5-year old that when the smoke detectors go off, you are supposed to get out because the alarm means there could be a fire and then turn around and tell him, don't worry, we don't need to go outside, it is just what Mommy is baking.

Because my assumption was that it was something on the bottom of the oven just smoking off, I allowed them to finish baking, watching the time pass hoping that the smoke detectors wouldn't go off again. It wasn't until the cupcakes were out of the oven and I removed them from the pans that I noticed that the bottoms on the cupcakes from the 12-cup pan were all black - the bottom 1/4" was burnt. That was the source of the smoke, nothing in the bottom of the oven.

Of course, I was baking them for school treats for my son, so I found myself driving to WalMart at 9:30pm to buy another cake mix and a new pan. I used the pan once and washed it and it rusted - I promptly returned it, a pan that rusts after one use is not a good pan. This frustrated me, so I didn't buy another one because I knew that I had a stoneware muffin pan that I could use, although it only holds 12 muffins/cupcakes, so if I'm making a standard cake mix, it meant that I would have to bake twice to bake all 24 cupcakes. A while back, I also had bought some silicone cupcake baking cups, but had used them only limitedly since I couldn't send them off to school because I couldn't be sure I would get them back.

This past Sunday, I decided to make some Pumpkin Streusel Muffins as part of a fall feast. I decided to use my silicone cupcake baking cups in my stoneware because I only had a couple of paper liners. As I filled the cupcakes, I quickly realized that it would make more than 12 muffins. I pulled a couple of the silicone cupcake baking cups out of the pan and set them on top of the pan between the cups in the pan, filling the vacated locations with paper liners. By doing this, I was able to bake 16 cupcakes all at the same time with one pan.

This was great to me. I had always used the cups in a muffin pan, never considering using them as the directions suggest they can be used on a regular baking sheet not just within the muffin pan.

After baking them this way and having no issues, I decided that I must get a second set of the silicone cupcake baking cups. They aren't cheap, about $10 for a pack of 12 cups, but I think they are worth it (plus, if I use one of those coupons from the home stores, I should be able to save a couple of bucks on them). Having a second set (24 total) would allow me to make all 24 cupcakes from a standard cake mix at once by placing the baking cups on a sheet pan and not even use a muffin pan. It will save me money by only having to run the oven for one bake cycle, rather than the two cycles to make 12 at a time that I had been doing. It will save me money on the paper liners for the cupcakes or muffins that I make for us to eat or take to a friend's for dinner. Additionally, by using the reusable baking cups, we are also being more environmentally friendly because we aren't creating the extra paper waste. Of course, I still have the stoneware muffin pan and can use that when I need to make cupcakes in paper liner for taking to school. One thing that I have learned with time is that spraying the baking cups with a little bit of no stick spray makes the muffins/cupcakes easier to remove from the cup, but the added cost of a little spray isn't a big deal to me.

For other tools that make life easier, check out Toolin' Up Tuesday at Life as Mom. You can also check out Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in my Dryer for other tried and true tricks and tips.


Lynn said...

I love these muffin liners. I have been using them for a while and I posted about it a couple of months ago. I agree a quick spray with oil spray makes them come out much easier. Thanks for sharing.

FishMama said...

Between this and the Muffin Tin lunch posts, I guess I know what to add to my shopping list. Thanks for sharing a great idea!