What To Use Instead Of Cupcake Liners? Cupcake Liners Substitutes

Cupcake liners protect the cupcake pan from residue, making cleanup easier and extending the pan’s lifespan. Additionally, they allow for a more uniform and aesthetic shape of the cupcakes while facilitating easy handling and preventing them from sticking to each other.

Don’t worry if you don’t have cupcake liners at home. Here are some common substitutes you can use instead of cupcake liners.

Cupcake Liners

Cupcake Liners Substitutes

Parchment Paper

Parchment paper can be cut into squares and then folded into a muffin tin to create a makeshift cupcake liner. It’s non-stick, heat-resistant, and creates a rustic look. However, it can be more labor-intensive than using pre-made liners.

Parchment Paper

Silicone Cupcake Molds

These reusable molds are a great alternative. Made from food-grade silicone, they are non-stick, easy to clean, and come in various shapes and sizes. They’re also environmentally friendly, given their reusability.

Silicone Cupcake Molds

Aluminum Foil

Foil can be molded around the base of a glass or cup that fits into the muffin tin to make a makeshift liner. It holds its shape well but is not non-stick, so you might need to grease it before using it.

Aluminum Foil

Greasing the Pan Directly

You can grease the muffin tin with butter, oil, or a non-stick cooking spray. This eliminates the need for a liner but can make removing the cupcakes more challenging and the clean-up a bit more involved.

Greasing the Pan Directly

Edible Liners

Large leaves like bananas or lotus can be used for a unique, edible, eco-friendly liner. These are common in certain types of cooking, particularly in some Asian cuisines. However, these might not suit all cupcakes due to their flavor profiles.

Edible Liners

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you need cupcake liners?

Cupcake liners serve several purposes. They facilitate easy removal of cupcakes from the baking pan, reduce the chance of sticking, and make cleanup a breeze. Plus, they offer a visually pleasing and practical way to handle and serve cupcakes.

What to do if you don’t have muffin liners or parchment papers?

If you don’t have muffin liners or parchment paper, you can simply grease the muffin tin well with butter or cooking spray. This will make it easier for the cupcakes to be removed once they’re baked. Alternatively, you can create liners from aluminum foil.

Are cupcake liners necessary to make cupcakes?

Cupcake liners aren’t strictly necessary to make cupcakes but are very helpful. They prevent cupcakes from sticking to the pan, make serving and handling easier, and contribute to a uniform shape and appearance. However, you can still bake cupcakes directly in a well-greased pan.

Can I use coffee filters for making cupcakes?

In a pinch, coffee filters can be used as cupcake liners. They are generally safe to use in the oven. However, their shape and size might not fit perfectly in a standard muffin tin, and their absorbency might affect the texture of the cupcakes’ exterior.

Can I use wax paper as a cupcake liner?

Wax paper is not recommended as a cupcake liner because it can’t withstand high temperatures and could ignite in the oven. Instead, heat-resistant parchment paper is a safer choice.

Can I bake cupcakes without a cupcake tray?

Yes, you can bake cupcakes without a tray. One option is to use silicone cupcake liners, which can stand alone on a regular baking sheet. Alternatively, you can make a makeshift tray by molding aluminum foil around a cup or glass base to create standalone cupcake “tins.”

Why are cupcakes sticking to the liner?

Cupcakes can stick to liners if undercooked, as the moisture causes them to adhere. Another reason could be the quality of the liner. Lower-quality liners might stick more than higher-quality ones. Letting the cupcakes cool completely before peeling off the liners can also help prevent sticking.


I live in Los Angeles with my better half, Dave, and our child, Corey. Each second with them is the acknowledgment of my fantasies working out as expected — and for that? I am so extremely thankful. Hi! I am Diana Rodriguez, the founder, author, and photographer of ATD.

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