I hope this week has treated you well and you are all energized and ready for another lovely Monday tomorrow <insert your own enthusiasm here>!!! As promised I will be using this blog to share information regarding Twist Cupcakery happenings but today I wanted to share some super important baking tips with you! Below is a list of the top 10 things that you should consider when making your own cupcakes at home:
1. It is not as much the recipe as the quality of the ingredients and technique! People ask me all the time if I would share my buttercream recipe and my response is always the same… there are a million and one recipes available online; most of the American buttercream recipes are the same with the exception of the fat ratio you decide on. My advice would be to find a recipe you want to try, invest in good quality flavoring ingredients (you would not believe how much this matters), and be sure to follow the instructions on how they make the item then if you have some baking experience you can manipulate the recipe but start off with the basic recipe so you can see if you like it!
2. Always preheat the oven and once you put the cupcakes in do not open the door to peak until the baking time has elapsed, I recommend using the light and window in the oven, if available, to view them during baking but do not be tempted to open the door! When the timer goes off take a peak and insert a clean toothpick in the center and ensure it comes out dry then you know they are finished baking.
3. Temperature. I use a conventional oven and 350 degrees is always my go to for cupcakes and 325 degrees for nice and non-domed cakes
~Bonus tip!!! Baking strips work wonders (mine are Wilton brand) when baking a cake larger than 6inches in diameter, the help control the temperature during the baking cycle and help prevent the dreaded dome.
4. Bring your ingredients to room temperature!!! I know this takes some additional effort but it will be worth it. One tricks if you are in a pinch put your eggs in a bowl and run warm water over them until they get to room temperature, another trick is stick your butter into the microwave for just a few seconds (start out with 5) to get it to room temperature. Be careful with microwaving the butter as if left too long it can cause a mess and you don’t typically want melted butter!
5. All, well most, about eggs. Crack your eggs into a separate bowl so that you can ensure they haven’t went bad or if you are using farm fresh eggs that you do not have double yokes as this can change the consistency of your cake. The main reason for doing this is so that you do not get any shells in your batter (good luck trying to fish them out especially if you are using a stand mixer). Also the size of the egg does not typically matter unless you go from small eggs to extra-large eggs, remember the more yoke the more moist but there is a such thing as too moist… personally I go for large eggs. My final note about eggs is to mix them one at a time ensuring that the previous egg is fully incorporated before adding the next one.
6. Measure your ingredients accurately. Baking is just as much of a science as it is an art and ratios mean everything when trying to achieve a nice moist yet sturdy cupcake. If you want a stronger flavor in your cake adding more of that ingredient may not be the best idea sometimes you will have to work at concentrating the ingredient then adding it to your recipe. Also I like to use an ice cream scooper to fill my cupcake baking pans, try this out for yourself and depending on your pan size you may not need to fill the scooper all the way up as you do not want to overfill (fill no more than 2/3 full)… practice makes messes but it also makes perfect!
7. Do not overmix! I urge you, only mix until incorporated and use a lower setting when using a hand or stand mixer. The air bubbles in your batter help create the light and fluffy cake which you desire and overmixing can ruin the texture.
8. When you remove your cupcakes from the oven immediately place the pan on a wire rack to cool until the pan is cool to the touch then remove the cupcakes from the pan to finish cooling on the wire rack. The additional time in the hot pan can over bake your goodies and no one wants that to happen after all your hard work.
9. It’s decorating time! Once your cupcakes have properly cooled and you have the perfect batch of buttercream icing it is time to frost and decorate. There are a ton of decorating tips out there to choose from, my favorite being the 1M, so pick your favorite and frost away I will not go into too much detail since you have seen my short clip on Instagram (@twistcupcakery) on how I get my signature Twist swirl. A word of caution… when using a crusting buttercream be sure to add your decorations to the cupcake immediately as the icing can crust very quickly making it very hard to make some decorations such as sprinkles stick to the cupcake. I usually frost the cupcake then immediately add the decorations before moving on to frosting the next cupcake.
10. My final piece of advice is have fun! Baking is supposed to be fun and gives you a chance to be creative and explore new combinations. Once you have your recipe down then branch out and put your own spin on things and if things still do not go right call Twist Cupcakery and we will whip something tasty up for you anytime!!!