Cupcake pans come in a variety of sizes and materials. Does it really matter what cupcake pans you buy? Won’t they all work like they are supposed to? What about muffin pans? The truth is that finding a good cupcake pan is not really that difficult despite the large variety of pans being sold.
More important than the pan itself is consistency. Whatever type of cupcake pan you decide to purchase, you should stick with that same type of pan throughout the cupcake making process. The reason for this is that the shape, thickness and type of material used all affect the cooking properties of the cupcake batter. If you decide to use different types of pans to cook a batch of cupcakes at the same temperature, then some will cook faster, taller, better, fluffier or worse than the others.
Metal versus Silicone Cupcake Pans & Cups
One of the first things you should consider prior to purchasing cupcake pans is whether or not you are a throw it away kind of person or collect and reuse cook. With metal cupcake pans, you are able to use disposable cupcake liners. Whoever eats the cupcake just peels off the liner and tosses it into the trash.
Silicone Cupcake Cups are rubbery and shaped like cupcake liners and can withstand oven temperatures. These are not disposable and you will need to collect and clean them after each use. While these look pretty, they make for a lot more cleanup after the party.
Silicone Cupcake Pans take the form of a standard cupcake tin, but are also made out of the rubbery silicone. After cooking the cupcakes, the pan can peel away from the cupcake and will clean up like a regular pan.
Cupcake Tin Metal Types
You may have heard that different colored pans cook differently or that a more shine cupcake pan is better. Well, the truth is that the color is not that important. The difference between the pans has more to do with the type and thickness of the metal. Different types of metals conduct heat differently, some faster than others. How shiny the pan is does not really matter.
Whatever type of cupcake pan you choose, you will need to experiment to find out the best temperature and cook times in your particular oven. I highly recommend that you buy at least two of the same pans so that you can rotate the pans without having to adjust cook times or temperatures.
Also, the thickness of the cupcake liners that you use can also affect the flow of heat through the pan and into the cupcake batter. So if you are a cupcake perfectionist, then you should also try and consistently use the same types of cupcake liners. I don’t worry about this as much because the liners don’t affect the cupcakes as much as the type of pan.
Cupcake Pan Sizes
Most likely you have a cupcake pan with either a mini, regular or large size wells. Other than appeal, it really does not matter what size of cupcake wells your pan has. Just keep in mind that different size cupcakes will have different baking time and temperature requirements.