Stupid question that needs an answer
December 25, 2009 7:24 PM   Subscribe

stupidquestionfilter: I buy those foil muffin liners to use when I bake muffins. They always come with paper liners in between. Are those supposed to be discarded, or are they actually supposed to be lining the foil when I put the batter in?

(I told you it was a stupid question but it's bugging me now and I wanna know.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
i use the liners and the foil. but i don't use muffin tins.
posted by elle.jeezy at 7:29 PM on December 25, 2009

I'm glad you asked because I wanted to know the exact same thing. The last time I used foil alone it seemed like the cupcakes tasted funny and they were hard to take off. I wondered if they were only "for show" and just meant to act as "dress-up" for the paper liners.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 7:36 PM on December 25, 2009

Thanks, all of's funny how for years you assume you know how something is supposed to be used then suddenly wonder if you really knew what you were doing....
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:39 PM on December 25, 2009

The foil part is, as I-Love_Bananas suggests, just for show. The paper does the business.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 7:39 PM on December 25, 2009

The box tells you to discard the paper.
posted by ydant at 7:40 PM on December 25, 2009

so according to this thread you discard both the foil and the paper. i always thought they were all there for wrapper variety. because i'm stupid.
posted by timory at 7:51 PM on December 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

I'm confused - discard the foil or the paper? I've always discarded the paper.
posted by quodlibet at 7:57 PM on December 25, 2009

timory, I am an avid baker and I always thought they were for variety, too! Just to break up the monotony of all foil or all paper, haha. . . I use them both interchangeably (albeit always with a muffin tin) and have never noticed much difference. The foil is a little sturdier, but individual paper wrappers work fine for me.
posted by katie at 8:00 PM on December 25, 2009

Someone who actually bakes tells me that the foil liner is apparently to keep the paper liners from deforming in transit. She has a box whose label touts the foil liners as a proprietary innovation.
posted by d. z. wang at 8:09 PM on December 25, 2009

Ah, oops. You say "They always come with paper liners in between", like the liners alternate one paper, one foil? Hers come with about ten paper liners between foil liners, so maybe I'm wrong.
posted by d. z. wang at 8:12 PM on December 25, 2009

From the FAQ of Reynolds' website (manufacturer of the foil baking cups:

If I am using Reynolds® Foil Baking Cups, should I remove the paper separators or leave them in?

Reynolds Baking Cups are packed with paper separators to prevent the foil cups from fusing together during manufacturing. These paper separators should be removed before filling the foil baking cups with batter. The paper separators are the same as our Pastels Baking Cups.

The Pastels Baking Cups referenced are just the paper cups sold as liners for muffin tins. The benefit of the foil cups is that you do not need a muffin tin as the foil is rigid enough to hold its shape. So I guess the bonus is that you can use both types of cups - one on its own and one in a muffin tin.
posted by cecic at 8:27 PM on December 25, 2009 [7 favorites]

The foil muffin cups are for making cupcakes and muffins when you DO NOT HAVE A MUFFIN PAN, i.e., the pan with the little cups to put the muffins in. If you have a muffin pan, then do not use the foil muffing things, use the paper ones. I learned this in home economics when girls had to take it.
posted by fifilaru at 8:55 PM on December 25, 2009 [7 favorites]

One more, from the Reynolds' site:

"Reynolds® Foil Baking Cups can stand alone on a cookie sheet so no muffin pan is needed!"
posted by fifilaru at 9:00 PM on December 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

I use both, but I try to use the same type for separate batches of muffins. This is because I started baking when a poor college student and no way am I going to throw out half a box of liners just because they are the wrong material. If I'm planning on giving some muffins away I use the foil liners because they're prettier and don't remove as much muffin when you peel them off; if I'm baking for myself then I use the paper ones.

For my last batch of muffins (cherry-vanilla-almon) I tried the free-standing thing with foil cups on a cookie sheet and every one of them exploded. YMMV.
posted by casarkos at 9:15 PM on December 25, 2009

I always assumed they were just there to make removing the foil easier. But baking muffins in them works fine, although they are harder to remove.
posted by delmoi at 9:45 PM on December 25, 2009

How odd. In Canada, the liners are either paper or a paper-lined foil. Never foil on its own.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:57 PM on December 25, 2009

Does anyone have experience with the silicone muffin baking cups like these?

Yes. A waste of money in my experience. Really only usable for cupcakes, and even then they stick and are hard to clean. With muffins you want a wrapper that stays on and keeps the cake moist; or I suppose you could serve them with the silicone cup on and then ask people to give the cups back - but that would be strange.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:13 AM on December 26, 2009

My mom always used the paper ones for cupcakes and the foil ones for muffins. I'm not really sure why, or if there's any advantage, but it's what i do too now. And then you don't have throw away half the package.
posted by radiomayonnaise at 6:22 AM on December 26, 2009

If I put foil-lined muffins just on a cookie sheet they would fall off.
posted by kylej at 6:37 AM on December 26, 2009

« Older Am I literally giving off bad vibes?   |   Free Parking Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.