I have a new (unexpected) favorite thing in our house, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! See…about a year ago, I bought two sets of silicon baking cups (large and small). My plan was to use them for snacks (which is mainly how we use them), but it turns out I’ve been able to find so many more uses for them around our home. I am constantly reaching for them for all sorts of purposes and now consider them a staple of our day-to-day living. Today I want to share over 20 creative uses for silicon baking cups to get you thinking about fun ways you might be able to use them in your own home too!
Before I jump in, I must admit I can’t claim complete credit for this idea. I first thought about re-purposing silicon baking cups into something other than baking tools when I came across this photo in Emily Ley’s A Simplified Life book. I saw this picture right at a time when it seemed like all of our kid-friendly bowls were ALWAYS dirty or in the dishwasher, and the silicon cups seamed like a fun, budget-friendly way to increase our inventory.
I first purchased the smaller (standard muffin) size and quickly realized they weren’t really big enough to hold a vast majority of our household snacks. So I turned around and ordered a dozen jumbo-size cups and they quickly became our main snack cups. Then…over the last year, I’ve found all sorts of ways to use both the big and small sizes!
In addition to their fun colors and convenience, there are a few other awesome qualities to these cups that I’ve discovered. First…since they are so flexible, you can load a bunch of them into the dishwasher at one time and have plenty of room for other things. Second, they can be flipped completely inside out, making them super simple to clean liquids, syrups and paints out of. Finally, they stack so much more compactly than regular dishes, leaving lots more room on shelves and in drawers for other items. For example, notice how 12 large and 8 small silicon cups stack so much tighter than 6 plastic bowls (below). I’m telling you…the silicon cups are a serious space saver!
NOTE: While silicon cups are SUPER handy to keep around, I don’t suggest them as a total replacements for standard kid/plastic bowls. Since they are really flexible, liquids such as cereal with milk, soup, etc would/could easily pour right out if kiddos aren’t careful!
So now that I’ve got you thinking about these cute silicon baking cups, you might be wondering…”Okay, Megan…but what on earth do I use them for besides snacks?” I’m so glad you asked! Here are some fun ideas to try!
In the Kitchen
Snack Bowls. Hands down, the most common use for the jumbo-sized silicon cups in our household is to hold large bulky snacks. They are are ideal for popcorn, cheese snacks, pretzels, trail mix, fruit slices and more. The cups are easy to fill up and pass out, making them great for large groups of kids!
Ingredient Prep Bowls. When baking or preparing complicated recipes, use either/both sizes as ingredient prep bowls. Liquid ingredients will surely slide right out because of the silicon, but powders come out pretty well too.
Fixing Bowls. Serving up tacos, an ice cream sundae bar, or a make-your-own pizza night? Use the larger cups to hold fixings and toppings!
Lunchbox Compartments. When you search “silicon baking cups,” the other main use you’ll see for them is inside kids’ bento-style lunch boxes. A combination of smaller cups are ideal for compartmentalizing a larger lunch box.
Dipping Cups. Do you have a dipper in your family? Use the smaller versions to corral ketchup, mustard, syrup, peanut butter, hummus, etc in order to keep the rest of the plate clean!
Bowls for Sprinkles. When you’re making ice-cream sundaes or decorating cookies, pouring sprinkles into cups can make for easier application. And an awesome bonus? Because the silicon cups are so squish-able, you can easily pour leftovers back into their original containers without needing a funnel!
Jello & Pudding Cups. Silicon cups make for great Jello molds (especially the fun-shaped ones like these) or if you make your own pudding snacks!
Baking. Obviously…the silicon molds can be used as reusable forms for breads, muffins, cupcakes and other baked goods.
In the Craft Room
Paint Cups. Because of the silicon, these cups clean out beautifully. As such, they are the perfect little bowls to hold acrylic paints for craft projects or finger paints for afternoon fun!
Sorting Cups for Beads, Bands, Buttons and More. For craft projects that require sorting supplies by color, these little bowls couldn’t be more perfect! Not only can you color code them to help keep your crafting on task, but they will also keep round objects like beads from rolling around!
Supply Holders. You’ve likely seen people use muffin tins as sorters for office/craft drawers, and you can employ the same idea here! Use bigger cups for rolls of tape, Post-In Notes, etc, and smaller cups for thumbtacks, paperclips and more!
In the Playroom
Lego Sorting Cups. Next to snack time, the other main reason we pull out these jumbo cups is for Lego sorting! Building big projects always goes a little smoother with the bricks sorted by color, and these cups help corral them all together!
Tiny Toy Sorters. Is your house overrun by Shopkins, My Littlest Pet Shop, or other tiny toys? The larger silicon cups could line shallow bins, baskets or drawers to help keep everything sorted and organized!
Board Game Pieces. When we play board games with lots of little or roll-y pieces, it’s often helpful to corral them into bowls to keep the 2-year old’s hands away.
Puzzle Pieces. When working on large puzzles, it can be helpful to sort pieces by edges and/or colors. These bowls can keep colors contained and pieces off the floor until you’re ready for them!
Toddler Sorting Games. Coloring matching is fun for little kiddos! Find a bunch of random house-hold items/toys and have toddlers place them in the right colored bowls.
Play Kitchen. These silicon cups seem pretty indestructible so they would be great for kids’ kitchen play. Stock up on a variety of shapes, sizes and colors to be used for “tea parties,” “baking,” “cooking,” and more!
Around the House
Sort Pieces for Furniture/Toy Assembly. Getting ready to assemble a piece of IKEA furniture or a new toy that came with 300 parts? These cups are ideal for sorting out nuts, bolts, screws and other little pieces!
Catch Coins in the Car. Do you throw spare change into your car’s cupholder? Do you love the process of fishing it all out? We discovered one of the jumbo cups slides perfectly into our cup holder, making it so much easier to pull out the change (and clean out the cupholder!) when it gets too full!
Sort Hair Accessories. If you (or your little one) have lots of bows, clips, bands, barrettes, pins and other small hair accessories, the cups make for great sorters to keep them all separate and accessible!
Bedside Table Storage. If your nightstand only has a single, shallow drawer (like mine), the smaller cups can serve as landing and sorting spots for rings, watches, chapstick, and other small items.
In general, these easy-to-stack and easy-to-clean bowls are really handy to have around the house. You can now find silicon baking cups in all sorts of fun sizes and shapes…however, I do caution you to look closely at the size of whatever cups you’re considering to make sure they hold whatever you need them to! Here are just a few of my favorites:
As you can see…I am reaching for our silicon baking cups all.the.time. Whether I’m serving snacks to a group of kids during a playdate, gearing up for a big Lego project, sorting out the million different screws and bolts that came with our latest IKEA investment, or pulling out the acrylic paints for a school project…they make sorting, snacking, storing super quick and easy!
I wracked my brain for any and all possible ideas for these cups, but I’d love to hear how you’d use them in your own home?!? If you’ve got an idea, please share it in the comments!
Have a great start to your week, friends!