My Cupcakes Are Never Nice And Moist....

Baking By sweetisome Updated 7 Feb 2012 , 2:29am by ptanyer

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sweetisome Posted 31 Jan 2012 , 4:47pm
post #1 of 20

....and they fall when I take them out of the oven. Is there a difference between making cuppies over a cake in a pan??? I so want to make a moist delicious cupcake, but I fail everytime....and if I bake them long enough to keep them from falling, they burn on the bottom and are terribly dry. Any help??

19 replies
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cattycornercakes Posted 31 Jan 2012 , 6:30pm
post #2 of 20

Maybe try baking at a lower temperature for longer? It could also depend on your recipe

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sillywabbitz Posted 31 Jan 2012 , 7:00pm
post #3 of 20

What temp are you baking at?
Have you tested your oven? You can buy an oven thermometer at Walmart. Make sure your oven is true to temp and consistent. We moved about 6 months ago. I got double ovens out of the deal but the top oven runs 25 degrees below the set temp. So setting it to 350 is actually 325. Additionally it fluctuates a bit during the cooking process so I have to keep an eye on it.

If they are burning on the bottoms, can you set them on a higher rack.

I bake cupcakes at 350 for about 15-18 minutes.

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sweetisome Posted 31 Jan 2012 , 8:59pm
post #4 of 20

Thanks....I've actually tried the temperature route, and it helps a ilttle, but they are still so....blah...just no reall body. IDK...maybe I'm expecting too much out of my cupcake???

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sillywabbitz Posted 31 Jan 2012 , 9:01pm
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What recipe are you using? Maybe that will help? Is it scratch or based on a box mix. I know one person posted not all of their scratch recipes work as cupcakes.

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sweetisome Posted 31 Jan 2012 , 10:31pm
post #6 of 20

Sillywabitz, I use a "personalized" box mix. There is an extra egg and LOTS of extra fat (I add butter and sour cream to the directed oil) the cakes turn out WONDERFUL! great texture and moisture...but the cupcakes alway fall flat icon_confused.gif

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sillywabbitz Posted 31 Jan 2012 , 11:02pm
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Hmm. that puts a dent in my theory about scratch recipes not always converting well to cupcakes. I know if there is too much sugar cakes will fall. Possibly if there is too much fat. If you don't mind experimenting, cut the butter and use the oil recipe and see if it still happens. I use mostly doctored box mixes most with sour cream but none with butter and I have no problem getting my cupcakes moist and to rise properly.

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scp1127 Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 6:50am
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I have heard of cakes not converting, but so far, mine have converted. I think that if the cake is ok, then it must be the temp. You are using a box mix whch can handle an uncalibrated oven at longer baking times, but I think your oven is off and the shorter baking time is doing them in. Don't just change the temp, get the thermometer. If it is off, make sure you note the change so that your cakes will remain the same.

It does sound like a lot of additions, but if it works for the cake, then great. You can't adjust the leavening which is a scratch trick.

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FromScratchSF Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 7:31am
post #9 of 20

Hurm, maybe try beating an additional egg white to stiff peak then fold it at the end? Sounds like you are lacking structure for the extra fat you've added. I don't know doctoring mixes at all but since you can't adjust the leavening that might help you.

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Tails Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 7:40am
post #10 of 20

Cupcakes shouldnt be domed though? Muffins will do that but cupcakes shouldnt. If they're falling flat, its not a prob, so long as they're not dipping.

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FromScratchSF Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 7:44am
post #11 of 20
Originally Posted by Tails

Cupcakes shouldnt be domed though? Muffins will do that but cupcakes shouldnt. If they're falling flat, its not a prob, so long as they're not dipping.

I dunno, I like mine domed.

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sweetisome Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 11:37am
post #12 of 20

I like a slight dome too....and they are dipping, as if not quite done. I have added a bit of BP to the mix from time to time when I had a similar issue with the "whole cake" , but it didn't seem to make much of a difference. I think it's an underbaking/temerature thing. I will begin by shecking that the oven temp is spot on, and raise the rack a bit. hopefully this will help. It's frustrating to have this great cake recipie, and not get what I want out of the cuppie... sometimes a you just want a cuppie icon_smile.gif

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leah_s Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 12:07pm
post #13 of 20

Traditionally, cakes and cupcakes do have different formulas. Cakes frequently have more sugar than flour; cupcakes have more flour than sugar. Cakes should bake at a lower temp so they stay flatter. The outside which sets first needs to set slower so that the middle has time to set and the outside doesn't overbake. Conversely, cupcakes need to bake fast so that the outside sets and forces a slight dome in the middle as the center sets. Although some of my scratch cake recipes make a decent cupcake, the better cupcakes are formulas designed specifically for cupcakes.

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gourmetsharon Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 12:37pm
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I use a WASC mix. I bake my cupcakes at 375. nice dome. nice and moist.

good luck!

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Bomatebaker Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 4:10pm
post #15 of 20

Cupcakes cook from the outside then towards the middle so if they're burning on the bottom but still falling in the middle, then it sounds like the middle is not getting baked before they are taken out of the oven. You may want to try a lower temperature and more baking time to allow the whole cupcake to get done before taking it out.

I had a problem with falling cupcakes as well. They looked perfect with a nice dome in the oven but once I took them out they would just fall. Last weekend I tried cooking them for much longer (almost double the time) with a lower temperature and that made a huge difference. When I took them out the cupcakes were the same as they were in the oven.

I don't really have a problem with dry cupcakes but nonetheless being the baking addict that I am, I have decided to try out the suggestion of adding Yoghurt to my cupcake recipe to see if that makes any difference. Yoghurt is said to increase the moisture in cakes so I would like to try that out.

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pinkfluffycupcake Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 6:19pm
post #16 of 20

After you check to make sure your oven temps are correct, try originally setting your oven thermometer to 400, then as soon as you put in your pan, turn the temp down to what the recipe calls for. I get beautifully domed cupcakes with that trick I learned on this board!

Also, I ran across this recipe that calls for both butter and sour cream; maybe you could give it a whirl and see if it bakes up any differently?

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ptanyer Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 1:45am
post #17 of 20

After reading many, many threads about cupcakes and being too dry, I decided to use the vanilla cupcake recipe in the Hello, Cupcake book. It is a scratch recipe. My oven is calibrated to be on temp, I put a large cookie sheet on the lowest rack to help disburse the heat (per Sharon Zambito's Back to Basics DVD), all ingredients at room temp, the recipe uses oil, butter and milk. Baked for the shortest time called for, cooled them on a rack for 10 minutes and then placed on a rack to finish cooling.

And guess what??? The cupcake texture is good, but the cupcake is dry!!! WTH?? So I wrapped them in Saran wrap, then tinfoil and put them in the freezer. Will take them out tomorrow night, and taste test another one. Made simple syrup tonight to cool for tomorrow night in case they are still dry. Don't know what else I could have done. Any ideas? Has anyone else ever used that recipe? If so, what were your results.?

Thanks for the help thumbs_up.gif

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FromScratchSF Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 2:00am
post #18 of 20

I've never tried that recipe, but I know straight from the oven my vanilla cupcakes taste different and seem less "moist:" they they do after a few hours, and I personally live by my sub zero - all my cake goes straight from the oven into it to stop overcooking and to trap in all that condensation that evaporates out of hot cake when it meets cold air.

The freezer should solve your problems. If you don't think it's "moist" after being frozen, then maybe you just have a cake mix palate, meaning you are looking for a flavor and texture out of your scratch cake that just doesn't exist without using a mix. That's OK, I hate shrimp which apparently everyone else loves. Not that I haven't tried to love it too, but I just hate it. I also hate curry, all melons, mango, lamb, mint... different strokes for different folks icon_biggrin.gif

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zespri Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 2:02am
post #19 of 20

I can't seem to find the reference for this advice, I suspect it might be Bakewise (book) but as I got it out of the library can't double check. But in any case, I seem to remember reading that if your oven is on too high a temp, the cuppies will rise up quickly, but not have enough structure to maintain that dome once they have cooled. I'm starting to doubt my memory though, after reading the tips here:

- batter over mixed
- too much fat and/or sugar or leavening
- not enough liquid
- oven temperature too low
Read more:

While searching for my source of the above, I found a few other things which back up what fromscratchsf said about your addition of fat being the problem. This is verbatim from another forum which no longer exists, so I can't point you to the post, but I copied & pasted it into a word doc:

"Basically, your recipe is failing because you do not have enough of what is called a structure builder.

(Prepare for the baking chemistry lesson!)

In any recipe, proper balance mus tbe achieved between structure builders, tnederizers, moisteners and driers.

Structure builders are the ingredients that ensure your cake will hold its shape once cooked and cooled.

The cake structure is formed when all 4 components interract chemically, both while in the mixing bowl and while being heated.

A minimum amount of structure is required for all cakes, but too much and you will have a tough end result. However, too little, and you will not have enough structure to hold the cakes shape upon cooling, which is the issue you have epereienced."

Also from one of Lindy Smith's books (regarding the conversion of cake recipes to cupcakes)
"You can use any sponge cake recipe to bake cupcakes, but to avoid domed tops you will need to reduce the amount of flour used. As a general rule, reduce the flour by 15ml (1tsp) for every 150g (5oz) of flour in the recipe."

Hope some of that helps!

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ptanyer Posted 7 Feb 2012 , 2:29am
post #20 of 20

Thanks, FromScratch icon_smile.gif I'll see what happens tomorrow when I get home from work and see what happens. It'll post the results then. BTW, this recipe made nice domed tops, which I like.

Whatever happens, I have to figure this out, as I just booked a wedding for June and have 4 different favors of cupcakes to make.

Fingers crossed icon_wink.gif

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