When I was writing this answer I realized that I have no idea what to call the dips in muffin/cupcake tins. I used to call them cups but when I looked it up I found that the cups are the paper inserts or liners you put into the dips or whatever they are called.

What is the right terminology?

  • 2
    I provide 'muffs' as the tins that muffins are in...
    – npst
    Commented Jul 25, 2022 at 14:04
  • +1 This is akin to not having a name for the inside of your knee. ;) Everybody has one, no-one knows what it's called. Sometimes language just fails us… hole, dent, ermm.. thingy… like a cup...
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 25, 2022 at 18:01
  • 1
    That's apparently called a kneepit @unlisted. Ick.
    – GdD
    Commented Jul 26, 2022 at 8:08
  • …which is weird in itself, as it's more akin to the crook of the elbow...
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 26, 2022 at 12:51
  • 1
    That's it, the new accepted term for the dents in muffin tins is 'bun pits'.
    – GdD
    Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 14:23

2 Answers 2


Looking at Amazon listings and Wikipedia Cup seems to be the correct terminology, or at least the most common one.

Alternative names I found are cavity and well, which also seem adequate.

The paper cups are known by many names including but not limited to cup liners, paper liners, muffin wrappers, muffin cases, baking liners among others.

  • 1
    I would add (muffin) cases as a name for the paper cups.
    – dbmag9
    Commented Jul 26, 2022 at 12:58
  • 2
    At one bakery was asked to grab a 24hole rather than a 12. Nowadays I use individual aluminum 2.6" cups with paper liners on a standard tray. Easily stack to store, clean up only on sticky cups. Recycle mangled ones. Tipping out idividual muffins safer against damage.
    – Pat Sommer
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 5:30
  • 1
    I use ‘depression’ which also works for things like poffertjes pans
    – Joe
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 12:29

I saw one recipe that called for "a 12-count muffin pan."

  • 1
    So your contention is that “12 count” here doesn’t have its normal meaning of “there’s twelve things”, but instead means that each individual cup is called a “count”?
    – Sneftel
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 7:25
  • Presumably that's what the recipe author was thinking. Sounds 'generic' to me in that it would be suitable for poffertjes pans, etc. Seems that there is no one answer to the OP's question "What is the right terminology?"
    – jconcord
    Commented Aug 2, 2022 at 20:50

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