The recipes for cupcakes may possess differences of varying kinds but they all have a similar structure. Whether you're making yours from scratch or buying a ready mix, there are seemingly menial decisions you may make without knowing they could mar your results.
Here's a compilation of some common mistakes you should watch out for when making your cupcakes:
1. You use the wrong kind of flour
The type of cupcake you're making determines the kind of flour you should use. There's a large variety of flours and they're all differentiated by the level of their protein content.
Cake flour makes a finer crumb, which is why it's normally used to make softer cakes like sponge cakes. On the other hand, all-purpose flour produces a more rustic cake, while whole-wheat flour is best for denser cakes.
So you are left to choose what kind of flour you should use based on the results you desire in your cupcakes.
Tip: when you are not sure what type of flour to go for, just choose all-purpose!
2. You use expired ingredients
Baking comes at a whim for most people and this, the common mistake of using expired ingredients. Yes, the expired baking goods may be edible but they'll certainly alter the final product.
If you are especially looking to enjoy your cupcakes light and fluffy, make sure to cross-check the expiration date of the spices, flour, baking soda, as well as other ingredients you may need.
3. You don't measure your ingredients with precision
When it comes to baking, you should strive for perfection when it comes to measurements. If you're especially an amateur baker following a set recipe, pay attention to the measurements prescribed by the author if you want perfect cupcakes!
4. You bake the cupcakes for too long!
Baking a cupcake for too long will leave it tasting dry and too much work to eat. So, experts recommend under-baking your cupcakes so that you can then keep an eye out for when they're just perfectly done.
An oven thermometer will come in handy!
5. You don't cream the butter and sugar properly
Creaming butter and sugar may be considered an art form when it comes to baking. If you don't do it correctly, there are high chances that your cupcakes will come out tough and chewy.
You also have to be mindful of not under- or over-creaming. Under-creamed feels like wet corn mush and over-creamed feels like greasy sugar.
6. You use cold eggs and butter
Let your eggs and butter sit at room temperature before you start making your cupcakes. At this temperature, the eggs and butter allow for easy mixing and tend to rise more effortlessly in the oven.
7. You frost your cupcakes too soon
Don't be too quick when it comes to frosting your cupcakes. Let them cool down for a while before you start piling on the yummy frosting. This prevents the frosting from melting from the temperature of the cake and also stops the cupcakes from overcooking and drying up.
If the unfrosted cupcakes are frozen, let them thaw for about an hour before frosting.
8. You don't use cupcake liners
Paper liners are a lifesaver when it comes to cupcakes. It makes removing the cakes from the pan effortless, prevents them from drying out, and promotes good hygiene.
Sounds like a win from all angles!
9. Your oven protocol is wrong
The way you use your oven before, during, and after placing the cake batter inside it matters a lot. The oven rules you must never forget are:
Always preheat the oven
Place the raw cupcake batter in the oven as soon as you're done preparing it to preserve the actions of the ingredients.
Limit opening the oven while the cakes are cooking
10. You don't store your cupcakes correctly
If you want your cupcakes to keep for very long, keep these few points in mind:
Let it cool down completely before storing.
First, wrap the cakes in a plastic container and then place them in an airtight container.
You can either keep your cupcakes at room temperature or freeze them. Storing them in the refrigerator will only dry them out.