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Cupcake Catastrophe
Posted: 03 October 2008 03:16 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hey all, I tried my first recipe last night and used the sour cream butter cake recipe to make cupcakes.  I’m a bit embarrassed to show pictures, but I would love some feedback about what I might have done wrong.  When I explain some of the “issues” I had its going to make me sound like even more of a terror in the kitchen, but I’m sure its relevant information to what might have gone wrong.  Just know that I’m not always such a klutz in the kitchen.

You can see pics here, but no laughing ok?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/metvan/2908738768/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/metvan/2908738768/in/set-72157607677308832/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/metvan/2908737782/in/set-72157607677308832/

A few things that may have contributed:  the butter wasn’t quite as soft as it probably should have been when I went to mix it with the dry ingredients.  It took a bit of mixing, only after dusting of the immediate area with the contents of the mixer when i first turned it on.  Unfortunately, I did not get pictures of myself, my black lab, or the counter surrounding the mixer, you will have to use your imagination.

I also doubled the vanilla.  The batter was very thick.  I used an ice cream scoop to fill up the cupcake liners and watched them bake.  They never actually got very tall, they just kind of baked up past the lip and spilled over so don’t be fooled by the look, they didn’t flatten out afterwards.  The flavor and texture is amazing.  I’d just like to have them resemble a more traditional cupcake lol.  I’m going to try it again minus all the earlier shenanigans, but if you all have any tips that might help me improve or let me know what I may have done wrong, Id be most appreciative.

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Posted: 03 October 2008 03:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Red—actually, I don’t see what is so bad, unless you don’t like having the flat tops.  Rose’s cake recipes are formulated for flat, even layer cakes.  If you want domed cupcakes, you’ll have to reduce the leavening and play with the amount of batter you use.  This topic has been discussed extensively on the blog—do a search and you’ll find a wealth of information.  I don’t make cupcakes enough to know the specific changes off the top of my head.

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Posted: 03 October 2008 04:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Welcome Red! As Matthew said your cupcakes don’t look bad at all. I expected worse. Here are a few links that may help. Good luck with the next batch.

http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/index_ee.php/forums/viewthread/61/

http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2005/11/rounded_vs_flat_cake_layers.html

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Posted: 03 October 2008 11:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Greetings Red - believe it or not, some people actually want their cupcakes to have flat tops… yes it’s true! (ahem… Bill smile ).  Once you pile a nice dollop of one of Rose’s buttercreams on top, you’ll never notice the flat tops.  I’d happily eat any of your cupcakes.

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Posted: 03 October 2008 11:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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One other thing that works for corn muffins; might work for cupcakes too… once you fill your cupcake liners, wait 5 minutes before you place the cupcake pan in the oven.

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Posted: 04 October 2008 12:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Red, I wasn’t even tempted to laugh (well, OK, maybe only at the thought of your black lab!).  They look great, only minor tweaks needed if you don’t like the shape.  I realize they can be difficult to get out of the pan once they have spilled over, but if you anticipate that you can oil the top surface of the pan.  Personally, I love the crispy edges of a mushroom top. 

If a lot of the flour flew out of the bowl, it’s possible these were ever so slightly lacking in structure, so using the right amount of flour might fix that.

Other possibilities to tweak these are slightly increased beating times, reduced baking powder, a slightly hotter oven, or simply less batter in each cup.  (Don’t do all of these at once, you might end up with cracked volcanoes!)

And the batter for this recipe is supposed to be thick, no problem there.

Keep baking, you’re doing great!

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Posted: 06 November 2008 05:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hello everyone!  I’m new but interested in this too.  First of all, let me admit that I’ve been making my cupcakes from box mixes from the grocery store.  lol *blushing*

But I need a good standard recipe to make cupcakes from and want them to be in a nice round dome shape at top.  I’ve read that I could decrease the baking soda, but this would require I have a recipe in the first place!  lol I see all the great tips in here but can someone give me a good recipe and what to do from start to finish to get domed tops?  (should I lower baking powder, use hotter oven, increase beating time all at once?

Thanks so much!

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Posted: 07 November 2008 10:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Welcome!  If you search the blog, you will find an excellent sour cream yellow cake recipe from Rose, and the links suggested by Rozanne, above, will enlighten you as to the modifications for rounded tops.

For cupcakes, I don’t change the recipe at all and generally get slightly rounded tops.  I would try only one modification, two at most, as you don’t want to end up with cracked, tough, volcano cupcakes!

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Posted: 07 November 2008 09:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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This is where I chime in with my two cents.  I have been working on cupcakes, getting them just right, for months.  (and months and months and months).  Cup cakes in general, seem a little fussier than a larger cake layer (strange as that may sound).  Also, since they aren’t covered with frosting in the same way, the imperfections are obvious.  I like my cupcakes with flat tops and I like them to come right to the top of the liners.  Then I pipe the buttercream on top.  Your’s look great (just put a little less batter in the cup).  I agree with patrincia, leaving the batter in the pan for a while before baking will help the cakes to dome a little.  I have had problems with cupcake liners separating from the cake…and have varied recipes to try to solve this problem…and in the process found something interesting.  Now…everyone on this forum is about to jump down my throat…and Dear Rose, please forgive me for what I am about to say…but I find that for cupcakes (and for cupcakes only) the cakes look better (not taste better or have better texture) but do look better and the liners stay on better if you use the “creaming” method for making your batter rather than the two stage method.  The baking powder needs to be reduced a little, but other wise I use the same ingredients…and my cupcakes look great.  They taste great too…but the texture is not as wonderful as with the two stage method used in Rose’s books…but they do look better.  I have recently found a cupcake recipe for yellow cup cakes in which you pretty much dump everything in the bowl and mix…scary as that sounds…and the recipe promises that for cupcakes…it works. 

Haven’t tried yet.

Will post after I try.

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Posted: 08 November 2008 01:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I too have been working on my cupcake problems (maybe not as long as Bill has). The problem I had with them, which I posted on another thread was the cakes ‘floated’ from the bottom of the liners. I was using Rose’s AOYDC recipe and all variations of oven temp, baking time, convection or not was tried (within limits of course smile )

The solution I found was to use Rose’s base formula for yellow cake; but instead of using 2 yolks, I use 1 yolk and add enough of the white to equal the weight required. I like the soft texture of all-white cakes but prefer the flavor of yolk cakes so I thought this would be a good compromise. I use the baking powder for Level 1 (1.5 tsp per base). The cakes are VERY slightly domed at the top and come to just slightly below the top of the liners.

Thankfully it has been working so far. I bake mini cupcakes (10g batter each) at 170 Celcius for 10 mins; and regular cupcakes (38g each) at 165 Celcius for 19 minutes. No more floaters and the taste and texture are wonderful!

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Posted: 08 November 2008 07:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Hi Shimi
I had that problem too. It comes from the cake shrinking a lot on cooling.  I’m glad you solved it for yourself.  Changing the mixing method seemed to work as well.  I also weight the cupcakes, used slightly more batter than you (I think it was 42 g per cupcake for yellow…but not exactly sure….I’m not at home and I don’t have that info infront of me).

Keep baking!

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Posted: 08 November 2008 10:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I’m not going to be any help here but I’ve baked cupcakes with the Downy Yellow Buttercake recipe twice before; the first time the tops came out rather flat, the second time they domed quite high - I don’t know what I did differently… so go figure oh oh

However, although so far I have generally preferred flat topped cupcakes for piping and deco etc. (mostly because I use buttercream instead of fondant), I haven’t had the inclination to fiddle about with the recipe or technique - I just slice the tops off and that makes good pickings anyway cheese

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Posted: 09 November 2008 11:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Rose said there will be an entire section in her new book devoted to cupcakes - hooray!

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Posted: 10 November 2008 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Hooray indeed!

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Posted: 10 November 2008 12:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I would like to chime in with a Yah Hoo!

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Posted: 10 November 2008 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Bill, you were the first person I thought of when I read that Rose’s new book will have a section on cupcakes. I bet it made your day just reading it.

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