Because I’ve made a LOT of cupcakes.
And eaten a LOT of cupcakes.
And made a lot of mistakes making cupcakes.
So I’m passing my lessons on to you so you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did! Over and over again.
This isn’t a post for experts. It’s for enthusiastic home bakers like me, who can never wait for the Great British Bake Off to start.
My 10-year-old and I will be curled up on the sofa enjoying it together!
So, how to make foolproof cupcakes . . .
1. Don’t buy cheap cupcake cases.
Sure they seem a bargain and they look pretty but they’re just not up to the job.
The last batch I made with these looked awful – the grease had penetrated through the case so you could hardly see that there were in fact pirates on them and the case had move away from the side of the cakes making them look really untidy.
I still ate them, but, well you wouldn’t want to give them away.
2. Use quality ingredients
Seems obvious, but don’t think you can scrimp on the ‘cake’ and put all your efforts into the topping.
A good quality base is vital if you don’t want anyone who reaches for one of your creations to just lick the icing off and leave the rest in the bottom of its case.
3. When it comes to icing, less is more
Sure it looks really spectacular, that monolithic display of icing and toppings and various things it’s had thrown at it.
But when there is more icing than actual cake you’re going to have your guests gagging at the sugar overload.
4. Butter vs Margarine
A good-quality butter will make your cakes taste wonderfully buttery. But Stork or something similar will give your cakes a lovely light texture.
To compensate, you can replaced a spoonful of the flour with a spoonful of cornflour to make your cakes lighter.
5. Don’t overmix the cake mix
Sure use your whisk to gently beat in the eggs, the butter, the sugar. But when you add your flour you want to ensure you keep all that air in the mixture. So fold in with a spoon until the flour is just incorporated.
6. Don’t overcook
Once the tops are going brown they’re going to be dried out and lose that lovely moist texture that has people “mmmmmmmm”ing as they take a bite. Golden is the colour you’re aiming for.
7. Do as you’re told
If you’re following a recipe, FOLLOW IT. Don’t cut corners or think ‘that won’t matter’. There is a reason it’s in the recipe so don’t skip it or fail to measure it. If it calls for room temperature butter, skipping that step could mean the difference between sunken cakes and perfect ones.
8. Make a mess
How is anyone going to know you’ve slaved in the kitchen over your cupcakes unless there’s flour everywhere and a smear of buttercream icing on your left cheek?
Do you have any tips you would add?
Here are a few cupcake recipes for you to try too:
Hummingbird Bakery Red Velvet Cupcakes – look amazing, not as hard as you’d think to make.
Paul Hollywood’s Chocolate Chip Muffins – there’s a cheeky little surprise in the centre of each one!
Coconut and Pineapple Cupcakes – totally tropical taste!
Peachy Cupcakes – you can even catch a video of me making them!