Muffin or Cupcake Pans

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Traditionally, liners are used for muffins and cupcakes because they keep the small cakes fresher and make it easier to frost and transport them. The most elegant and beautiful disposable muffin cups come from Qualitá Paper Products. Small panettone paper pans, 2¾ by 2 inches (¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons/207 ml), are almost double the size of standard muffin cups. They are firm enough to stand alone (available from La Cuisine).

Silicone pans without liners give just the right support to produce cupcakes or muffins with the nicest domed shape. Individual silicone muffin molds called Sili-Cups are very pretty, but they are three-quarters the size of the cups in a standard muffin pan, so if a cupcake recipe makes 14 to 16 standard-size cupcakes, it will yield 19 to 21 cupcakes if using Sili-Cups. My favorite silicone pans have six cavities. Each cavity is the same capacity as that of the cups in a standard muffin pan: ½ cup/118 ml. As with other silicone pans, it is a good idea to set silicone muffin pans on wire racks and then set the racks on sheet pans or cookie sheets for support, so that air can circulate around them and ensure that they bake evenly—especially the middle row in the twelve cavity pan, which tends to bake more slowly.

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