You don’t need to have a sweet-tooth to agree that Cupcakes are some of the prettiest of all the confections to exist. They can be a treat for your visual and culinary senses alike. When it comes to baking, despite it being a science, a lot of times, it can feel like the process has a will and objective of its own independent of the steps and procedures of the baker. That is mostly because baking as a science is an exact one. So, even the tiniest change or variation can make a difference to the product coming out of your oven. Let’s take a look at some tools and tips you would need to get the perfect cupcakes.
Batter To Be Baked
If you have ever wondered why your cupcakes were all fluffy and airy one time, then kind of flat the other time, even though you followed the exact same recipe. The difference most probably was what culminated at the mixing stage. How well you mix your ingredients determines how good your cupcakes are going to look.
When it comes to the wet ingredients, whisk them together like your life depends on it. But when it comes to incorporating the dry ingredients into the mixture, keep your pace medium. Fold them in gently and keep doing it till you batter acquires a uniform consistency. That’s when the batter is ready for the bake. Also, don’t let it sit out for too long after whisking it. Bake it right away, to preserve the aeration and get the fluffiest cupcakes ever.
Measuring With Tools
This is the make-or-break part for the uniformity factor of these tiny treats. It’s a known fact that the cup cake tins cannot be filled all the way up with batter. They need to be filled up to 2/3rd or ½ of their capacity to leave room for their rising. It can be something of a task, finding that 2/3rd mark. But there is a simple trick to prevent the aesthetic nightmare of uneven cupcakes, which is, to measure them out with a tablespoon or a tiny spatula.
A measuring cup is harder to control. It’s often bigger than the cupcake tin and you cannot guarantee accuracy with it the way you could if you used a tiny spatula instead. Of course, using a spoon or a spatula to scoop out the batter into the pan requires some patience. Or maybe a lot if you are making a big batch, but your visual senses are going to love the result. There’s nothing more satisfying than a batch of perfectly sized cupcakes.
Gone are the days when you could only find oversized pastel liners. These days, cupcakes have gotten more and more popular, the liners have gotten equally better. If you want your cupcakes to look nice, your liners should also be nice. They should fit well inside the pan without crimping, which means that you should avoid buying liners that are too wide or look squished.
Some cupcakes come out light and fluffy and some recipes are just dense. Every time you try out a new recipe, make just one or two cupcakes first to understand what you can expect from it. Another important thing is, cupcakes like their space. Unless your oven is industrial size, bake them one pan at a time for optimal results. You may turn on the oven light to watch the process if you must, but do not, under any circumstances, open the door before they are fully baked.
The frosting on the cupcake is its crown of glory. And it can also be a mask of tiny corrections. Slight irregularities in size and look of the cupcakes can be smoothed over with a little bit of clever frosting. We totally understand if you’re almost tempted to make those mistakes for the sake of delicious frosting. Cupcake decoration is a skill in itself, and while not a hundred percent essential to the makeup of the confection, it adds a nice cherry on top, figuratively and literally, should you like that. For the therapeutic and artistic properties of baking, this is not something you let go off easily once you get the hang of it.
The Perfect Dome
Of course, the cupcake with the perfect dome is prettier than the one without. The battle on this stance will be won by perfectly dome shaped cupcakes. So, how do you get them? It is so simple, you might laugh. Just preheat your oven and then bake for an additional 2-3 minutes. The very simple science of it is that a preheated oven allows for the cupcakes to rise faster, and then stay risen as the center of it is cooked next. That does it. Otherwise, if you prefer a flatter top for whatever reason, no judgement, follow the instructions in the recipe and then let them cool. Cupcakes flatten a bit when cooled down.
Keep in mind that the shape is not all dependent on the temperature. Some cupcakes are naturally denser and the kind of flour you use also makes a difference. So manage your expectations and ingredients in tandem.
This is something that ends up affecting the look of the cupcake post bake, if not done properly. Unfrosted cupcakes should be stored in air tight containers in the refrigerator for up to a week while the frosted ones can be kept for 2-3 days. The air tight container is important in the way that you don’t want the cupcakes to absorb moisture and then start collapsing onto themselves.
Learning how to bake can be a bit of an adventure. While you will often hear words like precision, accuracy, science and patience, you don’t have to get intimidated by it. It’s all about giving it time and not rushing through while loving what you do. That said and done, you can easily be the pro baker of the house with just this. So, for that perfect bake, keep the perfect attitude and you will find that you are already there.