I Make Ugly Cupcakes....help!

Baking By Cakeuhlicious Updated 23 Jul 2011 , 1:25pm by bananabread

Cakeuhlicious Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 3:33pm
post #1 of 11

So, I have come to terms with the fact that my cupcakes are ugly. They just are...they always taste great...but anytime I use a scratch recipe, they are flat on top and goodge out all over. This has happened with a lemon recipe and most recently an apple recipe. Here is the most recent one I worked with:

4 cups chopped apples
2 cups white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar and apples, set aside. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

2.In a large bowl, stir together the oil, eggs and vanilla. Add the apples and sugar, mix well. Stir in the dry ingredients, then the nuts. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

3.Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until cake springs back to the touch.

I baked my cupcakes for 25 minutes and they were moist and delicious, but they didn't dome on top at all. They are flat little pancakes on top. I like baking from scratch but I always seem to produce ugly little cakes. Any recommendations?

10 replies
vgray Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 3:42pm
post #2 of 11

I have been reading to bake at 400 degrees for the first 5-7 minutes and then turn the oven down to 350 for the remaining time. I have not personally tried this, yet (I am next week for a friend's b-day); but a lot of people says this works every time to get a dome on top.

tiptop57 Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 4:04pm
post #3 of 11

You wrote: Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Do you use cupcake pans? If not, that could be a issue.

How full do you fill the cupcake liners?

I fill them 3/4's full then weight the first one and make sure all of them are about the same level, so I randomly check my weight when filling the liners. I also pan spray the liners and the top of my pan so the papers peel easier and cupcakes don't stick to the pan. When I take them out of the oven then I plop the cuppies into an additional wrapper so they are pretty.

If you open your oven door too early you can also lose the nice little dome.

You can always add one tablespoon of dry meringue powder for more height.

Do you sift your flour prior to measuring? If not, start as it will settle and create a more dense cake.

Also this is a type of spice/fruit style cake. They are dense more like a quick bread batter and less likely to give you the height you want. HTH

Cakeuhlicious Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 4:54pm
post #4 of 11

I did use metal pans. One was standard, one was a heavy duty non stick and they did the same thing. I filled the liners a little more than 3/4 full (which Im sure didnt help) because of the apple element taking up a little of the space in the baking cup. I didnt sift the flour PRIOR to measuring it, no. I had such a fluffier vision in my head. LOL

I will def. try all of the things mentioned. Even if they do end up flat and spread out again, having a little release agent on the pans would probably save me some headache.

bananabread Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 12:39am
post #5 of 11

try to make your cupcakes only with 2 cups of apple.

if you have problrms to bake check de sir baking 911

Too little batter in pan
Pans greased too heavily
Pans too close together in oven
Extreme overmixing
Too much liquid
Overbaking - too long or at too high a temperature
Improper mixing procedure

SweetSuzieQ Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 1:57pm
post #6 of 11

I wonder too if you maybe beat the eggs really well before adding the oil/vanilla. This would incorporate more air in the batter and, with the eggs being mixed so well before, you will need less mixing after the dry ingredients are added. From what I remember, levening agents expand air bubbles, they don't add them so, they have to already exist.

Also, maybe swap baking soda for baking powder ... maybe the apples don't have enough acid to activate the soda?

sarahsweetcakes Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 4:12pm
post #7 of 11
Originally Posted by vgray

I have been reading to bake at 400 degrees for the first 5-7 minutes and then turn the oven down to 350 for the remaining time. I have not personally tried this, yet (I am next week for a friend's b-day); but a lot of people says this works every time to get a dome on top.

I've been using this trick and it works everytime!! My cupcakes always have cute little domed tops now. icon_smile.gif

all4cake Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 4:36pm
post #8 of 11

That's a LOT of apples for that amount of flour. I agree with bananabread, reduce the amount of apples.

Gotta be careful with chopped apples in cupcakes and raising the temperature of the oven and reducing the cook time...they may still be a bit on the crunchy/under/uncooked side. Possibly coarse grating the smaller amount of apples?

The sugar to flour ratio seems a bit high as well. Too much sugar can also cause a sinking situation.

Just curious, where did you get the recipe?

bananabread Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 5:48pm
post #9 of 11

this is an excellent recipe,

apple cake

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspon all spice powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups finely chopped apples
1/2 cup chopped nuts

mix sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. sift flour, baking soda, salt, spices. integrate both mixes very slowly, then add apples and nuts. do not over mix. bake 350° or 180°,

do not oil the paper cups. Please let me know if you made the recipe. Saludos Grace

Osgirl Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 4:34am
post #10 of 11

I do what vgray suggested with my recipes and it works every time. I did have one recipe that it didn't work for-they were either flat or if I even slightly overfilled them they went over the edge but didn't rise. I scrapped that recipe and found another one because it was too temperamental.

This past week I forgot to start at 400, and my chocolate cupcakes didn't have near the perfect dome that they normally have. It may not work on every single recipe, but so far it has worked on all of mine except that one.

That said, it could be something else. I'd also consider the other posters' responses!

bananabread Posted 23 Jul 2011 , 1:25pm
post #11 of 11

buy an ice cream scoop to make your cupcakes with the same amount of batter, it helps

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