How to Make Cupcakes Without a Cupcake Pan

What do you do on those special days when you want to make cupcakes for yourself and your family, and you realize you do not have a single cupcake pan to use? Do you throw the whole idea of making those delicious cupcakes away? It would be much better if you had an alternative to a cupcake pan.

It is possible to bake cupcakes without the tray and have as many as you want to have. There is more than one method for cooking tray-less cupcakes. Here’s our guide on how to make cupcakes without a cupcake pan.

Methods of Making Cupcakes Without a Pan

There are several methods you can use to bake your cupcakes without the pan. One of such methods is to use cupcake liners. However, you must note that each of these methods will require inventiveness and a bit of creativity from you.

You will have to be more vigilant to ensure that you place the cakes correctly to bake them well. Below are some of our best methods for baking cupcakes without a cupcake pan.

Try Using a Sheet Cake and a Circle Cutter

A sheet cake and a circle cutter is another excellent method of baking your cupcakes without a pan. First, you will need to bake a cake that replicates the thickness and height of a cupcake.

Bake the cake in a sheet pan, and then use the circular cutter to cut the cake into the number of pieces you want. When you finish, place these ‘cupcakes’ in their respective wrappers and serve. They should come out looking similar to cupcakes, especially after frosting.

Utilize Cupcake Liners

There are several health benefits to using cupcake liners for your baking needs. When you have cupcake liners already, you can create a solid structure by stacking them on top of each other in 2s or 3s to hold the moist cupcakes on their own.

If you do this, you don’t need a pan at all. However, you will need to place these liners on a baking sheet instead of the oven rack, so they do not melt or burn.

You will need to stack paper liners on top of each other. However, if you use foil cupcake liners, you might not need to stack them at all.

How to Use Cupcake Liners Without a Baking Pan

If you want to use cupcake liners without a cupcake tray, you will need:

  • A baking tray
  • Jar lids
  • Metal rings from the jar lids

Arrange the cupcake liners on the baking tray very close to each other.

Arranging them in such a manner will also provide support apart from doubling or tripling the foil. You should also be very vigilant to make sure that there is no spill. If the wet cakes spill, it will be a messy situation for you.

Therefore, you might want to fill the cupcake liners to a moderate level and handle the tray with care. At this point, you should have solid cupcake liners to use. You can also create more support by using the jar lids.

Remove the flat sections of the jar lids and use the metal rings instead. This way, you can rest assured knowing your cupcakes are safe. After placing the cupcake liners in the jar lids, moderately fill them up with the wet cupcake mix.

Preheat your oven at 320 degrees Fahrenheit for the allotted time on your recipe, then place the baking tray of cupcakes inside. When the time for baking has passed, remove the cakes from the oven. Remember to be very careful while putting the cakes in the oven to avoid any messy spill.

What if you do not have pre-made cupcake liners? Create them yourself using our method below.

How to Create Your Cupcake Liners

The above method only applies when you have pre-made cupcake liners in your arsenal. What happens if you do not have these liners? The answer is simple: you make them by yourself.

When you decide to make your cupcake liners, you can use foil or parchment paper. As long as the material can stay safely in the oven without affecting the food or without the material being destroyed, you can use it.

Your goal is to achieve a solid base to house your cupcake mix. Sometimes, this might require you to double the material you are using for the liners. So, how do you create them?


  • Get the oven-worthy material you want to use and cut them into several squares. Cut these squares precisely and accurately. Remember to cut them in doubles because you have to stack the materials on top of each other to create a solid base for the mix.


  • Get a cup that you will use to shape the foil or parchment paper. Ensure that the cup has the same base as a normal-sized cupcake pan or a cupcake liner. The base size for a cupcake pan is about 2 inches.


When you find a cup, use it to align the foil paper. Make sure to align it well such that the parchment centers well on the bottom of the cup and there is equal spacing among the corners of the material.


  • Create four folds over the cup and in between each corner of the material. By now, you should have the material shaped into a cup. Make sure to press the material tightly around the cup to make it stable. Remove the cup from the newly-created liner.


  • Get a baking tray and set your liners together to give them more support. Pour in the cake mix and gently carry it into the oven. Make sure to keep a vigilant eye on the stove to make sure the cake does not burn. Also, make sure to stack two or three liners on each other to provide a more solid base for the cake mix.


You Can Use Ramekins Instead

Ramekins are another excellent option for you when you do not have a cupcake pan or liners to use. However, the cupcake sizes will be bigger than the small-sized cakes you will get with a cupcake pan. You might have to serve it with a fork or spoon to make it easier to scoop it into the mouth.

How to Use a Ramekin

You use Ramekins the same way you will use a cupcake pan. However, make sure to confirm that they can stay longer in the oven. You should also grease the insides before you put in the cake mix. Put them into the oven with the batter and proceed as you would a regular cupcake.

Mugs are a Great Alternative

Mugs can stay for a long time in the oven without affecting the food. If you need to make cupcakes without the pan, cups can work.

How to Use Them

Get the mugs you want to use and arrange them on a tray. Shape cupcake wrappers, oven-safe foil, or baking paper into them and pour in the batter. Bake the cakes. You can remove them from the mugs after cooling, with the wrappers around them.

How to Make Basic Cupcakes

Basic cupcakes are the same as flavored cupcakes. The only difference is that there is no flavor like chocolate and vanilla in them. The procedure for making them is the same. When you want to make chocolate, vanilla, or other flavored cupcakes, you add the flavor or ingredient to the mix alongside the recipe below.

What Ingredients Do You Need to Make Cupcakes?

The ingredients you need are:


  • Butter (about 250g)
  • Sugar (250g)
  • Flour (250g)
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Salt (just a pinch)


Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl until you get a fluffy texture. Add the eggs, salt, milk, and flour and continue to whisk the mixture until it is smooth—Preheat the oven to about 190 degrees Celsius or 300-320 degrees Fahrenheit.

After you have gotten a smooth texture, divide the batter into the cupcake pan. If you do not have a cupcake pan, you can use foil papers, paper liners, ramekins, or mugs. Try to divide the batter evenly in the pan. Put the mix in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

You should swap the trays to make sure both sides of the cupcakes reach the desired color. Remove the cakes and let them cool down. They are ready for you to serve or decorate.

You can frost the cupcakes with icing to improve the taste and look. If you want a more advanced flavor, you only need to add the flavor to the batter mix before going in the oven.

What You Should Not Do While Baking

Many people bake, but the cakes do not come out well. For many, this discourages them from trying again. Practice makes perfect, and when you can avoid making mistakes, you should come out with the perfect piece of cake.

Here are some of the most common mistakes made while baking:

You Do Not Preheat the Oven

You should always preheat the oven before you put in the cake batter to bake. If you do not do this, your cake will not bake evenly and well. After preheating the oven well, put in the batter and watch perfection come out.

You Open the Oven Often

Many will remember to preheat the oven but always open it too often to check on the cakes. This action is not suitable for the baking process since it decreases the temperature in the oven.

Baking is an art that requires patience, and you must be patient enough to allow the cake to form. You should only open the oven to swap the sides of the cake or to check whether it has baked well.

You Do Not Measure the Ingredients Correctly

Not measuring the ingredients correctly is another mistake people make while baking. Make sure to be accurate in your measurements so that you can maintain an overall evenness.

You Allow the Cake to Stay In the Oven Too Long or Too Little

If the cake stays in too long, it loses too much moisture and becomes dry and hard. If it stays in too little, it has too much moisture and has a mushy feel.

Make sure to allow it to wait for the recommended time. For example, a cupcake only needs about 15 minutes to finish baking. You should not allow it to extend more than this time.

You Use Cold Eggs

The eggs you should use for mixing the batter should be fresh. They should not also be refrigerated eggs. Make sure you try to avoid water from the whisk or the bowl. You should be very careful at this stage.

FAQs About Baking Cupcakes Without a Cupcake Pan

Some questions people frequently ask about using a cupcake pan substitute include:

Will the Cupcakes Spill When You Use a Liner?

There is always a possibility that the batter mix can spill when using a paper liner or foil. When it does, it creates a massive mess for you to clean up.

You must be very careful to avoid spillage when transferring the mix into the oven. Also, you should not overfill the paper or foil liner. Instead, put a moderate amount of batter in them and move them into the oven.

Can I Create My Own Liner?

Yes, you can create your own liner. Parchment paper and aluminum foil are some of the best materials to use when you want to make your liner.

Any material you decide to use must be oven-safe and must not affect the food through heat. Remember to keep your options safe, so you don’t reduce the health benefits of eating your cake. You can also be very creative with the design of your liner to give the cupcakes a beautiful look.

Will the Cupcake Liners Be Sticky?

No, they will not be sticky, depending on the material you use. You also do not need to spray them or grease them before use. Your cakes will be in good condition once you are done.

What Materials Can You Use for Making Cupcake Liners?

You can use aluminum foil or parchment paper as materials for your liners. They are oven-safe and will also protect the cakes. You should be very vigilant when you place them in the oven to avoid burning or over-baking.


There are alternatives to cupcake pans if you do not have them. As long as you use them right, you will get perfect cupcakes to serve.

You may also like our other articles:

The Difference Between Cupcakes and Muffins

How Long Do Cupcakes Take to Cool

How to Ice Cupcakes Without an Piping Bag


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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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