Good Question: Replace Metal Muffin Pans with Silicone?

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Dear Kitchen,

I'm a baking fiend and as such have every muffin pan imaginable, but lately I have been seeing these silicone muffin pans everywhere. Has anyone had a great deal of experience with these? Because I'm terribly tempted, but also reticent to let go of my lovely metal pans. Let me know what you think!

- Gretchen

Hi Gretchen,

Thanks for your question.

In early January, there was a detailed article in The New York Times about silicone kitchen tools. Unfortunately, you now have to pay to access this story, but here's the jist:
• Silicone bakeware is not nonstick. They still must be greased.
• All silicone is not the same. Make sure what you're buying does not contain filler.
• For cupcakes, the Times recommends SiliconeZone cupcake pans, and calls them "wonderful for cupcakes and popovers"

The experts at Baking911.com posted about this NY Times article too and also wrote this mixed review of silicone bakeware.

Thought we don't have experience with the French Silicone Miniature Muffin Mold you mentioned, we own both silicone and metal cupcake pans and confess that we don't usually notice a difference between the two, but silicone pans are handy when flexibility is required, like when popping these German Apple Pancakes out of the pan. Cook's Illustrated reports having trouble getting some cakes to brown and develop a proper crust when baking in silicone.

You're not the only "baking fiend" here. I'm sure some readers will have more advice on silicone bakeware.

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