There is just something magical about a good, quality Dessert Lady cupcake. Maybe it’s the beautiful colors or the tiny simplicity but nobody can resist the temptation of these delectable baked goods. Have you ever wondered why? Or, more importantly, have you ever wondered what the secret is, to making the best, most gorgeous cupcakes? Well, here are a few tips:
ALWAYS USE QUALITY INGREDIENTS
As with just about all types of cooking, the better the ingredients the better the dish. When it comes to cupcakes, you want to use the best ingredients you can find. It may not seem like it, but you will definitely be able to tell the difference between authentic vanilla extract and imitation vanilla or between simple processed chocolate powder and real fair trade cocoa powder. Similarly, making your own buttermilk should yield far better results than store-bought buttermilk.
BRING THOSE INGREDIENTS TO ROOM TEMPERATURE
Many people overlook this step when baking at home, but it’s an important one. Ingredients like egg and milk combine better (with dry ingredients) when you mix them at room temperature. It is actually a lot of common sense: butter is hard when it’s cold and that makes it clump; similarly, eggs will whip more easily when they have warmed a bit.
DO NOT OVERMIX THE BATTER
Bringing ingredients to room temperature is also important because it makes it easier to avoid over mixing. Mixing ingredients is not just about creating one combined substance (the batter). Mixing also incorporates little air bubbles in that batter and when you mix too much, you break some of those air bubbles down. If you want fluffy and soft cupcakes, you have to mix accordingly.
There is two parts to this: 1) use an ice cream scoop (or something similar) to scoop the batter into the baking pans. This ensures that all the cupcakes are approximately the same size and, more importantly, that they will bake uniformly. 2) always bake on the center rack at the center of the oven to make sure you get maximum, uniform heat so everything bakes evenly. Also, make sure you do not peek: if you made them properly, set a timer and just wait. They will be done when the timer dings; peeking only complicates this process.
GET THEM OUT OF THE PAN
Once you do take them out of the oven, you can only allow cupcakes to cool for a few minutes before removing them from their baking pans. Leaving them too long, of course, absorbs excess heat from the pans which risks overcooking or burning. Similarly, let them cool before frost them (or the frosting melt); and when you do frost them, make sure you frost the whole cupcake so it retains moisture.