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Nov 28, 2009 11:58 PM

Mini Cupcakes From A Cake Mix - In Or Our Of Paper Liners

I volunteered to make mini cupcakes for a large group next Saturday. I have never made them before and I am an amateur baker. I bought a packaged lemon cake mix and plan to use that, and frost them with confectioners sugar mixed with a lemon and orange juices.

I need them to be simple as possible, as I am also making other things for the party. I will be baking them the morning of the party, as I want to be sure that they are fresh. The party begins at 2:00PM :-(. I will really be hustling that morning.

My questions are:

I have the mini cupcake papers, should I use them or can I just spray the pans with Pam? My husband hates taking the paper off of mini muffins and loosing so much of the muffin on the bottom of the paper. I think the paper cups give cupcakes a finished look.

He suggested spraying the inside of the paper cups so that they will it will come off easier and cleaner ?????

My time will be so limited and as I don't have time for a dry run, I would sure hate ending up with 80 or so little disasters. I plan to use the baking temp on the package, 350 degrees, and maybe bake them for 8-10 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean.

Should I let them cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before taking them out - in paper or out of paper?

Thanks so much in advance - if you can't tell, I am already a nervous wreck.

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  1. I would use the paper liners and spray them with Pam to make sure they don't stick. I would keep them in the paper liners. It has been awhile since I have done the mini cup cakes-but I think your timing sounds right on baking. You will know from looking at them and testing while baking, so no need to worry-they will be fine!!

    2 Replies
    1. re: dklipscomb

      I do spray my liner with pam all the time, if you can make them the day before they would be perfectly fresh the next day, may be just do the frosting in the morning or if you have the room to keep them you can frost them also the day before, a cake mix is very forgiving.
      That way you would not have to worry about the cupcake the day of the party, it's always better to do what you can ahead of time. you could also make them and freeze them if that would work better for you. Good luck and relax you'll be ok

      1. re: TDEL

        you can definitely bake these cupcakes the day ahead. use the papers, it looks more polished and people's hands get less messy. i always use the papers and never spray, and never have a sticking problem.

        pulverized candied ginger would be a nice garnish too.

    2. Use the papers and leave the cakes in the papers. I wouldn't even bother to spray the inside of the papers - whenever I've made cupcakes the diner can easily peel the paper liner off the cake, though it wasn't sprayed..

      1. I would use the liners and not spray them with the exception of 1 cupcake. Give that one to your husband. LOL... Otherwise, you'll be nervous about how the cupcakes will turn out AND you'll be wasting the liners. I prefer seeing liners on cupcakes that someone is serving in large quantity bc it looks more polished.

        PS Candied citrus peel or finely crushed lemon heads would make a nice decoration on top!

        1. For the next time, if there ever is a "next time," I recommend using the mini FOIL cupcake liners. They don't require a special pan, as they hold up on their own. They can be sprayed, but don't need to be, and the shimmery silver color is prettier than the paper liners (in my opinion).

          1 Reply
          1. re: koshermasterchef

            I really hated foil liners - they are convenient in that you can just use them on a parchment-lined sheet pan so there's no clean-up but they tear into little shreds so you're peeling fingernail-sized bits off and have a bunch of them in your hand to dispose of before you can take a bite. Then I saw Jacques Pepin using them. He put a paper liner inside each foil liner - voila! - easy to peel, and no cleanup. I never tried spraying either paper or foil liners.

          2. I'm with the use paper camp, no spray. It's a pain to spray and clean mini muffin tins. I prefer muffin tins to little foil liners because they won't move on you as you fill them. Also, for easier filling, load the batter into a ziplock bag and cut a small hole in the corner. Squeeze a tiny bit into each cup, about 2/3 of the way full. It's hard to pour the right amount out. Cool in pan until you can remove them from the pan w/ your hands, about 5 minutes. Keep them in the paper.

            4 Replies
            1. re: chowser

              Yes! Also, I've done the ziplock bag and it works well but I *love* using my cookie scoop/ice cream scooper to fill the cupcake batter. The scooper is a very clean way to fill the cups and you can count exactly how many scoops go into each liner to allow for even results in baking.

              I'm in the paper liner fan club. The Reynolds (?) brand of foil liners come with a paper liner inside the foil and I still use my muffin pan for baking. I don't trust the flimsy foil liner to hold the shape of the cupcake.

              1. re: superfinespot

                I prefer the scooper, too. I thought (maybe incorrectly) that since the OP didn't bake much that she probably didn't have a scooper.

                1. re: chowser

                  Thank you all so much. Great ideas and you have put my mind to rest.

                  The one thing that I don't understand and should have made it clearer in my questions - IF I spray the liners, I meant spray on the inside before filling, not the bottom that sits in the pan.

                  The papers don't stick in my pan (no Pam) when I use it for mini muffins.

                  I love the minced lemon on top idea.

                  1. re: Canthespam

                    No spray inside the liners is necessary.