The popularity of cupcakes has soared over the past few years. Much of their appeal lies in their ability
to pack a lot of flavor into just a few bites. Cupcakes are also easy to prepare and they are versatile.
With just two basic cupcake batters (vanilla and chocolate) and a variety of fillings and frostings,
cupcakes can be dressed up or down as the occasion requires.
Tips for making perfect cupcakes:
Always use good quality ingredients and bring refrigerated items to room temperature before mixing. Sift the flour and leavening ingredients to get out any lumps.
Be precise with your measuring. Use an electric mixer, if possible, to get a good consistency in both the batter and frosting. To give the cupcakes room to rise, fill
each muffin cup about 2/3 full (unless the recipe indicates otherwise.) If you are not filling all of the cups with batter, fill the empty cups 2/3 full of water to even out
the pan. Since all ovens are different, check the cupcakes for doneness a couple of minutes before their recommended baking time to prevent overbaked and dry
cupcakes. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before adding frosting. If possible, frost and eat them the day they are baked, when the cake is at its freshest.
Cupcakes may be stored at room temperature in airtight containers before frosting for up to 3 days. Unfrosted cupcakes may also be rozen for up to 6 months.
Thaw frozen cupcakes at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. If desired, freshen them in a 350 degree F. oven for 5 minutes.
(Makes 12 cupcakes)
1-/12 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In another bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the butter and vanilla; blend into the egg mixture. Add the flour mixture and
the milk. Beat the mixture together for 1 minute or until well combined.
Divide the batter evenly in the cupcake pan (about 1/3 cup batter per cup cake)
Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan
and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost as desired.
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes
(Makes 24 cupcakes)
1-3/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brewed coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with paper cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder,
and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
With an electric mixer, combine the wet ingredients. Add the flour mixture to the
wet ingredients; beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. The batter will be thin.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pans. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until
a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the pans
for 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and cool completely on wire
racks. Frost as desired.
How to Make FIlled Cupcakes
You don’t need much in the way of special equipment to fill cupcakes. You can fill your cupcakes with jam,
pastry cream, whipped cream, pureed fruit, Nutella, lemon curd, or fruiit. Put the filling in a pastry bag or
simply spoon it into the cut out space. Don't overfill as you will need to replace the circular piece of cake so
that it is flush with the top of the cupcake over the filling.
One of the most common methods is known as the “cone method”. All you need is a small paring knife.
Insert the knife into a cooled cupcake at an angle, halfway between the center and the outside edge. The
exact angle isn’t crucial, but it should be around 45 degrees and the knife should go into the cake about
1-inch. The idea here is to cut out a circular cone of cake. Once you have your cone of cake, remove it and
slice off the pointy end of the cone, leaving just the circular base (which was the top of the cupcake). The
filling will be put in the hole once filled by the cake cone, and the circular piece will be used as a plug to seal
the filling in.