Planning on making a batch of perfect cupcakes to gift or for a birthday or special occasion? If you’ve done it a few times before, you should have little problem in baking cupcakes that your guests will love. If not, here are seven pro tips to help you cook up bakery-quality cupcakes right at home.
The most important tip: Respect the recipe
While this may sound obvious to some seasoned home bakers, many hobbyists tend to diverge from the original recipe, which either messes up the final outcome or destroys it altogether, wasting time, effort and money.
There is no harm in deviating from a recipe or making your own additions; however, doing so when you’re not really an expert at making cupcakes is inviting trouble. Substituting ingredients, reducing quantities, or skipping steps altogether is not the way to baking perfect cupcakes.
So whenever following someone else’s tried-and-tested cupcake recipe, whether that person is a celebrated food blogger or your next-door neighbor or a friend, make sure to follow each and every instruction and don’t even think about replacing or omitting ingredients if you don’t want to sulk later over a recipe fail you could have avoided.
Ensure the ingredients are at room temperature
Cold or warm ingredients just don’t work when it comes to baking the perfect cupcakes. So if some of the items are refrigerated and the others stashed away in your pantry cupboard or have just been removed from the boot of your car, put them all out on the kitchen counter to bring everything to room temperature.
If you don’t have the time or have something that will take a long time to thaw (such as butter), simply microwave the items for 10 or 15 seconds.
Use gram measurements for better results
Ask a seasoned pastry chef and they will tell you how measurements can make or break a recipe. Experienced bakers swear by measuring ingredients in grams as that ensures that they’re using the precise amount needed, thus protecting the sanctity of a treasured recipe.
If you’re used to measuring in cups and have not had trouble so far, feel free to keep doing so. But when trying out a new recipe altogether, try to use gram measurements and see if it makes a difference.
Avoid mixing too much or little
When it comes to baking exquisite cakes and cupcakes, mixing is really an art that takes some practice to master. Under mix and you’ll have a batter that’s neither smooth nor consistent; overmix and you’ll end up with cupcakes that didn’t rise as well as you expected.
How to be sure if you’re mixing the batter the right way? Simple—follow the instructions in the recipe. If still in doubt, call a friend who loves baking.
Move the cupcakes while they’re in the oven
Once—and only when—your cupcakes are half done, rotate them around in the oven for more even baking. Avoid doing this more than once. Also, don’t open the oven door until half of the total baking time has elapsed.
If you’re someone who loves to indulge loved ones with cute little cupcakes made for special occasions, check out this interesting guide to birthday cupcakes at https://sunflourbakingcompany.com/birthday-cupcakes/.
Use only the best cupcake liners
Yes, the quality of your cupcake liner plays an important role in how your hard work will pay off and how much it will be appreciated. When you’re putting in so much effort in baking something special for your family or friends, why not also ensure that you’re using the best quality ingredients and cupcake liners?
For superb results, use wrappers made with superior-quality greaseproof paper. This way you won’t have to deal with broken or damaged cupcakes that stuck to the sides of the liner or greasy liners that made your cupcakes look smeared with oil.
Avoid overstuffing the cupcake liners
Yes, it is crucial to use the right batter quantity when it comes to filling your cupcakes. Many baking lovers tend to overlook this simple yet important aspect of baking cupcakes that will turn out just right. Overfilling or under-filling the wrappers can cause the cupcakes to either rise too much or sink into an unattractive shape. Pouring excessive batter may also result in unsightly leakage that destroys the liner from the outside.
One way to avoid this common mistake is using an ice cream scoop to pour batter. Also know that filling the liner three-fourth works well for most types of cupcakes.