Monday, October 15, 2012

More than just a cupcake...

As I mentioned on my previous post, cupcakes were originally baked in teacups before the invention of the muffin pan.  When muffin pans came around, they were greased and floured to prevent the cupcake from sticking to the edges.  Then came the invention of the cupcake liner, and "aahhhh"-it is now so easy to keep cupcakes from sticking!  Cupcake liners have now become more than just plain paper cups, you can get them in practically every color and with designs to suit most occasions.  There are also foil liners, silicone liners and Eco-friendly liners.  There are occasions to not use liners, too.  I have done some research and here are some interesting tips for choosing and using liners:
1. Paper liners come in all colors and designs now.  As you can see from the small selection I currently have, you can get solid colors, fun designs for children's birthdays and more sophisticated liners.  At one point, I used liners that resembled tulips to display my cupcakes.  They looked like these (picture courtesy of CupcakeFashion on Etsy)...
2. There are liners for mini-cupcakes, standard size and jumbo size cupcakes.  I lucked out not too long ago at Michael's-they had birthday, striped and strawberry liner packs with both standard and mini sized liners on clearance!

3. Foil liners are great to use for batters that are greasy-typically, ones that have a lot of butter.  Foil liners are also fun to use because they can be a little glamorous looking.  When I was trying out different vanilla recipes, I tried a recipe that used quite a bit of butter.  When I used the foil liner, the cupcakes did not come out greasy, as opposed to when I used the paper liners.  Let's face it, it isn't very appealing when you pick up a cupcake and the liner is all greasy!
4. Silicone liners are another fun choice, they are able to be washed and reused.  However, these sort of defeat the purpose of using liners since it is recommended to spray them with non-stick spray.

This picture is from the website, who sells these silicone cups
5. Eco-friendly liners have become more popular.  Eco-friendly liners are coated with silicone, which is a natural substance.  It contains no metal toxins, namely a chrome-containing product called quilon.  Eco-friendly liners may not be as pretty or have as many design options yet, but it is nice to know they are more earth-friendly. 
6. There are cases where using liners may not be the best choice.  If you want to cover your cupcakes in fondant, it is a better idea to not bake them in liners. 

So, as you can see, the options for making a delicious cupcake extend to the many options available to display your creations.  I personally think the liners are just as important as the decorations used!
Tip of the Blog:
If you are going to use a foil liner, keep a close eye out for your cupcakes.  The batter may bake faster in a foil liner, and you don't want to over bake your yummy desserts!  Also, if you are using foil liners, you don't necessarily have to use a muffin pan.  Foil liners are typically sturdier than their paper counterparts.  To use them without a muffin pan, simply line them up, with the sides not touching, on a baking sheet and fill as usual.

I have been baking still, here is a pic of some cupcakes I made for a friend's son's birthday.  They are a chocolate cake with a peanut butter mousse filling and a chocolate whipped frosting, complete with sports-themed liners and sports balls icing decorations!

I am so excited to announce that the paperwork is done and I have heard back from the Health Dept-I am officially a licensed cupcake business!!  I can now officially take orders!  My website is under construction and should be up soon.  Meanwhile, if you would like to place an order, you can either email me at: or facebook me.  Once my website is up, I will post the link here.  Check back for monthly specials and new flavors to come!

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