I love baking cupcakes…and my family and friends love eating my cupcakes…so these cute little cakes are something I bake over and over again. The last thing I want to ruin their stunning appearance is cake liners that pull away from the cupcake!
After having this happen far too many times, I’ve come up with some simple techniques and tips to keep cupcake liners from pulling away.
1 – Don’t Under Bake
One of the top reasons for cupcake liners to pull away from the cake is when the cupcake is under baked. Under baking causes the cupcake to shrink, so be sure to keep them in the oven for the full baking time.
If you frequently use the same recipe for your cupcakes, and they often pull away from the liner, consider adding two to three minutes to the baking time to see if that helps.
2 – Over Baking Causes Problems Too!
Over baking can be just as disastrous when it comes to cupcake liners. Not only can over baking lead to dry cupcakes, which are problematic enough when you were aiming for moist cupcakes, but they also have a tendency to shrink and pull away from the liner.
Be sure to set the timer when you’re baking so you know when they need to come out of the oven!
3 – Set the Right Oven Temperature
A great kitchen investment is an oven thermometer. This will let you check the temperature inside the oven so you can adjust if it’s too cool or too hot for what the recipe calls for.
4 – Fill Cupcake Liners to the Right Level
The cupcake liners need to be filled at least 2/3rd with batter. This way the liner will stick to the top portion of the cupcake as it bakes.
Once you’ve got all the liners filled, tap the pan once or twice on the counter so the batter spreads out evenly and completely touches the liner all around.
Don’t be tempted to fill the liner more than 2/3rd full. Over filling may not lead to the liners pulling away but instead the cupcake batter will overflow the liner and spread, baking and burning on top of the pan.
5 – Gluten Free Cupcakes
A tip on gluten free cupcakes. If you love baking like I do, there are times when we want to accommodate certain dietary restrictions. And why shouldn’t your friend who needs to avoid gluten not be able to enjoy one of your scrumptious cupcakes?!
I use almond or rice flour when baking my gluten free cupcakes. The lack of gluten in these flours means the cupcakes don’t rise as much when baking, causing the cake to shrink away from the liner.
To avoid this, fill the liners ¾ full so the cupcake bakes high enough for the liner to stick to the top portion.
6 – Avoid Moist Cupcakes
Try to avoid, or alter, recipes that have too much moisture. While everyone is going to appreciate your moist cupcakes, cake that is too moist will pull away from the liners during baking.
If you’ve made a batch of cupcakes that are too moist, modify the recipe by using less liquids or butter. One of the things that works for me is that when a recipe calls for milk, I substitute with thicker buttermilk and use a 1/8th to a ¼ cup less than the recipe calls for.
If the recipe calls for fresh fruit, be sure to completely mix the fruit into the batter. You want all the moisture from the fruit to be evenly distributed throughout the batter.
7 – Don’t Grease or Spray Cupcake Liners
Greasing or using an oil spray on liners before you add the batter is just going to add more moisture. If the liners you’re using are pulling away from the cupcakes even after you’ve tried my tips here, consider trying new and different liners.
My experience is that good quality liners, rather than ones from the dollar store, work best.
8 – Don’t Leave Cupcakes in the Tin After Baking
Once your cupcakes are nicely golden and baked, carefully remove them from the tin as soon as they’re taken out of the oven. If you leave the cupcakes in the pan to cool the steam and heat will start to condense between the pan and the cupcake.
This buildup of moisture can cause the cupcake liner to pull away.
9 – Use a Wire Rack for Cooling
The best way to cool your cupcakes is on a wire rack so they cool quickly all the way around. This prevents that steam and heat I mentioned before from building up on the bottom of the cupcake, which can cause the cupcake liner to pull away from the sides.
10 – Cool Completely Before Storing
Let your cupcakes cool completely before you even think about storing them in the fridge or in a container. They need to cool and set in the liner, so it doesn’t pull away.
11 – Avoid Air-Tight Containers
If at all possible, try not to store your cupcakes in plastic containers that are air-tight. Even cupcakes that are completely cooled will cause some moisture to build up in the container.
The trapped moisture can cause liners to peel and pull away from the cupcake. Using a bakery box is a good way to solve this problem.
12 – Avoid Freezing
If you freeze your cupcakes after they’ve been cooled there’s a risk of the liner pulling off when you remove them from the freezer. If you do need to freeze, defrost them on a wire rack at room temperature so the air circulates all around.
Once defrosted, immediately decorate so the cupcake is sealed in its liner.
13 – Don’t Bake Too Soon
Try to time it just right by baking no more than a few hours before you need those lovely cupcakes. Baking too soon means longer sitting and/or storage time for your cupcakes.
And the longer your cupcakes sit the more time moisture has to build up between the cake and the liner, causing the cupcake liner to pull away.
Whether you’re baking cupcakes for a special occasion such as a baby shower or baking to surprise your family with a delicious treat, use my tips here to keep cupcake liners from pulling away.
Your cupcakes will look beautiful each and every time you bake!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.