Preparation is key!
READ the recipe first! This is why most recipes fail. Be sure to measure out all your ingredients before you start. Bring all ingredients to room temperature, especially crucial items like the butter and eggs for about 45 minutes.
Substitution Chart– A baker’s best friend in the kitchen. I have one on my refrigerator. Just like me, many of you have gone to the store buy everything you need get home and realize you forget one or two ingredients. By the time you run or drive back to the store it’s close…. Believe it or not there are things in your kitchen cabinet that can be substituted for that ingredient you need right now. For e.g.- If the recipe calls for 1 cup of buttermilk, you can substitute it for 1 cup of plain or low-fat yogurt. This chart can be seen here at whatscookingamerica.net (Ingredient Substitution Chart)
No matter how well you measure out your ingredients and mixed the batter properly, if can be a waste if you don’t follow some important rules in baking. Know you’re oven, check out the hot and cold spots to ensure even baking.
1. Check you oven temperature. Each oven varies from brand new to used, if you’re unsure of your oven temperature buy an oven thermometer to ensure the oven temperature is correct.
2. Don’t open that door yet!- We want to make sure that our cupcakes are being baked to perfection. Avoid constantly opening the oven door during the first 15 minutes of baking. This reminds me when the judges from “Cupcake Wars” tell the bakers ” I can see you had some technical issues”, because they kept opening the door to much to make sure if the cupcakes were done already, then they would have to go back and make another batch to beat the clock. When you open the door heat escapes and the temperature drops.
Muffin Pans: Standard muffin pans have twelve cups, each with a 1/2-cup capacity. Jumbo muffin pans have six cup 3/4 cup capacity. Mini muffin pans have twenty-four that holds 3 Tablespoons (3 T.) a piece.
Cupcake Liners: Cupcake liners are available in solid colors, prints, pastel hues, bright tones, shiny foils and silicone liners. Your muffin pan can be sprayed with a non-stick spray like Wilton Bake Easy or use solid vegetable shortening and flour. If you choose to use the silicone liners 1st spray it will a non-stick spray, pour the batter normally as you would with paper liners, but instead of placing them in a standard muffin pan they can be place on an ungreased baking tray. Don’t worry it will hold its shape.
Pastry Tips- There are two basics methods for frosting cupcakes: spatula and piping. The former used to be a knife when you made your first batch of cupcakes with your mother and grandma, but those times have change. Piping the frosting on the cupcakes with a standard pastry bag and tip, is a simple way to add whimsical decorations. Piping is an art form that requires practice, but once you get the hand of it, you’ll find that it can be a quick and easy way to create professional-looking results. These tips below are often used for cupcake decorating.
1st – Tip 1M, (Popular use) Star tip, creating a decorative fluted swirl of frosting.
2nd – tip 2D, creating a fluffier, ribbon-like frost
3rd – tip 1A, Large round tip, creating a spiral of frosting; a smooth swirl.
4th – tip 868, creating a popular style for the Francophil “french tip.”
Cupcake Liners are sold online:
Are sold any place Cake Supply Store – nycake.com; michaels.com; globalsugarart.com
Checkout Lesson 2 on How To Decorate Cupcakes Professionally