Helpful Baking Techniques

You’ve made it into the kitchen after buying ingredients from the store. Now what? Well, here are some baking techniques you need to know to get started!

Bring Ingredients to Room Temperature

Whether you are making cupcakes from scratch or from a box, make sure your ingredients are room temperature. For example, your eggs, milk, and butter. If you don’t allow them to come to room temperature, the wet ingredients won’t mix as well with the dry ingredients. Then someone is bound to bite into a flour pocket in the cupcake! Gross!

Don’t Over Mix!

When making cupcakes from cake mix, over mixing is common because it needs more of it in order to rise. For homemade cupcakes, over mixing will cause the cupcakes to be very dense and they won’t rise. Make sure to read the directions on the recipe because some cake batters are different in preparation. And when the recipe says, “mix until just combined”, that means you should mix until the dry ingredients have moistened from the wet ingredients. When the big pockets of flour or cake mix are gone, then you are good to go!

Tap! Tap! Tap!

Having too much in the cake batter will cause your cupcakes to have holes or even crack. To help get the air bubbles out, you can lightly tap the pan on the counter.

Ice Cream Scooper for Even Cupcakes

If you take two spoons and fill each cupcake liner, you will have uneven cupcakes. If your cupcakes are uneven, the baking times will be off, and some cupcakes will be done while others are undercooked. The easiest way to achieve even cupcakes is to use an ice cream scooper or even fill a piping bag with batter to evenly distribute. But keep in mind that the batter will rise so don’t over fill the cupcake liners. This way is also faster so you can get back to making more cupcakes!

Bake in the Center

When your cupcakes are ready for the oven, only bake one batch in the center of the oven rack. If you need to bake more than one batch, then it is best to rotate the pans to ensure your cupcakes are browning evenly.

Know Your Oven

When you followed all the directions then your cupcakes turned out to be undercooked or overcooked! Don’t worry! It’s best to get an oven thermometer and check if your oven is too hot or cool. Always keep an eye on your baked goods because I am almost positive that you don’t have the same oven as the person you are following the recipe from.

Don’t Peek in the Oven

While we are talking about ovens, don’t open the oven door! One tiny peek will dramatically lower the temperature of the oven and mess up the baking time for the cupcakes or other baked goods you are making. If your oven doesn’t have a window for you to peek in, wait about 12 minutes before you open the oven door.

It’s Done!

I bet you know the classic way of making sure a cupcake is done. Which is sticking a tooth pick in and it comes out clean. Well, another way to know a cupcake is done is when you lightly press your finger on top of the cupcake, and it springs back up. If it leaves an indent, then you should bake the cupcakes for a few more minutes. This is one of my favorite techniques!

Don’t Leave the Cupcakes in the Pan

After the timer goes off and the cupcakes are ready to take out, wait a couple minutes for them to cool. Then gently take them out and place them on a cooling rack. If you leave the cupcakes in the pan, they will continue to cook and they will dry out.

Let Your Cupcakes Cool Before Icing

If you are in a rush and try to ice your cupcakes while they are fresh, your icing will drip all over the place! Even if they feel cool to the touch, they could still be warm in the middle. Wait about 20 to 30 minutes before doing anything. And during that time you can make your icing!

Cool Cream Cheese Icing Before Piping

One time I made cream cheese frosting for cupcakes; I was in a rush. The icing was great but wasn’t as pretty as I wanted. The next time I made the icing, I chilled it over night then piped it onto my cupcakes. I had better control when piping, there was volume to the icing, and it looked much better! Buttercream icing doesn’t need to be chilled immediately after making it.

Not Cooled Icing (Left) vs Cooled Icing (Right)

Buy Frosting bags!

Using a sandwich bag will only get you so far. Using a frosting or piping bag will give you more control when icing cupcakes and plus you can use cool icing tips to make unique designs!

Chill These Items

Before making your whipped icing, stick your bowl, whisk, and heavy whipping cream in the freezer. If you chill these items before using them, your whipped cream will whip faster.

Forgot to soften the butter?

Don’t worry! Microwave the stick butter in the wrapper in 5 second bursts until softened. Rotate it after each 5 second burst. This can even be used to soften cream cheese. Take the wrapping off the cream cheese and add it to a microwave safe bowl. Then microwave in 15 second bursts until softened.

Well, that’s all I have for now. How many of these techniques did you already know?

I hope you feel better prepared to make some cupcakes! And most important of all, follow the recipe. Especially if it’s your first time making the dessert.

Now you can put these techniques to work with this amazing maple bacon cupcake recipe and tell me how it goes on Facebook or Instagram! If you know any more baking techniques that I should post in a future blog post, then you can contact me here!

Thank you so much for reading! Happy Baking!

– Courtney

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