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Jun 9, 2003 12:40 PM

cupcake/muffin paper liner confusion

  • j

This might seem like a really dumb question, but it's one that's been bothering me for awhile. When you make cupcakes or muffins in a muffin pan, are you supposed to use the paper or the foil part of the disposable liners? I've always used just the paper part, but the other day I bought a new box of them, and noticed the instructions were to use the foil liners and discard the paper ones (it also recommended just using them on a sheet pan rather than using muffin pans).

Wouldn't the foil ones within a muffin pan cause the cupcakes or muffins to bake differently?

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  1. I believe that there are two separate products - paper liners and foil liners. The paper liners are to be used with muffin pans. The foil liners are to be used without. As I have good muffin pans, I always use the paper liners. I am not sure what result the foil liners would give if used inside the muffin pan, but it seems redundant as they are considered a replacement.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Danielle P.
      Kathryn Callaghan

      I use the foil liners inside the muffin tin. I once found myself without a muffin tin and tried to use foil liners on a cookie sheet. The sides of the liners collapsed during baking and the muffins emerged seriously deformed.

      1. re: Kathryn Callaghan

        I use both foil and paper liners in muffin tins with no noticeble difference in the product.And ditto the deformed muffin baked in foil without a muffin tin. Not attractive.
        My daughter, the champion muffin baker, just sprays the tins with Pam. She insists they are better and she might be right.

        1. re: Marcia

          I also find the paper and foil liners to be interchangeable and use both as liners in a muffin pan. Depending on the type of muffin, the liners often help to seal-in moisture and extend the shelf life of the muffin.

          1. re: ForkinMouth
            Allie D'Augustine

            You may be right about sealing in moisture and extending shelf-life of muffins by using liners... but if you forego the use of liners, you can get a nice, almost crisp exterior contrasting with the moist interior. I find that if I use liners, you often lose that delicate part of the muffin when you take the liner off.

            Just my thoughts,

            1. re: Allie D'Augustine

              Yes, there is obviously a difference in the texture of the muffin when using liners...a muffin with a liner will not be as crisp but will, perhaps, be more delicate and moist. Were it not for the benefit in extending shelf life, I probably wouldn't use the liners at all.

          2. re: Marcia

            I agree with your daughter, and I never use muffin liners, foil or paper, for the reason that more muffin (or cupcake) ends up on the liner than I would like after they are "peeled"

            I can understand wanting liners if the muffins are to be transported or will be in uncertain hands (little kids), but for regular grown-up at-home muffin and cupcake consumption, I think the liner-less little cake looks better, smoother, and is less wasteful than using the extra liner. I've found my breakfast guests also appreciate a "naked" muffin, hot from the oven, put in a basket and wrapped in a linene napkin, rather than having to peel any paper off their breakfast treat. I think those liners do have a use, but most of the time I think they are extra work.

            For even better results than Pam -- try spraying the muffin pans with Bakers Joy, a grease+flour spray product. If you dislike sprays, brush the inside of the cups with melted or at least softened unsalted butter. Great muffins every time.

      2. c
        Caitlin McGrath

        I've bought the foil liners, and they come with paper liners between each foil liner. You are meant to use the foil ones, and not use the paper ones. However, the paper ones are just like the paper ones you buy, so you can use them as well, but separately. I would never use the foil ones without a muffin pan. And like others, I don't use them at all for muffins, because I prefer the texture and ease of ones made without. If you're making iced cupcake to be eaten out of hand (and especially if you're transporting them,) the liners are useful because moist cake crumbs can make a mess of your hands as you eat, and they're attractive. Regarding the sticking-to-paper issue, I will spray just a bit of pan spray inside the liners themselves to facilitate easy peeling without waste. If doing this with paper liners, I suggest using a double layer of liner, since they're so thin.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

          Miraculously, my paper liners didn't stick too badly to the cupcakes-- I was using the Rose Levy Beranbaum Downy Butter Cake recipe.

          But thanks, everyone, for clearing up that confusion!