How to Make Cupcake Liners

There’s nothing like being midway through pouring cupcake batter into your store-bought cupcake liners and realizing you don’t have enough. But before you grab your keys and rush to buy some more, take heart in knowing that the fix could already be in your kitchen.

We’ll show you how to make cupcake liners using common baking tools. Ready to learn how? Let’s begin!

Do You Need Cupcake Liners?

Before we talk about making cupcake liners, you might be wondering if they’re even necessary. Although you can make cupcakes without liners, these liners offer several benefits. They include:


  • Cupcakes won’t stick to the pan
  • People can eat them without getting their hands dirty
  • They’re more hygienic to handle if you’ll be selling them
  • They reduce the amount of wear on your cupcake pans since oil and batter won’t come in contact with them


Nevertheless, if you don’t have the means to make your own cupcake liners after reading this and you still don’t want to make that trip to the store, give your cupcake pan a good greasing and feel free to pour the batter directly into it.

How to Make Cupcake Liners Out of Parchment Paper

Parchment paper is almost the same type of material that you find in cupcake liners sold in stores. However, the advantage is that parchment paper liners usually come out cheaper to make yourself, and you can make the exact amount you need.

To make cupcake liners from parchment paper, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Measure the Parchment Paper

The average cupcake liner is two inches by two inches. Therefore, pull out a ruler and use a pencil to mark 2” x 2” squares.

Step 2: Cut the Paper

Take a pair of scissors and cut out the squares. Don’t worry if you don’t cut them perfectly straight—you’ll end up folding the topmost part of the parchment paper anyway, so you’ll barely be able to notice it.

Step 3: Apply It to Your Cupcake Pan

You have two options for putting your parchment paper squares into the cupcake pan. The first is to use your hands to press it down. Alternatively, you can use the base of a glass or other similar-sized object to push down the liners.

In either case, the point is to encourage the liners to form a crease along the bottom so that they form the shape of the holes and remain that way when you remove the pressure.

How to Make Cupcake Liners Out of Foil

If you don’t have parchment paper in your house or simply want to give your cupcakes a little more jazz, using aluminum foil is an excellent option.

You can make the liners following the exact same steps we covered with parchment paper. However, as you can likely imagine, it’ll be easier to form the foil to your cupcake pan.

In fact, aluminum foil allows you to get even more creative with your cupcakes. You can form larger or smaller cupcake liners and even turn them into unique shapes. For example, if you’re making cupcakes for someone who likes to fish, consider making a boat-shaped foil cupcake liner.

If you choose to shape your cupcake liner foil so that it doesn’t fit in your cupcake tins, don’t put the foil directly on your oven rack. Instead, set it on a baking sheet and bake your cupcakes. That way, the cupcake batter won’t drip all over your oven if there’s a leak in the liner.

One item to be aware of when working with aluminum foil for cupcake liners is that the cupcake batter tends to stick to the foil more than parchment paper. Therefore, it’s best to coat the inner lining with a small amount of one of the following products:


  • Butter
  • Cooking spray
  • Cooking oil

A Note on Cupcake Liner Safety

Using aluminum foil in the oven likely isn’t new news to you. However, many people don’t think about pairing parchment paper with heat, and the word “paper” may understandably have you thinking that your cupcakes could go up in flames during the baking process.

Luckily, that’s not the case as long as you don’t turn up the heat too much. Parchment paper contains silicone, which is what allows it to resist burning. That’s not to say that parchment paper can’t burn. However, it takes a high amount of heat for flames to form.

As a general rule, you shouldn’t use parchment paper if you have your oven set at or over 420°F. Furthermore, the paper shouldn’t come in direct contact with the sides of your oven.

Luckily, you shouldn’t be baking your cupcakes at such high temperatures, so you can safely use parchment paper to make your liners.

Aluminum Foil and Heat

If you still don’t love the thought of putting parchment paper in your oven, aluminum foil is an excellent choice for your cupcake liners.

In fact, it’s an easy material to work with if you end up making special cupcake liner shapes. That’s because you can touch the foil without burning yourself almost as soon as it comes out of the oven. You might be wondering—why is that?

The reason is that aluminum foil has a minimal amount of mass. Therefore, it can’t hold much thermal energy. So, when you touch aluminum foil straight out of the oven, that small amount of heat transfers throughout your hand so quickly that you don’t or barely feel a burning sensation.

Tips for Sizing Your Cupcake Liners

A ruler comes in handy for making cupcake liners, but it isn’t essential. Therefore, if you don’t have a ruler, you can cut various-sized pieces of parchment paper or foil by eyeballing the size. Then, choose the size that best fits your cupcake mold and use it as a template for cutting the others.

When in doubt, it’s better for your cupcake liners to be a little too big than not large enough. That way, you won’t have to worry about the batter spilling out as it bakes.

However, if you make your liners too big, you’ll likely find that the liners end up bunching up around the sides. While harmless, the batter will bake between the crevices, making it more work for you to enjoy every last morsel of your delicious cupcake.

How to Make Round Cupcake Liners

Yes, we’re fully aware that your cupcake tins are round, even though we told you to cut your liners into squares. The reason for this is that it’s faster, easier, and requires less parchment paper and foil.

However, if you’re looking to get fancy by making round cupcake liners, it’s completely doable. There are two ways you can approach this.

Option #1: Use a Compass

No, we’re not talking about the compass that tells you what direction you’re facing. Instead, we’re referring to a mathematical compass.

If you have one of these compasses lying around your house, pull it out and experiment with different circle sizes. Once you achieve the size that fits well into your cupcake tin, cut your parchment paper or tin foil accordingly.

Option #2: Use a Cup

Cups are a great way for making circular cupcake liners because they’re sturdy for circling your pencil around them, and each cup offers two sizes—a wider top and smaller bottom.

Once you find the right size cup for your cupcakes, trace it, and cut the amount you need.

As a final note, round cupcake liners create more creases than square ones since you’re using more material. Therefore, try to press down the wrinkles as much as possible so that they remain flat against the sides of the pan.

How to Make Tulip Cupcake Liners

You shouldn’t draw designs on your homemade cupcake liners because the ink could bake into your batter. However, if you want to spruce them up, consider turning the liners into a tulip shape.

To do so, follow the steps below:


  1. Cut an approximately six-inch square or circle on parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. Grab a thin, tall can or glass and set it in the middle of one of your cupcake liners, ensuring the liner lays flat on your counter. A tomato paste jar and champagne flute glass are great options.
  3. Cup your cupcake liner around the glass or jar.
  4. Hold everything in place with one hand. With your other hand, start folding the paper or foil clockwise, which will shape the tulip petals. When you’re making them, try to keep the petal sizes even.


After a bit of practice, you should be able to make these homemade tulip petal cupcake liners quickly.

Preventing Your Homemade Cupcake Liners from Caving in

We’ve all been there with store-bought cupcake liners caving in or, at the very least, bunching up the moment that batter hits their bottom.

Since you have the advantage of making your cupcake liners at home, you can solve this common problem by preparing your liners in advance and using round cookie cutters to mold them.

To do so, you’ll need the following sized round cookie cutters if you’re making standard-sized cupcakes:


  • 1 ¾ inch
  • 2 ¼ inch


Then, take your cut parchment paper or aluminum foil and mold them the best you can to your cupcake tins. Remember, pressing them down with a glass or a can will help them form their shape.

Next, place your molded liners into the 2 ¼ inch cookie cutter. You guessed it—you’ll need to put the smaller cookie cutter into the inside of the liner. Press down to ensure it’s a snug fit. Wait a few hours, and your cupcake liners will be ready to use!

You can perform this process in bulk batches with your homemade cupcake liners. In fact, we recommend doing so since the thickness of the liners will help squeeze them tighter between the cookie cutters.

FAQs About Making Cupcake Liners

If you still have lingering questions about making cupcake liners, we’ve got you covered. Below are answers to some of the most common questions people have when embarking on their DIY cupcake liner journey.

Should I make a double liner for my cupcakes?

It’s the baker’s choice, but it isn’t necessary. The purpose of a double liner is primarily for aesthetic reasons. When you purchase cupcake liners in a store, they usually come with bright colors and designs. So, the outer liner maintains its vibrant look during the baking process.

The second liner on a store-bought cupcake usually doesn’t stay on a cupcake very well. Therefore, you can expect your second set of homemade liners to have an even greater chance of being cumbersome. Plus, you won’t have any liner colors and designs that need preserving.

How much batter should I put in my homemade cupcake liners?

You can put the same amount of cupcake batter in your DIY liners as you do store-bought ones. Filling cupcake liners 2/3 to 3/4 of the way is a good rule of thumb.

Can I change my cupcake liners after baking?

That can get messy—and unsanitary if the cupcakes are for other people—so we don’t recommend it. If you end up being unhappy with how your homemade cupcake liners look after baking, consider hiding the liners by setting the cupcakes in a long tray with tissue paper or another décor that rises up to cover their sides.

Is it safe to make cupcake liners from parchment paper and aluminum foil?

Yes, it is. In fact, the AARP recommends people use parchment paper if they suspect they’re working with a baking sheet that contains toxic chemicals in the metal because the paper will prevent the food from absorbing the chemicals.

That said, we recommend choosing high-quality parchment paper and aluminum foil brands that are on the higher price spectrum to ensure there aren’t any unwanted chemicals.

Get Making Those Cupcakes!

Making cupcake liners at home is easy, and most people already have all the tools in their kitchen that they need to do so. Whether you choose to make parchment paper or foil liners, you’ll surely impress your guests with your creative ways.

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Ava Gardner
Ava Gardner

Hi! My name is Ava and I love baking. I love the process of creating something from nothing, and the satisfaction of taking a bite of something I made myself. I love trying new recipes and experimenting with different flavors. Baking is my form of self-care; it's how I relax and unwind after a long day. That's why I founded!

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