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What makes a cupcake a cupcake?


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I have been experimenting with cupcakes lately and using just a cake recipe (various ones, not any one in particular), baked in cupcake pan. But they always turn out a little dry for some reason. So I am wondering this, formula wise, how is a cupcake different than a cake? Can the baker's percentage apply like in bread? (so I can do the math on several recipes and then see if the fat content is higher, which is my first guess...) Is it the foil paper cups I use, I used white paper last time and the same thing happened. A bit on the dry side.

thanks!

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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If you are weighing your ingredients, they should scale up or down just fine. Old recipes used to give warnings about cake size to offset some of the errors inherent with volume measurements.

I use RLB's chocolate cake (the american style one) from the Cake Bible as cupcakes all the time.

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If the recipe I'm using for cupcakes was meant to be made as a regular cake, I watch them instead of looking at the clock. Watching the clock instead of the cupcakes tends to have disastrous consequences.

My favorite test for whether they're done is the finger poke: poke gently with a clean finger - when done, they'll be nice and springy, but still have a slightly moist squish to them.

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I always watch the cupcake, bake @ 375. Take them out when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Should they be left slightly under cooked? The recipes I use are the ones listed in the King Arthur Baking Companion.

Now I hunted down some of the cupcake shop "sprinkles" recipes, they have a lot more fat I noticed....Just an observation..

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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I think your temperature is too high. Most cakes recipes call for 350°. Do you have a thermometer in your oven to confirm the temp?

Also, you have to remember that there's still some carryover cooking going on even after they leave the oven. They will be firm to the touch after they are overcooked and beyond.

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