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My Cupcakes are Flat! Why?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Okay, so I've made Strawberry cupcakes twice and both times they have come out flat, why? What am I doing wrong? I followed the recipe. It called for 2tsp of Baking Powder, was that too much? Did I over bake them? Please, any feedback is greatly appreciated!

Also, does anyone have a good recipe for Strawberry Cupcakes?
post #2 of 26
Would need to see your recipe and your procedure to say for sure. One thing to check--is your baking powder out of date? Put some in some warm water and stir. It should bubble vigorously. If not, pitch it and buy new.
Jenni
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Jenni
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post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Here's the recipe:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 Tsp of Vanilla
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 pkg (10 ounces) frozen strawberries in syrup thawed
post #4 of 26
And your procedure? How do you incorporate all the ingredients? Especially the strawberries. Sorry for the questions, but I (or anyone else) will need to know what you have been doing so we can figure out where it all went south for you.
Jenni
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Jenni
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post #5 of 26

re

did it say to sift the dry ingredents together? that and the temp of the oven could be the cause.
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
Preheat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour and baking powder. Alternately add flour mixture and milk, mixing well after each addition. Fold in strawberries. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on rack; remove and cool completely before decorating.
post #7 of 26
Sounds like a straight-up creaming method.

A couple of things to remember--if your butter is too soft, it won't hold any air bubbles during the initial creaming stage. If it's too cold, it won't be plastic enough to hold any bubbles. Make sure your milk, eggs, strawberries and butter are all at cool room temperature, about 68 degrees, F. If you add cold milk, eggs or strawberries on top of nicely creamed butter, it will just re-harden and not hold air.

Ingredient temperature is critical. You can probably go 2 3/4 teaspoons for the baking powder, but the temp at which you cream the fat and sugar, add the eggs and then liquid is extremely important.

Also, when you cream, cream the butter alone for a minute or two. Then, add the sugar and cream for about 5 minutes on medium speed.

Make sure the mixture stays cool. If it starts to warm up, put the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes to keep your ingredients at or near 68 degrees, F.

By the way, your initial email said that the recipe called for 2 teaspoons of baking powder, yet the recipe as you posted it calls for 2 1/2 teaspoons. If you only added two, your cupcakes could have been a little dense.

Hope this helps, and good luck with the cupcakes.
Jenni
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Jenni
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post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much! I realized that I had only added 2 tsp. of baking powder.. so I'll make sure next time I add the correct amount. I will try chocolate cupcakes today. Any recommendations for chocolate cupcakes?
post #9 of 26
If you can find a recipe made with cocoa powder and water, that will give you the most chocolatey flavor since milk tends to mellow out "chocolateyness."

Most cakes /cup cake recipes you'll find use the creaming method. There's nothing wrong with this, but if you want a more velvety end-product, try using the two-stage mixing method. (You can convert any shortened cake from one mixing method to the other). Read about it here:) The Two-Stage Mixing Method Pastry Methods and Techniques

Good luck with all your cupcakes, rosemary_2009:chef:
Jenni
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Jenni
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post #10 of 26
Make sure baking powder is not real old, as it does lose some of its riseing ability if very old.:cool:
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post #11 of 26
Make sure you don't overmix the batter. This will cause the air bubbles to deflate and make your final product dense. Only mix until just pulled together and you can no longer see flour streaks.
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post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 

Flat Cupcakes...

Thanks... I'll make sure next time
post #13 of 26
Are you draining the strawberries? If not, there could be way too much liquid in the batter.
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post #14 of 26
Modern, double-acting baking powder (which is what you should be using) produces carbon dioxide gas when it gets wet, and when it gets heated. Your problem is almost certainly related to your baking powder in one of three ways.

One: As soon as the liquids are added to the dry ingredients, double acting baking powder starts to work producing bubbles in the batter. Those bubbles expand when they're heated and create some of the lift that makes the cake fluffy. If you hold the batter too long and/or overbeat it the bubbles disappear.

Two: You're using single acting baking powder and either overbeating and/or not working quickly enough. Same as Number One, only more so. More so, in that double acting powder reserves some of its leavening potential for the oven, by virtue of a compound (pyro-phosphate usually) which doesn't create gas until it's heated.

Three: The baking powder is no longer working well. This can be related to age and/or any moisture getting in the tube.

Note, I didn't mention that you used too little baking powder. The rule, which is constant for most cakes and quick breads is "about 1 tsp of baking powder per cup of flour, but no more than 1-1/4." Your 2 tsp of BP for 2-1/2 cups flour is a little on the low side, but not enough for the degree of failure you apparently experienced. This points back to the efficacy of the powder itself or the way in which it was handled -- more likely the powder.

In any case, transport yourself to the store and buy a fresh tube of double-acting baking powder (like Calumet or Clabber Girl). For the time being, stay away from single-actors like Rumford.

Happy caking,
BDL
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post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks!

Thanks so much! I didn't know any of that. I'll keep that in mind next time I bake.
- Rosemary
post #16 of 26
also with time baking powder loses rising power so make sure yours is not too old, I'd buy a new one ,its pretty chap anyway
post #17 of 26

Hi there,

 

I have a problem with moisture forming on my otherwise perfect cupcakes after only a few hours inside a large square plastic lunch box. I always make sure the cupcakes are completely cooled down before I put them in box. After a couple of days the paper casings start to get soggy too.  Help I'm desperate at this stage.  My inlaws love my cakes and want me to make some for Christmas but I need to sort out this problem first.

 

 

Thanks

 

Clio

post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosemary_2009 View Post

Okay, so I've made Strawberry cupcakes twice and both times they have come out flat, why? What am I doing wrong? I followed the recipe. It called for 2tsp of Baking Powder, was that too much? Did I over bake them? Please, any feedback is greatly appreciated!

Also, does anyone have a good recipe for Strawberry Cupcakes?


First of all, and foremost of all, how do you know this is a good recipe?  Many recipes are around that are badly written and will not work.  I have big doubts for a recipe that calls for frozen strawberries and also liquid like milk.  Also frozen strawberries in juice have sugar in them and the sugar will also weigh down the batter.  Cupcakes i think need a little drier batter, because they cook less time.  I add a little flour to a cake batter that i'm going to use in cupcakes.  This just feels too wet and gloppy.  Strawberries don;t cook well in things, they get mushy and ooze out liquid, even when fresh. 

 

I really don;t think the old baking powder is the first thing to check. If you had made this before and it came out well and now it didn;t, i'd say look at the temperature, the powder, a lot of things.  But this may just be a dud of a recipe. 

 

But, meanwhile, the temperature is important for cupcakes.  The oven should be preheated and the temperature high enough to make them rise because they cook for less time than a cake. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #19 of 26


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clio View Post

Hi there,

 

I have a problem with moisture forming on my otherwise perfect cupcakes after only a few hours inside a large square plastic lunch box. I always make sure the cupcakes are completely cooled down before I put them in box. After a couple of days the paper casings start to get soggy too.  Help I'm desperate at this stage.  My inlaws love my cakes and want me to make some for Christmas but I need to sort out this problem first.

 

 

Thanks

 

Clio

You don't say your recipe, but does it have oil in it?  Oil stays liquid even when cool, and maybe that's what's oozing out.  Maybe i'm wrong here, and maybe you should post this as a separate thread and maybe you'll get more answers.  Put a title like "cupcakes get soggy" or something to make people know what the question will be about and that will catch the attention of people who know the reasons. 
 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #20 of 26

It ain't the heat, it's the (relative) humidity.

 

The relative aridity of the surrounding air leaches moisture from your moist cake through the paper.  Or, moisture from the relatively humid surrounding air is condensing on the paper and soaking through the drier cake.  In short, it's moisture moving across a barrier one way or the other. 

 

Hold your cupcakes in as tightly fitting a box as possible and wrap that completely in cling-film so their enviromnent's humidity remains stable.  If you're climate is humid and you're going to hold for a long time, freezing (well wrapped) is actually better than refrigerating.  But neither is as good as fresh.

 

Hope this helps,

BDL

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http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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post #21 of 26

I got the same problem too, mine shrink too!

post #22 of 26

thanks, I will try that.

post #23 of 26

Addressing the moisture problem.  You should probably freeze the cupcakes until you are ready to decorate them if you aren't going to serve them within a day.  Refrigeration is not a friend of cakes.

post #24 of 26

thanks will try that !

post #25 of 26

I have never heard of double acting baking powder. I am anxious to try it but wondered if its the same 1 tsp to one cup of flour as with regular baking powder (actually this was new to me as well, my cupcake recipes never call for more than a tsp...maybe thats why they are flat a lot of the time??). All the tips I've read have been so helpful, especially about the ingredients being room temp before combining. So thank you to everyone:)

post #26 of 26

You guys are so smart  I copied some of the content to my handy-dandy notepad for use on some test yellow-cakes. I love you guys!

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