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Cupcakes 101: Your Essential Baking Guide

December 15

Orange - Vanilla Cupcakes

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A few essential cupcake tips…


Converting a cake recipe to make cupcakes: A recipe for a 2-layer cake makes about 24 regular-sized cupcakes or 60 mini-cupcakes.

Working with Cupcake Liners: When using foil cups, remove the paper liners (if included) before filling and baking. The liners are included simply to help separate the thin foil cups.

Filling Cupcakes: Fill liners 2/3 full with batter (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup regular sized and 2 tablespoons for mini cups). The easiest way to pour is to fill a small storage bag or a large funnel — both work great for controlling batter while pouring. If you’re making large cupcakes, you may want to lightly grease the edges of the pan to prevent the batter from sticking.

Baking with Silicone Cupcake Cups: Try preparing cups with non-stick pan spray before baking. Always place cups on a cookie sheet or sheet pan for level baking and easy removal from oven. You may need to add more baking time for some shapes. To remove cupcakes, turn upside down and apply gentle pressure to the bottom while gently peeling the cup away.

Cupcake Baking Temperature: Bake cupcakes at 350 degrees F. Be sure to read the recipe for exact instructions as the batter density may vary. If you are baking in a pan with a dark or non-stick surface, you should lower the recommended recipe temperature by 25°F to avoid over-browning. Dark pans give your cakes a darker finish when baked.

Cupcake Baking Time: It takes about 21 to 26 minutes for regular-sized cupcakes and about 10 minutes for mini-cupcakes to bake fully. Always check to see if cupcakes are done as soon as they reach the minimum baking time. The easiest way to test is by inserting a toothpick during baking. If it comes out clean or with just a few dry crumbs attached, your cupcake is done!

Cooling Cupcakes: Use a stack of cooling racks and allow cupcakes to cool for at least an hour before you start to frost. If you have time, bake cupcakes the day before to allow the cake to fully cool before frosting.

Filling Cupcake Centers: Use a #230 cake decorating tip. Insert tip in top center of an uniced cupcake and squeeze out a small amount of filling.

Coloring Cupcakes: Add coloring to the frosting with an eye dropper one drop at a time until the desired color is achieved.

Frosting Cupcakes: Don’t be shy with your frosting. It’s a good idea to use a large blob of frosting from the start and spread it out to the edges of each cupcake. This way you can glue down all those pesky crumbs and keep them from getting into your smooth frosting finish.

Storing Cupcakes: You can store unfrosted cupcakes and icing separately in the freezer for up to 2 months. Most experts say that cupcakes with whipped cream, buttercream, cream cheese, or ganache frostings should be kept in the fridge for short term storage.

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