How to Make Perfect Cupcakes
I've learned a few things over the years and have learned how to make perfect cupcakes by trial and error. Boxed, semi-homemade or homemade cupcakes doesn't make a bit of a difference when the kids (little or big kids) grab up a cupcake and their face light up with a big smile. A huge smile is a great reward but you also want to make sure those cupcakes are baked to perfection. It's not hard to learn how to make perfect cupcakes. There are a few baking rules to follow and I promise you you will be amazed at the difference it makes. Follow these tips on how to make cupcakes and you will be rewarded with perfect cupcakes each time.
4 Steps to Making Perfect Cupcakes & Tips to Make Perfect Cupcakes every time
How to Mix Cupcakes Correctly
How to Bake Cupcakes Correctly
Oven Temperature: All ovens are not created equally! It is a good idea to purchase an inexpensive oven thermometer (affiliate link). If you are having issues when using your oven like baked goods taking longer to bake then they should. Or baked goods burning before the finish time you need to check the temperature of the oven.
Follow Proper Baking Times: Baking times listed in recipes and on boxed mixes is an approximate baking time that varies by ovens. All ovens do not heat the same. As mentioned above if you are having issues you should check that your oven is actually heating to the temperature you are setting it to.
Most cupcakes bake for 15-24 minutes. I always set my timer for the shortest time and then check the cupcakes a few minutes before the timer goes off.
How do you know when your cupcakes are done?
Test the cupcakes for doneness by lightly touching the tip of a finger to the center of the top of one cupcake. The top should spring back not leaving a depression on the cupcake top.
You should also be rotating the cupcake pan (affiliate link) halfway through the baking time to ensure the cupcakes are baking evenly.
How should a perfectly baked cupcake look? A perfectly baked cupcake should be a slightly darker color then the batter once baked. It should not be a golden brown on top. Cupcakes with a golden brown color to the top is actually over baked and maybe dry.
How To Cool Cupcakes Correctly
You may think cooling cupcakes is the easiest part of making cupcakes. When they are done baking you take them out of the oven and set them on the counter to cool.
Use a cooling rack (affiliate link): Cooling racks are a must have for cooling cupcakes correctly. Cupcakes left to cool in the hot cupcake pan without air circulation will allow moisture and oil to accumulate on the bottom of the cupcake paper. The cupcakes are still edible but not pretty. If you are serving cupcakes to guests at a party you want your cupcakes to be the prettiest they can be. A greasy bottom is not pretty. Using a cooling rack will also speed up the cooling time.
Remove Cupcakes from baking pan: When the cupcakes come out of the oven let them cool about five minutes. They will still be hot. Use a fork or small spatula to gently lift one side of each cupcake. With your other hand pick the cupcake up and place it on a cooling rack.
Cupcakes not cooled long enough: Frosting will melt and slide off the cupcake.
Cool Cupcakes on the counter: Cool cupcakes at room temperature. Do not place cupcakes in the refrigerator or freezer to try to speed things up. The tops of the cupcakes will become moist. If the tops of the cupcakes are moist everywhere you touch them pieces of the cake will come off. If you are frosting with a knife or spatula the cupcake crumbs will get mixed in with the frosting and will ruin the appear
How to Frost Cupcakes Correctly
Cupcakes must be completely cool to the touch before frosting!
Cupcake Frosting: Store bought or homemade frosting is up to you. You can use a can of frosting but make it fancy by using a decorator bag and star tip. Or you can go all out and make home frosting from scratch and use a fancy rose tip for swirling on the frosting.
My favorite store bought frosting doesn't even come in a can. It is Kraft Cool Whip Frosting. It tastes as good as homemade and you don't have to go to all the trouble of making it yourself. It comes in Cream Cheese, Vanilla and Chocolate. My favorite is the Vanilla.
Plain or Fancy Cupcake Frosting: There are so many ways to frost a cupcake. You can get fancy and use a decorator bag with a rose or round tip (affiliate links) or you can use a butter knife and swirl the frosting on. It's up to you. For me I love serving a beautiful cupcake. Honestly I have used a decorator bag and a rose tip for so long I couldn't tell you the last time I served a cupcake with frosting that was swirled on with a knife. It takes just a few more minutes and clean up fast and easy if you use a Wilton disposable decorating bag (affiliate link). The finished cupcake looks beautiful and is worth the extra work.
Keep these 4 easy tips in mind the next time you are making cupcakes and you will have perfect cupcakes for your guests or family every time.
- Use the correct measurements and ingredients
- Mix for the correct amount of time
- Bake at the correct temperature and for the correct amount of time
- Cool the cupcakes on a cooling rack