Making cupcakes at home is a fun activity for everyone – no matter how old you are! But they don’t always go right, do they?
We know the most common mistakes that you might be making when you’re baking those cupcakes. Watch out if you’re making any of these…
Not reading the recipe
We’ve all done it – we have a perfectly good recipe right in front of our eyes, yet we just can’t help but jazz it up a bit.
More vanilla essence? I love the taste, so sure - why not. Mix the butter and sugar together? Whoops, I’ve already put the butter in the flour. Oh no, I didn’t pre-heat the oven – I’ll just put it on a higher heat instead.
Sound familiar? We thought it might. Remember, there’s a reason those specific ingredient quantities and methods are there. Stick to them, and you’ll have the perfect cupcake.
Using cold ingredients
Sometimes our cupcake craving comes at us like a great wave. However, if you want them to come out really good, you’re better to get the main ingredients out the fridge and wait for them to get to room temperature.
It’s a real test of patience waiting around for your eggs, milk and butter to warm up slightly whilst your cupcake cravings are at soaring levels, but your cravings will be much better satisfied if you do.
Under-filling or over-filling
To be honest, we’re not sure which is worse: the finished product of cupcake barely touching the edge of your cupcake liner, or the finished product looking more like sponge-explosion. Don’t fret, though - under-filling or over-filling cupcake cases with batter is a problem that the best of bakers have had…
You don’t want to be stingy with your batter but you don’t want to be overgenerous. We recommend filling your cupcake cases to about half way. This way your cupcakes will have enough space to rise and will give you more than a couple of bites.
Licking the bowl
It’s the habit that we hate to love – it’s not good for you, but it just tastes so good. Perhaps unfortunately, you’ve got to be mindful of the fact that cake mixture contains raw eggs, which is exactly why food safety recommends you don’t lick the bowl or spoon after baking.
So if you want to avoid the risk of salmonella, step away from the bowl. But if you can’t help but have a taste, we won’t tell if you won’t (but you didn’t hear it from us!).
Whilst waiting around for your cupcakes to bake, it is tempting to open the oven and check how they’re looking. You might pretend that it’s to see if they’re cooking or browning like they should, but it’s more just you being impatient. But what happens if your impatience is ruining your cupcakes?
There’s a reason why the recipe says the oven temperature is that high or that the cupcakes have to bake for that long, you know. Opening the oven prematurely can cause your cupcakes to sink in the middle. Keep it closed, and trust your recipe – it will be worth it, we promise.
Get them out!
When your fully-cooked cupcakes are finally out the oven (yay!), take them out of the baking tray straight away and put them onto a cooling rack. Remember to remove them gently as they will most likely still be quite soft.
Doing this will not only help them cool down quicker – which means you’ll eat them sooner – but it will also prevent the steam building up, causing moisture that will ruin your cases.
Icing them too quickly
It’s so important that you wait for your cupcakes to cool properly before smothering them with icing. Why? Because it’s a waste of glorious icing! You’ll spend quite a bit of time getting your icing to the right consistency, and you can say goodbye to all that hard work if you’re putting it on the cakes too early.
The heat from cakes will melt the icing whether it’s normal icing or buttercream. You’ll see it fall down the side of each cake. Admittedly, it will taste just as good, but it definitely won’t look as good so if you want pretty cupcakes, patience is key!
Store them properly
Unless you’re throwing a party (or just really impressive), you probably won’t eat all of your cupcakes in one go. To keep them cupcakes fresh enough to eat later, cover them with foil or a plastic wrap and pop them in the fridge.
Or if you’re feeling really full, you can even freeze un-iced cupcakes to defrost at a later date. Genius!