There is actually a subtle art to cooking the perfect cupcake. With a few good tips, you can be relatively certain that you are cooking the perfect cupcake, but you must remember that practice is what will enable you to get the best results every time. Here are a few words from the wise…
TIP 1: Know your oven before cooking anything, but especially before making cupcakes. If it cooks a little faster in the back, you need to be ready to turn your cupcakes in the middle of the baking process so the ones at the back of the pan cook the same amount as the ones at the front. Also, don’t try to put more than one pan in at a time. You might think that this will lessen the cooking time, but you might just end up with flat cupcakes all around.
TIP 2: Be sure that you don’t over mix the batter, too. This can result in spongy cake after cooking, which is never the desired result. If you are using an electric mixer, check the specifications to find out how fast the blades spin, because stand mixers often turn faster than hand-meld mixers, meaning they’ll mix your ingredients too much. You should also allow all ingredients to reach room temperature before mixing to avoid lumpy batter. So get all ingredients out of the fridge around 30 minutes before you begin baking.
TIP 3: Before cooking, make sure that you fill the cupcake wells to halfway. For slightly taller cupcakes, you can fill to 2/3, but more than that will result in a mess as they will overflow the tops and all merge together when you bake them.
TIP 4: Check for doneness after the minimum cooking time. If you wait for the maximum cooking time, you may end up with overdone cupcakes. You can test after cooking with a toothpick to the center of the tallest cupcake.
TIP 5: Allow the cupcakes to cool after cooking before you begin to decorate. This will keep your decorations from melting and sliding off. Cupcakes are best eaten on the same day of cooking them. A metal cake tin or an old, clean metal cookie tin lined with paper towels is the best way to keep them overnight without them going soggy. Keeping cupcakes in an airtight plastic container will make them go soggy, as all the moisture is locked in and will turn your cupcakes to mush.