When someone asks me to make a cake, no problem. But when they order cupcakes it strikes fear into my heart. I can decorate them no problem but it's the baking that is driving me foolish. I can't get them to turn out normal. They either puff up like a mushroom cap and are too big or they shrink and are sunken in. I know part of the problem is my favourite go-to chocolate cake recipe is ultra moist and doesn't bake up like other cakes (it's a bit mis-shapen...easy to hide in a cake though). So I guess where I need the help is...what modification in temperature should I do (I tried baking them 5 minutes longer and at 325 but that did nothing) Is there an exact measurement I should be using to fill my liners (I have just been eyeballing it...trying 2/3 or 3/4 full). I would love to hear your go-to chocolate cake recipe because I don't think mine is going to work for cupcakes.
Thanks in advance for the help.
I use an ice cream scoop that hold 3 tablespoons for my standard size cupcakes. I used to eyeball it but then some cupcakes were bigger than others, or looked wonky. That would be my tip. Use something to accurately measure the batter you are putting in your liners.
I don't know your recipe, but you said chocolate cupcakes gave you trouble. Do you have success with other cupcake flavors?
I also use an ice cream scoop that holds about 3 tbs on batter... (the kind with the lever on the side that releases the ice cream). I would fill about 2/3 full. You can fill a pastry or zip lock bag with the batter and snip the corner off to fill the liners too.
If you are looking for a domed cupcake I preheat to 400 degrees then turn down to 350 when I put the cupcakes in the oven.
Sinking could be due to underbaking... I have some recipes that give me a slight divot in the middle but I cover it with frosting so it's not a big deal.
I did an experiment recently with my cupcake pans as I was having the same problem.
I have a few cupcake pans that I purchased when I started out. They were relatively cheap and not commercial grade. I found that I was mixing and matching cupcakes with different batches to make them all even. Then bought 2 expensive, kitchen grade pans and low and behold that is why my cupcakes were never even. Anyway, I used the exact same amount of batter that I always use (ice cream scoop) and baked them side by side Sure enough, the cupcakes in the kitchen grade pans were perfectly even, and the other ones were super wonky.
I recommend getting good cupcake tins and I am sure that will help with them being uneven.
Thank you all so much for the advice. I bought a scoop and I cooked my cupcakes longer and voila...they are PERFECT!! I really didn't think I was undercooking them but I must have been!
Thank you also for the tip on the good pans... I am going to pick up some new ones as soon as I can get to a supply store :)
AWhat brand do you consider expensive kitchen grade?