Even the Liner Matters
When you set out to make the perfect cupcake, even the liner makes a difference. There are different sizes, types, colors and designs. Sadly you don’t know the quality of the liner until you try it. The most disappointing part is that the majority of those really cute pattern lines are actually really cheap crappy liners.  When you bake in a patterned liner that is not greaseproof,  the pattern basically disappears due to the moisture in the cupcake and those super cute liners you were so excited about, look sad and pathetic when you take them out of the oven. The worst part is a lot of these liners also pull away from the cupcake after they cool which is really frustrating.

Here are some examples of white and chocolate cupcakes baked in plain white liners.

Champage Cupcake
Non greaseproof liner
Cupcake Genius Cupcakes

Non greaseproof white liner

grease proof cupcake liners

Traditional Grease Proof Liners

Even greaseproof liners are not created equal. Many greaseproof liners are OK with white cupcakes but lose their pattern when you bake chocolate cupcakes. In general, solid colors hold up better than light or intricate patterns. You can see in the blue liners the traditional ones are “ok” with a white cake. The more color in the pattern the more successful the liner is but these same liners with chocolate cupcakes quickly lose their “cute”. One baker at Sweets and Treats Boutique has decided to take it on herself to create her own greaseproof liners that truly hold their pattern upon baking…even with chocolate cupcakes. When she offered fellow bakers the opportunity to “test” out her new liners, I jumped at the chance.

Sweet and Treat Premium liner on the left - "traditional" greaseproof liner on the right

To the right  is the compare and contrast of this wonderful new line of cupcake liners against a traditional greaseproof liner.

As you can see even with a chocolate cupcake, the Sweet Treat liner maintains its white color and zebra pattern while the traditional greaseproof liner allows the chocolate to show through and ruin the pattern.
Sweets and Treats Boutique sells her custom Premium liners in Zebra and Checkerboard. Word on the street is she is working on some new patterns in her premium line as well. I can’t wait!
In the mean time, she sells her premium liners as well as many great patterns in traditional greaseproof liners at her online boutique. My new favorite item at the boutique is the awesome Party Straws! Perfect for a fun color coordinated Dessert Table. I hope you get a chance to check out all her fun stuff.

Sweets and Treats Party Straws

Cupcake Genius Pan is Genius
Debbie Meyer Cupcake Genius
Cupcake Genius Pan

While wandering around Canton (a trade days type flea market in Texas) I came across this odd cupcake pan that has stoppers over each opening. It’s called Cupcake Genius by Debbie Meyer.  The goal is to make a spot for filling in the cupcakes. Since I already needed an additional cupcake pan,  I thought if this really works, it will be great and if it doesn’t, heck I have my extra cupcake pan that I needed anyway. I’ve kind of avoided filling cupcakes in the past because the apple corer approach was a little messy and using the filling tip I could never really tell if I got enough filling in the cupcake so this seemed like an awesome solution and  …it was!

I approached this product review treating this as any other cupcake pan which meant using my standard recipes (My Go to Chocolate Cake) , my regular wrappers and scooper to ensure the same amount of batter in each well. Cupcakes with filling pan

The instructions say to prep the pan by spraying the stoppers with non-stick cooking spray. I decided to try both the spray and my own homemade cake release to see if one worked better than the other. I even took pictures and they honestly worked the same. I prefer the cake release because the spray gets all over everything and I hate cleaning it up. 
Here you can see the stoppers in the cupcakes. One thing to note is the stoppers are not perfectly centered but it really didn’t make a difference. I baked the cupcakes at 350 degrees because the higher temp helps them dome.

Cupcake Genius CupcakesI baked them for 18 minutes (my usual baking time).  When they came out of the oven, the cupcakes had cooked over the tops of the stoppers. You can take a toothpick and scrape around the stopper at the top or even a butter knife. It was pretty easy just to move the  back and then remove the attachment.

I think because of the stoppers, they cooked a little faster which meant they were just a tiny bit over done for my taste. Next time I’ll take them out at 15 minutes. Let them cool for about 5 minutes and remove the top attachment. Place on a cooling rack to continue cooling.

Cupcake genius cupcakesHere you can see the cupcakes after they’ve been baked. Each one has a perfect little well to hold the yummy filling of your choice.

So for the product review on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best:

Ease of Use: 9 (I’d give this a 10 except my oven rack has a bar running through it that makes it hard to get the pan to sit flat)
Worked as Advertised: 10
Easy to Clean: 7 (It says it’s dishwasher safe but I don’t put any of my specialty cake stuff in the dishwasher..yes I’m paranoid)

Cupcake Genius Filled Cupcake

One thing that I couldn’t test but looks to be true is that the top attachment should work on other cupcake pans. My only other cupcake pan is another specialty pan that is part of a two tier carrier system so it’s not shaped normally.
I have to say I am so please with this pan and how they cupcakes came out.

I filled my cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Filling and topped with a vanilla buttercream and a dusting of grated chocolate. Flavor wise I think the filling was everyone’s favorite part. Next time I will definately top these with a chocolate buttercream or a chocolate ganache.

Cupcake Genius Cupcakes

Completed Cupcake

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