Regretably ailovebaking takes a back seat most of the time to the whole work/life balance. And when I start feeling “unbalanced” I know I better blog or bake soon! It is not likely that I will be baking anything very very soon, so here I am sharing a “few of my favorite things” and this time around: cupcake baking cups.
I must have a cabinet full of all sizes, shapes, colors, and designs of cupcake baking cups. Although I can’t stop myself from buying the most shiny pretty cups, sadly the most decorative ones tend to be the worse to bake in. In most cases the cake will separate from the baking cup, draw the butter/oil from the cake, or it will fade after baking. Typically if I use a baking cup that “looks” pretty but doesn’t appear functional, I will bake the cupcake in a good quality solid color cup (white, brown my fave) and then drop the baked cupcake in the decorative one.
Here are a few helpful tips when making cupcakes and using baking cups:
- Using an ice cream scooper will make it easy to place cake batter in the baking cups-you will have uniform looking cupcakes not to mention no messy drips on the cupcake pans.
- Always fill the baking cups with as much cake batter as your recipe indicates-usually around 2/3 full.
- Cool baked cupcakes on a wire rack-leaving it in the pan to cool will dry out your cupcakes.
- Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container or in a Ziploc bag-I usually bake cupcakes the day before and then frost them the day of.
So what are my favorite cupcake baking cups? Here are a few in order of preference:
- Brown Swedish Greaseproof Baking Cups (No Name Brand): I found these on eBay. They are my all time fave, which I bake most of my cupcakes in. They are slightly taller than regular baking cups and will not “cave-in” when you pour batter in the baking cups.
- Wilton Ruffled Baking Cups: You can get them online at Wilton’s website or Michael’s craft store. They are very sturdy and like the brown ones are taller than regular baking cups. Again no cave-in and quite pretty.
- If You Care Unbleached Baking Cups: Environment friendly and made from unbleached recycled cardboard. Cupcakes bake up nicely and most importantly good for the environment. Check out their website on the lifecycle of this product. I purchased these from Whole Foods and surprisingly were quite cheap, I think around $2.99.
- Reynolds Baked for You Baking Cups: These baking cups are one of the few decorative cups that actually do bake well. No fading at all! I got them from Safeway on sale. But check them out at their website.