How to make cupcakes

making cupcakes easily

CupCake Flip

Tricks for Great Cupcakes

how to make cupcakes

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Globally, we are living in an age of a resurgence of baking and a return to home cooking. The Perfect Cupcake is already a family favourite treat and has turned into a household contest to see who can deliver the perfect cupcake.

This article doesn’t contain my best cupcake recipe, you will however find it by clicking here. If you have found yourself here, I am guessing you have some rather wonderful recipes, but they may need a few tweaks for perfection.

I have therefore decided to offer some personal experiences as a cupcake baker of long-standing. Call them cupcake tips or cupcake tricks – but, hey, if I can save you from making some of the bad rookie experiences I had to live through, it is worth a read.

So, let’s get to it with the questions I am asked most often.

My favorite Online Baking Shop

This is a blatant affiliate link but it is somewhere I love to shop online, as it has everything I need is Bakedeco. It has it all including ingredients and great equipment. I also shop at my local supermarket, Kmart, Target, etc. I buy new and second-hand baking tins, garage sales always have great baking pans in fantastic condition.

wedding cupcakes how to make perfect cupcakes

How do you keep your cupcakes in a perfectly consistent size and shape?

It seems like almost everyone struggles with this one. The best tip I can offer is what I do: For a perfect shape and consistently on cupcakes, I use an ice cream scoop. A three-tablespoon ice cream scoop will fill a cupcake liner (patty pan if you are in Australia/UK) to 2/3 full. This, of course, is the perfect amount for every cupcake. Less than ¾ and they won’t rise to where you want them, above the liner edge, any more than that and you will be cleaning cake sludge off the bottom of your oven.

Is it better to use oil or butter?

This is a personal choice. I use butter for special occasion cupcakes but for everyday cakes, I will use oil instead of butter, either canola oil or olive oil. The oils have a fat content that will make your cupcakes slightly more moister than they would have been with butter.

Substitute ¾ cup of oil for every cup of butter the recipe calls for. You can also do a half/half butter to oil recipe. This also works well.

how to make cupcakes

What is the best flour to use in my cupcakes?

Cupcakes are made with lots of sugar, so use normal cake flour. It creates that light and airy texture you are looking for in your cupcakes. If you are lucky enough to find French cake flour, use that. I have not done my usual research into why French flour seems to work well, but it adds something to your cupcakes.

How do you always get your cupcake texture perfect?

The art of baking a fluffy, moist cupcake is simple science. You are looking to add air bubbles. If you do that in your batter, it will expand the cupcake in the oven. Then, be careful that you don’t over-mix the batter. If you do, you cause those precious bubbles to collapse and you end up with an inedible rubbery disaster. It’s a question of trial and error on this one, I’m afraid, the only help I can offer is that I mix on low speed, and I stop as soon as all my ingredients seem blended.

Baking seems to underly most questions – so here are a few suggestions:

It is all-important where in your oven you place your cupcakes. Place cupcake pans in the centre of a rack, and right in the middle of your oven. This guarantees good airflow and evens out the heat distribution. If you ever take out cupcakes and find them overcooked on one side, this is the most likely reason.

Where to place in the oven: Prewarm your oven to 205°C (400°F). I know it is scary to deviate from your recipe but do try this and see how you go. You may be surprised.

This is a bit higher than most recipes call for, but a lower temperature will result in cupcakes with flat tops. If you go any higher than 205°C, your cupcake’s edges will solidify first, the centre will rise, and you will get an unwanted domed top. Also, remember not to use fan-forced mode. Rather set it at “conventional”.

If you use a fan-forced oven, reduce the temperature by 20°C which will imitate conventional settings.

I frequently get called by frantic friends telling me their cupcakes have either shrunk or sunk after baking. This is primarily due to having used too much egg. It is infuriating when recipes just say “egg”. Eggs vary substantially in size and moisture content. If that has happened to you and your cupcakes have failed, be careful to note the size of the egg you have used and use smaller ones in future.

One idea to note is that from my research of old baking recipes, many will state a medium egg. This is what I tend to use for myself.

how to make cupcakes

Will icing (or frosting in America) thicken in the fridge?

Icing will most definitely thicken in the fridge. Weigh your options. Do you want soft icing in the end? Some recipes call for adding extra ingredients, using warm icing (which can become runny very quickly and many other techniques and textures.

How do I thicken my icing/frosting?

The easiest method, here, is to use cornflour (or corn-starch in America). Simply add a half-teaspoon into your bowl of runny icing. Whisk by hand – or electric mixer. Check its consistency now. If it is good, good. If not repeat the exact same process – and continue until your mixture reaches your perfect thickness.

And that, as they say, is that. Happy baking.

perfect cupcakes


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