Choosing Cupcake Tins that will Work Best in your Kitchen Environment
Understanding the minor differences between cupcake tins, popover pans, muffin pans, and bun tins, and knowing how silicone and metal tins affect your baking ensure that it’ll be a piece of cake to find the best cake pans for your delicious cupcakes.
One of the most common annoyances in the world of cake making is that there is no industry standard when it comes to cupcake tins, leaving both amateur and professional bakers wondering what the best cake pans are.
Cupcake tins differ in size, material, shape, and even angle.
The best cake pans for cupcakes are those which don’t force the batter upwards, instead allowing the batter to rise gently both upwards and outwards.
Understand the Difference in Bakeware
One of the most important things you need to know when you’re searching for the best cake pans is that there are many types of cake tin out there that masquerade as cupcake tins. They look similar, feel similar, and cost a similar amount – but they aren’t cupcake tins. They’ll hamper your attempts to create that perfect cupcake that’s spongy, perfectly risen, and with a moist, flakey crumb underneath a slightly sturdier crust.
On the surface, bun tins appear almost exactly like cupcake tins, but there is one significant difference – the depth of the wells.
Bun tins are not the best cake pans for cupcakes because they’re very shallow, designed to create small, bite-sized fairy cakes, rather than a more substantial cupcake. If you compare the two, you’ll notice that cupcake tins are much deeper, and are far more similar to a traditional muffin tin.
- Muffin Tins
Despite their likeness, muffin tins also do not make the best cake pans for cupcakes. That’s because there are some minor differences in the style and design of the pan that can affect the cooking and aesthetics of a cupcake.
A muffin tin typically has straight sides which encourage the batter to rise upwards to form that classic muffin top, while cupcake tins have slightly flared edges to allow the batter to rise both upwards and outwards, producing the time-honored cupcake shape.
- Popover Tins
Popover tins are best described as a more exaggerated form of the classic muffin tin, with sharp, straight sides that force the batter upwards. Cupcake batter that is cooked in a popover tin is quite likely to burn at the top due to the intense rise, while remaining slightly undercooked in the middle.
(That’s why it’s important to understand the differences between the different types of pan on the market.)
What’s the better option for cupcakes? That depends on the type of cupcakes you’re making and, believe it or not, also depends on how confident you are in the kitchen.
Many bakers claim that silicone pans are the best cake pans for cupcakes because the rubber material is non-stick and it makes easy work of getting those cakes out of the moulds. While this is largely true, consider the type of cupcakes you’ll be making.
- If you regularly make cupcakes with a high fat content, such as rich, buttery cupcakes, there could be too much oil left on the silicone, leaving your cupcakes with soggy bottoms and affecting the overall bake.
- Remember that baking times will generally be longer with silicone than with metal. The rubber doesn’t conduct heat as well as metal – it’s more of an insulator. As silicone bakeware is still a fairly new addition to the kitchen, many recipes are written with metal cupcake tins in mind.
If you’re the sort of baker who relies heavily on cooking guidelines, and who follows the recipe to the letter, the best cake pans for cupcakes are undoubtedly the metal variety.
If, though you’re more of a confident, adventurous, and experimental cook, then keeping an eye on the cupcakes while they’re cooking in silicone moulds should yield good results. To read more about silicone bakeware, and the advantages, click here.