Vertical Tunnels In Cupcakes?

Baking By cloetzu Updated 9 Mar 2011 , 8:43am by belizeandevil

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cloetzu Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 9:59pm
post #1 of 8

I made some cupcakes a few weeks ago and found that the inside of the cupcakes looked odd when I cut them in half... they had a lot of little virtical tunels from top to bottom... wasn't sure what caused them? A friend suggested it was overbeating - said that since the box mix used oil I should not have beaten more then just to mix everything together?

today I made a recipe from scratch and the same thing happened... but i made this recipe in two steps... the original recipe had no oil or butter or eggs - just flour,sugar, banana, vanilla, mayo and baking soda... so I made it and baked half the batch, left the rest on the counter until the first one was baked, then added one egg to the rest to see what would happen...

the first batch was fine but the vertical tunnles appeared in the second half of the batch- so maybe the tunnels were a result of me leaving it on the counter vs overbeat?

i ask that because I think the cupcakes I made a few weeks ago sat on the counter 10-15 before I put into the pan too?

7 replies
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LindaF144a Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 2:08am
post #2 of 8

Why did you add an extra egg? There was no need to do that.

And yes tunneling is the result of over mixing and not leaving it on the counter. I think it is pretty common with box cakes for some reason. Maybe you are using too high a speed on your mixer. And make sure you set a timer.

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cloetzu Posted 7 Mar 2011 , 2:58pm
post #3 of 8

the original batter was very very thick - my hand held mixer could barely get through it... I added the extra egg to half of the batter to see if it would make it lighter... it did icon_wink.gif

I had mixed the original batter just until everything was encorporated and after I added the egg I just mixed it enough to encorporate the egg too... so really didn't mix it for long ;(

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FromScratchSF Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 6:01am
post #4 of 8

I can't speak for box cakes, I only make scratch. Tunneling is caused by baking soda. Baking soda reacts to acid in recipes, and bananas have acid at different levels depending on how ripe they are. It's unusual to have a recipe have all the leavening from baking soda without baking powder or vinegar to neutralize it - I'd try the same scratch recipe only I'd use baking powder and decrease the soda by a lot. Without seeing the actual recipe I can't suggest by how much.


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sokelengl Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 11:51am
post #5 of 8

It is quite true. Overbeating egg will cause tunnel in cake.I read it from a baking science book before.


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Cupcations Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 2:52pm
post #6 of 8

Try tapping the pan a couple of times on the counter/floor to release the air bubbles, it will not eliminate the tunnels but it will reduce them

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JanH Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 6:22am
post #7 of 8

dy cake troubleshooting charts:

Mixing (over or under) accounts for a lot of baking problems, but there are other possibilities for tunneling (see charts above)...


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belizeandevil Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 8:43am
post #8 of 8

In school one of my practicals was blueberry muffin... If you got tunneling. You Failed.

the cause was over mixing. Only incorporate. in mixer, 3 seconds. icon_cool.gif

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