Cupcakes are sort of my thing. My family, friends, and co-workers would all agree with the following statement: I find any excuse to bake a new batch of cupcakes: birthdays, holidays, milestones, anticipated movies release, tv show's new season premiere, etc. You name it, I am plotting out and getting prepared to bake a themed batch of cupcakes to add to the said celebration.
When people say "baking is like a science", they are correct. While cupcakes are easier to make than cakes, they still have a lot that can go wrong. I get asked so many questions about how to make cupcakes like mine, getting them moist and flavorful. I figured I put together a list of the tips and tricks I do while baking to help guide you into making your own perfect cupcake!
My Tips to Baking Your Perfect Cupcakes:
Always use the best ingredients. I try to keep all my ingredients natural, organic, unprocessed, unbleached, and unsalted. Using fake, flavorless, and cheap ingredients will make a big difference compared to quality ingredients. My favorite flavor enhancers are Pure Vanilla Extract, which I use for almost every flavor, and all-natural fair trade cocoa powder.
Room temperature ingredients. Before you start baking, take out all your ingredients, minus the milk, and bring them to room temperature before you start baking. I tend to take my butter, eggs, and anything else I am using from the fridge out about 30 minutes prior to starting.
Do not overmix your batter. Mixing times are so important because the length of mixing determines how much of the gluten in the all-purpose flour is developed. By over mixing, you crush some of the air bubbles. This will result in the cake being denser with a tighter grain. Then, undermixing prevents the cake from setting correctly resulting in having a fallen center. To ensure proper mixing, beat the cake batter on low/medium until the ingredients have just combined. Don’t leave the stand mixer on and walk away! Watch it carefully to ensure you aren’t beating the mixture any more than you have to.
Uniform baking. You are going to want to make sure all your liners have the same amount of batter to ensure your batch of cupcakes will all bake evenly. The best way to ensure even batter distribution is to use a large spoon or small cookie scoop and fill the liners about 2/3 of the way.
Always bake at the center of your oven! Also, resist the urge to peek into your oven while your batch is baking. Every time you open the door of the oven while your cupcakes are in there, you risk having to bake them longer than usual and drying them out.
Remove the cupcakes from the baking pan post oven. Let your cupcakes cool in the pan for no longer than a few minutes before you remove them and place them on a wire rack. It is ideal to do this because the heat from the pan can actually cook the cupcakes further and dry them out.
Do not frost the cupcakes until they are entirely cooled. If you do it too soon, the heat from the cupcakes will cause the frosting to melt. That's a mess you do not want. Another great tip for the frosting is it will act as a light seal to help your cupcakes retain their moisture. When frosting, try to cover the exposed top with frosting as best you can so your cupcakes stay moist longer. This is also helpful if you plan to keep your cupcakes out on display for a long period of time.
Hope these tips help you the next time you bake cupcakes! Have any tips you want to share with us or want to talk more, contact us!
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