Grrr... Problem With Convection And My Chocolate Cupcakes

Decorating By FromScratchSF Updated 9 Apr 2013 , 11:30pm by TheSugarLab

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FromScratchSF Posted 7 May 2012 , 3:58pm
post #1 of 10

I am at my wit's end.

I have a forced air convection oven at my bakery, and I CANNOT GET my chocolate cupcakes to come out like they should when I try and bake with the fan on.

- I make an oil based chocolate cake recipe.
- This recipe domes and bakes perfect at 375 in the regular oven - one pan at a time.
- ALL my other cake/cupcakes come out perfect in this oven (convection) except these stupid chocolate cupcakes.
- Full chocolate cakes turn out fantastic in this oven on convection, the ONLY problem I have is with cupcakes (mini and regular).
- All my other cake I bake at 325 convection (as long as I have more then one shelf in use). No. Problem. Beautiful domes, perfectly baked.
- I bake all my cupcakes in 24 count cupcake pans, and with all my other cupcakes I get best results if I bake the cupcake pans on sheet pans.
- The oven has either fan on/off. It does not have high/low.
- I cannot bake more then one pan on one rack with fan off, the top pan will rise properly, the bottom will not (just like you'd expect) so I have to figure this out!
- I do not own this oven or this kitchen, but at my insistence the thermostat was just replaced so I know the oven is in top working condition. It's not the oven, it's these stupid chocolate cupcakes.

Things I've tried over the past several months:
- Adjusting the temperature from 300-375 and all temperatures in between.
- Turning my pans at 5, 10 and 12 minute intervals (Different test batches, not all at one time).
- Deflecting air by putting sheet pans on any empty racks.
- Putting a sheet pan of water on the bottom rack to get some steam in the oven. That was a mess.
- Adjusting the amount of batter I put in the wrappers, from 1.25 oz to 1.85 oz. Yes, I weighed them. All my other cupcakes have 1.65 oz batter in each and as I've mentioned - are PERFECT.

This weekend I needed to bake 18 dozen chocolate cupcakes. I did not have any time to bake one rack at a time, so I did 10 dozen in the oven at once, 325 convection. They all blew over. Like this:


Of course, in disgust I went with them. They ain't pretty, but I wasn't about to re-make and bake 18 dozen chocolate cupcakes one pan at a time. I'm so irritated I put out a less then perfect product, and I'm even more irritated I can't figure this out.

So, if you have ANY suggestions not mentioned above I'd appreciate it! Please help me!

9 replies
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Panel7124 Posted 7 May 2012 , 4:18pm
post #2 of 10

Change recipe - just for the chocolate cupcakes. icon_smile.gif (I know... it's a stupid suggestion).

I have a forced air convection oven but never had any problems with chocolate cupcakes, it's a butter based recipe.

Hope somebody can give a better advice.

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MimiFix Posted 7 May 2012 , 8:36pm
post #3 of 10

Did these bake with or without the fan?

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FromScratchSF Posted 7 May 2012 , 9:03pm
post #4 of 10


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MimiFix Posted 7 May 2012 , 9:35pm
post #5 of 10

Have you tried baking these with the fan off? I've found that thin batters are adversely affected by the forced air in convection ovens. I was a pastry chef in a hotel kitchen and that hateful convection oven drove me nuts. The fan had two speed: High or Highest. Thicker batters were passable but I eventually gave up on my lovely chocolate (thin batter) cupcakes.

As an aside, you have extremely high standards. I've seen far worse products put out for sale in "upscale" bakeries and no one ever said a word about the lopsided appearance. If I lived in Rochester, you would be my baker of choice.

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jason_kraft Posted 7 May 2012 , 10:39pm
post #6 of 10

We had similar problems with our vegan cupcakes (our recipe with eggs was fine with convection), so we just turned the fan off when baking them.

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LindaF144a Posted 7 May 2012 , 11:34pm
post #7 of 10

That is a classic telltale sign that a thin batter has been baked in an oven with a high fan. My oven has a low speed, so I avoid that most of the time. Sometimes I get that problem, but not enough to blow out of the cup but rather to a dome that is off to the side that I can easily hide with frosting.

You put sheet pans on empty racks. Have you found a way to deflect the air by putting something angled in front of the fan?

Sounds like you need to invent the stainless steel cupcake pan sheild. I envision something that sticks up on the side of the pan against the fan.

BTW, this is the reason why I searched for a oven where I could control the fan speed, not just turn it off.

One last thought. Have you tried rotating the pans from shelf to shelf with the fan off - take the top pan and put it on the bottom shelf and visa versa about half way through baking?

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scp1127 Posted 8 May 2012 , 6:31am
post #8 of 10

FromScratch, I turn my convection off with most cupcakes, but my oven is fairly even in baking.

For the dome, yes, the top shelf always bakes better no matter what.

My oven did that and I solved it completely by moving every shelf by one level (can't remember which way). I already had one double KA and when I got the next, it was exactly as you showed in the picture. I looked at my other oven's configuration, copied it, and all was fine.

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Chellescakes Posted 8 May 2012 , 6:56am
post #9 of 10

The fan blows the mix , the only solution is to turn the fan off

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TheSugarLab Posted 9 Apr 2013 , 11:30pm
post #10 of 10

Just replying so I can save this post. :D Currently testing my new convection ovens with my thinest batter, which is also chocolate and oil based. 

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