Making Cupcakes Without a Cake Pan

Making Cupcakes Without a Cake Pan

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Several of my goods were visibly delayed during the COVID blackout last year. For the longest time, I didn’t have a cupcake pan, which was clearly not ideal for someone renowned for her cupcakes.

Not only was I unable to fulfill any cupcake orders, but I was also unable to create them for my friends’ birthdays. I was so frustrated by the issue that, after upsetting a few acquaintances, I decided to spend some time and experiment with cooking cupcakes without a cupcake pan.

I was pleasantly delighted by the outcome. Admittedly, the cupcakes didn’t look exactly like the cupcakes I was accustomed to seeing and preparing, but they were unquestionably delicious, looked gorgeous in their own right, and absolutely encapsulated the spirit of a cupcake!

My name is Angie, and I’ve been baking for almost ten years. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to bake cupcakes without using a cupcake tray.

If you want to know how it’s done, keep reading!

Method 1: Stack It Up

You may not have a cupcake pan, but if you have cupcake liners, you’ll be OK.

Yeah, I’m referring to the parchment paper liners found in the baking area of most supermarkets. No, I’m not insane. I know they’re paper-thin, but if you simply grab a couple of them a stack of 3-5, you’ll be astonished at how well they stay together.

Just pour your cupcake batter into the stacked liners, much more carefully than usual to avoid crinkling everything up, lay it on your baking pan, and bake away!

Don’t worry about being environmentally unfriendly; your cake will adhere to just one layer of liner, and you can easily peel off the other layers and reuse them for the next time.

Method 2: Aluminum Foil

Although parchment cupcake liners are more widespread today, aluminum foil liners are equally popular.

There are several metal cupcake pans on the market, indicating that aluminum is excellent for baking. Aluminum foil is metallic and has a gleaming appearance. It’s already thick and firm, which means it’ll give a solid, secure grip for your batter.

In general, aluminum foil liners are packed with paper separators to avoid sticking, thus no grease is required. If you’re constructing your own foil liners out of aluminum foil, I recommend spritzing it lightly with baking spray.

Another advantage of using aluminum foil liners is that they can stand on their own. To be extra certain, put two together for added stability. Lay them out on a baking sheet about an inch apart and you’re done.

Method 3: Cutting Corners

And by that, I mean literally chopping the corners off with a circular cookie cutter!

So this isn’t your typical cupcake, but it does produce a little delightful cake that, I guarantee, preserves the spirit of a cupcake.

Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and pour your cupcake batter straight on top. You may also change the quantity by making a sheet cake recipe tailored to the size of your can pan.

Bake your sheet cake as usual, and after you’re through, let it cool fully.

The fun begins after that. Cut out circles in your cake using a round cookie cutter, whichever size you choose. Remove the cake crumbs and you’ll have little circular cakes!

If your sheet cake is too flat, just take two pieces of round cake and glue them together with a touch of icing for additional height!

Method 4: Canning Jar Lid

Using paper liners as usual but without a cupcake tray is out of the question. When the oven warms up, your cake will rise and expand. If you set it immediately in the single parchment liner, the liner will flatten out and your batter will, at most, turn into a pancake.

If you don’t have a cupcake pan and don’t want to stack so many paper liners, use a mason jar lid or any canning jar lid for support.

You’ll need canning jar lids, especially the ring section of the lids, for this procedure. Place your jar lids on a baking sheet and insert a paper liner into each to make a Homemade cupcake tray.

The canning jar lid offers support for your cupcake liner and keeps it upright throughout the baking process, preventing it from flattening out while your cake grows.

Method 5: Ceramic Mug

Consider this: mugs and cups are almost identical. They may be somewhat larger or thicker at times, but they all serve the same purpose. You’ve probably heard of mug cakes.

If you, like me, have an odd passion with collecting mugs, this may be the ideal answer for you. All you have to do is set out as many mugs as will fit on your baking pan, line each with a paper liner, and pour batter into them.

But don’t get too carried away; you’re still trying to bake a cupcake, and you don’t want to be filling your mug. As usual, fill your cupcake liners about of the way full to allow it some space to expand.


I’ll address some frequently asked questions about making cupcakes without a cupcake tray below.

Can I bake cupcakes without liners?

Absolutely, you absolutely can! There are two basic techniques to bake cupcakes without liners, and I’ve talked about them in this post, so be sure to read it!

Can I bake cupcakes in paper cups?

If you’re referring to parchment paper cups, the answer is yes. But, if you’re talking about typical paper cups for drinking, the answer will depend on the substance of the cups. You don’t want your paper cups to catch fire, so check the label to see whether they’re oven safe before you attempt it!

Final Thoughts 

Cupcake trays make cupcake baking more efficient and help you achieve virtually identical cupcakes almost every time, although they are not required to prepare cupcakes.

Finding your own inventive methods to improvise and discover replacements is part of the joy and challenge of baking. I hope you found these five hacks helpful, and do let me know if you try any additional intriguing approaches in the comments. I’m sure we’d all want to know!

Angie’s Bio


Can you make cupcakes in a regular pan?

If you need to create cupcakes but don’t have a cupcake plate, you can still bake them. If you have cupcake liners, just stack them on top of one another before putting them on a standard baking sheet to make stronger liners.

How do you make a homemade cupcake pan?

Use mason jar lids to hold the cupcake liners: Mason jar lids are ideal for holding the cupcake liners. Place them two inches apart on a baking pan. Fill the lids as normal after placing the liners in the center. The metal rims surrounding the lids will provide a barrier to keep the paper cups in place, resulting in perfectly formed cupcakes!

What is the hack for cupcake pan?

Just sprinkle rice in the bottom of the pan before placing the cupcake liner on top and filling with batter the next time you make cupcakes or muffins. Instead of accumulating fat at the bottom of your baked goods, the rice absorbs excess moisture without burning.

What can I use as a substitute for cupcake tray?

Method 1: Paper cupcake liners may be used in place of a cupcake tray, as long as you don’t overfill the liners. After that, arrange them in a pan that will hold 5-6 paper liners erect.

What can I use without a cupcake pan?

Chapple recommends using parchment paper instead of cups for an enhanced casing for your muffins or cupcakes, and you’ll never have to bother about cupcake liners again. To begin, cut a piece of parchment into 5- to 6-inch squares.

Can you put cupcake batter in the pan without the liners?

Liners are not necessary. They’re easy to forget to pick up at the shop as a fully optional step. Just oil the pan properly to prevent them. Liners increase the cost of baking.

What size pan is equivalent to 12 cupcakes?

A single 8″ square pan or 9″ round layer yields around 12 regular cupcakes.

Can I use a regular pan to bake?

If the pan is entirely made of metal (including the handles), it is usually safe to use in the oven. Avoid using silicone-handled skillets or other plastic or wood items in the oven, and especially not beneath a broiler.

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