When you’re baking cupcakes, deciding what pan you’ll use is every bit as important as selecting the right recipe. There are five main types of cupcake pans from which you can choose. To help you make the best choice for your needs, here’s a quick look at the benefits and drawbacks of each one:
Aluminum – Inexpensive and light in weight, an aluminum cupcake pan is unlikely to rust and very good at conducting heat throughout the treats. This type is the least strong, so care must be taken to prevent it from becoming bent.
Aluminized Steel – This variety of pan has a very strong steel base that is dipped inside of an aluminum coating. This makes the pan ultra sturdy, conductive and resistant to corrosion. Many professional bakers prefer aluminized steel.
Cast Aluminum – A stronger version of the classic aluminum pan, cast aluminum is very solid. Often, these pans are darker and become much hotter than standard aluminum. You should plan to tailor the baking time to accommodate the more rapid cooking that can occur with this metal.
Carbon Steel – A more expensive type of baking pan, this is one of the strongest varieties of bakeware. A major benefit of carbon steel is that it can be used for low temperature baking, which is required for certain specialty cakes.
Nonstick – These pans have a special coating over their metal bases. This can keep baked goods from sticking, but is often not needed because cupcakes are baked in papers or silicone cups. Some studies have raised concerns about the safety of some chemicals used in nonstick pans, and their surfaces can become scratched if not handled carefully.