What Makes A Good Cupcake To You...

Baking By Redlotusninjagrl Updated 13 May 2009 , 11:07pm by Lita829

Redlotusninjagrl Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 11:16pm
post #1 of 23

I love cupcakes. They are functional as you don't have to supply forks or plates. So it is like a mini cake, but better. I limit decorating my cupcakes to a swirl design with some buttercream or flavored bettercreme. But I have seen some beautiful cupcakes. People have done fondant and ganache. These look very lovely. So when making your cupcakes, do you focus on making a specialty flavored cake and icing or special accent decorations or do you do both? Right now, it is a way to share a flavorful piece of cake and icing. I don't do anything special, but am curious if other people do. And I only do the standard size. I don't do mini as I think they are too much work. What do you do? I think I do cupcakes more than anything else.

22 replies
cookiemookie Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 4:20am
post #2 of 23

For me it's all about flavor.the cake the icing and filling.

It has to be great quality ingredients.

I like the look of a nice swirl with minimal decorations, preferably something to give a hint as to what flavor is lurking inside!

If it's for a fancy occasion, then looks are also very important.

Ironbaker Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 8:56pm
post #3 of 23

I like to do both - pack as much goodness into these tiny packages of delight. But it depends on the occasion they're for. The flavor combo is always primary though - a moist, delicious cake with a complimenting icing and possibly a filling. Depending on who or what they are for will determine their "outfit".

I like experimenting with the BC on top and various tip designs. I like the basic swirl but I also like playing with the open round tips. I will usually have something on top of the BC - whether it's a simple flower, bow, or monogram. Or as Cookiemookie said, something to denote the flavor of the cuppy. If it's a special order, than they may get fancier. (fondant figures, pearls, etc.)

cylstrial Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 11:18pm
post #4 of 23

I like to do a pretty swirl and then a little fondant flower. (You can check out my pics if you want. I have a couple of flower fondant cupcakes in there).

My main thing is I have to fill the cupcake if there is just a layer of fondant on top (and not a substantial amount of icing under the little layer of fondant). Hope this makes sense.

fiddlesticks Posted 28 Mar 2009 , 5:03pm
post #5 of 23

Oh great question! To me flavor/moistness is first for the cake filling and icing!
Then the decor, just enough to set it off, After all once you get past the ohh,s & ahhh,s ...Its all about the taste!

Kiddiekakes Posted 28 Mar 2009 , 5:08pm
post #6 of 23

I like a good flavor,moist texture and a really light tasting whipped bakery icing!! And of course the decoration!!

solascakes Posted 28 Mar 2009 , 5:16pm
post #7 of 23

flavour,moistness ,frosting and of course TASTE

Vylette Posted 28 Mar 2009 , 5:31pm
post #8 of 23

The cupcake must catch my eye first, if its a blah cupcake visually I probably won't bother.
A nice high swirl or pretty flower. SPRINKLES!
I want to be seduced with sparkly sugar and creamy butterfat =)
As for flavor, it must be not too light, but not too heavy with a good quality real butter buttercream (not a shortening girl =/ )
Or a pretty fondant top is nice too, but I like a moussey filling with those.
Mocha on chocolate is usually my fave.

wow, I sound really picky. lol

Franluvsfrosting Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 5:37am
post #9 of 23
Originally Posted by Vylette

wow, I sound really picky. lol

Nah...you're just a connessuir! thumbs_up.gif

cakelass Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 11:14am
post #10 of 23

I like the cupcake to look good as well as taste good.
love the look on peoples faces when they bite in and you can tell they are enjoying it.
I like the swirl buttercream on top. As for filling, I am only now starting to experiment with it. In Australia it is not really big here.
Good moist and light texture makes a perfect cupcake for me.

MaloSlatko Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 11:32am
post #11 of 23

A generous amount of icing always does it for me.

A beautiful swirl of icing with a small garnish is perfect. I too love to experiment with different tips.

playingwithsugar Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 11:47am
post #12 of 23

Moistness and texture.

I have found that cupcakes which are made from a cake recipe often end up dry and tough. Cupcake recipes which start out as cupcake recipes are much better. They're moister, and the crumb is not nearly as spongy as when a cake recipe or cake mix is used.

I think it's time to experiment with additions to cake mixes and cake recipes that will make them taste like a slice of cake.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

i_heart_pastry Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 11:56am
post #13 of 23

I agree with the others - it has to look beautiful first, then have a wonderful flavor. I like a big swirl of made-with-butter buttercream and I love coordinating fillings. When I want to try a new flavor combo, I usually go with cupcakes first. Of all the ones I've made, my faves have been butter cake with blueberry filling and white chocolate buttercream (with one cute little blueberry jelly belly on top for decor) and fudge cake with chocolate-hazelnut filling and mocha buttercream (with a coffee bean on top for decor).

I do make mini-cupcakes for the kids, since it's the perfect size for my preschooler and her friends. For those, I use a mini ice cream scoop to dallop the icing on, then top with rainbow sprinkles and a soft little cherry candy. Looks like a little ice cream sundae! Cute!


SHogg Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 12:17pm
post #14 of 23

I do both standard and jumbo. I always seem to put too big of a buttercream swirl on! Maybe I just don't like too much icing! I've never put fondant on, but I want to try. I have a few specialty flavors I stick too cause everyone always requests them. I don't like to put too many sprinkles or anything large and crunchy, i think it takes away from the flavor of the cupcake. A fondant or gumpaste decoration that people can easily remove i think works best. I agree that cupcakes are better the day you make them or well covered overnight, but they dry out fast. I've been making more cupcakes recently, they just seem to be very popular!

FromScratch Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 12:29pm
post #15 of 23

I think both are important. I don't want a drab cupcake. Simple to me is like cylstrial... a nice swirl (usually with a 1A tip) with a fondant flower on top. Usually the flower will be an indicator of the flavor... chocolate for chocolate, pink for strawberry, darker pink for raspberry, yellow for lemon... you get the picture. When I drop samples off at businesses that's what I'll do and leave a print out with flavors listed by the flowers. icon_smile.gif

Above all though is flavor. I'd much rather a drab cuppie that tasted amazing to a beautious cuppie that tasted like crap. icon_wink.gif

cricket0616 Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 12:44pm
post #16 of 23

I agree that cupcakes can be dry when using a cake recipe, however before playingwithsugar mentioned a cupcake recipe I never knew there was a difference. I am new to the site, but not completely new to baking. Any suggestions for a good standard cupcake. I have to bake a batch for my sons 1st grade Easter party Thursday.

Kahuna Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 12:49pm
post #17 of 23

For me the best cupcake is the one in front of me icon_biggrin.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 12:52pm
post #18 of 23

Taste of Home online magazine has a cupcake newsletter, which delivers a new cupcake recipe each week. All the cupcake recipes are also available in their database.

Martha Stewart has also presented some tasty-sounding cupcake recipes, but from what I've heard, her recipes are hit-or-miss. Her current Living magazine has an article with some cupcake recipes in it.

Take a look at the recipe archive for the huge cupcake thread. You can find a link to the recipe archive in the signature of some of the participants. I am guessing the recipes are all TNT - tried and true.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 12:53pm
post #19 of 23

There are also recipes you can try, which have been shared in the Cupcake Club thread.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

allie73 Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 12:58pm
post #20 of 23

For me, an ideal cupcake is all about taste and texture. I am not a fan of icing usually, but on a cupcake, it had better be good. None of that gritty, bakery crud for me. Honestly, I am pretty much a chocolate-only icing person for cupcakes. Dark, rich, fudgy and delicious!

The cake itself can be white, yellow, chocolate, lemon whatever. But it needs to be moist and somewhat dense for me; I've had too many cupcakes that seem to be nothing but air, and crumble to bits the second the paper is off.

A simple decoration is best to me, and I find that the simplest designs are often the most elegant and eye-catching. You can keep the gobs of gritty sanding sugars and crunchy sprinkles. In my eyes, those things detract from the essence of the cupcake.

Now I am hungry for a cupcake!

Lita829 Posted 31 Mar 2009 , 11:37pm
post #21 of 23

I love making cupcakes. My motto is anything that can be made into a cake can be done into a cupcake!! You could make carrot cake cupcake, lemon cream cheese cupcakes, chocolate....etc. For the frosting...try ganaches, fondants, regular and spruced up buttecreams, and even whipped frostings. You can decorate with buttercream, royal, fondants, and even with gumpaste accents. icon_eek.gif

The sky is the limit for these these little morsels!!!

missjane Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 2:43am
post #22 of 23


I think my biggest criteria for me is that the cupcakes taste as good as they look.

There is nothing more disappointing that taking that first bite and not enjoying every morsel..

I also try to get the cupcakes to look exactly the same if they are all the same design or look like they belong together.

Also, using the best ingrediants I can find is a top priority for me.

My main goal when a customer picks up their cake is to get a "WOW!" and then the feedback later is the cake was the best that they have tasted.

If I get a response like that. I am happy icon_smile.gif

-- Jane icon_smile.gif

Lita829 Posted 13 May 2009 , 11:07pm
post #23 of 23

I agree with all you ladies...especially MissJane. I believe that investing in only the best ingredients will yield the best results. A cupcake should definately taste as good, if not better, than it looks. I believe that it is the TASTE that will bring the customer back thumbs_up.gif .

Aesthetics are important but so is the palate. icon_smile.gif

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