Cupcake Tops

Baking By NoviceBaker911 Updated 26 Oct 2011 , 12:28am by Bridgette1129

NoviceBaker911 Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 7:01am
post #1 of 13

I am a newbie baker. I have never been much of a baker because I never ate sweets and as I reached my mid twenties I suddenly have become a lover of sweets. So now I am tinkering around in the kitchen with baking.

So here is my question: Why is it that some cupcakes are flat topped after baking and some are dome shaped like muffins? What causes them to rise differently?

I personally like cupcakes to have a bit of a rounded top and I really like when mini cupcakes have a really round top because they look nicer when frosted in my opinion. Anyways! Any help would be greatly appreciated!

12 replies
imagenthatnj Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 3:47pm
post #2 of 13

It's a difference in temperature when you're baking them. For a rounded top, you start with a higher temperature and then lower it a few minutes later.

http://www.cakejournal.com/archives/cupcake-decorating-part-2

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-603740-.html&sid=5cff90e5377d6a6988f877731a34778b

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-6872379-.html

lillithmaximus Posted 23 Oct 2011 , 10:18pm
post #3 of 13

It also helps to use extremely soft butter (or even melted) when baking. I've noticed that every time I make texas sheet cake cupcakes (which does not involve creaming, but melting the butter with cocoa powder) I always get lovely round tops on my cupcakes.

NoviceBaker911 Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 5:02am
post #4 of 13

@imagenthatnj: Thank you so much for the great links and the tips about the temperature. That is probably such a well known fact but I am completely oblivious in the world of baking. It really is a science. When it comes to cooking, that is where I am most comfortable. But baking allows for a lot of creativity and its really caught my interest.

@lillithmaximus: Now that you have mentioned the melting of the butter it makes sense. My initial journey for dome shaped cupcakes came from seeing these cupcakes at a place called Kumquat Cupcakery. And in her video on Youtube I did notice her butter was melted and I wondered why. Now it appears that is a huge contributing factor to the appearance of her product.


The thing is... When the butter is melted the cake will be lighter ? Or will it be more dense?

Because in that Cupcakery owners video she seems to have one batter that is completely dense and thick like hardened frosting, and one that is quite wet. My friend had tried both end results and said they weren't dry and were pretty moist but she didnt elaborate on the density of the cupcakes.

Are dense batters like this common??


imagenthatnj Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 4:28pm
post #5 of 13

I happen to think that her cupcakes do not look too good. Especially in this video. Dry, bent, uneven, more like muffins. Yes, dense batters or liquid batters are all common, depends on the recipe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0DANC7TudI&feature=related

P.S.: I'm a nice and polite girl...but couldn't believe those cupcakes. Don't take those as an example for your baking.

NoviceBaker911 Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 5:06am
post #6 of 13

That batter she has had me completely perplexed. Is it not the thickest chocolate cake batter ever?! And the video you posted definitely shows the uneven inconsistent shape of her cupcakes.


There are so many things I have to learn about baking but the trial and error has been fun so far. Well except for tonight. I was making cupcakes and was chit chatting with a friend and definitely used baking soda in place of baking powder despite the baking powder being in plain sight. Needless to say the cupcakes did not come out nice at all! lol

If I want to make a cake a bit more dense but not dry what are some pointers? Do I add more butter?

And can replacing cake flour for all purpose flour drastically change the texture?


Im sorry for all the newbie questions I just don't have any friends who bake or cook for that matter.So this is where I can ask the silly questions.

MCurry Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 5:22am
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoviceBaker911

That batter she has had me completely perplexed. Is it not the thickest chocolate cake batter ever?! And the video you posted definitely shows the uneven inconsistent shape of her cupcakes.


There are so many things I have to learn about baking but the trial and error has been fun so far. Well except for tonight. I was making cupcakes and was chit chatting with a friend and definitely used baking soda in place of baking powder despite the baking powder being in plain sight. Needless to say the cupcakes did not come out nice at all! lol

If I want to make a cake a bit more dense but not dry what are some pointers? Do I add more butter?

And can replacing cake flour for all purpose flour drastically change the texture?


Im sorry for all the newbie questions I just don't have any friends who bake or cook for that matter.So this is where I can ask the silly questions.




My question would be why would you want to have a cake that is more dense vs. light and fluffy unless you are carving it into something. It you want a denser texture why wouldn't you make a pound cake.

There are formulas online that can help you convert from using cake flour to all purpose flour. There is a difference in texture and protein contact in flours. If my recipe says all purpose I will typically stick to that. However, I do interchange cake flour with White Lily flour since it is a soft wheat flour.

It is trail and error and will take time but you will get there. A book you may want to consider reading is How Baking Works by Paula Figoni which will give you more info on the science of baking and how ingredients work with each other.

Happy Baking!

imagenthatnj Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 5:31am
post #8 of 13

I think before you try to change recipes, you should get a good book and make those recipes as they appear on that book so that you can figure out by the list of ingredients what makes them moist, dense or fluffy. Don't try to substitute anything for a while.

A good book for scratch baking is Cake Love. Another one with recipes that always worked for me is Sky High Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes. Cake Love's recipes are denser than Sky High's, for example. Sky High uses cake flour in almost all the recipes, which gives a fluffier and tender texture.

Besides those books and the one recommended above, there's also Shirley Corriher's book, Bakewise. Learn from successful people/pastry chefs, make their recipes, and later on, you'll be able to substitute and try other things.

NoviceBaker911 Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 5:44am
post #9 of 13

The reason I ask about making a cake a bit denser is because I have been trying to find a recipe for a coconut cake that isn't too delicate. Everything I have tried has been so light but also falls apart. I want it to hold a bit better so I can fill the cupcake with this mango curd my dad makes.

So maybe more dense isn't necessarily what I mean. I don't want heavy just something that doesn't crumble so easily.

I greatly appreciate your quick responses and I am going to check out the reading suggestions ASAP. Baking really reminds me of my college Chem Labs lol Truly is a science.

But thanks so much again for helping answer my questions. icon_smile.gif

scp1127 Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 6:53am
post #10 of 13

Novice, I have two coconut cake recipes that I'll share on a pm. Both will stay together. One is a little easier for a new baker. I can fill both.

If you keep up this scratch baking quest, you''l have to change your name on CC.

Just pm me for the coconut recipes if you want them.

I always made my dad a coconut cake for his birthday. He passed away two years ago, but I still make him his cake every year.

NoviceBaker911 Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 8:34pm
post #11 of 13

@scp1127 I would greatly appreciate a great coconut cake recipe!! I sent you a PM message but for some reason it wont show up in my outbox but says sent.

scp1127 Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 9:05pm
post #12 of 13

I didn't get it. Send me an email about which one you want and your email. My email is in my profile.

Susan

Bridgette1129 Posted 26 Oct 2011 , 12:28am
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagenthatnj

I happen to think that her cupcakes do not look too good. Especially in this video. Dry, bent, uneven, more like muffins. Yes, dense batters or liquid batters are all common, depends on the recipe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0DANC7TudI&feature=related

P.S.: I'm a nice and polite girl...but couldn't believe those cupcakes. Don't take those as an example for your baking.




I agree... looks like she had the fan on in the oven and didn't rotate them =/

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