Cupcake Pans, Papers, and Pastry Tips: All Your Cupcake Necessities
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Here’s what you need to make perfect cupcakes every time
These things make it easier to create show-stopping cupcakes.
If you’re going to make cupcakes from scratch, it helps to have these things on hand.
Make sure your flour is clump-free for light, fluffy cupcakes. You can either sift the flour through a fine mesh sieve or whisk it to break up any lumps.
A Large Ice Cream Scoop with a Release
Having an ice cream scoop handy can make portioning out cupcake batter easier; all your cupcakes will be the same size, and you won’t make a mess when you’re filling the pan.
A Muffin Tin or Cupcake Pan
Although it may seem obvious, you can’t make cupcakes unless you have a muffin or cupcake pan. Look for one with a heavy duty design; they tend to distribute heat more evenly.
Lining the muffin or cupcake pan with paper liners will make cleanup easier and the presentation of your finished cupcakes prettier.
Pastry Bag and Decorating Tips
Unless you’re an expert at frosting cupcakes with an offset spatula, it helps to have a pastry tip and a few decorating tips on hand. A quick swirl of frosting from the pastry bag and your cupcakes will look like they came from a professional bakery.
Are there any pieces of equipment that you like to have on hand when you’re making cupcakes? Let us know in the comments below!
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.
These treats combine a deep-dark double chocolate cupcake with refreshing mint frosting — the classic "grasshopper" dessert in cake form.
- 1 cup (85g) Triple Cocoa Blend or Dutch-process cocoa
- 2 1/3 cups (283g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 2/3 cups (354g) brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional, to enhance chocolate flavor
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons (14g) Cake Enhancer, for moist texture
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (340g) milk: skim, low-fat, full-fat, evaporated, half &amp half, or light cream, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon (14g) vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon (14g) white vinegar
- 8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups (255g) semisweet chocolate chips
- 16 tablespoons (227g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, at least 65°F
- 2 tablespoons (28g) meringue powder
- 1/8 teaspoon peppermint oil or 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 5 cups (567g) confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 cup (57g) milk
- fresh mint leaves to garnish, optional
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with greased cupcake papers.
To make the cupcakes: Whisk together the dry ingredients set aside.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla, and stir into the dry ingredients.
Fold in the vinegar, butter, and chocolate chips.
Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling them quite full.
Bake the cupcakes for 23 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and turn them out of the pan onto a rack to cool.
Once cool, remove a teaspoon-sized portion from the top of each cake a cupcake corer works well here.
To make the frosting: Beat together the butter, meringue powder, and peppermint.
Add the confectioners' sugar and milk, beating until light and fluffy.
Pipe or spoon frosting into the center of each cupcake, and garnish with a fresh mint leaf.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup crushed saltine crackers
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 4 cups mashed potatoes
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Mix ground beef, saltine crackers, onion, green bell pepper, milk, egg, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, black pepper, and seasoned salt together in a bowl.
Stir ketchup and brown sugar together in a bowl. Spoon ketchup mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup of a 6-cup muffin tin.
Fill muffin cups with beef mixture, leaving 1/2-inch space on the top.
Bake in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the center, about 30 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Drain fat from muffin cups.
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ cups almond milk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup coconut oil, warmed until liquid
- 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 12 cup muffin pans or line with 18 paper baking cups.
Measure the apple cider vinegar into a 2 cup measuring cup. Fill with almond milk to make 1 1/2 cups. Let stand until curdled, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk mixture, coconut oil and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter. Frost with desired frosting.
King Arthur's Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Always a favorite, this dark, moist carrot cake appears regularly at King Arthur birthday parties, often as cupcakes.
- 1 1/2 cups (298g) vegetable oil
- 2 cups (397g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 2 cups (241g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3 cups (326g) finely grated carrots
- 1 1/2 cups (170g) chopped pecans or walnuts
- 8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, at least 65°F
- one 8-ounce package (227g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia
- 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups (283g to 397g) glazing sugar or confectioners' sugar
- milk or cream, to adjust consistency of frosting, if necessary
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two standard muffin pans or cupcake pans. Or line with papers, and grease the papers.
To make the cupcakes: Beat together the oil, sugar, salt, eggs, and spices.
Mix the flour with the baking soda, and stir in.
Add the carrots and nuts, and mix until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
Bake the cupcakes for 21 to 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the middle cupcakes comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven, and after about 10 minutes transfer them to a rack to cool. Allow them to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting: Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
Beat in the salt and vanilla, then the sugar. Add a teaspoon of milk or cream if the frosting is too stiff to spread add additional sugar if it's too thin.
Frost the cupcakes, using a piping bag and tip for an elegant presentation.
Tips for Successful Baking
- Follow the manufacturer's maximum heat ratings.
- Pans are hot to touch while in the oven but cool down quickly use hot pads to remove them.
- Using a cookie sheet underneath will provide stability even for smaller pans.
- Always use a metal baker's sheet or specially designed sled or rack underneath wider or larger silicone pans.
- Place filled silicone cups either on a metal muffin tin or baking sheet for stability during baking.
- Wash pans thoroughly before first use. Warm soap and water clean-up is easy.
- Warranties tend to vary with bakeware brands.
- Do not use knives or sharp objects—they could damage your pans.
- Never use on an open flame or on stovetop burners.
There's a multitude of uses for silicone bakeware from specialty cakes to everyday breads and muffins. You can freeze conversation-inspiring shaped ice cubes for the punch bowl or use the pans for your favorite gelled salads or desserts.
Cupcake Tools and Equipment Guide
Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.
Matt Armendariz, 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.
Cooling Rack: Circulating air cools down cakes quickly to preserve the best texture.
Skewers: Bamboo skewers are Food Network Kitchen chefs' favorite cake testers, but toothpicks work just fine, and so does a paring knife, for that matter (you’ll be icing over the cut anyway).
Mixing Bowls: Have three — a small, medium and large — that measure from about a quart to up to 2 quarts. Food Network Kitchen chefs like deep stainless steel bowls, as they are light and durable. Glass bowls are popular too. Nesting bowls save storage space.
Timer: This is the most-accurate way to project when cupcakes might be done — and it happens fast with cupcakes.
Measuring Cups: Have a 2- or 4-cup spouted transparent glass or plastic measuring cup for wet ingredients (think water, oil and milk). Also, have a set of flat-topped measuring cups in 1-cup, 1/2-cup, 1/3-cup and 1/4-cup measures for dry ingredients like flour, sugar and cocoa.
Muffin Tins: Two 12-cup tins will do for most occasions. Two 24-cup mini tins make a nice addition. Food Network Kitchen chefs use sturdy nonstick metal ones with a rolled edge.
Whisk: A nice, big, sturdy whisk is the original hand mixer, great for stirring together dry ingredients or whipping by hand.
Measuring Spoons: Have one set of measuring spoons with tablespoons, teaspoons, 1/2 teaspoons and 1/4 teaspoons, preferably in metal, and keep them connected by a ring.
Liners: These help cupcakes release from the tins, keep the cakes moist, and make for easy and clean handling. Plus, they can add an element of style with color or pattern. Silicone or foil liners can be used alone on a baking sheet.
Wooden Spoon: They're good for stirring ingredients together.
Flexible Spatula: Have a narrow, a medium (with or without a scoop) and a large flat one for folding ingredients into a batter or scraping every last drop out of the mixing bowl. Silicone is a Food Network Kitchen favorite because it’s heatproof.
Scoop the batter using a 1-ounce disher or ice cream scoop. Level the batter in the scoop against the side of the bowl. Drop the batter into an empty mini cupcake cup. Repeat until all of the cups are filled. If you do not have a scoop, measure 2 level tablespoons into each cup, or the equivalent of 1 fluid ounce. The cups should be between two-thirds and three-quarters full with batter.
- ¾ cup soy milk
- 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
- ½ cup crunchy peanut butter
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons flax seed meal
- 1 ⅛ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper baking cups. Combine the soy milk and vinegar in a measuring cup. Let stand for about 5 minutes to thicken.
In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, oil, sugar, honey, vanilla and flaxseed meal. Mix in the soymilk. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt stir into the batter just until blended. It is okay for the batter to be slightly lumpy. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter. Frost with desired frosting.