I feel silly asking this, for as long as I've been baking cupcakes...but why do the cupcake liners or papers cave in after I've added the batter to them? It drives me nuts and I'd love for the liner to stay in the cupcake pan straight without wrinkling or caving in after I have added the batter. I use the plain white Wilton liners.
Don't feel silly. There is a solution! Rather than storing your cupcake liners in those little bags, jam them into a cup or container where they fit snug, but hold their shape. This will keep the sides from flaring out, which is what causes the liners to collapse when you fill them.
I do what Diane does. Before I started doing that, though, this would happen all the time. It would really annoy me to use liners that did that but what a waste it would be not to use them. So, one solution that worked for me was to actually cut a slit in the misshaped liner before I filled it. When I poured the batter in, the slit allowed the liner to fit correctly. None of the batter got behind the liner because it overlapped itself where I cut it. My husband took a batch of cupcakes to work where I cut the liners like this and he said a bunch of people thought I did it to make unwrapping the cupcakes easier and they really liked it. Of course, I agreed that was exactly why I did it and not because of the unruly liners!
What happens is, one of the creases has flattened out at the bottom. Hmmm...This is hard to explain without demonstrating, but let me try to describe it. One of the creases that SHOULD point in toward the center is actually not....it has flattened out and isn't making a point. (This can happen when you are separating the cups from each other or the liner might not have really crisp creases to begin with.) That "point" provides support for the top part of the liner, and without that support, the top caves in when you add batter (which pulls on the top of the liner). One way to avoid this (other than what Diane suggested, which I haven't tried), is when you put the liner in the cup, push it all the way down to make sure it lays correctly. If a top edge falls inward, you know that the bottom point at that spot needs to be fixed. I would then hold the cup in that position while filling it with batter.
I sure hope that makes sense. For ME, it happened mostly with Reynolds brand, so I've stopped using them. Actually, I use the large liners now and have no problems.
Wonderful! Thanks so much everyone!!