Help! Cupcakes Shrinking After Baking!

Baking By shelbell2482 Updated 19 May 2012 , 1:40am by Alongino

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shelbell2482 Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 1:59pm
post #1 of 10

Hi everyone,
Once again I am need of some advice!
I have just made a batch of chocolate orange cupcakes (which taste great) When I took them out of the oven, I left them to cool in the tins for a few moments while I left to get on with something else, when I came back to remove them from the tin, I found they had all shrunk away from the sides of the tin! The cases were still firm against the cupcakes but it looked as though they had all sucked in giving them very odd shapes!

Any ideas? I baked them exactly to the recipe, on 180 degrees centegrade as stated in the recipe.

Should I try a lower temp? or should I remove them from the tin as soon as they come out of the oven?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Many thanks x x

9 replies
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Kelbag Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 5:02pm
post #2 of 10

I have never had that happen to me. And I was bake at 180, for approx 15 to 18 minutes.

I always take my cupcakes out of the tin straight away whilst warm and leave them on a cooling rack.

What cases are you using? i know some cases can be very unreliable for shrinkage etc...

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leily Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 7:20pm
post #3 of 10

Cakes tend to shrink if they've been overbaked. Since you left them in the hot pan before removing them I am going to guess this is what happened. The pan still has heat when you remove it from the oven so if you leave the cupcakes in there they will continue to bake from the heat.

I always remove my cupcakes right away from the pan when i take them from the oven.

Not sure if there is another reason or not, i just know that this is one possibility

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Corrie76 Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 7:44pm
post #4 of 10

A lot of baked items shrink when cooling down. I guess you could call it the "hot air balloon" effect. When a batter is getting baked, Pockets of hot air form- which makes the little holes or spaces in cakes and breads. Just like a hot air balloon when these pockets are formed and then full of hot air, the spaces are puffed out more. Then when this item is cooling down the pockets deflat as the heat escapes - thus the baked item is then shrinking. maybe look at as the cupcakes haven't shrunk- they are just bloated with heat and as they cool are going back to their normal size.

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LaurenLuLu Posted 16 Nov 2010 , 2:59am
post #5 of 10

Could be that you either whipped too much air into your batter or you have added too much egg.

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FromScratchSF Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 7:38pm
post #6 of 10

It sounds like your problem is in your levening agent. Are you using a cake recipe and and making cupcakes out of it? Especially more professional grade recipes, they are refined so that the cake bakes evenly (flat) and somewhat-shrinks from the sides of the pan a bit when you pull it from the oven, so it makes sense that the cake would react the same way when you make it into a cupcake. You have to add or remove (depending on the recipe) the levening agent to set the cupcake structure in the oven and not have it react this way when you take it out. It's just going to take some trial and error, so here are my suggestions:

1. Does your recipe call for baking soda and baking powder? I find that cake recipes that call for just BP need a touch of BS when making them into cupcakes to help set the smaller structure. (I try 1/8 tsp baking soda to every 2 tsp of baking powder).

2. The recipe has too much baking powder. Believe it or not, some cake recipes work better when you remove baking powder. Try using 1/4 less then it calls for and see what happens. If you get less shrinkage you are on the right track. I have a recipe I use for cupcakes that takes 3/4 LESS baking powder when I make it into cupcakes. Sounds crazy, but it's true.

3. Check the expiration date on your baking powder and make sure it hasn't gone over, which it does really quickly. To do this, put a tsp of baking powder into a small bowl of tepid water. If it does not fizz or have any reaction, then your baking powder has gone bad. Also test your baking soda by putting some into a bit of vinegar. No fizz=bad soda.

Good luck!

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shelbell2482 Posted 22 Nov 2010 , 10:21am
post #7 of 10

Wow thank you for the advice will have a trial and error day and use your suggestions!

Thank you v much x

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LaurenLuLu Posted 22 Nov 2010 , 1:14pm
post #8 of 10

You're welcome.

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acki Posted 17 May 2012 , 6:48am
post #9 of 10

Hello, I have the same problem. I baked cupcake using a cake flour and after baking it shrink. Maybe you are right, I must lessen the baking powder...

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Alongino Posted 19 May 2012 , 1:40am
post #10 of 10

Your problem could be the levening, but it also could be you mixed in too much air. If you are using a stand mixer (rather than a hand mixer) do not mix it for any longer than 1.5 - 2 minutes on a speed no higher than 3 (out of 10). If you do, you will for sure have the "hot air balloon" problem - the bake up beautifully, but when they cool, the cool air shrinks and brings the whole cupcake in with it. I had this same problem, but since I started using this method I've never had the problem again.

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