A few times over the last year or so, I've made cupcakes and run into an issue and it's driving me crazy so I'm hoping for all of your advice. I've used a few different recipes and each turn out with the same result, a flat, almost sunken top that is very shiny and almost has a crispy shell. Is there something obvious that is wrong? I've got an oven thermometer, so I think my oven temp is pretty accurate. I've also just recently bought new soda/baking powder. Two of the recipes I've used are below.
The pics in the second link are exactly what I'm after, a nice domed top to my cupcake that I seem to only acheive with a box mix.
I have had this same affect on my chocolate cake sometimes...Id love to hear too!
I just read this whole thread last night about various techniques to get a nice dome on a cupcake. Not every technique has the same results, but there are a few different options to see what works best in your kitchen.
I was actually just thinking about making up a batch this afternoon to try one of the ideas!!
Not all recipes for cake convert well to cupcakes. In both recipes the ratio of weight of sugar to flour is heavier. In the first recipe there is 14 ounces to 7.875 ounces of flour, plus the mixing process does not incorporate any air into the batter. Without air, you will not get a raised dome, not matter what trick you use to try and get the cupcakes to dome.
Remember cake recipes are made so that they bake up flat. The higher weight of sugar to the flour will also result in a flat cake and sunken cupcakes.
If you try a chocolate recipe with a different mixing method, you might get a better result. A chocolate cake can take more weight in sugar than flour for some reason. So that may not be as crucial. But seeing how you are looking online, go to Martha Stewart.com first and try some of her recipes.
The second recipe has the same mixing problem. In fact I find the wet/dry method only good for muffins. When using that for a cake you get a dry coarse cake crumb that is not fun to eat. I know that some think what is on the Bakerella site is perfect in every way, but this recipe is not. Yes, you get a dome like you do in a muffin, but you will not like the crumb.
If you want to give your cupcakes a fighting change to raise, use a recipe with the creaming method. Then you can try the trick of fiddling with your oven temp.
I personally am tired of raising and lowering the oven temp, especially when doing multiple batches and I have to wait for the oven to heat back up again. So I have abandoned getting a dome. You know what, the the frosting on top, no can tell what the top of the cake looks like. And if they taste good, they don't care either. I have given sunken cupcakes away that people have raved over. So I have let it go. All I look for now are cupcakes that do not spill over. When that does not happen, I am very happy.