Help!:( Sinking Shrinking Vanilla Cupcakes...

Baking By thecherrytree Updated 2 Nov 2020 , 8:09pm by SandraSmiley

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thecherrytree Posted 1 Nov 2020 , 9:45pm
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I need major help lol. I am actually opening an organic all natural bakery in the spring of 2021 and working on finalizing my recipes right now.

I wrote my chocolate cupcake recipe myself and they are PERFECT, but I CANNOT for the life of me get a vanilla recipe to work though:( I have literally been trying to get vanilla cupcakes to work for years and I can NEVER get them to turn out.

I have tried everything I possibly know to try and they ALWAYS end up either dry, tough or totally shrink and sink when they come out of the oven. I am not using expired leavening, I preheat my oven, use an oven thermometer, put the cupcake tray on the center rack, measure ingredients by weight, make sure everything is the same temperature so I get a proper emulsion, etc and I still cannot find success with them.

I have tried the regular creaming method and they are just tough... they don’t end up with the soft velvety, buttery crumb I’m looking for. I have tried the wet/dry method and they still don’t have the texture I’m looking for. So, I finally happened upon the reverse creaming method. And they sink and shrink TERRIBLY after taking them out of the oven. I know this can be caused by over-mixing, too much leavening and other factors.

Below is the most recent recipe I have tried. It was front a blog point and the article raved about how good they domed and how soft and moist there were. The majority of the comments agreed. I made them like the recipe except used a little vinegar in my milk to make it “buttermilk” and used all cake flour cause they recipe used half all purpose and half cake flour. They sank and shrank terrible after coming out of the oven. Would my two little tweaks cause that?! I can’t imagine it would. A couple of the comments said the same thing happened to them. They seem over-mixed to me. Two minutes on a kitchen-aid on medium speed seems like way too much but for most of the comments it worked perfectly and domed so I don’t get it. Below is the recipe and mixing method and the brand of ingredients I use. If anyone has ANY insight as to why I constantly have the same issues with recipes, I would appreciate the input SO much! 

Reverse Creaming Method Vanilla Cupcakes

146 grams cake flour (organic white cake flour “Grain Brain” brand)

184 grams cane sugar (Florida Harvest brand I think it’s called)

1 1/4 tsp. Baking powder

1/2 tsp. Salt 

114 grams butter (85% butter-fat)

2 eggs

120 grams buttermilk

2 tsp. Vanilla extract 

Mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in mixer bowl with whisk until completely sifted.

With mixer on low, add butter one cube at a time until mixture is sandy. 

Add eggs, one at a time on low and mix until just combined.

Slowly pour in buttermilk and vanilla mixture on low. Then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. I did speed 4 on my kitchen aid. This step killed me, felt like too much mixing but they recipe had rave reviews so I decided to just try it.

filled my cupcake pan and baked on convection bake at 325 F for 22 mins until the center was set and toothpick came out clean. IMMEDIATELY sank and shrank when I took them from the oven. 

Someone, PLEASE help me!! WHAT is going on?!:(

8 replies
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SandraSmiley Posted 2 Nov 2020 , 3:58am
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I am sorry, I have no idea.  Perhaps someone else will have insight.

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kakeladi Posted 2 Nov 2020 , 5:44am
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That must be sooo frustrating! :(  unfortunately I don’t have anything to offer either:(  

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kakeladi Posted 2 Nov 2020 , 5:55am
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The only thing I can think to is post on Facebook... there is one forum I’m thinking of can’t come up with the exact name right now but it’s something about sugar bells.... I’ll go see if I can find it & come back to post it.   BTW are you US based?  Different countries have different products... 

The sugarcraft contessa’s buttercream belles cake club   

I think she is on YouTube    Good luck 


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ReginaCoeliB Posted 2 Nov 2020 , 6:46pm
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To my humble eye, it looks too little flour for the proportion of ingredients you are using. Anything that sinks and collapses is lacking of proper structure. More sugar than flour in the recipe doesn't seem to help, also, more than one tsp of baking powder for such a small amount of flour looks also too much. And last, but not least, I NEVER mix flour on the kitchen aid, always by hand. Before you give up, try another batch increasing the flour to 200gr to see if you have better results. Let us know how it went! Best wishes!!! 

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SandraSmiley Posted 2 Nov 2020 , 7:29pm
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ReginaCoeliB, I am so happy you spoke up!  I am not knowledgable enough about the science of baking to do more than very minor trouble shooting.  I did notice one thing.  Cake flour is much lighter than all-purpose flour, so by using all cake flour instead of half all-purpose, you eliminated a portion of your flour volume, which translates into stability.

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ReginaCoeliB Posted 2 Nov 2020 , 7:38pm
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Do agree with that Sandra, all purpose flour has more gluten/protein content. Those proteins in flour will absorb moisture, the less protein the more unstable the final product will be. It is a general rule, if you temperature is ok, you ingredients are properly measured, and you baked your goods for the proper time and were well cooked... and they SINK... Ma'am, there is a big problem with the proportion of your ingredients, as you are lacking stability! The starch in the flour is you main stabilizer in a cake batter! Not enough flour?, the weight of the rest of your very rich ingredient will make your cutie cupcake SINK!

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SandraSmiley Posted 2 Nov 2020 , 8:09pm
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ReginaCoeliB, I am so happy you spoke up!  I am not knowledgable enough about the science of baking to do more than very minor trouble shooting.  I did notice one thing.  Cake flour is much lighter than all-purpose flour, so by using all cake flour instead of half all-purpose, you eliminated a portion of your flour volume, which translates into stability.

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SandraSmiley Posted 2 Nov 2020 , 8:09pm
post #9 of 9

ReginaCoeliB, I am so happy you spoke up!  I am not knowledgable enough about the science of baking to do more than very minor trouble shooting.  I did notice one thing.  Cake flour is much lighter than all-purpose flour, so by using all cake flour instead of half all-purpose, you eliminated a portion of your flour volume, which translates into stability.

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