Cupcakes 101

What is a Cupcake?

strawberry cupcakeA cupcake is a tiny cake that is usually baked in an aluminium cup or thin paper. Cupcakes have the same basic ingredients as any normal cake; flour, sugar, butter and eggs.  Once they have been baked the thin paper or foil is simply peeled off before eating.  Just like bigger cakes sprinkles and decorations can be put on cupcakes. The main difference between cupcakes and big cakes is that the former cook faster due to their small size.

How to make cupcakes

Cupcakes are suitable for any occasion. You will never go wrong with whatever cake recipe you use to make your cupcakes. You can add something sweet, leave them plain or add decorations and sprinkles. It all depends on your preference. The following are some easy steps to follow when making these yummy treats.

Step 1: Choose a cupcakes recipe

One very simple way to make cupcakes is to buy a cake mix and follow the instructions written on the package. You can get cake mix in a wide range of flavours. Remember you can always add that extra touch to your cupcake according to what you like. If you prefer to make your cupcakes from scratch, then you will find the basic steps of making the flour mixture and batter here.

Once you have chosen your cupcake recipe, you will have to pre-heat the oven. This will ensure that the cupcakes are baked accurately. Pre-heating takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

We suggest you to choose cupcake recipes through our search topics.

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Step 2: Choose your cupcakes pan and liners

Cupcakes Pan and Liners

Cupcakes Pan and Liners

The cupcakes pans come in different sizes; small, medium and large. Cupcake liners are small round thin sheets of paper in which cupcakes are baked. They help to remove the cupcakes from the baking pans after they are ready. Due to their thin material, cupcake liners have to be placed in the baking pan first before filling in with the batter.  If you do not have liners you can just grease and flour the baking pan.

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Step 3: Bake the cupcakes

For a normal cupcake size, fill in the liners about ½ or ¾ with the batter. The best way to do this is to use a decorating bag to squeeze out the batter into the liners. You can also use an ice-cream scoop, a table spoon or measuring cup. The measuring cup is especially useful if your batter is very thin.

After you are done pouring in the batter, place your cupcakes in the preheated oven and let them bake according to the instructions of your chosen recipe. Depending on the recipe, the cupcakes will bake for 10 to 25 minutes.

Cupcakes baking

Baked Cupcakes

Once time is up, test the cupcakes to see if they are ready. Insert a wooden toothpick into one cupcake. If it comes out dry, it’s ready. If some batter remains on the toothpick then return the cupcakes in the oven for a few more minutes.

After they are done let them cool for five to ten minutes before removing them from the pan. Cupcakes are very fragile when hot. We don’t want to go breaking them now, do we?

Before adding frosting or decorations to your cupcakes, let them cool off completely on a wire rack.

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Step 4: Fill cupcakes

Cupcakes Filling

Cupcakes Filling

This step is optional. If you prefer plain cupcakes then you do not need to fill your cupcakes. However, if you enjoy having little extras on your cupcakes, then this step is for you.

Get a pastry bag that has been fitted with a tip that is big and round. Put the filling into the bag using a spoon. Then insert the tip at the top of the cupcake and squeeze the filling down to the centre of the cake. A hole will be left at the top of the cupcake but do not be alarmed. It will be covered by the frosting.

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Step 5: Cupcakes frosting

Cupcakes frosting

Frosting Cupcakes

There are no specific rules when it comes to frosting. However, if your frosting had been refrigerated, let it go up to room temperature before beginning the process. You can use a small metal spatula to spread the frosting.

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Step 6: Decorate cupcakes

Cupcake decorations vary according to your creativity and what you like. You can use edible decorations especially for kids as they can easily take a bite of the cupcake if the decorations are plastic.

Cupcakes decoration

Cupcakes Decoration

When using frosting, you can separate it into different bowls and add various colours so that your cupcakes do not look all the same. Chocolate can also be used as it melts easily and can be spread in any manner.

Other ways you can decorate your cupcakes is by using icing, candy, sprinkles, butter cream or even gum paste.

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With these simple steps and a touch of your creativity, you will have the most delicious cupcakes ever!