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How to prevent cupcake liners from separating from the cupcakes

Baking S.O.S. says: I have received numerous questions and comments on one particularly tricky problem: Cupcake liners (or papers) have a tendency to separate from the cupcakes after they are baked.

Unfortunately, there is no one perfect solution to this problem.  But through much trial and error, I and others in the baking community have come up with several different tips and tricks which help minimize this problem.  In my original post, I gave several of my own tips that work for me.

Today, I received some additional helpful tips from Erin Kelly of the Have Your Cake & Read It Too blog.  I can’t thank Erin enough for her input.  She gave some valuable advice that I haven’t heard before, and I can’t wait to try her tips!

Erin says: I actually used to sell cupcakes on the side, and find this to be one of the most frustrating problems in the world. It never happens with my chocolate recipe (which uses oil), but always plagues my vanilla cake recipe (all butter). I have tried all kinds of experiments, and can only offer a few suggestions that work *most* of the time.

First, I buy the special double liners that have a standard paper liner covered by a foil one (I get them at Food Lion, but I am sure they are at other stores too). They are meant to be self-supporting so you don’t have to use a cupcake pan (I don’t recommend that, FYI.) Even if the paper pulls away a little, the foil is strong enough to hold it in place. A second option is the Wilton brand paper liners, which seem to be less waxy than some of the store brands.

Second, I put the batter into a gallon-sized Ziplock bag and snip one corner off to make a small dispensing hole. I carefully fill each liner, then move the pan back and forth on the counter in quick motions to try to get maximum contact between the liner and the batter. Be sure not to smack it down, so not to lose any airiness.

Third, for the recipes I use, I don’t fill the liners any more than half full. At half full, the cupcakes rise just to the top of the paper, without going over and getting all messy and flat.

Fourth, I have had the best luck if I allow the cupcakes to cool for 5-7 minutes in the pan before *gently* removing them to a wire rack. Do not store them or ice them until completely cool.

Good luck, fellow bakers! Also, if you would like the vanilla cake recipe that I have perfected over the past year, feel free to check out my blog at http://haveyourcakeandreadittoo.blogspot.com/ That particular recipe is under the “Confessions of a Panster” post from May 2010.