I Stink At Making Cupcakes!!

Baking By lisamaria Updated 28 Jul 2010 , 4:54pm by lisamaria

lisamaria Posted 27 Jul 2010 , 11:17pm
post #1 of 18

I just made cupcakes using a recipe on this site. I am so disappointed every time I make cupcakes. I just can't get a nice looking cupcake. I get some with the muffin tops and some are too dark. I rotate the pans once. I must open the oven too much. I am trying to troubleshoot my issue. The batter I used tasted SO good when it was just batter. AFter baking, it tasted a lot like pancakes (I did taste it when it was warm). I think I am still looking for the best vanilla cake recipe. I read on the forum about getitng a dome. I never get a dome on mine. Maybe it is my oven...it's old. I know the muffin tops are from overfilling, but what am I supposed to do..only fill them halfway? I am just frustrated. icon_sad.gif Cupcakes are so much harder than they look! icon_confused.gif

17 replies
glow0369 Posted 27 Jul 2010 , 11:47pm
post #2 of 18

with cupcakes, just like cakes, everything has to be working properly. The right pans, the correct oven temp, the right recipe, an even heationg oven, the correct amount of cake batter, don't open the oven. Don't give up keep trying, they are not that difficult. Try the WASC recipe and just use vanilla extract in place of the almond.. Good luck

lisamaria Posted 27 Jul 2010 , 11:51pm
post #3 of 18

Thank you so much for taking the time to try to help. I will check out that recipe for sure. Sounds so good! I love to try new recipes, and like I said, I've yet to find the best one for vanilla cake. May I ask what you use to fill your pans? I think that is my number one problem. I use an ice cream scoop..guess I put too much. I will stop opening the oven. So you don't rotate your pans at all?

glow0369 Posted 28 Jul 2010 , 12:06am
post #4 of 18

I never rotate my pans. If your oven is heating evenly, you shouldn't have to. I do use a small ice cream scoop, and visual inspection... even using a scoop you can put in a little more or less. I fill a little more than half full. I just made cupcakes today with the WASC recipe and they are all beautiful. Also some other recipes rise more than others. thumbs_up.gif

luvbuttercream Posted 28 Jul 2010 , 12:19am
post #5 of 18

I also use WASC 90% of the time. Well I have made almost everything with it. I have done devils food, white, french vanilla, chocolate fudge, carrot and many more all using the method behind WASC. My cupcakes always turn out fantastic I know some ovens vary but I always bake at 350 for 18 mins. To test for 'doneness' I just touch the top if it is springy they are perfect! Also I fill my liners just over half full usually using a 1/3 cup measuring cup but I usually don't fill it all the way.

lisamaria Posted 28 Jul 2010 , 12:25am
post #6 of 18

I checked out the recipe. Why do they use box mixes AND then add flour and sugar and all the other indredients?? I do all my baking from scratch, so I am not familiar with box mixes. That recipe looks like it makes a LOT of batter. I figured these cupcakes will look okay when I frost them, but I doubt I will use this recipe again. I just didn't love the results. Thanks for your help. I am gonna make chocolate ones now, and I am NOT gonna overfill them. I do have a smaller scoops, so I will use them. I am determined to make lovely looking cupcakes! icon_smile.gif

Thank you ladies! I appreciate your expertise.

luvbuttercream Posted 28 Jul 2010 , 12:28am
post #7 of 18

The WASC recipe is great because you add sour cream which makes your cake more sturdy and moist. I assume you add the flour and sugar to counteract the added moisture somewhat. To be honest I am not entirely sure why it works but it does!! I love it. It does not taste like a boxed mix and it is sturdy, moist and does not fall flat like most of the scratch recipes I have used.

windemire Posted 28 Jul 2010 , 12:43am
post #8 of 18

Lisamaria, this is my go-to scratch WASC recipe...it was posted on here quite some time ago, but I can't find it in the recipe section anymore, so I can't give proper credit to the original poster (sorry).

I usually use 2 TBSP of vanilla extract, and you can use 5 whole eggs instead of the egg whites.

I've never had a failure with this recipe...hope it works for you! icon_smile.gif

A Better White Scratch Cake
Ingredients
5 c cake flour (You can substitute 3/4 cup of all purpose flour + 2 Tbs cornstarch for 1 cup of cake flour)
3 1/3 c sugar
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 1/2 c milk
1 1/3 c shortening
16oz sour cream
1 or 2 Tbsp vanilla or almond extract
10 egg whites (or 10oz carton egg whites)

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare your pans as you normally would. Sift dry ingredients together into mixer bowl. Add everything but egg whites and mix just until combined. Beat on high for 2 minutes, turn down mixer and add egg whites, return to high and beat for another 2 minutes. Pour into pans and bake.
  
  This recipe makes 10 cups of batter, but can be halved or doubled (if your mixer can handle it).

luvbuttercream Posted 28 Jul 2010 , 12:45am
post #9 of 18

Also I forgot to mention that the WASC recipe makes about 36 standard cupcakes.

lisamaria Posted 28 Jul 2010 , 12:54am
post #10 of 18

THANK YOU, luv!! I wish I could print your post! lol Ok, so if you make a cake with this, what pans do you use? Sounds like so much batter still. You guys are the best. I just discovered this site about a week ago, and I AM ADDICTED ALREADY...loving it...and bakers are the best people!! icon_smile.gif

LindaF144a Posted 28 Jul 2010 , 2:39am
post #11 of 18

If you post your recipe and how you mix it, and what temp you use in the oven we might be able togive you more pointers.

Cupcakes take practice. I think more than cake, but that is just me. I bake everything from scratch, and I am just after 7 months of research getting good cupcakes. Keep it up, it will happen.

luvbuttercream Posted 28 Jul 2010 , 4:38am
post #12 of 18

The WASC recipe would make about 2 2 inch deep 8 inch cakes. or 2 3inch deep 6 inch cakes

lisamaria Posted 28 Jul 2010 , 12:18pm
post #13 of 18

Thank you, Linda. Well I didn't want to say which recipe cos I found it on here and I didnt want to insult anyone. I know it's my fault for opening the oven too much AND for overfilling the pans. I know for one thing...tell me if you think this made a difference. AFter adding the sugar and butter...it said to beat for 8 mins...I missed that part! I didn't beat it that long! The recipe also called for whole milk and I didn't have it, so I mixed half skim and half cream...did I mess up the texture too much? I just think it was WAY too buttery of a flavor for me. I like a lighter cake. I baked them at 350....I definitely agree that they take practice! I am good at cakes and cookies and all that stuff, but cupcakes..I am still learning the craft. I definitely see the domes forming when the batter sits for a bit before you fill the pans! I made a batch of chocolate ones after, and they came out much better!

LindaF144a Posted 28 Jul 2010 , 1:52pm
post #14 of 18

How long you cream the batter in the beginning will make a ton of difference. The more you cream, the lighter the cake. This may effect the "dry" feel to the cupcake, while it might not be technically dry.

I don't you would insult anybody posting which recipe you use. We all have different mixers, ovens, ways of making it, etc. That is part of the process of cake making. And you admitted that you messed up the creaming part, so therefore it is not the recipe, but the baker. icon_wink.gif

Your milk substitution should not have messed up the cake to the point of being dry. In fact the cream probably added some creaminess to the cupcake.

I don't understand the concept of too buttery icon_biggrin.gif. I love butter cakes over oil based cakes. But if it is too buttery for you, you can substitute oil. Only you have to add 20% more oil and take out 20% of the liquid to substitute butter. You can substitute like for like because then you add more fat and less liquid than the recipe has been formulated for.

HTH

lisamaria Posted 28 Jul 2010 , 2:34pm
post #15 of 18

Linda, I totally take the blame (it was Dawn's butter cake). Well, I just thought that 3 sticks was a lot..it's usually more like 1 1/2 or 2.....the cupcakes weren't dry at all....they just didn't have the flavor I was trying to achieve. It's hard to explain. I am picky about yellow or white cake! I thought I would like the richness but they tasted too much like pancakes...I know I am weird! lol Thank you for your tips though. Sometimes I am too impatient and I know better than to not read a recipe more carefully!!!

LindaF144a Posted 28 Jul 2010 , 2:47pm
post #16 of 18

Ooops, my fault. I am also helping another gal who has dry cupcakes, I got you two mixed up.

I'll go look up the recipe now. Depending on the amount of flour and other ingredients, that butter may just be too much.

LindaF144a Posted 28 Jul 2010 , 2:52pm
post #17 of 18

Okay, I looked at the recipe and you are right, that is a lot of butter! The ratio of butter to flour is usually somewhere around 40% to 60%, sometimes as high at 70-80%. But I have never seen a recipe that is 100% butter to flour. It probably makes a very rich moist cake, but I'm wondering how it worked in cupcakes. Did they rise? Were they dense or light? I get that they tasted like butter and I'm not surprised either. The leavening is a little bit too much too.

Don't worry about this being an insult to the recipe creator either. We each like our cupcakes a different way. I've made a ton of cupcakes over the last 7 months. While my family and friends have loved them, I still think they are a little too dry. I took red velvet ones to my nephew's grad party last week. They disappeared in no time flat. Everybody loved them and I still wanted just a little bit more moisture. I'm beginning to think that we all never really be truly satisfied and we are all our own worse critic.

lisamaria Posted 28 Jul 2010 , 4:54pm
post #18 of 18

Ok, so I am not nuts!! I am never using that recipe again. None of them had domes....I got muffin tops cos I overfilled..but none of them sank or anything. It's moist but dense, if that makes sense. NOT a light cupcake..but remember...I didn't beat for 8 mins. Still, I have a feeling I wouldn't have loved it. The reviews were good, so I thought...why not? Oh, I could not find that extract either, and now I am glad I didn't bother since I won't be making it again. I am like you...I am never satisfied....I am always in search of the best yellow cake recipe. Chocolate seems to be the easier one.

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