Best Cupcake Makers

Updated October 2021
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Buying guide for Best cupcake makers

No matter how old you are, few treats are as fun and delicious as cupcakes. They’re perfect for holidays and special occasions. You can eat them plain or decorate each miniature cake with frosting. With the right tools and embellishments, you can personalize each cake for each person you’re serving, if you so desire.

A cupcake maker is a countertop appliance that can make your cupcake-baking endeavors fun and interesting. A lid closes over individual baking cups, allowing the cakes to bake in less time than you’d need with a traditional oven. Because you’re not using the oven, you don’t have to toil in a hot kitchen, and it’s easier to whip up small batches with minimal clean-up.

I1 
Nearly all cupcake makers heat to a maximum temperature of 350°F, which is ideal for even baking.

Key considerations

Capacity

Cupcake makers vary in capacity as well as the size of cupcake you can make. Some allow you to make 12 full-size cupcakes at once. Others feature only six full-size cups. You can also find cupcake makers that produce mini cupcakes. These models usually make four to eight mini cupcakes at once.

Dimensions

In addition to capacity, consider the appliance’s overall dimensions to determine whether it would fit your space. Appliances that make full-size cupcakes tend to be larger. Mini cupcake makers are usually more compact. The number of cups plays a role in size as well. A 12-cup appliance will be larger than a six-cup appliance.

The dimensions should be provided by the manufacturer, so check them out before making a purchase. Keep in mind, too, that you may want enough storage space in your cabinetry for whatever you choose.

Cooking plates

A cupcake maker’s cooking plates are one of its most important features. Nonstick plates allow you to easily lift the cupcakes out and quickly clean the appliance once you’re done. Check the depth of the cooking plate cups, too. Most people prefer cups that aren’t too shallow.

Lid design

The design of the lid can affect the shape of your cupcakes. Some models have a high-dome lid that lets the cupcakes rise to an impressive height. Whatever you choose, the height of the lid will affect how tall your cupcakes can rise.

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Did You Know?
Wiping the cooking plates with oil every so often can help prolong the life of the nonstick coating.
Staff
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Features

Heat time and cooking time

The primary draw of a cupcake maker is the fact that you can turn out cupcakes faster than you would with a conventional oven. However, heating and cooking times vary from model to model.

Some cupcake makers don’t require any heating time. As soon as you turn the appliance on, it’s ready for your batter. Some need two to three minutes to heat up, while a few can take as much as 10 minutes to heat up.

In terms of cooking time, most cupcake makers bake cupcakes in 10 minutes or less. They bake faster than a traditional oven because the cooking plates deliver heat from all angles at the same time. If you’re buying a cupcake maker to use with kids, find out the cook time in advance, and prepare them for it.

Indicator lights

For the easiest operation, look for a cupcake maker with indicator lights. These lights let you know when the appliance is on, fully preheated, and ready to bake. Some cupcake makers also have an indicator light that alerts you when the cupcakes should be finished baking. However, it’s still a good idea to check their doneness with a cake tester or toothpick.

Cool-touch exterior

A cool-touch exterior makes operating a cupcake maker easier and safer. This is an especially important feature if you’ll be using the appliance with children.

Extras

Some cupcake makers come with accessories to help you prepare and decorate your cupcakes: recipe book, spatula, piping bag, frosting nozzles. If you need these supplies, a cupcake maker that comes with them is the way to go.

Caution2
Caution
Use non-metallic utensils or tools when removing cupcakes from the appliance or scraping baked-on food from the interior. Metal could damage nonstick cooking plates.
Staff
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Accessories

Hand mixer: KitchenAid Cordless Hand Mixer
You’ll have a much easier time mixing your cupcake batter if you have a hand mixer to do the hard work. This cordless KitchenAid mixer is a favorite because it offers seven speeds and comes in your choice of several great kitchen colors.

Cake decorating kit: Wilton 55-Piece Master Decorating Tip Set
A lot of the fun of making cupcakes is decorating them. With this Wilton 55-piece decorating set, you can turn your scrumptious treats into works of art. The set comes with a durable storage box to help keep the pieces organized.

Cupcake maker prices

Inexpensive: The most affordable cupcake makers are usually those that make mini cupcakes. They may or may not have indicator lights and other accessories. These cupcake makers typically cost between $17 and $25.

Mid-range: Cupcake makers that cost between $25 and $45 are usually those that make full-size cupcakes. They typically make four to eight cupcakes, feature indicator lights, and sometimes include accessories.

High-end: The priciest cupcake makers have full-size cups and give you your choice of making 6 or 12 cupcakes at a time. Expect indicator lights and some accessories with these deluxe appliances, which run from $45 to $65.

Dyk3
Did You Know?
Your cupcake maker should be completely cool and dry before you put it away in storage.
Staff
BestReviews

Tips

  • Even if your cupcake maker has nonstick cooking plates, it’s a good idea to use paper cupcake liners. This makes the cakes easier to remove. You could also spray the cups with cooking spray or wipe them with vegetable oil before you turn the cupcake maker on.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding how full to fill the cups. Most brands call for adding batter until each cup is two-thirds full. If you add too much, your cupcakes could bake together. If you add too little, you may be disappointed by the size of your cupcakes.
  • Check on your cupcakes five to eight minutes into the baking process. Test doneness by inserting a cake tester or toothpick into the center of a cake. If the stick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done.
  • Place your cupcakes on a rack to cool. Allow them to cool fully before decorating them with frosting or icing.
I2 
A cupcake maker is great for families with kids because you can make cupcakes quickly and easily without even turning the oven on.

FAQ

Q. Can I use box cake mix in a cupcake maker?

A. Yes. You can use a box cake mix or a scratch recipe in a cupcake maker. Box mix is perfect for those days when you want to make cupcakes but don’t have much time.

Q. How should I clean my cupcake maker?

A. Unplug the appliance and let it fully cool. Wipe down the exterior and interior cooking plates with a damp cloth. If the batter has baked onto the plates, use a plastic mesh sponge or bristle brush to scrub it away. Wipe the appliance down with a damp cloth to rinse and dry it with a fresh towel.

Do not ever submerge your cupcake maker in water, as this could damage its components.

Q. Can I make anything else in a cupcake maker?

A. Yes. You can actually make quite a few other things in a basic cupcake maker. Muffins, cinnamon buns, mini quiches, and omelet bites are a few mouth-watering ideas. Some cupcake makers come with interchangeable plates that allow you to make other sweet treats like brownies, donuts, and cake pops. 

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