A cupcake pan is a baking pan designed for making individual cupcakes. It is also referred to as a muffin pan. Most cupcake pans are made out of aluminum or silicone, to safely withstand high temperatures in the oven. They generally have approximately 12 individual cups for the cupcakes per pan. Cupcake liners, individual papers that go around the cupcakes, are generally required to make cupcakes in a cupcake pan.
Another type of cupcake pan is one that is actually a cake pan in the shape of one large cupcake. Usually these types of pans come in two individual pieces. Half of the cake batter is poured into the mold that forms the bottom of the cupcake, and the other half is poured into the mold to form the top of the cupcake. The two halves of the cake can then be combined and decorated to look as if it is really one large cupcake. These types of cakes are popular for parties and weddings.
Cupcake pans traditionally have round baking cups to make cupcakes. However, there are many other types of novelty cupcake pans with cups in different shapes. Some might come in Christmas tree or snowman shapes for the holidays, or in the shape of a pumpkin or a ghost for Halloween. Birthday themed cupcake pans are popular as well, in addition to cartoon character shapes.
Another type of cupcake pan is one that creates a cupcake in the shape of an ice cream cone. Some people choose to take regular ice cream cones and place a cupcake on top of them to make it look like a scoop of ice cream. Cupcake pans also exist in the shape of small bundt pans. In addition, some cupcake pans are designed to create individual cupcakes that, when placed in a group, form the shape of a cake. These are referred to as cupcake cakes.
In some cupcake cakes, the individual cupcakes are iced individually. However, some choose to simply spread one layer of icing over the entire grouping of cupcakes, to make the end result look more uniform, like a sheet cake. Cupcake cakes tend to work especially well for children's birthday parties. A cupcake pan in any shape or design can be found by searching online.
Another popular use for cupcakes is to create a cupcake wedding cake. In this design, cupcakes will be placed on a tiered tray to give the appearance of a tiered wedding cake. Cupcakes for wedding cakes are almost always iced and decorated individually. These are beneficial because many different flavors of cupcakes, icing, and types of decorations can be used for a personal touch.