How To Stop Cupcake & Muffin Liners from Folding & Sticking

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There are many different things that can go wrong when you’re baking cupcakes or muffins. Several of the things that can go wrong are usually related to the liners that you use to bake in. After some experimentation, I figured out how to keep the liners in place without them folding or sticking to the batter!

To stop your cupcake and muffin liners from folding in, you need to use a smaller size liner to fit the well of your tin. A smaller liner will better take the shape of the well in your tin without folding. When the liner is bigger, it will begin to fold in on itself from the weight of the batter.

You may also have some questions about keeping cupcake and muffin liners looking as perfect and fresh as when you first filled them up. This is especially important if you’re getting ready to create a few batches for your local bake sale or school fundraiser. Fortunately, I have some tips and tricks to help you get your cupcake and muffin liners to look perfect for any special occasion.

How To Prevent Cupcake & Muffin Liners From Folding In?

To prevent your cupcake and muffin liners from folding in, use a shot glass to push down the liner into the well of your tin with a rotating motion. This will help the liner distribute the weight of your batter more evenly when it is poured without folding in on itself.

Whenever you bake cupcakes, you know that presentation is important, especially if they are going to be enjoyed by other people. On occasion, I’ve had issues with my muffin liners folding in. Fortunately, I have found that the solution is relatively simple.

Your cupcake and muffin liners are usually folding in because they are too big for the tin that you are using. When the liner is bigger than the well in the tin, it will begin to fold in on itself from the weight of the batter.

Some liners just don’t sit well in the tin you intend to use. This can especially happen if the circumference of the tin and the liner are not similar. A good rule of thumb is to seat the liners you intend to use into the well of your tin before filling them with batter.

This Liner is Too Big For This Tin!

During my search for the perfect muffin/cupcake, I came across a Great Nonstick 12-Cup Muffin Pan that will make my muffins/cupcakes the perfect size. Ever since I got it, my muffins came out looking better than ever before! You can find this Muffin Tin on Amazon!

If the liner and your tin are similar in size then you should be good to go!

You also have the option to use a smaller size liner to fit your tin better. A smaller liner will fit the well of your tin better by going all the way down to the bottom of the well while retaining its shape.

If you don’t have a smaller liner and you’re trying to prevent your current liners from folding in, use a shot glass upside down to push down the liner while rotating the liner into the well.

The rotation will help the grooves of the bigger liner spread along a bigger surface area in the well which will help fit the right amount of batter without folding in on itself.

If you already poured in your batter and the liner folded in, onto the batter, you can try to fix this by pushing out the liner from the inside with the backside of a small teaspoon.

*By the way, if you noticed that you ran out of liners, I recently wrote an article about The Best Ways To Bake Cupcakes & Muffins Without Liners. This article talks about all the ways to make sure that your cupcakes and muffins don’t get stuck in the pan. You can check out this article here!

Another common issue with liners that fold in is that the tin’s angles are too narrow or wide for the liners. This is a common issue with some specialty liners as well. Try to experiment with different liners, as the issue could lie in the particular type of liner you’re using.

How To Prevent Cupcakes & Muffins From Sticking To The Liners?

To prevent your cupcake and muffin liners from sticking to the batter, make sure to grease the liners with non-stick cooking spray, butter, or margarine. Greasing the liners will create a non-stick coat that will repel the batter from the liners throughout the baking process.

This is probably the most frustrating issue when it comes to making exquisitely decorated cupcakes. No one wants to spend all that time making them picture-perfect just to have them ruined during the baking process.

Fortunately, there are a few simple solutions to this familiar baking problem:

  1. Grease the liners well
  2. Let the cupcakes and muffins cool down
  3. Use non-stick liners

Make sure the liners are sprayed well with non-stick spray but be careful not to overspray them. Otherwise, they will end up quite greasy. Also, be sure that the cupcake tray you are using is high quality. Some perform better than others under different temperatures, so be sure to pick one with great reviews.

Another simple solution is to make sure your cupcakes are completely cool before pulling them out. While it can be tempting to remove them before they are ready, they will be more likely to stick to the pan if they are really hot.

Make sure that you let them cool for at least ten minutes before removal

Use Non-Stick Silicone Liners!

You also have the option to use non-stick liners when baking your creations. These liners are usually made out of silicone and are reusable. I recently came across some good Non-Stick Silicone Liners that work great for this. You can check them out on Amazon!

Personally, I combine the 3 methods while baking my cupcakes and muffins. I get the non-stick silicone liners, spray them with non-stick cooking spray, and let them cool down!

*Side Note: If you are lacking baking equipment in your kitchen, I recommend for you to consider getting yourself some Silicone Molds. Silicone Bakeware has all types of molds including Silicone Cake Pan, Muffin Tins, Bundt pans, and so much more. I recently wrote an article explaining Tips For Using Silicone Molds which you can find here!

How Do I Keep My Cupcake Liners From Getting Greasy?

As a general rule, you can keep your cupcake liners from getting greasy by lining the bottom of the wells of the tin with regular white rice. The white rice will absorb any extra grease throughout the baking process and prevent the cupcakes from becoming too oily.

I have found that there is a very fine line between under-greasing and over-greasing my pans, especially when it comes to baking muffins and cupcakes! Because you are dealing with smaller individually portioned cakes it can be quite easy to overestimate or underestimate how much you should be greasing your liners.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution you can use in order to prevent your liners from getting too greasy on the bottom. Rice is an excellent way to soak up any extra grease which might accumulate at the bottom during the baking process.

Make sure you use regular rice instead of instant rice, as instant rice may not be as absorbent as regular rice

Thoroughly line the bottom of each tray with rice before gently placing your liners on top. This is a great tip that many home chefs use in order to keep cupcake liners neat and tidy.

*By the way, I recently wrote an article about How to Store Muffins to Keep Them Fresh for Longer. This article talks about the proper ways to store muffins at room temperature, in the fridge, and in the freezer to keep them fresh. You can check out this article here!

How Do You Keep Cupcake Liners From Turning Brown?

As a whole, use a light-colored cupcake pan in order to keep the cupcake liners from turning brown. Dark pans will usually result in a darker cupcake liner, so stick with lighter pans to avoid browning. You can also use lighter cupcake batter in the cupcake liners.

There are usually two culprits when it comes to brown cupcake liners. This tends to occur if you use a darkened cupcake pan to bake them with. It can also occur if you’ve used darker batter. Either way, the Maillard reaction is what causes cupcakes to brown as they bake.

Dark Tins Turn The Cupcakes Brown!

Vanilla flavored cupcake batter tends to be the best to use in these situations as the liners will not become as discolored or brown during the baking process. Vanilla tends to be a favorite cupcake flavor as well, so it’s a real crowd pleaser!

There are times when you may want to use flavors other than vanilla. I absolutely adore red velvet cupcakes, and these can definitely leave your liners looking stained and dingy. For these times, try using two cupcake liners.

Another common reason I’ve found for my liners turning brown is spilling the cupcake batter on the liners when pouring it. Drops of batter on the edges of liners can end up burning and causing the liner it’s on to turn brown in color.

*Side Note: I recently wrote an article about How to Store Frosted Cupcakes to Keep Them Fresh. This article talks about the right way of storing frosted and unfrosted cupcakes in several different storage places. You can check out the full article here!

Why Would Cupcakes Pull Away From The Sides Of The Liner?

As a general rule, an undercooked cupcake will result in pulling away from the sides of the liners. An undercooked cupcake will shrink in size causing it to pull away from the liner. Too much moisture within the cupcake batter will also result in them pulling away from the sides.

If you’re working with too much moisture, you are going to have issues with your cupcakes pulling away from the sides of the liner. I have found this to be the case if I am working with fruits or other added ingredients with higher moisture content.

Adjusting your mixture too much to add additional ingredients can cause peeling to occur, so try to ensure your mixture is balanced and is not too full of liquid and not too dry. Also, try not to undercook your cupcakes, as this can cause them to shrink and then pull from the liners.

*By the way, I recently wrote an article about How Long Cupcakes Should Cool Before Frosting. This article talks about the right way to cool off a cupcake and how long you need to wait for it to cool. You can check out this article here!

How To Keep Cupcake Liners From Peeling Off?

As a general rule, you need to monitor the baking time and temperature in order to keep cupcake liners from pulling away from the cupcakes. Do not overfill the liners, and remove them from the cupcake tin after they are finished baking in order to minimize the chances of them peeling off.

Most of the time, I have found that overfilling my cupcake liners will cause them to peel away. An overfilled cupcake liner will likely cause you to undercook your cupcake, which is a major problem.

Perfect Sized Liners For This Tin! Fits Right In!

*Side Note: You might also want to know How To Bake Cookies Without A Cookie Sheet. I recently wrote an article that talks about What Can You Use To Bake Cookies Without A Cookie Sheet, which you can check out here!

If you are having an issue with the liners peeling after you’ve stored them, you likely have a moisture problem because you stored them before they completely cooled. Ensure that you have given them enough time to cool before putting them in a storage container.

Should I Spray My Muffin Liners?

Muffin liners should be sprayed with cooking spray in order to prevent the muffins from sticking or burning. Be careful not to overspray liners, in order to avoid a greasy bottom. Non-stick liners will not need to be sprayed since they are made for the batter not to stick.

My general rule of thumb is to always lightly spray your cupcake liners in order to keep them from sticking. By lightly spraying them you will minimize the chances of having a completely ruined batch on your hands.

Try to spray them quickly and evenly in order to keep them from getting too greasy along the bottom. I give it two to three sprays for the whole tin.

Make sure that the liners are already set within the tin before spraying!

If you are using the non-stick silicone liners as I recommended above, you don’t have to spray them with cooking spray. Since silicone is a heavier material than regular paper liners it will usually not stick to the batter.

One of my favorite things about making cupcakes and muffins is how easy it is to be mindful of portion sizes. I know if I’m not careful I can definitely cut off a bigger piece of cake than I need at times! Cupcakes and muffins make it easy for me to stick to just one or two!

*By the way, I recently wrote an article about The Best Ways to Make Dry Cupcakes More Moist. This article also talks about why your cupcakes turned out dry, to begin with, as well as how to prevent it from happening. You can check out this article here!

How Do You Keep Cupcake Liners Looking Good?

Stick with lighter batter in order to keep cupcake liners looking bright and vibrant. Avoid over-spraying the liners with cooking spray, since this may leave liners looking greasy. Do not overbake cupcakes, as this can lead to dark, burnt liners.

Perfect Red Velvet Cupcakes With Great Looking Liners!

If I plan on presenting or gifting my cupcakes, I try to stick with lighter batters. Lighter batters will keep liners looking much better, especially if they are going to be given to someone.

Also, try to stick with liners that feature vibrant colors and patterns. The lighter the cupcake liner is, the higher the chances of discoloration and noticeable grease.

How To Use Double Cupcake Liners?

To use double cupcake liners, insert one liner into the other and place it inside the cupcake tin. Next, fill the inner liner halfway with the batter until it settles. Bake your cupcakes and let them cool once they have completed the baking process.

A general thing to remember when using double cupcake liners is that the outer liner will keep your cupcakes looking fantastic. Since the inner liner has soaked up any of the discolorations, your outer liner will likely look as nice as it did when you first set your cupcakes to bake.

Keep in mind that your second liner will not adhere closely to the cupcake, so be mindful of that fact if that is a big deal for your particular batch.

If you’re looking for a more interesting presentation, try layering your cupcake liners to create unique 3D effects for festive celebrations or birthday parties!

*Side Note: You might also want to know Why Your Muffins Didn’t Rise the way they were supposed to. I recently wrote an article talking about Tips For Preventing Flat Muffins, you can check it out here!

To Summarize…

This is my favorite time of the year to whip up delicious batches of muffins and cupcakes. Whether you’re fond of blueberry muffins, banana nut muffins, or sweet and fluffy vanilla cupcakes, I know you probably have a few favorite “go-to” recipes you turn to when a party or special occasion comes up!

A great-looking cupcake starts from the outside. Preventing folded and sticky liners will help you create the most amazing spectacle for your guests. It will allow you to properly present your cupcakes and muffins without a hitch!

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My name is Fainna! I've been baking desserts ever since I was 10 years old with my grandma passing her baking wisdom down to me with every passing day. I hope you find these tips and tricks helpful here at my little Baking Nook!

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