Silicups Silicone Baking Cups are just what they sound like: baking cups/cupcake wrappers/muffin wrappers that are made of silicone. They look just like the “real thing” down to the little ribs on the side of the cup. They’re offered as an alternative to the traditional paper wrappers on the grounds that they are nonstick and reusable, and because they can stand on their own, there is no need to use a muffin tin when you have a sheet pan around. I happen to have a set and baked up a batch of muffins in half silicone and half paper to see what the results where, and whether the Silicups offered equal or better performance.
The short answer is that, yes, they work just as well as the paper wrappers. The muffins cooked evenly and took the same amount of time in the oven.
The longer story is that there are a few little drawbacks to using these things. First, they are hard to clean and even though they are dishwasher safe, they might move around in there and need to be washed by hand anyway. Second, they don’t come with directions. This might not seem like a problem, but silicone, unlike paper, doesn’t breathe and it was difficult to tell whether the muffins should be cooled inside the pan or out of it. The muffins cooled outside of the cups became very slightly dry at the edges; those cooled inside the cups were slightly gummy, but became firmer as they were exposed to the air. Regular muffin wrappers are just so much more self-explanatory, and do a good job of keeping the muffins moist until they’re going to be eaten. Finally, if you want to make cupcakes, it is much easier to handle and frost the cakes if there is a wrapper on the cupcake (the silicone needs to be removed before serving unless you want to risk losing them when they are set randomly around the room after serving).
As a matter of personal opinion that has nothing to do with the performance of the cups, I don’t really care for the look of the muffin when it comes out of the silicone with ribs all over the sides. They look a little naked to me.
So, the cups perform just as promised, but because they need to be washed they don’t really deliver on the “no fuss” that is also promised. I’m sticking to paper cups for the majority of my muffin and cupcake baking. I prefer silicone when it comes in shapes that aren’t available in traditional bakeware, or when I really need a certain level of flexibility (unmolding homemade marshmallows, using a cake pan as a jello mold, etc), not as a stand-in for an already easy-to-use product like paper muffin cups. That said, I’ll keep using the set I have on occasion and if you think that you’d prefer reusable cups, you won’t be missing anything in your finished muffin or cupcake. Except the wrapper, of course.
CoreyFebruary 26, 2009
I have a set and I find they make whatever I bake in them taste like rubber.
PatFebruary 26, 2009
Call me paranoid, but I still wonder just how safe silicone is around food. I know that there are many silicone products for cooking use that are on the market, but I still am wary of chemical leaching and possible harmful effects on our bodies. I won’t buy nor use silicone products for kitchen use. Good old paper baking cups and parchment paper still produce excellent results for me.
DaniFebruary 26, 2009
thanks for this review!
i have been contemplating for some time about buying the silicone cups, but wasn’t sure how the final product would come out… i think i will stick with the good ol’ paper liners too 🙂
unconfidentialcook.comFebruary 26, 2009
The “hard to clean” part is enough for me to keep on using the old-fashioned muffin tins.
AbuttonFebruary 26, 2009
I completely agree with you. The enormous headache of cleaning them (I’ve basically had to wash them by hand before putting them in the dishwasher if I want them to come out clean) plus the fact that the cupcakes don’t look very good out of the cups makes them not worth it at all. My cupcakes often taste rather silicon-y when baked in these, and I think they are difficult to remove from the silicone cups. Paper liners are so cheap and easy to use, so why not?
StefFebruary 26, 2009
I’m with you 100%. I don’t like baking in silicone. However, I just bought some silicone cupcake cups simply because they are triangle shaped and I really wanted to make triangle cupcakes. Otherwise, I would never use them.
Alisa - Frugal FoodieFebruary 26, 2009
Thanks for the review on these, I had really been wondering about them. I hesitated as they did look hard to clean, and I was worried about the ease of removing cupcakes/muffins from them.
kayenneFebruary 26, 2009
how do you prepare silicone cups for homemade marshmallows? does ti still need dusting with cornstarch? or can it be used as is?
Anna at Mediocre ChocolateFebruary 27, 2009
You know, I have a set of these, and I never use them! They are a bigger pain in the @ss to clean than muffin tins, and you’re right about the funny shape they give to whatever’s baked in them. I tend to shy away from silicone, except for those reusable cake pan liners and baking sheets. Those are awesome.
jaimeFebruary 27, 2009
I ruined my valentine’s day brownies using the silicone heart-shaped cupcake liners 🙁 They turned out to be gummy brownies and completely unedible. So disappointing! It was partly the recipe but I tried making them again using a brownie mix and although they tasted better, they still didn’t get that nice chewy crispy crust. The cleaning was a pain too, I agree..goodbye silicone liners!
NatashaFebruary 27, 2009
Definitely agree with this review. I asked for and recieved some of these for Christmas, and will probably not be using them again. I love making cupcakes and thought this would reduce my waste. For the amount of water and soap I use getting these clean, paper liners are much more eco-friendly! And it’s almost impossible to remove the cup once the cupcake has been frosted, as I found out on my first batch. I ended up with frosting all over my hand, or broken cupcakes. Now I only use them when I have a small amount of batter leftover and don’t want to use a whole muffin tin for one cupcake. I use one baking cup and call it my quality control sample.
moonablazeFebruary 27, 2009
I love them cause I find my muffins tend to stick to the paper cupcake liners really badly and I can NEVER get them out of the tins intact. for cupcakes any of the above work. if you are having rubbery flavor or smell, you don’t have real silicone liners. I’m very sensitive to such smells, and I’ve not had any problems with the wilton brand ones.
as for the fears of leaching, silicone is used in surgical implants because it’s inert.
DebFebruary 27, 2009
Thanks for the review. I’ve never found silicone to be better than other bakeware – it’s not nonstick so I’d rather use paper. I don’t find it makes things taste of rubber, but I do find the silicone itself retains the flavour of whatever I’ve put on it.
bbeaberMarch 20, 2009
I recently purchased wilton’s heart-shaped baking cups as I’ve been wanting to try, but didn’t want to waste money. These were on clearance as it was after Valentine’s day. I love them. I’ve made corn muffins and cupcakes in them. They worked wonderfully and came out perfectly. I don’t find them harder to clean than muffin tins as I just throw them in the sink filled with water (as I do all my baking utensils/bowls). I flip them inside out to wash the bits that still might cling (fyi; the wilton rep. on QVC said you should use a little non-stick spray). I’ve recently tried making chocolate cups, but had a hard time unmolding them. I will try the ‘regular’ shaped cups for that next time, but they sure looked nice when plated with a little scoop of ice cream, drizzle of caramel sauce and sliced strawberries!!!
PatrickNovember 8, 2009
For muffins, yes they fall right out of the liner. For cupcakes, no way. As far as cleaning, there is not much to clean since nothing sticks to them!
TriciaJanuary 3, 2010
I was given a set of Sur La Table Sili-Cups as a gift and I love them. Directions were on the container – just like regular cakes and cupcakes, you let the items cool and then remove them from the cakepan, muffin tin or silicone cups and they are very easy to clean. I just drop them in warm, soapy water, swish them around and rinse them. Nothing really sticks, I’m just getting rid of the butter/oil residue. I have used them for both cupcakes and muffins and I love them.
JamieApril 15, 2010
They are totally hard to clean! I hate that part. Other than that, they are great for muffins and cupcakes. Saves paper too!
vietnam war dvdMay 20, 2010
You may haven’t intended to do so, but I think you’ve managed to express the state of mind that a lot of individuals are in. The sense of wanting to help, but not knowing how or wherever, is something lots of us are going via.
janice waldropJune 5, 2010
Never, never again. I just baked my first batch of cupcakes in my new silicone cups. What an absolute mess!! What an unnecessary invention. Why in the world did I ever think they would be better than paper!! I have NO dishwasher and now I have 24 monontenous molds to wash and what a mess taking the cupcakes out of the molds…and the time it takes to do it!! What a dumb idea!! Will probably throw them away…wasted money. I am aggrevated with myself for buying them!! You can tell I DON’T recommend them at all!! Sorry silicone!!
SueJanuary 13, 2011
Came here via the rainbow cupcake recipe (looking forward to making those, thanks) and I just wanted to say that I find the easiest way to clean my silicone cupcake cases is by wiping the crumbs out with some soft tissue paper (takes no time) and then I just turn them inside out and rub some liquid soap on them with my hands and rinse. It really takes no time and I find them very convenient when I have run out of liners — or I wish to show off some rainbow colours. 🙂
:DJune 4, 2011
I purchased some silicone cupcake baking cups at Crate and Barrell 2 years ago. I decided to try them for t he first time the other day and loved it. I was skeptical at first, but because I was lazy to dig for my muffin pan, I gave them a shot. Even though you use cupcake paper liners, you still need to wash your muffin pan. I like the fact that you don’t need the muffin pan to bake with the silicone cups becuase they are sturdy enough to sit on the baking tray. Another thing, the muffin pops right out of the silicone cups and nothing really sticks to the silicone cups. So you throw it in the sink to wash and it washes as easy as washing cups. I rather wash silicone baking cups than muffin trays. Take a look at my muffins:
BellaJune 15, 2011
I’m going to have a go at using some tonight for the first time. I’m a bit apprehensive after reading some of the comments but I’ll report back as to how I get on!
:DAugust 10, 2011
After using these silicone baking cups for couple of months, I stopped using them. I was baking muffins with them and notice I do taste an odd “metallic” taste in them muffins. So I stopped using these silicone baking cups for bakingI am back to using the standard-size metal muffin pans for baking muffins. I will probably use the silicone baking cups as a mold in nonbaking items so I am not throwing them out…yet!
Stephanie LDecember 30, 2011
My daughter just got a set of these for Christmas with a kid’s cookbook. For her the novelty is great, but I did also find a great use for them. (I don’t think I will be making my baked goods in them for the reasons mentioned above) although the cookbook has some cute ideas for sides that I will definitely try with the kids.
We like to make single serving mini frittatas and making them in the metal muffin tins is a nightmare. The egg sticks no matter how much spray and cleaning the pan is a nightmare. I tried using paper liners and that was a bigger disaster. We made them this morning in the silicone and they popped right out and cleaned up with a little soapy water. I think I will get another 6 so I can make 12 at a time. It’s a perfect use for them.
DaniMarch 2, 2012
Thanks. That was super helpful for me. Trying to find a no fuss alternative to paper cups but sounds like silicone cups are just as much trouble to clean as a greased muffin tin. After reading this I’m glad I didn’t waste my money.
SuzanneDecember 31, 2012
They make great bathtub toys though!
Calvin WilkinsonFebruary 2, 2014
I just recently received some of these for Christmas and I’m excited to try them out. The big draw for me is that They can stand on their own on a baking sheet. I don’t actually have access to a muffin pan at my school housing apartment, and buying one would just make one more bulky thing I have to figure out how to pack when I have to move out between academic years. Also, I was wondering about placing paper liners inside the cups for cupcakes so you still have some structure when you frost them. There was a similar idea behind those aluminum cupcake foils that came with paper liners inside each; the foil keeps some of the mess out of the pan, and the paper is easy to handle and subsequently peel off.
Silicone Muffin CupsDecember 16, 2014
Someone in the thread above mentioned the hassle of cleaning the silicone muffin cups…
2 fixes are:
1. The first time you use them, ‘season’ them with a little oil as this will prevent the muffins from sticking in the future
2. If there is muffin stuck to the silicone liners, flip them inside out and gently scrub them with a toothbrush.. OR.. Put them in the dishwasher and put a cookie sheet or something similar on top of them to prevent them from ending up in the bottom of the dishwasher pics: http://screencast.com/t/0mJ5wasM1G3 and http://screencast.com/t/O6mcw7oKZ
JDVJune 17, 2015
I am surprised there is so much negativity. One thing I love about them is that they are easier to take off. I always end up with muffins were the wrappers are stuck to product! Of course that may be in part because I freeze / unfreeze a lot, being single and liking to just do a bunch of baking at once. So for doing that, it’s much easier to use these and not have them in a wrapper that otherwise becomes very hard to remove.