DIY muffin liner homemade tulip baking lavender cutting board shadows

DIY Tulip Muffin Liners: A Genius Hack for Perfect Muffins Every Time

An ingenious solution for a paper muffin liner shortage: crafting DIY tulip muffin liners. This is your ticket to flawless muffins every time. Get ready to roll up your sleeves and discover the secrets that will have you baking like a pro in no time (remember: just stick to the recipe).

DIY muffin liner homemade tulip baking lavender cutting board shadows

Alright, so picture this: I’m about to spill all my muffin-making secrets that’ll have your friends and family dubbing you a baking genius. But before we dive into that, let me share a little Saturday morning mishap from when I was in the middle of making a fabulous—if I do say so myself—brunch.

I was all ready to fill the muffin cups with batter when I remembered that I’d used every last one of my cupcake paper liners. Now, heading to the store wasn’t on my agenda. And let me tell you, muffin batter is not the most patient companion. If you don’t hustle it into the oven right after stirring in those wet ingredients, it starts giving you the side-eye.

Frugal vs. Fancy: The Great Debate Over Tulip Muffin Papers

I wanted to kick myself because I’d planned to splurge and order these very nice Tulip Muffin Papers online, but at the last minute felt myself choking at the price: $29.95 plus tax and $9.95 shipping for 250 papers—about $.25 each. Seriously, who wants to spend as much on the liners as they do on the muffins themselves?

So there I was, torn between splurging and sticking to my frugal guns. Let’s just say, hindsight’s 20/20, and in that moment, I was really kicking myself for not hitting that “order” button.

Back to My Muffin Liner Dilemma

I really do not like to bake muffins in a muffin pan without paper liners. The batter tends to flow onto the pan as the muffins rise, making them unsightly and difficult to remove. And then once removed to cool, their poor little bodies are all exposed, which makes them get all dried out and crusty well before their time.

In that moment of frustration, a thought sparked: What if …

A close up of a rug

 A close up of a device

A cup of coffee on a table, with Muffin and Tulip

A piece of paper

A piece of paper

A close up of a hand

Muffin and Cake

 A plate of food, with Muffin and Bread

Now, I have to admit, my photography skills leave much to be desired, but trust me on this: this trick works like a charm. Say goodbye to pricey cupcake paper liners in my kitchen! My DIY tulip papers are in a league of their own—they keep every bit of the muffin snugly contained within the cup. Not even the muffin top dares to make an escape. Plus, let’s not forget the aesthetics—they give off major quaint French bakery vibes.

How to Make Tulip Muffin Liners

Let me walk you through the magic of creating your own tulip muffin liners—it’s simpler than you think! Start with parchment paper cut into 6-inch squares for standard-size muffins. Fold each square diagonally twice to find the center, then mold them over a small can (or a juice glass in a pinch), gently pleating the paper to fit. Because parchment paper is sturdy, it holds this shape very well.

Now, the trick to filling these tulip liners without any messy mishaps is to take it slow. I’ve found that using a disposable cake decorating bag or a gallon-size zip lock bag works wonders. Simply pour your batter in and pipe it into the cups, just like you’re decorating a cake—trust me, it’s a game-changer.

Once baked, these tulip papers make it a breeze to lift your muffins out of the pan. Just grab onto the “ears” and voila! Perfectly contained and ready to enjoy.

And for those who love a jumbo-sized treat, 7-inch squares of parchment do the trick beautifully. Oh, and did I mention the mini-muffin pan? Yes, I made adorable tiny tulip papers for it from 3 1/2-inch squares of parchment formed over an upside-down prescription bottle.

Best part? Parchment paper costs about $.10 per sheet, and you can get 6 regular-size tulip muffin papers from just one sheet, costing you about 1 1/2 cents each. Talk about affordable elegance!

DIY muffin liner homemade tulip baking lavender cutting board shadows
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
4.55 from 11 votes

How to Make Tulip Muffin Cups

My DIY tulip papers are way superior because they keep all of the muffin in the cup. Not even the muffin top spills out. And besides, they look like they came from a quaint little French bakery.
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Baking
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 tulip muffin cups

Ingredients

  • 2 sheets 12" x 18" parchment paper
  • 1 6-oz can (see Note 1)

Instructions

  • With scissors, cut parchment paper in 12 (6-inch) squares, 6 per sheet parchment
  • Form each 6-inch square piece parchment over a small can, sliding your hand down the sides of the can to "pleat" the paper as it conforms to the size of the can (see Note 2).
  • To use: Place tulip muffin cups in a muffin pan, fill with batter (see Note 3).

Notes

Note 1: Like tomato paste, frozen fruit juice, etc. 
Note 2: Because parchment paper is sturdy, it will hold this shape very well.
Note 3: Filling these muffin papers without making a mess all over the sides of the paper is a little tricky, just go slow and easy. Or pour your batter into a disposable cake decorating bag or a gallon-size zip lock bag to fill the muffin cups. I tried the zip bag idea a few days after these pics were taken, cutting off one of the bottom corners just large enough to allow my blueberries to pass through easily. I filled the cups as if I were decorating a cake. Fabulous results.
Note 4: Baked in these tulip papers, muffins are a cinch to lift out of the muffin pan to cool, because as I said, everything in contained. Just pick them up by two "ears." To open right at the moment of consumption, pull on two opposite "ears" and Viola! There it is, a beautiful, moist, luscious piece of heaven.
Note 5: For jumbo-size muffins, 7-inch squares of parchment work perfectly when formed over a regular size can, soup size.
Note 6: I also have a mini-muffin pan. Yes, I made tiny tulip papers for it: 3 1/2-inch squares of parchment formed over an upside-down prescription bottle. So adorable.

And now for muffins …

You see, baking and I, well, we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs. I love to bake, however, baking has not always liked me. There was a time when I thought we’d never see eye to eye. But then, I had a revelation—I needed to start playing by the rules. That meant measuring ingredients precisely, following directions to a T, and realizing that “folding in” isn’t code for “beating it to death,” “one cup of flour” doesn’t mean, “that looks about right,” and “butter softened,” does not mean “boiling like a witch’s cauldron.”

blueberry muffins in DIY tulip muffin liner

Einstein Blueberry Muffins

One day that I will not soon forget, I was reminded about how far I’ve come as a home baker when EC staffer, Max, could be heard throughout the office, “These blueberry muffins are insane!” Sure, he called them blueberry muffins, but I call them Einstein Muffins. That’s because every time I make them, I feel like a genius. And you can feel like a genius, too—provided you stick to the recipe exactly.

blueberry muffin with crumble topping
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
4.60 from 15 votes

Einstein Blueberry Muffins

Actually, I call them Einstein Muffins. That’s because every time I make them, I feel like a genius. You can feel like a genius, too.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time22 minutes
Total Time37 minutes
Course: Baking
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 201kcal

Ingredients

Muffins

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk*
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Crumb Topping

  • ½ cup white sugar
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup butter, diced
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  • In a bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt, and baking powder. 
  • Place vegetable oil into a 1-cup measuring cup; add the egg and *enough milk to fill the cup. Beat slightly with a fork. 
  • Mix this into the flour mixture, stirring until fully incorporated. Batter will be very thick.
  • Fold in blueberries. 
  • Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes or until done. which means when a toothpick is inserted, it comes out just barely clean. Caution: Err on the side of underbaking for the yummiest, moistest muffins. Yield: 12 muffins
  • To make the crumb topping, place sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  • Mix with a fork until crumbly and sprinkle over muffins before baking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 140mg | Potassium: 113mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 401IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg

Best Banana Muffins, Ever!

And, what muffin post would be complete without this fabulous Banana Muffin recipe? Whether enjoyed as a morning treat or an afternoon pick-me-up, these muffins are guaranteed to leave you craving for more. And remember, when it comes to nuts or no nuts, it’s an age-old debate. Some say nuts add the perfect crunch, while others, like my son Jeremy, firmly believe that muffins are best-enjoyed without. But hey, the choice is yours—just be prepared for some serious family discussions over breakfast!

 

trio of banana muffins with sliced bananas on placemat
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
4.93 from 13 votes

Best Banana Muffins, Ever!

Best banana muffins, ever!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Baking
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 259kcal

Ingredients

Muffins

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 ripe bananas (4 medium or 3 large), mashed
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • cup butter, melted

Crumb topping

  • cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups or line with muffin papers.
  • In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 
  • In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter. 
  • Stir the banana mixture and optional walnuts into the flour mixture just until all are moistened. 
  • Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle crumb topping over the tops
  • Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin, comes out clean. Err on the side of underbaking, even if the centers appear to be a little sunken.
  • To make crumb topping, in a small bowl, mix brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon.
  • Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.

Notes

For a gluten-free option, substitute all-purpose flour with a measure-for-measure gluten-free flour such as King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour or Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour.

Nutrition

Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 259mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 236IU | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg

Question: Have you ever had a baking mishap like running out of cupcake liners? Share your funniest baking fail stories with me!


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3 replies
  1. Anita D says:

    Those are cute. If I don’t have any paper liners on hand, I just grease the muffin tin well. Fill about two thirds full. Bake as directed and then cool slightly in the pan before running around the edge of each with a butter knife and removing to a cooling rack if not serving them warm. (They seem less likely to stick if they have a few extra minutes in the pan, but are removed before cooling completely.)

    Reply

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