Basics & Troubleshooting180

Posted by chockylit in General (Sunday September 24, 2006 at 2:05 pm)

Baking is not easy, generally speaking. If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it is that the end result of any baking project is unpredictable. The key is to:

– learn how to see problems coming and adjust in advance
– learn how to turn apparent failures into delicious and attractive treats
– learn what ingredients can and can’t be swapped
– take the time to pre-read the recipe and follow it closely, while adjusting for your circumstances
– take the time to practice and experiment before baking for a special event!

With practice, patience, and attention to some basic rules, there is a good chance your baking project will be a success. Best of luck in the kitchen and I hope this information is helpful!

Basics

  • Preparation is Key
    I can’t stress enough how necessary it is to pre-measure all ingredients and allow crucial items like butter and eggs to fully come to room temperature. The bottom line is baking must be pre-meditated.
  • Be Careful What You Swap
    It is helpful to understand where you have flexibility with your ingredients and how to effectively swap them out. I personally recommend Regan Daley’s book In the Sweet Kitchenfor its very helpful ingredient substitution section. Otherwise get to know your ingredients by researching them on the web or in cookbooks.
  • Just Enough but Not Too Much
    You have measured out all your ingredients and double checked the recipe. You are ready to start. While recipes attempt to describe the steps in as much required detail as possible, successful mixing of ingredients often comes about with experience. Knowing just how much mixing is enough is key. For example, over mixing once flour has been added can build up glutens and result in a tough end product. Under mixing, say for example, the butter and sugar, can result in separation of ingredients and possible sinking. Recommendations include 1) scraping down your bowl often to ensure that all ingredients are combined, 2) beating well during the steps before the flour is added, and 3) mixing only enough to combine ingredients once flour has been added.
  • Its All About the Oven
    No matter how well you measured, mixed, and otherwise painstakingly prepared your batter, it can all go to waste if you don’t follow some very important rules of baking…

    Check your oven temperature!
    Ovens, even new ones, can be far off. I can’t stress how important it is to use an oven thermometerto ensure that your oven is at 350 degrees.

    Know your oven!
    In addition to ovens being off temperature-wise, they can also have hot and cold spots. You might come to learn of those, likely if you pile a lot of cupcakes in your oven. In my oven for example, the lower, left-hand corner always gives me trouble. If you have hot/cold spots, minimize how many cupcakes you bake at a time. I recommend a maximum of 24. If you need to bake more, use convection and drop the temperature in the recipe by 25 degrees. In addition, you can move the baking pans around to adjust, but be careful when doing so (see recommendations below).

    Do not disturb!
    Absolutely do not disturb those precious cupcakes for at least 15 minutes of baking (or 8 in the case of minis). It is important to let them develop some structural integrity. After 15 minutes you might want to shift the position of the pans in order to move cupcakes in and out of hot spots. Otherwise let them do their thing. Start testing cupcakes 2 minutes before the end of the recommended bake time, usually with a light tough or shimmy of the pan. Once the cupcakes give a slight resistance to the touch, you can start testing them with a toothpick or other pointy object. Now this is important… Bake cupcakes until the tester comes out clean. And that means NO CRUMBS. If you take them out prematurely, they are very like to fall or at least sink slightly. Lastly, don’t just check one… Due to oven hot/cold spots, you might have some done and some not. Do what you can to make sure they all finish baking without drying any out.

Troubleshooting

  • My Cupcakes Are Sinking!
    See “Its All About the Oven” above. There is a good chance that you didn’t allow the cupcakes to bake fully. If the sinking is accompanied by pools of melted butter, it is likely the ingredients were not mixed adequately.
  • My Cupcakes Are Overflowing!
    See “Its All About the Oven” above. There is a good chance that your oven temperature is too low or you have too many cupcakes in the oven at once. If the cupcakes don’t get adequate heat during the early phase of the baking process, they will overflow. I guarantee it…

180 comments for Basics & Troubleshooting »

  1. Hi Cheryl,

    really sweet of you to do up this page. I’ve gain more insight into baking (cupcakes esp) after reading your blog. =) You’re such a creative baker when it comes to cupcake. Btw, usually how full do you fill your cupcake liners to, so that they will reach the brim just nice?

    Comment by Jacelyn — September 24, 2006 @ 8:00 pm

  2. Hi – I always seem to have a hard time getting my cupcakes out of the pan even though I use liners. I guess I put too much batter in and the overflow sticks, but is there something else I am doing wrong? Am I baking them too long and they just stick to the pan (I end up with cupcake tops when trying to pry them from the pan!)? It’s very frustrating. I baked some mini size ones the other day and that was a disaster, even though I first sprayed the pan with non-stick baking spray – they still stuck. ugh – please help!

    P.S. Love your blog! Very inspiring.

    Comment by Laura — September 25, 2006 @ 1:28 pm

  3. Hi, I’m very new to baking and have a feel questions:

    i would like to know how long can frosted cupcake last and what is the proper storage for them?

    And will the frosting harden or remain creamy? if it remain creamy how do i store them?

    Comment by Jess — September 27, 2006 @ 6:41 am

  4. Cheryl,

    I love your site. The photos are amazing, presentation inspired and you ability to invent new cupcake combinations unrivalled! I have been a fan for quite some time now and the one thing I would love to see you change is the inclusion of weights in your recipes. For people like myself not in the USA it can get quite confusing. Are your cups metric? What is a stick of butter? I spend a lot of time checking and double checking conversions but different sites give slightly different answers. I have always found weights to be much easier and accurate (the weight of a cup of flour can vary so much). I hope you consider this request for all us metric people.

    Comment by K8 — September 28, 2006 @ 2:53 pm

  5. Cheryl,
    Your blog is such an inspirition. I have been reading and loving your blog for just over a year now. I have not baked any cupcakes as yet but I loved the pictures. Could you please consider baking a batch of flan flavoured cupcakes? Dont ever stop blogging. You rock hard!!!

    Comment by Mayya — September 30, 2006 @ 8:57 am

  6. Hi! I love your site! Very inspiring indeed. Question, do you use all purpose flour? or cake flour? Thanks and keep up the good work!

    Comment by Gin — October 3, 2006 @ 2:22 pm

  7. Great website. I’ve learned a lot. Can you tell me what size disher or scoop you use to get the perfect size cupcakes in your nut and party cups? Thanks.

    Comment by pam — October 3, 2006 @ 5:16 pm

  8. hi cheryl,

    do you know which type of industrial oven would be best used to make a large quantity of cupcakes, that is rack vs. revolving or possibly something else? thank you!

    Comment by stacy — October 4, 2006 @ 10:18 am

  9. hey! i really like this new section of your web… i’ve been trying out the mooncake cupcake… and i’m wondering why my cupcakes are bubbling… like bubbles on the top… seems like its the butter that’s bubbling…

    Comment by melody — October 8, 2006 @ 1:41 am

  10. do you know the best way to adjust recipes for high altitude?

    Comment by stacy — October 9, 2006 @ 9:39 am

  11. I love your recipes so much!
    Please can you tell me what heavy cream is?
    I am in the UK and we don’t use this term. Is it fresh cream? We have single, whipping and double fresh cream.
    I have seen many recipes using this but I have never been able to make them as I am not sure of a British substitute.
    Can you shed any light for me.
    Lindsay x

    Comment by Lindsay — October 10, 2006 @ 9:02 am

  12. I love your blog – the recipes are amazing and the photos are crazy good!!!

    I have a question… what size are your cups? I found where to get them but they have so many sizes….

    Comment by Tracy — October 10, 2006 @ 12:32 pm

  13. Love your website! Have you been to Love at First Bite in Berkeley (http://www.loveatfirstbitebakery.com/)? They do a really great strawberry cupcake with strawberry frosting….if you ever feel like trying to figure out their recipe, I sure would love to have it!

    Comment by Fredeöö — October 13, 2006 @ 4:09 pm

  14. the big question is, what do you do with all of the cupcakes you bake???

    Comment by jillian — October 25, 2006 @ 12:35 pm

  15. Thank you so much for your website! I just discovered it and fell in love with every aspect of it. I tried your red velvet cupcake recipe this past weekend and it was a hit! The only problem I had was that I couldn’t get the right red coloring (I tried dye, but I know your recipe calls for paste-where do I buy that?)

    Comment by Jennifer Shannon — December 3, 2006 @ 11:00 pm

  16. i love your website! I have two small kids and have been making alot of cupcakes and other baked yummies.

    I am finally about to purchase a stand mixer and have narrowed it down to the kitchenaid pro 5 or the 6. Which do you use? Is the 6 overkill for basic baking?

    thanks Liz

    Comment by liz — December 18, 2006 @ 7:28 am

  17. please tell me why my cupcake papers are coming away from the cakes as they cool?

    Comment by Julie-Ann — December 20, 2006 @ 5:10 am

  18. I am a cupcake vendor at our Farmer’s Market. Could you please tell me why some of my cupcakes shrink after coming out of the oven. Some look gorgeous from the oven window but after they sit to cool, they are smaller in size. I am using a Wearever commercial aluminum pan. Could this be the problem? Help please. Thanks, Joanne

    Comment by joanne glasgow — January 7, 2007 @ 4:48 pm

  19. I am relatively new to baking and am having some problems with making cupcakes. My cupcakes rise nicely in the oven, then tend to sink slightly whilst still in the oven (a sign of overcooking?). When I take them out, they continue to sink and the cake shrinks away from the sides of the cupcake papers . And this is after I have tested them with a cake tester which comes out of the cupcakes crumb free. I am not sure what I am doing wrong?

    I make sure I cream the butter and sugar for at least 3 minutes and do not overbeat when adding the flour. I bake at 325F (recipe calls for 350F) as I use a fan-forced/convection oven.

    Could the problem be that I use special cupcake baking papers that are not placed in cupcake pans (i.e. they bake standing on an oven tray)? I am wondering if I need to increase the oven temperature to compensate for the lack of heat which usually generates from the cupcake pans?

    Any suggestions would be very welcome! Thanks.

    Comment by newbaker — January 17, 2007 @ 5:04 am

  20. Thank you for this site! My question is about the buttercream frosting. If i make extra can i store it in the refrigerator or leave it at room temperature? Any recommendations?

    Comment by cupcake_newbie — January 17, 2007 @ 2:58 pm

  21. I love your website! Thank you for this very useful page. I tried the Melt In Your Mouth cupcakes and it crack and sank. After reading this page, I can guess, there is probably three reasons: My oven temperature is off, I put too many in, and I didn’t allow it to fully cooked. I will follow your advice. Hopefully it will turn out perfectly next time I try them.

    Comment by Go Cupcake — January 22, 2007 @ 8:46 pm

  22. Hi I am a big fan of your blog. You are quite adventurous with flavor!

    I was wondering about the baking cups you use. I have found it hard to get the cupcakes out of them. Is there a secret? Just wondering.

    Thanks for a great blog!

    Comment by Denise — January 29, 2007 @ 3:39 pm

  23. What an amazing site! I’ve never seen such beautiful creations before. My cupcake adventure began with the Magnolia bakery cookbook that I bought about two years ago. It’s sometimes a bit difficult to find all the special ingredients for the recipes (like peanutbutter cups) in this country, but still the results have been awesome. Now that I just found your great website I really look forward to testing some of the unique recipes you share with us.

    Jukka
    Finland

    Comment by Jukka — January 31, 2007 @ 1:49 pm

  24. What kind of tube do you use to frost your cupcakes? LOVE THE SITE!

    Comment by deanna — February 11, 2007 @ 4:58 pm

  25. Hi… I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now and truly love it. You are an inspiration! Do you have the Magnolia bakery cupcake recipe hidden somewhere within the blog? I’d love to have it. Thanks

    Comment by Sandy — February 15, 2007 @ 1:59 pm

  26. Hey Cheryl! Your site is amazing! I started baking basic cupcakes and they are fantastic! Up to now I still bake “normal” cakes for weddings and birthdays. Your page is so inspired. I’m glad to find your page. Best regards from Germany

    Comment by janett — February 21, 2007 @ 9:22 am

  27. hi cheryl. i really didn’t want to bother you about this question. it seems so petty but i’ve been going nuts looking up the solution every google result link. =( all my cupcakes seem to ‘dome’ in the center. it’s hard to frost cupcakes with decorative icing when everything is dome-d. what should i do to prevent this.

    p/s: i live in a tropical country. the weather here is ultimately more humid and climate is warmer. does this effect the recipe, oven temperature, and result of the cupcake?

    any help is much appreciated. thanks!

    Comment by nadia a. — February 27, 2007 @ 9:53 pm

  28. Where do you get the paper liners that you use?

    Comment by Amanda — March 9, 2007 @ 4:42 am

  29. I love your website. What type of baking cups do you use for your cupcakes? Are these ice cream cups, and where can I find some?

    Comment by Cindy — March 24, 2007 @ 5:57 pm

  30. When you bake your cupcakes in the little cups that you use; do you put them in a muffin tin or do you bake them on a cookie sheet? Do you follow the rule of thumb and only fill the cups 2/3 the way full?

    Thanks so much for your time and your help…

    I absolutely love your site!

    Comment by Kim P — March 24, 2007 @ 6:46 pm

  31. I have read till I’m blurry eyed, but can’t find an answer to my (admittedly really basic) question: How do I convert my really great cake recipe to a cupcake recipe? I know to reduce baking time, but do I also need to reduce the temperature? Thanks so much! Love your site!

    Comment by Denni Dunham — April 2, 2007 @ 2:36 pm

  32. I change nothing other than baking time. Temp is normally 350 for cakes or cupcakes.

    Comment by chockylit — April 2, 2007 @ 2:51 pm

  33. Love love LOVE your blog. Where do you buy your cupcake cups (patty pans)?

    Comment by Tarah — April 3, 2007 @ 10:47 pm

  34. I regret buying this cupcake book to get ideas, when I could have visited your blog loooong time ago! Your cupcakes are fabulous and so unique!Never heard of green tea cupcakes! I love matcha green lattes I make myself so I will make that cupcake recipe first!THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH !!!

    Comment by amy from Houston — April 7, 2007 @ 7:07 pm

  35. Are the times mentioned above standard for cupcakes? I have a couple of cake recipes that I would love to convert to cupcakes, but I am not confident about timing them, as I have never converted a recipe before.

    Thanks!

    Theresa

    Comment by Theresa — April 10, 2007 @ 8:54 am

  36. always standard unless otherwise mentioned. here is a good rule of thumb for standard cupcakes:

    - don’t even open the oven for the first 15 mins
    - at 15 mins it should still be very clear whether the cupcakes are still baking, they will look undone, but it is safe to open the oven door and rotate pans, etc.
    - cupcakes tend to take between 20-25 minutes to bake fully. if you are converting a new recipe, start checking st 20 and check every few minutes until done.

    Comment by chockylit — April 10, 2007 @ 9:59 am

  37. Hi! I’m new to your site and must I say that it is wonderful! Just a few quick questions for you…1. from one of the sites that you get your bakers cups (the white ones you use often) do you use both the 3 1/4 oz. and the 1 1/4 oz and 2.if you use these cups, do you still need to put them in a muffin pan or are they okay to bake in the oven on a pan of some sort and 3.how much mixture do I put in the bakers cup to ensure a domed cupcake?

    THANK YOU SO much and I look forward hearing from you soon.

    P

    Comment by Penelope — April 10, 2007 @ 10:09 am

  38. Great blog, and I’ve become a frequent visitor to your place primarily to check out what’s new, and explore other websites you’ve kindly put up the link for.

    Your blog is absolutely fantastic! Good “scientist” work in experimenting different recipes from different sources.

    I’m definitely a fan of yours!

    Comment by Christine Tan — April 11, 2007 @ 7:54 am

  39. Hi, Penelope. Yes, I use the 3 1/4 ounce for my “regular” cupcakes and the 1 1/4 ounce for minis. You don’t need a muffin pan, I just pile them on a sheet pan. Very convenient…

    As far as domed cupcakes go, it varies by recipe. Some rise more than others. In general, I try to be specific in my recipes as to how far to will them up for domed cupcakes (I prefer domed), but it does vary by recipe and normally you fill anywhere from 2/3s to 3/4s full.

    Good luck!

    Comment by chockylit — April 11, 2007 @ 11:14 am

  40. hi nice site.

    Comment by alex — April 12, 2007 @ 2:52 am

  41. help why did my cupcakes fall apart? They tested done.

    Comment by hi what is the problem if the cupcakes don't stay together?,I substituted a few ingredients but otherwise they are fine. I even extended the trime a bit. — April 19, 2007 @ 9:26 am

  42. what recipe did you use? what do you mean by “stay together”. i have never seen a cupcake fall apart before..

    Comment by chockylit — April 19, 2007 @ 10:28 am

  43. LOVE your site I just found it and adore it is going on my favorite, my question I live in Mexico City and since its 2,000 mts above sea level I dont know how to adapt baking recipes to this altitude do you have any tip you could give me thank so much

    Comment by cookielady — April 24, 2007 @ 1:46 pm

  44. Sorry, I haven’t done any high altitude baking in a very long while. If you do a google search a lot of sites come up that appear to answer your question. Sorry!

    Comment by chockylit — April 24, 2007 @ 10:22 pm

  45. I am planning to make cupcake batter (will store in the fridge) a couple of days before actually baking. I know when using recipes with baking powder/soda you need to bake right away. Should I make the batter and just add the baking powder/soda when I about to bake? Any suggestions?

    Comment by Teresa — April 26, 2007 @ 5:53 pm

  46. Its more than just that. The process of mixing incorporates air and you will lose all that. I don’t recommend pre-mixing. I recommend pre-measuring, getting everything ready, then mixing right before baking. But then again, I never tried it (!) so if you do, please let me know how it goes!

    Comment by chockylit — April 26, 2007 @ 5:57 pm

  47. hey! i have a new blog about cupcakes, and i LOVE your blog. i linked you and i was wondering if you wouldn’t mind linking me…?

    :)

    PS: i definately plan on making those s’more cupcakes one day!

    Comment by cassie — April 27, 2007 @ 8:47 pm

  48. I love your site and it gave me great ideas for the cupcakes I will be making for my wedding!

    I found the nut and party cups… and they are absolutely adorable for making cup cakes. We did a trial run yesterday and had a problem with the white cups getting a burnt color on the outside of them while baking. I was wondering what you do to keep this from happening?

    Also, it was kind of hard popping the cupcakes out of the nut and party cups without it falling apart in the process…. any suggestions? How you take your cup cakes out?

    Thanks,

    Comment by Sarah — May 6, 2007 @ 9:52 am

  49. hey, this is the first entry i found that i could leave a comment on. all of your cupcakes are absolutely beautiful, and i really appreciate how you add tips and hints to help others recreate your wonderful recipes. i also am really curious about what your kitchen looks like. it looks so neat and clean from the little peak i get in some of the photos of the baking processes. would you ever considering posting a picture of your kitchen?

    Comment by cassie — May 6, 2007 @ 12:12 pm

  50. Hi Cheryl, Thank you so much for this post! I am very new to the art of baking and has certainly shown me a few things I am doing wrong!! Just a quick question – What is the difference of using buttermilk or milk in cupcakes, do they aid the cooking or is it just a flavour thing?

    Your cupcakes and creations are fantastic and thankyou for your detailed instructions!! The Caramel Apple Cupcakes are amazing!

    Comment by Maddison — May 15, 2007 @ 11:12 pm

  51. i was wondering if someone could possibly tell me why my cupcakes always trun out super heavy and dense.. i want them to be fluffy and light! :[

    Comment by McKenna — May 16, 2007 @ 8:50 pm

  52. SOME ONE HELP!

    i was wondering if someone could possibly tell me why my cupcakes always trun out super heavy and dense.. i want them to be fluffy and light! :[

    Comment by McKenna — May 16, 2007 @ 8:51 pm

  53. Hi, i LOVE your site! Tried your recipes, and every LOVES them! thank you! I also have one question to ask:
    How long can cupcakes such as yours stay in room temperature? how do you store them? can the ones with cream cheese frostings stay for long outside refrigeration?
    thanks alot! really appreciate your advice =)

    Comment by Kim — May 19, 2007 @ 2:42 am

  54. I love your site. I just got into baking and I really want to master cupcakes. Did you go to a pastry school? OR did you learn by trial and error? I want to learn the basics but don’t know where to start. I was even considering hiring a pasrty chef to come to my house to teach me some things. I don’t want to have to go to an actual school where I have to learn about makeing things Ill never make. Any suggestions?

    Comment by D. — May 24, 2007 @ 11:28 am

  55. Love Love Love your website. In fact, I think you inspired me to go into cupcake business. Your recipes are totally amazing and I just love your creativeness. I just have one question though. I have tried your “favourite” chocolate recipe like over 20 times but still can’t get it quite right.
    It’s the one where you use varlhora chocolate. The only thing different is that I use Belgian Couverture Chocolate instead and wonder if that is the reason my cupcakes will have a very hard top that crusts and sorta cause the cakes to come away from the cup and sink a little. It’s ugly but it taste beautiful. I also wonder if I have to leave it to cool for more than 10 minutes? It’s ever only turned out perfect ONCE and I noticed that time, after cooling for 10 minutes and beating it in the mixer, the mixture would not be seperated but will have a smooth consistency. All the other times, the oil will be seperated from the chocolate/sugar granules. Hope you can give me some advice on this….

    Comment by Jo — May 26, 2007 @ 6:43 pm

  56. Your site rocks. I go to it weekly for inspiration.

    I cannot, for the life of me, bake moist, light vanilla or yellow cupcakes!! Chocolate ones are no problem, but the others end up heavy/dense like pound cake or spongy and eggy.(Yuck) This happens no matter what recipe I try. Is there any trick or super important thing I need to now about non chocolate batters???

    Thanks!!

    Uda in SF

    Comment by Uda Walker — June 9, 2007 @ 8:51 pm

  57. I have problems with fillings absorbing into my cooled cupcakes. Any suggestions as to what makes sturdy filling? I made a caramel filling of my own (not your ginger recipe) and it seemed pretty thick. However, by the next day, the filling had completely absorbed into the cupcake and I was left with a hole. Thoughts? Thanks!

    Comment by Janet — June 19, 2007 @ 7:46 am

  58. Hello,

    How far do you fill the cupcake liners with batter? Half-way? 3/4’s?

    Thanks!

    mike

    Comment by Mike R. — July 2, 2007 @ 8:46 pm

  59. Hi,

    What kind of oven would you recommend for a cupcake bakery? I’m assuming convection – but it’s all a little overwhelming…

    Let me know, thanks!

    Comment by Sugar — July 5, 2007 @ 12:13 pm

  60. I am making coconut cupcakes for my son’s wedding rehersal dinner. Frosting them with cream cheese butter cream. How long can I leave the cupcakes at room temperature and be safe?

    Comment by Jan — July 8, 2007 @ 6:21 pm

  61. Hi

    Do you use any secret ingredients not commonly listed in a recipe for you cupcake? How do you get a nice dome top on a cupcake?

    Renee

    Comment by Renee Lanier — July 15, 2007 @ 11:51 pm

  62. hi!i just want u to know that i love reading all the articles here…and i love to look at ur website esp the pictures here.they’re mouthwatering!id like to ask about the ovens…mine is oven using lpg…whats the difference between oven with fire and oven using electricity?wats the most effective?and in my case i usually have to convert to farenheit coz mine’s using degree celcius?pls.help.Thanksalot and more power!!!

    Comment by Vanessa — August 7, 2007 @ 12:51 am

  63. Tried your chocolate cup cakes today. Wonderful taste. They did sink even though the batter was mixed well, and the temperature of the oven was fine. They also were never disturbed. Any other sugestions?

    Comment by Dana — August 22, 2007 @ 3:49 pm

  64. i’been baking cupcakes for quiete sometimes but i always have this same problem…i’m going to try yr cupcakes n hope i will be successful..thank you dear for yr tips n really appreciated it for novice baker like me.

    Comment by siti — August 22, 2007 @ 5:46 pm

  65. I’m in Australia and LOVE this site! It has inspired me to start doing some serious cooking.

    I’ve had some trouble finding the cups, http://www.genpak.com is the major supplier, now I just need someone who ships internationally. Their website has US retailers listed for all of you in America! If anyone knows of someone who ships I would love some help.

    Thanks for your great ideas and beautiful photography. Martha Stewart with tats!

    Comment by Kate in Adelaide AUSTRALIA — September 10, 2007 @ 2:39 am

  66. I can not tell you how FABULOUS your cupcakes, recipes and photographs are. You are truly an amazing artist. Stunning. Two of my children and I were recently diagnosed with celiac disease and we are on the hunt for a wonderful gluten free cupcake. Your blog has renewed our spirits and we are looking forward to trying to convert your recipes to gluten free. Thank you!

    Comment by high5momma — September 11, 2007 @ 8:48 am

  67. Hi, I just discovered your website and absolutely love it! I want to start making cupcakes and made some minis for a baby expo I will be attending tomorrow….I used my regular chocolate cake recipe and filled them half way…they baked beautifully and did not overflow. However, about 1/4 of them had the liner separate from the cupcake. WHAT HAPPENED? Can you please tell me what I did wrong?
    Thanks a lot, I can’t wait to try some of your recipes…they all look soooo good!
    Thanks in advance!

    Comment by Sandra — September 14, 2007 @ 8:17 pm

  68. Hi, If anyone is interested we are distributors of paper and foil cupcake cups based in Australia. For a delivered quote please contact us through our web site at http://www.bakerscups.com
    Happy Baking,
    Rod E.

    Comment by Rod E — September 19, 2007 @ 4:43 pm

  69. First, I love this site and I am so inspired every time I come here.

    I have a question how do you know which cupcake batter or base to use, based on the ingredients you want to add?

    Thank you!

    Comment by Kimberley — November 25, 2007 @ 6:40 am

  70. Hello Cheryl,

    I just discovered your blog and I love it! I made cupcakes today and all the tops came out extremely hard. My aunt recommended that I cover them with aluminum foil next time but I’m wondering if I overbaked them.

    Thanks so much!

    Comment by Danielle — November 28, 2007 @ 8:45 pm

  71. Yeah, that’s an odd one. Never really had that problem. I don’t think covering the cupcakes is a good idea, I doubt enough heat or air will get to the batter to get it to bake. If I was to venture a guess I would say that perhaps the heat in the oven was too much. Are you sure your oven at 350 is really at 350? Overbaking could definitely cause that too…

    Comment by chockylit — November 28, 2007 @ 10:56 pm

  72. Hi,
    I am looking to start a cupcake business. I would like to know where do I start and do I need to do a business plan first? I am in real estate now and would like to service the real estate industry for their special events. I am not interested in opening a storefront yet.

    Thanks

    Comment by gwen — November 29, 2007 @ 4:36 pm

  73. I have never started a cupcake business so I can’t help you. Maybe some other reader has?

    Comment by chockylit — November 29, 2007 @ 5:13 pm

  74. Dear Chockylit
    You have likely been asked this many times before, but why do my cupcakes always shrink away from the sides when they are cooling?
    Thank you.

    Comment by Peggy Tan — December 4, 2007 @ 3:29 pm

  75. Hi! I’m delurking to tell you how much i love the adzuki bean paste chocolate cupcakes with matcha green tea frosting. it’s very inspiring!

    I don’t know if anyone has asked this before but why do my cupcakes have hollow bottoms after baking? Every bit of the cupcake batter when baked just rises up and leaves an empty bottom.

    Comment by jellyjan — December 4, 2007 @ 10:55 pm

  76. Help!!!!!!!!!!

    My cupcakes are dry dry dry ! I don’t over mix, I leave them alone for 15 min. I don’t know what to do.

    Comment by Alex Ayala — December 5, 2007 @ 9:23 am

  77. It really depends on the recipe. What recipe are you using?

    Comment by chockylit — December 5, 2007 @ 9:57 am

  78. I am using a recipe that calls for 1 3/4 c flour 1t soda 1/4 t salt, 1/2 c sugar 1/2 c brown sugar 1 & 1/2 sticks of butter 1 c butter milk and 1/2 c sour cream. then 1 c cocoa 2 T brewed coffee 1 t vanilla. The batter is very thick, tastes really good but is pretty dry.

    Comment by Alex Ayala — December 5, 2007 @ 12:01 pm

  79. and two eggs. (sorry I’m trying to do this from memory)

    Comment by Alex Ayala — December 5, 2007 @ 12:52 pm

  80. hi!
    i tried making cupcakes and i’ve seen other batters and they looked thick and more solid (?) compared to mine which was similar to thick pancake batter. in the end it turned out too light and airy but not dry. the texture was not like of other cupcakes i’ve tried. help please!

    p.s. really great site!

    Comment by sam — December 29, 2007 @ 2:05 am

  81. Hi! I always seem to have trouble with making frosting for my cupcakes. I tried making pink cream cheese frosting, but it wasn’t the right consistency. It was a bit too wet and runny. I whisked it for some time and added a bit more sugar but it still wasn’t stiff enough. what can i do to get it a nice spreading consistency? (one that will hold its shape when piped):) hope you can help!

    LOVE your site!

    Laura

    Comment by Laura — December 31, 2007 @ 8:13 am

  82. Hi, girl.

    I am trying to bake cupcakes to impress my new guy. Every time I try to bake this recipe from BH&G cookbook and make cupcakes out of it, I get this thick, doughy crust on the cupcake and it bakes flat. They dome in the oven, but when they come out, they look like a hockey puck.

    Help! Thanks.
    ;)
    Laine

    Comment by Laine — January 8, 2008 @ 11:36 pm

  83. Your cupcakes are amazing. Thank you for your blog. You got me really excited about making cupcakes, in which I love. Your photography is amazing. Do you mind me asking what kind of camera are you using? I love the way the cupcake front shot is clear and the items in the back are slightly misted. Love it.

    Comment by Jodi — January 11, 2008 @ 3:21 pm

  84. Hey, Jodi, to get that nice depth of field with the fuzzy in the background, I use a digital SLR (I was using a Canon Rebel, but any Digital SLR will do) with either a zoom lens or a macro lens. I use this lens the most. I love it.

    Comment by chockylit — January 11, 2008 @ 3:48 pm

  85. I love your site!! When I need answers to technical questions I always read up on your site. I have two recurring problems when I bake cupcakes 1) the cupcakes on the top shelf almost always over flow when they’re baking and 2) the cupcakes on the bottom always come out flat. I read that we can switch them after they’ve been in the oven for 15 minutes, but will this cause the top cupcakes to sink? and the bottom cupcakes to remain flat? Thanks!!

    Comment by Erin — February 15, 2008 @ 11:43 am

  86. When the party/nut cups are used do they still go in a muffin pan? Can they be stand alone like the silicon cups?

    Comment by Debbe — February 28, 2008 @ 1:18 pm

  87. Hi, I am very new to baking. I love your site. The photos are great. I tried to bake some cupcakes today. It’s a disaster. All the chocolate chunk sink to the bottom and the cakes sink. What can I do to prevent this. Please help.

    Thanks. Hope one day I can make cupcakes as lovely as yours.

    Comment by Jackie — March 4, 2008 @ 5:07 am

  88. Hey chockylit!

    How do you decide what kind of chocolate to use? valhrona, scharffen berger, callebaut and what percentage of cocoa. I don’t bake with chocolate very often so what’s a general gourmet cocoa powder I should keep in my pantry and what kind of unsweetened and semi-sweet chocolate should I keep?

    Thank you….you’re awesome.

    Arlene

    Comment by arlene — March 18, 2008 @ 11:45 pm

  89. Hi!
    As everyone else I love to visit your site for inspiration, it’s great!

    But I do have a problem… I tried the chocolate chai soice cupcakes today and got the same overflow and almost empty cups as some of the above.

    My question is, how do you measure the flour? Packed or not? Could you please weigh a cup of flour so that I know approximately how much to fill my cup.

    Or anyone else who had success with the chocolate cupcakes, how much does your cup of flour weigh??

    Thanks a lot!

    Comment by Helena — April 9, 2008 @ 1:29 pm

  90. Hi — Love your blog and all those awesome cupcakes! I have a question for you. Cupcakes made in store bought paper cupcake liners seem so easy to eat because you can just peel them away. Do the nut cups come off as easily? I love the way the look — very professional. Thank you!

    Comment by Nancy — April 29, 2008 @ 6:40 pm

  91. I would like the answer to question 17 about the cupcake liners coming away from the cupcakes. This usually happens when I use the fancy coloured cupcake liners.

    Thanks for your help.

    Comment by Gail — May 3, 2008 @ 9:35 am

  92. Help!
    I have got the cupcake baking down but the frosting is causing me much frustration. It keeps melting. Someone told me to make sure I have cold hands, wear gloves, and add more sugar but it still keeps separating. I have also heard that adding shortening will work but I don’t want it to change the flavor. Any suggestions or maybe a good recipe.

    Comment by Jeanette — May 12, 2008 @ 8:48 am

  93. Hi Chockylit -

    My cupcakes are always good the first day, but by day two, even with airtight storage, grease seems to sink to the bottom, eventually becoming soggy and inedible. Is this the result of too much butter? Or is there another problem?

    Comment by lemon28 — May 18, 2008 @ 1:16 pm

  94. Hi!
    I was wondering if there was something special you needed to do to a recipe in order to bake mini cupcakes in place of regular cupcakes? I just made some and it’s almost like the cake shrunk in the wrapper????
    Thanks so much for your time!
    Elizabeth

    Comment by Elizabeth — May 21, 2008 @ 11:51 am

  95. how should i store chocolate cupcakes so that it will not dry up?

    Comment by Jane — October 30, 2009 @ 5:19 am

  96. Hi – I am just getting into baking and made my first batch of cupcakes. They tasted great, but I found that half of the sponge stuck to the bottom of the muffin case. Is there anyway of stopping this?

    Thanks.

    Comment by Karen — November 10, 2009 @ 3:11 pm

  97. Hi- I am wondering if you could help me with a problem I have been having. We use a Blodgett convection oven and bake our cupcakes at 315 for 18 minutes. When we take them out they look beautiful and tester comes out clean. Immediately after removing from the oven, they sink. This problem only occurs with the vanilla and chocolate. We are going nuts adjusting temps, filling of the papers, etc. Is there any suggestions you have. Thank you.

    Comment by Ann Rhinehart — November 13, 2009 @ 7:37 pm

  98. Ann… your recipes are most likely overleavened. basically, bubbles in the mixture (required to produce a rise) are too big… and bursting.

    Invest in this book: BakeWise by Shirley Corriher… read it twice. It will transform the way you think about the science of baking.

    Comment by stephen — December 4, 2009 @ 7:55 pm

  99. hello chockylit

    thanks for your wonderful inspiration – I love your blog!
    I live in europe and I am having difficulties finding those papercups you are using.
    you mentioned before, that you order your papercups from genpak. is it possible for you to tell me the sizes you are using for your regular and small cupcakes, so I know which ones to order. thanks very much.

    Comment by Jenny — January 13, 2010 @ 5:58 am

  100. Hi chockylit,

    I baked a basic chocolate cupcake y’day, something that i make often. But this time it didn’t rise at all. they are soft, well-baked and fluffy but no dome. I have an oven thermometer so not doubting the temperature. Where could I have gone wrong?

    Comment by Latha — January 29, 2010 @ 11:31 pm

  101. You are too creative to be a software engineer! Just found your site and am *blown away* by the photos and creativity! Quit your job and write food articles! Can I order some cupcakes for my west coast friends in San Fran?
    Chris from Boston

    Comment by Chris — February 5, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

  102. Hi. I’m stumped. I am trying to bake cup cakes for a big fund raiser in a Blodgett convection oven. The cup cakes stick to the paper liners which sometimes rip as I try to pull them off. I loose the bottom shape of the cup cake because so much sticks to the paper. Any ideas how I might correct this problem?

    Comment by Barbara — February 9, 2010 @ 5:18 pm

  103. They sound over baked. That can definitely happen in convection unless you drop the temperature by 25 degrees or check it sooner. Not sure if you are dropping temp down, but that is recommended when using convection. So instead of 350 do 325.

    Comment by chockylit — February 9, 2010 @ 6:02 pm

  104. Hi, I’m converting a chocolate fudge cake recipe that I’ve used successfully for cupcakes to a gluten-free recipe using Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose flour. The cupcakes came out nice and fluffy, but I noticed the bottom seems to have separated, like it’s more of a flour layer. I added extra time to mixing since it was watery after 2 minutes, and the texture seemed to be similar to the gluten recipe. Any thoughts and suggestions?
    Thanks!

    Comment by ladytaz — February 14, 2010 @ 3:21 pm

  105. I’ve been admiring your ice cream cone cupcakes, where in the UK can you buy these from?!

    Comment by Ruth — February 25, 2010 @ 6:18 am

  106. Thanks for this troubleshooting! It’s been very helpful. I just made some muffins (using a very similar recipe to one that came out perfectly last week) that foamed up and spilled all over. So now I know…patience, patience. Be sure to preheat, and get the eggs to room temp.

    Comment by Holly — February 25, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

  107. Hi,wanted to congratulate you on an awesome website !!! Question I have not seen on this blog: How do you keep cupcake liners from looking oily or faded after baking ? I have tried several recepies and also severa liners, but always the same result… I like those cute liners motifs, but the result is always bad !!! Help !!! Thanks in advance !

    Comment by Isabelle — March 17, 2010 @ 8:50 am

  108. Hi, I like your blog. Cupcakes are just getting popular in Germany. I bought some a couple of weeks ago and I thought they were realy sweet and sort of dry and a lot like Muffins, only smaller, sweeter and more expansive. I think I should try to bake them by myself, although I’m not good at baking. I let you know if I successfully bake some cupcakes.

    Comment by Birgit — March 21, 2010 @ 6:15 am

  109. Hello, I have just recently discovered cupcakes, which are starting to become a buzz in Belgium. Thanks for your blog, extremely creative. I can’t wait to start!
    One simple question maybe already answered but can’t find it. I would like to reduce the number of cupcakes in your recipes; do you know a trick to reduce the quantities? I suppose I can’t divide by two, which would be too easy…Thanks in advance for your advice. Best from the heart of Europe.

    Comment by Flo de Bruxelles — March 22, 2010 @ 6:34 am

  110. Hi there! I love your website and have gone crazy trying to replicate your recipes. I made like 3 batches of cupcakes yesterday, and 5 different frostings today! But I noticed a problem with some of the cupcakes today. I stored them overnight in ziploc bags. When I went to try one today, the top was sticky/taky, and the very bottom of the cake was pretty dry. Any guidance you could give would be greatly appreciated (especially since I”m supposed to bake cupcakes for a Baby Shower in a couple of weeks!)

    Comment by Emma Hartel — March 30, 2010 @ 1:41 pm

  111. Hi Chockylit,
    I am having the same problem as Janet in comment #57 from way back in 2007… Have made several batches of a chocolate cupcake with chocolate ganache filling which is spooned on top of batter before baking. Have made filling thick, thin and all in between. Each time, it sinks to withing a couple millimeters of the bottom, seems to melt and be absorbed into the cake and I am left with a chocolate geode… Big hole, barely lined with ganache. What can I do to fix this? Please help and thanks for it if you can.

    Comment by Constance — April 10, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

  112. I love all the ideas here and I apologize if I missed my troubleshooting answer but my cupcakes tend to burn on the bottom of the paper as well as on the inside bottom. The rest of the cupcake is moist and okay but the burning obviously leaves a hint of burn lingering. What am I doing wrong?

    Comment by Michelle — April 12, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

  113. Oven is too hot (do you have an oven thermometer? most ovens are off…) or baking for too long is my best assessment…

    Comment by chockylit — April 12, 2010 @ 1:11 pm

  114. Hi chockylit,

    I am making cupcakes in september for a wedding, I will make about 100.

    You mention that you did cupcakes for a wedding and baked on a thurs eve to serve on sat eve. If I want to do something similar, what type of recipe gives the best structure for storing for this length of time? Re: liquids – should it be milk, buttermilk or sour cream? I was thinking I would do a test but then I would have 36 cupcakes to eat and I’m on a diet…

    Also, can you tell me exactly how you wrap and store – is 2 layers of wrap per cake and then in an airtight (eg. tupperware) container enough?

    Also, for the wedding, did you do a filling in the cupcakes as well as a frosting? I was thinking about doing this but wonder if it will be too much work.(I’ll have about 3 or 4 hours to work on the cakes on the day).

    It would be FANTASTIC if you could do a post with tips on making cupcakes for events, as they are invariably used in this way – on types of recipe, storing, tranporting, and types of icing depending on temp etc.

    MANY THANKS.

    Comment by robyn — April 24, 2010 @ 1:03 pm

  115. At the risk of being redundant, but still having the same issue & still in need of any help/guidance anyone can give, I’m repeating my question originally posted on April 10th:

    I am having the same problem as Janet in comment #57 from way back in 2007… Have made several batches of a chocolate cupcake with chocolate ganache filling which is spooned on top of batter before baking. Have made filling thick, thin and all in between. Each time, it sinks to withing a couple millimeters of the bottom, seems to melt and be absorbed into the cake and I am left with a chocolate geode… Big hole, barely lined with ganache. What can I do to fix this? Please help and thanks for it if you can.

    Comment by Constance — May 2, 2010 @ 7:32 am

  116. I have been reading your blog for a few years now and I just love love love it! So smart and creative you are! I’m looking to moisten up all my tiny cakes and wonder what your thoughts are on the best way to do so without ruining the cupcakes in the process?
    thanks for helping out!

    Comment by Mareah — May 5, 2010 @ 6:58 pm

  117. Hey there,
    i love your website and your recipes!
    i just got a kitchenaid professional grade mixer and i am having a problem with making frostings! they seem to be too soft to pipe! i have used the same recipes with my old mixer and never had a problem with it! is there something wrong with my kitchenaid???
    thanks!

    Comment by janet — May 18, 2010 @ 9:54 am

  118. Hi chockylit,
    I love your site.
    I am making your chocolate cupcakes for a graduation party but would like to color the frosting green. Can you give me a vanilla buttercream frosting recipe that you can pipe and still keep on the lighter side (less rich)? I’d like to make a large swirl on top.

    thanks!

    Comment by Tricia — May 19, 2010 @ 8:26 am

  119. I have read lots of questions that I personally have with baking cupcakes but I cant find the answers in the troubleshooting section. Can you please help me.
    My questions:
    -Why cupcakes do not rise with a dome?
    -Why do they shrink after I pull them out of the oven? And why do they get even smaller while I let them sit in the pan until they cool a bit (10m)?

    Comment by Raffaella — May 31, 2010 @ 4:40 am

  120. I can’t find the answers either to these questions. If you could please direct me to the right area I would appreciate it.

    Comment by lisa — June 3, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

  121. Hi Chockylit,

    I have a burning question on frosting for cupcakes. As of late, my buttercream frosting have been turning out grainy! I’m so frustrated! Would you happen to know why? Any tips?

    I use icing sugar I got from my local supermarket, could it be that it is of poor quality – too coarse?

    Comment by Wei — July 8, 2010 @ 3:27 am

  122. I also ask, as lisa in comment 120, do you answer all these questions in the comment section? Good questions. Answers I need…some but not all. Thanks.

    Comment by renee — July 10, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

  123. Big fan of yours and I have tried many of your lovely recipes. My question does not have anything to do with cakes but which text font you use on your website. Though it is small, it is very readable? Thanks.

    Comment by Lone — August 12, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

  124. Hi,
    I would like to know how to keep cupcake liners from coming loose from the cupcakes. Thanks

    Comment by Anna Bartosh — August 23, 2010 @ 6:26 pm

  125. Hi, I love your recipes…I am at my wits end with making chocolate buttercream frosting. I want a light and fluffy chocolate frosting but I have tried several recipes (basic, melt chocolate, butter, touch of milk, vanilla, conf. sugar) and it ALWAYS comes out rock hard. Does yours ever do this? Or do I need to give up on chocolate buttercream and try a diff. chocolate frosting recipe? I am going for light, fluffy, not dense and hard to spread (I have to warm it in the microwave to make it spreadable). HELP!!!!!! ;-)

    Comment by Loni — August 28, 2010 @ 10:34 am

  126. Dear Chockylit,
    I am baking out of my house and trying new recipes in preparation of opening a cupcake shop. Thought that I was good to go when the other night I tried a recipe that I’ve done many times and it flopped. I used commercial, oversized aluminum baking pans, for the first time, in my conventional oven. I don’t have a convection oven yet. What is the problem? Pan is oversized for oven or aluminum is difficult to bake in? Help!!!! Should I use aluminum or non-stick?

    Comment by Cheri Castillow — September 5, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

  127. Hey Cheri,

    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes and pictures! I was wondering if you have any idea about what could be the source of a cupcake problem I’ve been having. I’ve been trying to master the vanilla cupcake recipe before I move onto others, and they are good, but the bottoms of the cupcakes are extremely buttery. I’ll pick up the cupcake in the paper liner and it feels greasy through the paper. One of my cupcakes was even hollow (I don’t know if that’s related). If you could provide any suggestions, I’d be very grateful. Thanks!

    -Sara

    Comment by Sara — September 9, 2010 @ 5:22 pm

  128. I love your site. I just feel like you are my teacher…anything that I want to learn, I know that if I come here, I will.Thanks for sharing all your baking adventure!
    Have you tried a brazilian cake before?

    Comment by sol Plante of cake it easy — September 19, 2010 @ 7:25 pm

  129. Just looking for advice on mini cupcakes. I’m baking mini cupcakes for a birthday party this weekend and did a practice run a week ago. All of my cupcake liners came off of the cupcake by the next morning. I used a cake mix and Wilton liners. I baked them for 8 min and checked and gave them a few more minutes. Everything was fine until the next morning!
    Thank you so much for any info!!

    Comment by Aireal Marmion — September 28, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

  130. Hi.. I love baking but always end up disaster :( especially cupcake. The all time problem for my cupcake is that my cupcake didn’t stick to the paper cup after baking!!! i.e. the cake and the paper cup are ’separated’ (paper cup peeling off from the cake!!) where have I done wrong?? please help me…

    Comment by fy — October 11, 2010 @ 10:22 pm

  131. That happens. It depends on the recipe… I don’t think its you. With the cups I use I don’t get too concerned with separation as it just gets covered with frosting…

    Comment by chockylit — October 12, 2010 @ 9:23 am

  132. Hi! Thanks for having such a helpful website. I have a new commercial convection oven (moffat) when I tested the moffat out with my batters (4 rack, 3kw oven), the cupcakes came out perfect at 325. The moffat I bought (3 rack, 2.8kw) doesn’t bake the cupcakes perfectly. At 325, the tops are really cracked (they are normally smooth) they were done at 19 min. instead of 23 min. They tasted a little dry, but still good. The problem is I glaze the tops of my cupcakes instead of frost them and without a nice smooth top the glaze looks bad. Any ideas? I baked them at 300 but they are still cracked and the texture isn’t as good as at 325.

    Comment by janice — October 13, 2010 @ 6:32 pm

  133. My guess is that it is the convection. I can’t see you dropping the temp any further. I know you need to drop the temp by 25 degrees, but if you went down 50 and still have the problem, my guess is simply the convection… If I use the convection fan in my oven when baking cupcakes its usually only for the first 5-10 minutes…. I haven’t used a professional convection oven though.

    Comment by chockylit — October 13, 2010 @ 7:46 pm

  134. I can t find the answers too, plz help me

    Comment by shereen — October 31, 2010 @ 9:29 am

  135. Thanks so much! I am learning!

    Comment by Barbara — November 13, 2010 @ 8:43 am

  136. I have two problems I can’t figure out. Firstly, the cupcakes seem to ‘rise’ from the bottom. So when I frost the cupcakes and hold them at the bottom, the paper at the bottom actually wrinkles and folds in. Secondly, although I’ve tried and tasted many different cupcake recipes, the paper cups are terribly oily – which just looks horrible. Family and friends love the cupcakes I make, but I am too embarrassed to ever bake for occassions (school) as the cupcakes just don’t look tasty.

    Comment by Michelle — December 9, 2010 @ 1:33 am

  137. I just made batch of cup cakes don’t look greasy but taste it.I have made lots of cakes and cup cakes before and never had this problem can anyone help me please.

    Comment by sarah — January 9, 2011 @ 10:16 am

  138. Help
    Just tried my first round of cupcakes for kids valentines party and they rose and overflowed like the magic porridge pot and then sank until virtually nothing in the patty pan. I converted my all purpose flour in self raising and no joy. I’ve gone through about 50 cup cakes, 2llbs butter, flour etc….

    Comment by Nat — February 14, 2011 @ 1:41 pm

  139. Hi,my cakes seperate from the cups,not completely but enough to make them look untidy and i sell so they dont look professional i am using the best make that we have here in South Africa, what am i doing wrong or what can i do to avoid this, i normall just leave on a wrack to cool

    Comment by Sharon — February 18, 2011 @ 4:47 am

  140. Hi to 139 you are probably handling them too soon after you take them out of the oven…In my opinion let them cool off for aprx 15 min. before touching them…

    Comment by Ileana — March 8, 2011 @ 8:54 pm

  141. I just wanted to thank you for your recipes, your FAQ, and this page. After so many cupcake explosions and sinkings, I went out and got my oven thermometer. My oven doesn’t hold heat very well it appears, so now when the cupcakes go in I crank up the heat to get it back up to 350 and then sustain it there. I’ve perfected my cupcakes! Modified one of your recipes today to make Cherry Lemonade cupcakes. Haven’t frosted them yet but they are sitting cooling, and are perfectly domed beautiful cupcakes.

    Comment by Candace — March 20, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

  142. Quick question: When I make one recipe of cupcakes without anything added, they turn out great. When I use that same recipe and add chocolate chips, fruit, etc., the cupcakes come out heavy. Is there something in the recipe I should adjust if I am going to add to it?

    Comment by Jenelle — March 22, 2011 @ 7:05 pm

  143. Hi Cheryl,
    Found your site recently and absolutely love it, it has inspired me to bake! I have scoured your entire site and comments, and apologise if I have missed it, but have 2 questions-
    1. When you say ’sugar’ in the ingredient list, do you mean ‘granulated’ (regular white) or ’superfine’ (caster) sugar? I am from Australia and would like to know the correct sugar to buy before I start.
    2. Is there a way to ’subscribe’ to your site so that I can get a notification when you update (like feedburner etc?)?
    Thanks in advance!

    Comment by Renee — April 5, 2011 @ 7:15 pm

  144. I mean regular granulated white sugar…

    I used to have subscriptions but don’t anymore! I should set that back up… :)

    Comment by chockylit — April 5, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

  145. Thanks so much for such a quick response!
    I would definitely subscribe if you set up your subscriptions again! :-)
    While waiting for your response I was talking to my mum about the sugar and she said to use caster as regular would be too grainy… but since you do far more baking than she does I am going to go with your recommendation!
    Thanks again, Renee

    Comment by Renee — April 6, 2011 @ 12:58 am

  146. Thanks so much for this page, it’s so helpful! I had a question about your coconut buttercream frosting..why did my frosting separate? it looked grainy and turned into a really weird, watery consistency…but the butter was at room temperature and everything! Please help I wasted so much butter and powdered sugar and it happened to me twice! Thanks so much!!

    Comment by Mia — April 6, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

  147. Yikes! I haven’t ever had that happen. Is it really hot where you are? I have had frosting go a bit funny when it was super hot in my kitchen – like 90 or something.

    Comment by chockylit — April 7, 2011 @ 6:47 am

  148. If you are on facebook or twitter I post my updates there… http://www.facebook.com/?sk=lf#!/pages/Cupcake-Bakeshop-by-Chockylit/175678008327

    Comment by chockylit — April 7, 2011 @ 6:48 am

  149. hey Cheryl,

    do u have basic recipe for cupcakes? i’m a beginner n foind that baking is not only fun but also calming. i’ve tried some recipes but they r not soft enough….thank u. love love your blog btw….

    Comment by inge — April 14, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

  150. I’m having trouble with some cupcake liner coming away from the cupcakes as they cool….why is this happening… thank you. :)

    Comment by Yvette — April 24, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

  151. RE: #150 Same things was happening to my cupcakes, paper liners coming away….My solution…do not touch them while they cool on their pan, and try not to touch them too much while you frost them. Some times when they are too soft or haven’t been mixed enough the dough is too soft and separates from the paper…so by not touching them till they are completely cooled the paper remains in place..

    Comment by moricris — May 3, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

  152. Hi, every time I put fruit or jam in my cupcakes it sinks to the bottom and you lose half the cupcake when you pull off the case, is there any solution to this? Thanks

    Comment by S — May 7, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

  153. Hi!
    I made red velvet mini cupcakes in a newoven using convection feature in it with the fan in it as I was taught and surprisingly by the end of the day the cupcake papers had half-peeled off. This had never happened in my previous oven which was without a fan in it.
    What do you think is the reason for this
    Thank you

    Comment by Bhavika — May 11, 2011 @ 9:51 am

  154. I need to make moist cupcakes, some are so dry. Help please

    Comment by cindy greiner — May 11, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

  155. Hi, just want to get your advice..i have trouble with some of my cupcake….Just wonder why my cupcakes are not stick to my cupcake liner and it sink a little when they are removed from the oven….
    Is better to use conventional mode or fan force mode? so confuse with this two….which mode bake better? Thanks

    Comment by Yean — May 22, 2011 @ 4:21 am

  156. I love your site the minute I discover it. I would truly appreciate if you could have inclusion of weights in your recipes. For people like myself not in the USA it can get quite confusing. Are your cups metric? What is a stick of butter? I spend a lot of time checking and double checking conversions but different sites give slightly different answers. I have always found weights to be much easier and accurate (the weight of a cup of flour can vary so much). I hope you consider this request for all us metric people.

    Comment by Susan — May 23, 2011 @ 6:49 am

  157. Conventional is better. Force fan can dry out cakes. If your cakes are sinking they may not be fully cooked. Make sure the toothpick comes out clean.

    Comment by chockylit — May 23, 2011 @ 9:55 am

  158. Hi, Just came across this site during a google search. Read some of the comments and thought I’d respond. I owned and operated a very successful bake shop – I like to think I ran it, but some days it was the other way around – it ran me.:) When baking cupcakes, I use liners in cupcake trays and place the trays on the lowest position rack in a preheated oven. Bake about half of the recommended time – cupcakes should be domed – then turn trays and place on second highest rack position in oven and finish baking. Cool about 5 min. and remove from pan and cool completely. I then double wrap them in plastic wrap until I was ready to frost or decorate them. If you check out my website you’ll see liners that are marked with 2 lines. The lower line is generally the fill to line for cupcake batter and the upper line is generally the fill to line for muffins. The benefit is ease of filling – removes the guesswork – and produces a tray of uniform cupcakes or muffins. My product is patented, but not yet available for sale, due to a problem with my supplier. This brings me to my last point. Some of the comments asked about liners that peeled away from their cupcakes. I have some painful insight regarding this problem. It’s the kind of paper the liners are made from. There’s dry wax paper and grease proof paper. The dry wax is made by Dixie and does not release from the baked good until you choose to peel it off. Unbeknownst to me, because I always used Dixie liners and never had a problem, I didn’t know there were other liners available. The grease proof was created to release from the baked good more easily than the dry wax paper. If the baked good is not overly moist, the grease proof liner is fine,and will not peel until you choose to peel it. With a more moist product, the grease proof liner peels when the baked good is about 24 hrs. old. My supplier printed 40,000 liners on grease proof paper and I can’t sell them in good conscience because of the possibility of failure. There are several weights of grease proof paper. Through testing I have found the lighter weight paper to not fail. Dixie produces the dry wax paper but does not have the technology to print my product. The printing is done in Italy through Qualita paper in California. They are slow in rectifying this problem. The first batch of liners was very well done. I look forward to getting this to market because I believe it will be easier and faster for bakers to produce more uniform baked goods. Thank you.

    Comment by cheryl maulfair — May 28, 2011 @ 9:44 pm

  159. Help, I recently decided to make red velvet cupcakes. I folowed the recipe to a t, the cupcakes came out ok they tasted great.Been trying to make them every day since then but the middle keeps sinking. All my ingredients are fresh. Can anyone help me.

    Comment by Larina — May 30, 2011 @ 7:56 am

  160. i see a lot of comments, but no answeres to the many questions. Where do I find the answeres I (we) need? Thanks anne

    Comment by ANNE — June 18, 2011 @ 10:23 am

  161. I see that you don’t use traditional cupcake liners in cupcake tins. Is there any particular reason? Also, if you make your recipes with traditional cupcake liners in cupcake tins, is there any difference with baking instructions?? And what kind of liners do you use?? Thanks! I love your site!!

    Comment by Hannah Lee — June 24, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

  162. Hi, I just stumbled across your blog & I was hoping I could get some help. I am having issues with my cupcakes coming out slightly corn-bread like (a bit solid on top and, well, corn-bread texture in the middle) despite what I do. Any suggestions?

    Comment by Sara — June 29, 2011 @ 10:01 am

  163. hi cheryl i am trying to make cupcakes for birthday treat but they overflow or are mishapen should they be flat or domed to decorate, or should i cut the top off to make it even. they taste good i am assured.

    Comment by dianna — June 29, 2011 @ 10:53 am

  164. I’m learning the in’s and out’s of baking as much as I can on my own, until I can find a way to get into a baking program. I’ve read “How baking works” volume 2 I believe, and I’ve got a pretty good grasp of how the ingredients work together. However, now I just need to know the ratios or, have a better understanding as to, how to add different ingredients (fruit and such) to make my own recipes.. Is it just a trial by error sort of thing? Or is there a science to it?

    Comment by Whitney — July 19, 2011 @ 9:06 am

  165. Hi chockylit…ur blog is absolutely wonderful! Can’t wait to try more of ur recipes..I’ve been having the same problem with alot of recipes..my cupcakes tend to “explode” and crack on the top. And the top always end up with a harder ‘crust’.. What could be the problem?? Thx!

    Comment by Jenny — July 21, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

  166. hi i was making cupcakes to practice for my daughters party next weekend and when i took them out of the pan the paper holders were really greasy…..please help….

    Comment by charlene — September 3, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

  167. Hey there,
    I have Celiac Disease and frequently like baking gluten free cupcakes. This last time especially I was using a new recipe. When I finished, I tried peeling off the paper, and it was ripping and sticking to the cupcake. My roommate and I are still enjoying them because they happen to be delicious, but we are having sort of a work out trying to get most of the paper off the cupcake. Any tips?

    Comment by Jay — September 23, 2011 @ 9:57 am

  168. I’m trying to make scratch cupcakes, and the major common issue I am coming across is the taste of my cupcakes. I, with the exception of chocolate, can always taste the flour used. That’s all they taste like. I have switched from using bleached flour, to unbleached flour, to whole wheat white unbleached flour and no matter what, that’s all I can taste. Is there a specific type of flour you would recommend to avoid this issue? It’s quite literally driving me nuts.

    Comment by Sara — September 24, 2011 @ 11:19 pm

  169. Congratulations on your lovely blog and many thanks for sharing with us your time and work!
    I would like to subscribe to receive your new posts via mail, is that possible? Thnxs again.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Comment by Tziranda — September 25, 2011 @ 11:42 pm

  170. Hello! I am 16 & I share the same passion as you, I make cakes & cupcakes for all of my friends for their birthdays and they love my work because I try way too hard haha. I admire your work, literally I sat on your website for an hour and a half saving all the recipes that appealed to me. How do you do it?! I would love to be in your shoes. Any tips on how to be you? haha.

    Comment by Daniela — October 5, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

  171. Well, an early start helps :) I have been baking since my teens – that’s 20+ years… Or in other words, that’s a lot of cupcakes!

    Comment by chockylit — October 5, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

  172. Hi! I’m fourteen and I’m going to start baking next week. Do you know what kind of oven is suitable to bake cupcakes? I’m sure it wont be a microwave or a convection oven right? :-/

    Comment by Gemma — October 21, 2011 @ 10:06 am

  173. My cupckes literally boiled over… I followed the directions to the T. I’ve never had cupckeas do this. What was left in the cake liner tasted fantastic! Just don’t know why they bubbled over so badly.

    Comment by Elizabeth Rowe — November 26, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

  174. i am having problems with the chocolate baking, i made a pound chocolate cake, and some chocolate cupcakes, but bought where a little bit hard on the inside, i mean the bread, why could that be happening ?? thanx

    Comment by michelle — December 13, 2011 @ 9:51 pm

  175. please give me advice which cupcake’s oven is the best for home usage

    Comment by Ilya — February 29, 2012 @ 7:52 pm

  176. Hi there! I have a question: my daughter is starting baking cupcakes, she asked why her cupcakes separate from the cupcake liner? well, to tell you frankly, (lol) I don’t know, so I told her let’s ask the experts. So, do you know why is this happening? Thanks for your attention.

    Comment by Dulce DeLeon — June 20, 2012 @ 4:23 pm

  177. Hey there I am really enjoying your blog, it is a wealth of info. I made some cupcakes a few minutes ago and forgot to add the flour last to the batter, I ended with the milk last along with that curdled look grrrr…and i know better please tell me I haven’t ruined them.

    Comment by Linda — October 31, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

  178. Hi Cheryl,

    Thanks for being our saviour, I can see a lot of people will agree with me. I have an issue, that my cupcakes tend to form a hard crust on the top, albeit they are super soft inside, but on the top they turn out to be like a cookie, I do cover the tray with an aluminium foil after the first round to save it from forming the crust and I never prepare and keep the batter, its always in the over within 3-4 mins of been beaten together, will you be able to give me directions as to what causes this. Oh, mostly i try to make chocolate cupcakes and they are always eggless. is that the reason?

    Hope you have a great holiday season out there,

    Regards,
    Anu.

    Comment by Anu — December 18, 2012 @ 7:18 am

  179. I have only made eggless cupcakes once! So, I really can’t say, but I would suspect that would be the case. Or your oven is too hot? Have you made sure your oven temp is accurate? Good luck!

    Comment by chockylit — December 18, 2012 @ 10:02 am

  180. Thank you for this awesome post, I love making cupcakes for the family and these tips really help!

    Comment by breathtaking images — June 2, 2013 @ 10:50 am

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