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14 molded pans to make magnificent muffins and cool cupcakes

Molded muffins and cakes with fruit and nuts
Photo credit: Tuned_In/iStock/Getty Images Plus

We have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t enjoy a tasty homemade muffin or cupcake — but have you ever baked a batch of fresh muffins and thought that, even though they tasted great, they looked a little less than amazing?

Of course, piling on lots of frosting can help — but if you’re making muffins, which are typically served unfrosted, you may feel like there’s not much you can do. But there is… and it’s probably easier than you think!

Muffin molds and cupcake pans like those shown here take the hard work out of making truly gorgeous baked goods. Just pour your muffin mix or cupcake batter into one of these prepared silicone or metal pans, and in minutes, you’ll be able to serve up some amazing little works of art — sort of like baby Bundt cakes — quickly and easily. Who wouldn’t love that?

Make sure they don’t stick

Of course, there are a few important things to remember. For instance, the usual paper or foil cupcake pan liners won’t work with these molds, so you’ll have to take other steps to make sure your treats will emerge from the molds intact.

Check the instructions on the pan you choose for the best advice on preparing the pans to make sure your baked goods don’t stick. In most cases, you’ll grease the inside of each cup (or use non-stick spray), though some manufacturers may recommend greasing and lightly flouring the little cups. (In our experience, even some “non-stick” surfaces benefit from a little help.)

For more specifics, we found some great advice for preparing the surface and how to keep molded cakes intact when you release them from the pan: How to prevent bundt cakes from sticking: 10 simple tips.

Molded pans to make magnificent muffins and cool cupcakes
Photo credit: KateSmirnova/iStock/Getty Images Plus

The art of the topping

Most people serve muffins without icing. If you bake cupcakes in these pans and plan to frost them, however, be sure to consider the cup pattern when preparing your icing: Half the fun comes from appreciating and enhancing the unique designs.

For example, you might pipe on a dollop of frosting in the middle of a shaped cupcake, or use a tiny tube of icing to accent the pattern. (Some beautiful white sugar pearls further highlight the design.)

That said, there are no rules — so get ready to get creative! You can add colored sugar, sprinkles, fruit, whipped cream, cake decorations, edible flowers and leaves, shaved chocolate, nuts, crushed toffee, and anything else that will look and taste fantastic.

When in doubt about if (or how) you should frost your creations, simply serve them as-is or topped with a dusting of powdered sugar, which always looks elegant.

Starter recipes

Now that you know you can make professional-quality baked goods, what will you cook up? Here are a few recipes to try!

14 molded pans for cupcakes and muffins

If you’re ready to make sweet treats that look as good as something you’d get at a bakery, take a peek below at 14 of our favorite muffin molds and shaped cupcake pans. Check the dimensions of each product before buying, so you know it’s the right size for what you have planned. A standard paper liner for a muffin pan is 2 inches across on the bottom.

Note: Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue; however, our picks and opinions are independent from Grateful’s advertising sales team and any business incentives.

Holiday shapes

Nordic Ware Garland Bundt Pan

Nordic Ware Garland Bundt Pan
Photo credit: Amazon

Simple swirls

USA Pan Swirl Cupcake Pan

USA Pan Swirl Cupcake Pan
Photo credit: Amazon

Autumn delights

Nordic Ware Autumn Delights Cakelet Pan

Nordic Ware Autumn Delights Cakelet Pan
Photo credit: Amazon

Gourmet designs

Beasea Silicone Cupcake/Muffin Cups

Photo credit: Amazon

Adorable apples

Always Your Chef Silicone Baking Cups: Apples

Always Your Chef 6-Cavity Silicone Baking Cake Cups
Photo credit: Amazon

Flower power

Allforhome 6 Flowers Silicone Muffin Cups

Flower muffin pans
Photo credit: Amazon

Snowflakes

Nordic Ware Snowflake Cakelet Pan

Nordic Ware Snowflake Cakelet Pan
Photo credit: Amazon

Bear necessities

Parukinzoku 6 Cup Silicone Cupcake Mold Bear

Parukinzoku 6 Cup Silicone Cupcake Mold Bear
Photo credit: Amazon

Disney designs

Mickey Mouse Muffin Mold

Mickey Mouse Muffin Mold
Photo credit: Shop Disney

Scalloped edges

Internet’s Best Silicone Decorative Cake Mold

Decorative Cake Mold
Photo credit: Amazon

Little pumpkins

Nordic Ware Pumpkin Patch Muffin Pan

Nordicware pumpkin patch pan
Photo credit: Amazon

Decorative patterns

HOMOW Nonstick Three Pattern Cupcake Pan

Patterned cupcake pan
Photo credit: Amazon

Star of David

The Kosher Cook Star of David Muffin Pan

 The Kosher Cook Star of David Muffin Cupcake Pan
Photo credit: Amazon

Garden of delights

Wilton Mini 6 Cavity Flower Silicone Molds

Photo credit: Amazon

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