Alternatives to Paper Muffin Cups: A Delicious Experiment
I had a delicious new recipe to try this morning: baked individual oatmeals with choose-your-own toppings. But I had a problem: it called for paper muffin cups and I had none. I did a quick google search and found suggestions for using both non-stick cooking spray and parchment paper, so I decided to do a little experiment and try both. Plus, the original recipe poster suggested spraying the muffin cups with the cooking spray as well, so I decided to also try combining the parchment paper and cooking spray methods. What I found was that all three worked well, but with some differences in taste, texture, and clean up.
I followed the recipe (though note, if you want to try it, I made only a half batch expecting 9 servings and ended up with 12) and then divided my muffin pan into three rows: parchment paper alone, parchment paper with cooking spray in the middle, and only cooking spray in the third.
The cap of a vitamin bottle was the same diameter as my muffin tin cups, but it worked much better to shape the paper with my hands by pressing it over the cap and then placing it in the tin, rather than trying to squish the paper into the tin with the bottle upside down.
I was a little nervous about overfilling the ones with parchment paper, in case the batter leaked and baked around the edges, but I had so much batter I had to just fill ‘em up!
Then I added the toppings, which in my case were: plain brown sugar, brown sugar with peanuts, brown sugar with coconut, coconut with mixed granola, and coconut with butterscotch chips. (Yummy!)
Note: the granola burned a tiny little bit, so I might not use that one again.
Ease of Extraction
- Parchment Paper and Parchment Paper/Cooking Spray: Extremely easy to just pick up and set down on the cooling sheet.
- Cooking Spray Only: I had to use a knife to loosen the sides, then came out easily using two spoons.
Removal of Paper: The Appearance of Oatmeal Cup
- Cooking Spray Only: None needed; the oatmeal bottom was a uniform, golden-brown cylinder.
- Parchment Paper/Cooking Spray: Paper fell away easily; oatmeal was shaped like the paper and golden browned.
- Parchment Paper Only: Paper pulled away with no oatmeal sticking to it; darker lines on the paper, oatmeal near burnt in a few spots.
- Cooking Spray Only: It was delicious, but it had a more oily taste to it than the others, as well as a bit of a rubbery texture.
- Parchment Paper/Cooking Spray: There was less of an oily taste than the first, and the edges were soft.
- Parchment Paper Only: It had a more “well done” taste and firmer texture, and there was no hint of oil in the taste.
My Favorite Combination
Overall, I enjoyed the combination of parchment paper and cook spray most—I liked the way it looked with the edges shaped like the paper, and I found it was the best of both worlds. However, the differences were so slight that you’ll probably like it any way you do it. So if you don’t have muffin cups when making a recipe like this, don’t worry—it’ll probably turn out great!
Recipe From Sugar-Free Mom
- Personal Sized Baked Oatmeal with Individual Toppings
The recipe I used for these little morning delights . . .