Time Sensitive:  Need help adapting a recipe to standard cupcakes/muffin size, please :0)
Posted: 08 April 2014 05:46 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello Everyone.

I’m new here and am a home baker.

There is a traditional recipe that I have been working on and troubleshooting for weeks now and this is very close to a sour cream pound cake; however, it has parmesan cheese added to the batter.  I have made this recipe successfully, many times in a regular, rectangular pan; however, I need to adapt this recipe to a standard cupcake/muffin size pan.  Problem is that after too many attempts and troubleshooting, these “cupcakes” sink upon removal from the oven and seem undercooked in the center.  The bottom and top seem fine; but, the center is not “spongey.”  I will provide the recipe for your review, please let me know how I can avoid this without compromising the traditional flavor of these cakes.  Thank you in advance for your help!

Recipe is as follows:

1 Cup of Bleached All Purpose Flour (Sifted AFTER it’s measured; but, not packed when measured)
1 TSP of Baking Powder (Recently bought and sifted along with the APF)
1 Stick of Butter (room temperature)
1 Cup of Sugar
3 Large Eggs (room temperature)
1 Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup of Sour Cream
1 TBSP of milk

Tried 325 F for 1 hr and five mins (too brown, sank and seemed undercook in center)
Tried 325 F for 1 hr. (sank and seemed undercooked in center)
Tried 350 for 20 mins and 325 for 40 (with a foil tent)-Bottom was burned and top still too brown and sank
Tried 375 for about 15 mins and 350 for 20-30

I do this in the creaming method (stand mixer) then, I gently fold in sour cream, flour, milk, rest of flour then finally fold parmesan.  Don’t know what else to try, please help!!

Thanks again smile

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Posted: 08 April 2014 07:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Many possible sources of error. One thing that jumps out is that you have a very acidic batter. Normally when one uses sour cream, one includes baking soda, rather thank baking powder, or a combination of both. This might account for the texture issue, but it would actually impede the browning. Perhaps the Parmesan increases the browning?

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Posted: 08 April 2014 07:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks so much for taking the time to reply, CharlesT!

I did not think of that!  I’m definitely willing to experiment with baking soda.  How much baking powder/soda would you suggest to start the troubleshooting? This original recipe calls for 1 TSP of baking powder.  Also, I read somewhere on this site that Rose suggests using 1/2 cup of sugar per cup of flour because sugar promotes browning.  Therefore, if I read that piece of advice correctly, I was actually considering bringing the sugar down to 1/2 a cup from 1 cup.  Would you suggest I do that before experimenting with baking soda/powder measurements?  Or should I just keep the amount of sugar to “balance out” the browning with the baking powder/soda changes?

Hope this makes sense!

Thanks again smile

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Posted: 08 April 2014 09:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’ve converted your recipe to weight so that we can compare it to Rose’s sour cream yellow cake. The important numbers are the two right columns, which show the percent of the ingredient in question relative to the flour, which is an industry standard way of comparing recipes:

.
                                            
Yours Roses 
                                              
%      % 
AP Flour                1 cup   130 grams 100.0  100.0
Baking Powder           1 tsp     5 grams   3.8    2.5
Butter                  1 stick 113 grams  86.9   85.0
Sugar
granulated       1 cup   200 grams 153.8  100.0
Eggs
large             3 each  150 grams 115.4   37.0
Parmesan Cheese
grated 1 cup    80 grams  61.5  
Sour Cream              1 cup   240 grams 184.6   80.0
Milk                    1 TB     15 grams  11.5  
Baking soda           1
/2 tsp     3 grams   2.3    1.5 

As you can see, you have a LOT more sour cream. Your baking powder is higher, but she also uses baking soda, so those aren’t directly comparable. Your sugar is 50% higher, and you have three times as much egg.

These results are a bit thrown off due to your incorporation of the Parmesan cheese; it’s possible that it might provide some structure, like flour, and if we treated it that way, your percents would effectively come down. I’m just guessing on that, though.

If you’re attempting something at all like a yellow cake, then the sugar probably needs to be reduced, the egg needs to be reduced, the sour cream needs to be reduced, and you need to incorporate some quantity of baking soda. How much depends on what you bring the sour cream down to (if you do).

If your cake isn’t much like a yellow cake, then I would start by using baking soda exclusively, no baking powder, and maybe using 1/2 tsp. That would provide twice the leavening of your baking powder and it’s possible that it’s too much for the quantity of flour. But then, maybe the cheese makes the batter heavy enough that it needs more leavening to accomplish the same purpose.

Ideally, you should make one change at a time to see what happens and if you’re moving in the right direction. Keep notes. grin

 

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Posted: 08 April 2014 09:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hi, Jaimic!

Another possibility—since you have had success with this recipe in a rectangular pan—is that there is simply too much leavening for a muffin/cupcake.  I’d suggest trying it again—even a partial batch—and use less baking powder or let the muffin tins sit on the counter for 1/2 hour before baking while the oven heats up.  This is also useful when baking a normally “flat” layer in muffin tins so you get a domed muffin, rather than a flat one, so maybe it will lift your collapsed muffins to normalcy.

Good luck!

—ak

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Posted: 08 April 2014 09:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Anne in NC - 08 April 2014 09:41 PM

is that there is simply too much leavening for a muffin/cupcake.

Don’t you think the reverse is usually the case? You need less leavening the bigger the pan, so the muffin pan should call for more leavening, if anything. Overall, the leavening for this recipe seems a bit low.

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Posted: 08 April 2014 10:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I agree—it is contrary when it comes to muffins, but there you have it.  To turn a cake batter into a domed bread or muffin,  let it sit in the prepared pan to ” expel” some of the leavening.  I’d say that if she’s made the recipe successfully as written—regardless of hoe odd it is—the recipe must ” work” and only requires a muffin adjustment.  No guarantee, but it makes sense to me (FWTW).

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Posted: 08 April 2014 11:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Wow!  I’m sooo appreciative of you both for taking the time to provide all of this great information!

Yes, the cake is definitely more like a pound cake in texture and density.  It’s actually what is known in El Salvador as “Quesadilla.”  Not to be confused with the Mexican dish with tortillas and cheese; it’s a traditional “pound cake” type of cake that is usually accompanied with coffee.smile. I will begin by adjusting the leavening and concentrate on that and will cross my fingers!

I never imagined how complex baking from scratch really is!

I will bake a small test batch and see how it goes.  Again, thank you!  You guys really helped get the wheels turning again. smile

 

 

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