Open up any baking book or magazine and you might think everyone has switched from the tarnished, metal baking molds of our mothers to the colorful new silicone molds popular right now. Kids, especially, love to try out this new, bold-colored baking technology because, well, kids love food games in general. However, many of us old-school bakers remain confused by the empty, floppy molds we see on the shelves of Target, Walmart, and HomeGoods.
How do you bake with silicone molds? Do they keep their shape without spilling batter everywhere when you pick them up? Do you change how you cook with them? Can they work for baking recipes for kids? Are they safer, better for the environment, or superior in some other way? If you’re overwhelmed by the newness, we get it and we’re here to answer all your questions.
Silicone is the future of baking. While we can’t find any real evidence to back up whether silicone is better for the environment than plain old metal pans, we do know silicone works much better than metal. Yes, you still have to grease your silicone mold (more on that later), but when it’s time to pop out your muffins or candies, it’s much easier to invert the mold than it is to use a knife to pry things out of your metal pan.
Because it’s so much easier to remove your goodies from silicone molds, it also makes them more versatile. The same molds you use for cupcakes or muffins can, in fact, be use to mold candles, candies, egg muffins, and more. With silicone, the uses are limited only by your imagination. And, while they may not be better than metal for Mother Earth, they’re definitely better than those old school plastic candy molds.
Okay, but how do you keep silicone molds from spilling?
The first time we attempted to use a silicone mold to make round cake layers, it left a gigantic mess. We poured the batter into the mold while it sat on the counter and then tried to move it to the oven. Batter. Went. Everywhere. Now days, most of these molds come with a firm, hidden metal ring around the top that keeps the silicone from collapsing while you carry them. A smarter, safer option, though, is to set your mold on an old cookie sheet before filling. When it’s time to bake, move the whole baking sheet-mold combo to the oven.
Other hacks and tips for baking with silicone molds
1. Make sure it’s clean
Is it just us or do metal pans eventually start to feel and look like they’re never clean? Silicone molds are actually way easier to clean. But, they also need to stay that way. When you use metal, you often have a layer of parchment paper between the metal and the batter. You won’t use that with silicone, so leftover, stuck food particles will only make your new baked goods stick more. That makes washing and care that much more important. Luckily, silicon molds are dishwasher safe.
2. Grease it, grease it good.
While your items will most definitely come out of a silicone mold much easier than they do your metal ones, the grease (any kind really) still helps ease the process. Think spray, butter, Crisco, or even oil.
3. Bake as directed
In most cases, there’s no need to change the oven temperature or cook time. In the rare instance you do, the recipe will say so.
4. Wait until it cools
Really, you’re supposed to do this with any mold or pan. On the bright side, silicone seems to cool much faster. This will make popping out your cake much easier.
How Do You Store Your Silicone Molds?
One different and important aspect of using silicone molds is how you store them. Unlike metal molds and pans, silicone molds can’t just get tossed into the drawer under the oven. According to Marvelous Molds, your silicone products should be wrapped or stored in a plastic bin. Most importantly, you shouldn’t place anything on top of them that might weight them down and deform the molds. While it’s a bit different than the old methods, it’s certainly not harder. Ready to try out your first one?
What can I bake with a silicone mold?
This is the best part, you can make anything. Any complicated turnover dish that often resulted in broken cakes and tears should now be a piece of cake to replicate at home. Pudding desserts, upside-down cakes, and even chocolate molds can be a reality in your kitchen. With so many fun-shaped molds out there, you’re no longer limited to the same design cake. Heck, you can make the smash cake of your dreams with silicon molds that go beyond the square, rectangle, and circle.
Silicon molds are also perfect for baking super intricately designed cookies. Got a dinosaur lover in your life? Silicon molds will help you bake cookies rich in detail as opposed to the traditional cut outs you’re used to. You can get the face detail and everything!
Fun Quotes About Baking
“Cooking involves a deadline and hungry people and ingredients that expire in a week. It’s stressful. Cooking happens on the stove and on the clock. Baking happens with ingredients that last for months and come to life inside a warm oven. Baking is slow and leisurely.” — Regina Brett
“I think baking cookies is equal to Queen Victoria running an empire. There’s no difference in how seriously you take the job, how seriously you approach your whole life.” — Martha Stewart
“I think sharing recipes is such an important part of baking and the baking world.” – Christina Tosi
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