What Is The "perfect" Cupcake?

Baking By cakeymom Updated 15 Feb 2011 , 11:50pm by annie84

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cakeymom Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 9:48pm
post #1 of 17

We have two new cupcake shops that have opened up. Matter of fact they are the only "LEGAL" cupcake shops in town, as well.

They both have cupcakes that are dense with a lot of large crumb and the icing is way too cloyingly sweet.

I thought the cake part of a cupcake was to be airy, but light with some small crumb. It's as if these two shops never heard of cake flour and if not cake flour 100% a mixture of cake flour and ap flour. Then you would think that by now they would know about hi-ratio shortening with or without the addition of a little butter, adding a scant amount of salt, and not overdoing it on the powdered sugar.

But, who knows maybe I'm the one that has it wrong???? icon_confused.gif

So, tell me what are you thoughts on the "PERFECT" cupcake. Because their walls on facebook would have one to think these two shops were the only ones in the world selling cupcakes.

I hope they succeed and it's about time our city had cupcake shops but they just aren't "IT"


16 replies
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VentureSister Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 10:10pm
post #2 of 17

I know what you mean. We had a shop that opened up in the next county and the same issue. Not that I don't enjoy cupcakes, I never turn one down, but wasn't impressed. The cake was good but not light and fluffy like I expected and the icing was so overkill sweet, I thought even a nondiabetic like me was going to go into a sugar coma.
To hear people around here talk about their cupcakes, one would think that the wheel had been re-invented.

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cakeymom Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 10:25pm
post #3 of 17

Ok, VentureSister I was beginning to think that I was a total snob. It's just that after going to the library and doing much research on baking(because I like to bake primarily from scratch) I know that a much better cupcake is attainable. My only thing that I need to work on is doming on my cupcakes.

BTW, I'm in Mobile,AL


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VentureSister Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 10:39pm
post #4 of 17

You are not a snob, but I know what you mean.
Btw- there was a thread here recently about doming cupcakes. To get them to dome it was saying to preheat to 400 and then drop the temp when you put the cupcakes into the oven. I'll see if I can find the thread for you.
and hello fellow alabamaian. : )

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VentureSister Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 10:43pm
post #5 of 17

cakeymom- here is the thread about doming cupcakes.

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SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 10:53pm
post #6 of 17

A lot of cupcake shops have owners that are new bakers. We have one around here that the owner learned to bake, then just one year later opened her shop. I think it is great for her and wish her well, but sometimes they don't have the experience to know about some of the types of things you mentioned. And it appears they don't know about wewbsites like cake central. I cannot bring myself to buy from them because I don't like how they put the frosting swirl on top; it looks like it was put on by someone that just learned to bake. Kind of wimpy and flat looking, and using the wrong tip. I guess they must taste good because she appears to be doing well.

I actually like the cupcakes from our local grocery store.

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jlynnw Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 11:03pm
post #7 of 17

We purchased a cupcake from "THE" cupcake place. We just HAD to weigh it. 14 ounces. The icing on top was pure powder sugar and a fat base (shortening maybe but NOT butter). The swirl on top was tilted in an unruly manner and more icing than cake. I thought the cake was quite heavy, drier than most. They must have something that the public wants as they did have a line waiting for them. I do wish them all the success but I do not plan to return.

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cakeymom Posted 10 Feb 2011 , 10:59pm
post #8 of 17

Any other opinions will be greatly appreciated.



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SugarandSpice3674 Posted 10 Feb 2011 , 11:42pm
post #9 of 17

I wonder if they use cake mixes, not that there is anything wrong with them, but if u have a taste for scratch baking (I am also a purist and like scratch baking myself) then i could see how it wouldnt taste very good. Many people are accustomed to the "box mix" taste nowadays and dont know the difference between butter and shortening in their icing.
Example: i was craving a cupcake like crazy, but with 3 kids under 3 it gets busy and i was too tired to make my own, soi grabbed some from the store while i was doing groceries. My husband warned me that it wouldnt hit the spot since im "spoiled" (accustomed) by scratch everything. Well he was right, i wasnt satisfied at all and ended up making my own anyways LOL
So in my opinion, the best cupcake is made from scratch, light, fluffy, moist and has icing that isnt too sweet but melts in your mouth. Dense, moist ones with whipped icing/cream are also yummy too tho.

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tryingcake Posted 11 Feb 2011 , 2:25am
post #10 of 17

The best cupcakes are the ones that people buy and keep your shop open.

Now, that being said. I use the same recipes for my cupcakes as my cakes and people love them. At least MY customers love them. i use the same icing recipe... again, MY customers love them.

Personally, I don't like anything that crumbs at all. I like when you bite or cut into it you have few if any crumbs fall to the way side - but it is still moist moist moist.

I also do NOT like domes on my cupcakes. They come out of the oven, I immediately lay a cutting board across the top of them and flatten them FLAT. I leave it there for about 3-4 minutes so they retain their flatness.

I like my icing swirled on like an ice cream cone, so it's usually the same height as the cupcake. i just love the way it looks. Way too much icing for me to eat - but it looks awesome.

There is no right answer to your question. It's what YOU like or what you are able to sell. That's is simply the perfect cupcake.

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SugarandSpice3674 Posted 11 Feb 2011 , 7:27am
post #11 of 17

thumbs_up.gif Good point! thumbs_up.gif

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mombabytiger Posted 11 Feb 2011 , 11:30pm
post #12 of 17

I don't care for the really sweet icing either, but my customers just LOVE it. And since they are the ones paying the bills, who am I to argue?

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FairyCakeLuv Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 5:27pm
post #13 of 17

I totally agree with this!! I have tried a couple of our local cupcake bakeries. One of them, the cupcakes are WAY too dense. I could only eat half of it! They were cute and all, but it just wasn't very good. Then the other one, the cupcakes were a little lighter, but the frosting was so darn sugary!!! Sometimes I just want a cupcake from Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker! I have been experimenting at home along with my mom and we have been making some pretty good ones, not too heavy and not too sugary. Although my mom's have been turning out a lil better than mine icon_smile.gif

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cheriej Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 5:49pm
post #14 of 17

I have noticed that some of the local shops employ people who tend to overbake their cupcakes which is why they tend to be too dry. I actually prefer a lighter cake that is not overbaked with a pure buttercream frosting. But I know when I donate cupcakes, people always like the denser cupcake with the really sweet frosting.

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cakeymom Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 10:28pm
post #15 of 17

Thanks for the input. thumbs_up.gif

But, my DH listens to a comedian that tells how he gets his dogs to eat collard greens. The punchline is....that's all they're fed. So it's eat or starve.

I kind of feel that's the case in my area, if that's all that's offered then that's all they have to eat. Like it or leave it.

My point is that some people that just don't know good cake or cupcakes in this case. So, I'll still have a niche if my product is better than theirs.


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Corrie76 Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 11:13pm
post #16 of 17

Well, I'll weigh in with my opinion...I think cupcakes should be a little denser than normal cake. I really don't like light fluffy cupcakes, it seems like they get top-heavy with the icing and are hard to handle when eating. I also love a big swirl of icing, especially IMBC or SMBC since they are not as sweet as PS based BC. But I must admit that I just have always preferred denser cakes like pound cake as opposed to lighter, spongey varieties...
Like with everything else, perfection is in the eye of the beholder- or in the case of cupcakes, the eater.

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annie84 Posted 15 Feb 2011 , 11:50pm
post #17 of 17

I think I'm the only one who has posted who likes the sweet icing! I use straight butter and powdered sugar in my icing and can't get enough. I don't know if it is in age thing... I'm in my 20s and my friends, siblings and myself all love the sweet stuff where-as my parents and relatives in their 50s and 60s enjoy IMBC... As for the actual cake, as long as it's moist and has a great flavour, it doesn't really matter to me if it is light and fluffy or more dense.

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