Help! Second Dozen Comes Out Different!!!

Baking By jmat121 Updated 6 May 2011 , 1:50pm by goaldigger

jmat121 Posted 18 Apr 2011 , 4:25pm
post #1 of 18

I am just starting my baking career, and I ran into an issue this week while making an order. I have recently started to do my cupcakes from scratch rather than boxed mixes. I made a yellow cake batter from a recipe I had practiced before hand with a regular birthday cake, which came out fine. This weekend, I made the batter to bake cupcakes. The first dozen came out of the oven completely perfect. Great texture and color. The second dozen came out looking tough, porous, and a little browner. They baked for the same amount of time. I'm trying desperately to figure out what could have happened. Does anyone have any clues they can give me? I'm wondering if perhaps the batter wasn't mixed properly and there was too much butter near the bottom of the bowl. Anyone help?!?!?!?

17 replies
KoryAK Posted 18 Apr 2011 , 7:04pm
post #2 of 18

Uneven mixing is a possibility, as well as maybe your particular batter cannot tolerate sitting and needs to be baked right away (I'm assuming you baked one dozen then the other).

Queento2 Posted 18 Apr 2011 , 7:18pm
post #3 of 18

DID YOU FULLY WAIT FOR YOUR OVEN TO PREHEAT BEFORE PLACING THE FIRST DOZEN IN THE OVEN? I WAS THINKING THAT MAYBE THE OVEN WAS TOO HOT BY THE TIME THE SECOND DOZEN WENT IN, AND MIGHT HAVE FINISHED SOONER THAN THE NEEDED TIME. JUST MY OPINION THOUGH. SORRY, FOR THE CAPS, I WORK IN ALL CAPS AT WORK, AND DIDN'T EVEN REALIZE TIL I GOT TO THE END OF THE POST.

jmat121 Posted 18 Apr 2011 , 8:00pm
post #4 of 18

I did bake one dozen first and then the other. The batter sat on the table about ten feet from the oven, so I doubt it got that hot in 20 minutes, but I was thinking maybe I should have refrigerated. I did let the oven preheat for about half an hour before baking the first dozen. Maybe it had been on too long when I baked the others. I did check them before the 20 minute baking time was up, and I could already tell the texture was off.

m_willford Posted 18 Apr 2011 , 8:14pm
post #5 of 18

I just did a big order of cupcakes and spread them out over a couple days. I tend to do 1 doz at a time because it's a really tight fit in my oven with 2 pans. I do scratch too, and my batch does 12 with a little batter left over. Instead of leaving it out, I put it in a ziploc bag in the fridge. Every batch of 1 doz, I would just add the leftover batter to the bag in the fridge. When the bag was full I pulled it out and let it warm up a bit, not too warm, just about room temperature and we keep the house about 65 right now. Squeezed it into the liners and baked in a fully-preheated oven.

They baked up just fine. Moist and nicely colored, looked just like the first ones.

Once I did a big batch and only baked half of it in the oven, while the rest sat out. Then I put the second batch in and they exploded all over the pan, sunk in the middle... really turned out bad. The butter in the batter may have melted a little or something. I don't see how the oven wouldn't bake at the same temperature or anything, when you do a roast and it's on for 3 hours the temperature stays the same unless you open the oven a lot. So the oven having been on a while shouldn't have affected the cupcakes.

If your recipe had baking soda in it, the leavening chemical reaction happens pretty quickly which is why you mix and then bake immediately. But refrigerating can slow the process, allowing more lee-way as to when you bake it. Kind of like bread dough. If it is left to rise too long, it goes hard and flat in the oven. But you can freeze the dough, like store bought stuff, and once it comes to room temp it bakes up like normal. icon_smile.gif

donnella2045 Posted 18 Apr 2011 , 8:14pm
post #6 of 18

did you bake the second batch in the same type of pan? A darker pan will bake up much quicker. Also, did you rotate the pan half way through the baking time for even baking? I can't think of any other reason this would happen except for overbaking.

imagenthatnj Posted 18 Apr 2011 , 8:33pm
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by m_willford

I just did a big order of cupcakes and spread them out over a couple days. I tend to do 1 doz at a time because it's a really tight fit in my oven with 2 pans. I do scratch too, and my batch does 12 with a little batter left over. Instead of leaving it out, I put it in a ziploc bag in the fridge. Every batch of 1 doz, I would just add the leftover batter to the bag in the fridge. When the bag was full I pulled it out and let it warm up a bit, not too warm, just about room temperature and we keep the house about 65 right now. Squeezed it into the liners and baked in a fully-preheated oven.

They baked up just fine. Moist and nicely colored, looked just like the first ones.

Once I did a big batch and only baked half of it in the oven, while the rest sat out. Then I put the second batch in and they exploded all over the pan, sunk in the middle... really turned out bad. The butter in the batter may have melted a little or something. I don't see how the oven wouldn't bake at the same temperature or anything, when you do a roast and it's on for 3 hours the temperature stays the same unless you open the oven a lot. So the oven having been on a while shouldn't have affected the cupcakes.

If your recipe had baking soda in it, the leavening chemical reaction happens pretty quickly which is why you mix and then bake immediately. But refrigerating can slow the process, allowing more lee-way as to when you bake it. Kind of like bread dough. If it is left to rise too long, it goes hard and flat in the oven. But you can freeze the dough, like store bought stuff, and once it comes to room temp it bakes up like normal. icon_smile.gif




I was just going to talk about the baking soda and why it would be a good idea to refrigerate the second batch to slow down the leavening process. I do that all the time for consistent results. The second batch of cupcakes just takes about 3-5 min. longer to bake.

jmat121 Posted 18 Apr 2011 , 11:35pm
post #8 of 18

No baking soda in this recipe. I'm thinking the batter did get too warm and the butter separated out a little. Next time I will try chilling the batter and giving it a quick stir before baking the next dozen.

LindaF144a Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 1:39pm
post #9 of 18

You left the second batch sit out for 20 minutes before you baked. This means the leavening lost some of its action. It is called bench time for sitting before baking. You do get different results depending on how long it sits out.

I would do what imaginethatnj said. Plus it will depend on the brand baking powder you use on how it will react sitting out. I have no idea where you live, so I can't determine what kind of BP you used. I am assuming you used BP because you said it didn't contain soda.

jmat121 Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 4:02pm
post #10 of 18

I live in WV in the Upper Ohio Valley. I am pretty sure this baking powder was just Kroger Brand. I was actually thinking that I should have taken them out sooner than the first, based on the browning that they got on the edges. I baked a batch of white cupcakes a few weeks ago, and they did the same thing, only both dozen were terrible. Maybe my baking powder is just too old? But then why would the first batch come out perfect?

Queento2 Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 4:20pm
post #11 of 18

does your oven alert you once your oven is preheated? Mine does, but every now and then i get lazy and just throw something in the oven if I feel like the oven is taking too long to preheat to the required temp. And everytime i do that, i end up having to leave them in longer than the directions say to. so maybe your first batch are getting in sooner than your oven is preheated, which allows them to "cook" slower. Then on your second batch, the oven is at the correct temp. try cooking those at a shorter time than the first batch.

LindaF144a Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 7:18pm
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmat121

I live in WV in the Upper Ohio Valley. I am pretty sure this baking powder was just Kroger Brand. I was actually thinking that I should have taken them out sooner than the first, based on the browning that they got on the edges. I baked a batch of white cupcakes a few weeks ago, and they did the same thing, only both dozen were terrible. Maybe my baking powder is just too old? But then why would the first batch come out perfect?





Check the label to see if it says anything about be double acting. Most powders on the market are double acting, but being a store brand it could one of the ways it is different.

Is there an expiration date on the can? You can also test it by placing baking powder in a glass measuring cup and pour very hot or close to boiling water over it. If it bubbles it is good, if it does nothing it is old.

The first batch came out perfect because you put it in the oven soon after mixing and it did not sit outside of the oven waiting. There is only a certain amount of time you can let it sit with the kind of baking powder you are using before the powder loses its potency. I use Rumford and it can tolerate the 20 minute wait. Kroger's brand is probably made of different leavening materials (and there are about 5 different kinds that can be used in baking powder), is less potent. It is also why it costs less, because it uses a chemical that has a shorter bench life and is therefore cheaper to produce and to resell. Just my opinion on the product, there is no Kroger near me. All I do know that even with the great supermarket near me, their store brands react differently in baking than the name brand. So I have found the brand that works for my baking and I use only that brand. I may be spending more, but hey - it's my money and it works for me.

Do what works for you. Try having the recipe and only making a dozen at a time. See if you get different results that way. Try putting both trays in the oven and then switch shelves halfway through. Try putting the extra batter in the fridge to chill it and keep it from reacting. I'm positive you will find a solution that will work for you.

imagenthatnj Posted 19 Apr 2011 , 7:57pm
post #13 of 18

I agree with LindaF144a. This is a common problem. Do try putting the batter in the fridge while you bake the other. Maybe that's the simple solution.

From the link I'm giving you below:

"Once you mix a batter, your baking soda or baking powder immediately begins producing gas, and that gas almost immediately being trying to escape into the air. So your goal is to cook the batter and set the proteins within it before the gas has time to fully escape."

There's a picture of two pancakes in the link, one cooked 30 min. after the other. I know it's pancakes, but the same applies to cakes most of the time.

Plus, it's really good reading! And there's the pictures of the test Linda talks about, for your baking powder.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/06/what-is-the-difference-between-baking-powder-and-baking-soda-in-pancakes.html

Good luck with testing. You'll find your solution, whatever that might be.

JulieMN Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 12:13am
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Queento2

does your oven alert you once your oven is preheated? Mine does, but every now and then i get lazy and just throw something in the oven if I feel like the oven is taking too long to preheat to the required temp. And everytime i do that, i end up having to leave them in longer than the directions say to. so maybe your first batch are getting in sooner than your oven is preheated, which allows them to "cook" slower. Then on your second batch, the oven is at the correct temp. try cooking those at a shorter time than the first batch.




In addition to all of the great advice you have already received about the powder, think about the question above. My oven buzzes when the oven has reached the temperature--theoretically. Learned the hard way to let it heat up for several more minutes until the thermometer inside says it is at the right temp. I have to double check in between batches that it has not reset to the default temp (which is higher than my baking temp) and to make sure that the oven is back to temp. Counting the days until we can replace it.....

jmat121 Posted 20 Apr 2011 , 2:37am
post #15 of 18

Thanks so much for all the good ideas! I always give my oven plenty of time to preheat, even after it beeps so I'm confident the temperature was okay. Especially since the oven is less than a year old. I am definitely going to try a new brand of baking powder and chilling the batter in between baking.

goaldigger Posted 5 May 2011 , 5:25pm
post #16 of 18

I have similar question (and sorry if this seems really basic, just starting to bake cupcakes), I used a cake mix the other day and baked 12 at a time. First set came out great, second not as big. I wondered if I should put batter in the fridge while first set baked or run the mixer through again before spooning second batch. I mixed again and that either hurt or the not putting in the fridge.

So sounds like maybe I should stick in fridge and stir again before spooning but don't use mixer? I have tiny apt kitchen so does get warm (and apt sized oven so 2 pans and switching half way doesn't always yield best results when baking).

Thanks for your help.
Kim

imagenthatnj Posted 5 May 2011 , 5:48pm
post #17 of 18

You shouldn't overmix cake batters, so no mixing again afterwards.

Try sticking it in the fridge and stir lightly before spooning the batter and see if that helps.

I only bake one pan at a time, too.

goaldigger Posted 6 May 2011 , 1:50pm
post #18 of 18

OK, sticking in the fridge and just giving a little stir seemed to work. Now I need to work on putting less batter in cups (although makes for nice big cupcakes for first batch). I'm getting there.

I made red velvet cakes that I'm going to top with white frosting and then I'm going to attempt to make some roses with B Crocker icing in a can (I hope don't look like red poop!). These are for KY Derby party.

K

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