7 Secret Tips to Nailing Your Cupcake Frosting Game Every Time

Behold the cupcake... One of the most commonly known staples in baking, simple to pull together, and make for a great baking activity with your kids, but they also come with plenty of room for error.

This is why in today's post, I'm sharing with you seven tips to prevent failure when whipping up your next favorite batch of cupcakes.

As you can imagine, their can a broad range of reasons for a cupcake failure, so I won't be able to get into them all today. However, these tips listed here are some of the big keys to nailing your cupcakes, and are important steps to improving them.

Whether you want to bake some of the most decadent, melt in your mouth chocolate cupcakes, a basic vanilla cupcake, or even just something as simple as angel food, this article is right up your ally.

Ready to dive in? Good! Let's begin with tip number 1...

 

1. READ YOUR RECIPE IN ADVANCE (EVEN FOR BOXED CAKE MIXES)

Why is this step important?

I totally understand the desire to dive straight into baking. I've done it myself before, but I've also learned it can be a huge mistake to not read your recipe in advance.

Let me tell you a brief story to illustrate. A couple of years ago, I was making some tortillas to go along with dinner. Well I went and looked up a recipe, it looked like a good option, so I dived straight into cooking. Well that was until I reached the step where I realized the recipe had to rest for two hours. I didn't have that time to wait two hours.

See, by reading the recipe in advance, your whole baking process can go a whole lot smoother. You will be able to go through the recipe with a better understanding of how to approach the steps, you will be able to make sure you don't reach unexpected wait times you don't have time for, and avoid needing to spend minutes learning how to approach steps in the recipes, when you only have a matter of seconds to work with.

2. MAKE SURE YOU USE ROOM TEMPERATURE INGREDIENTS

Why is this step important?

If you don't use room temperature ingredients, it can effect a variety of things. However, one main thing is it can make creaming your butter and sugar much harder, resulting in a not as light cupcake, and changing the texture of the cake. You won't be able to form a proper emulsion of the butter and sugar.

I made this mistake once of not using room temperature ingredients, and in my experience, my cakes texture was sort of cross between cake and cornbread for me.

You can check out the article I wrote on this topic here for more details - "Why Should You Use Room Temperature Ingredients"

3. DON'T OVERBEAT OR UNDERBEAT YOUR BATTER

Why is this bad?

Underbeating:

The reason you don't want to do this is pretty simple. If you don't mix long enough, you won't be able to incorporate all your wet ingredients with your dry ingredients. Therefore, you could end up with small clumps of dry ingredients in your baked good.

Overbeating:

The main reason behind not wanting to overbeat your batter, is you have the potential of making your cake tough.

Although according to this article I came across, it would appear that can also depend on your cake recipe, you can find more info here... https://thecakeblog.com/2015/09/overmixing-a-cake.html According to that article, they found their cakes became more dense than tough by their experience. This appeared to be the case for American style cakes it sounds like.

The reason some cakes can become too tough however, would play with the main role of gluten. Gluten is formed when you work flour and water together. For more info on what exactly gluten is, I would suggest you check out my article here on "What is Gluten and Why Do We Need it?"

The other main thing you need to take into account though, is the longer you beat your cake batter, the shorter your cake will actually come out. You can end up with taller cakes by beating your batter for a shorter period of time.

I could go into far more depth on this, but this simply sums up the reasons underbeating and overbeating are bad.

4. WEIGH YOUR INGREDIENTS, OR USE A SPOON TO MEASURE THEM

Why is this important?

Weighing your ingredients is a much more accurate way of measuring things. It's more reliable, and less prone to error. That is unless you are talking about really small quantities. For quantities like teaspoons, it's more accurate to use an actual measuring spoon. When you reach cups though, it's best to weigh things.

Although, while this is the case, for me I prefer weighing things more just because it means you have less dishes to cleanup in the end, and it's just easier than trying to keep track as you count things. I use volume most of the time though, and don't ever seem to face any issues for me personally, in much larger quantities this could be noticeable however.

The only issue is, here in the U.S., most of our recipes aren't measuring in things like grams to be able to weigh, and we often use volume instead. This means most recipes are going to be in cups.

If you need to measure by volume in this case, make sure you spoon your dry ingredients into your measuring cups for a more precise measurement.

5. CREAM YOUR BUTTER AND SUGAR

Why is this important?

The reason you want to cream your butter and sugar has to do with how it helps you achieve a lighter baked good. This applies for anything, but this especially applies to cupcakes.

What are you doing exactly when you are creaming your butter and sugar? You are basically digging little air pockets into the butter, which as a result allows your batter to expand with the gases produced by ingredients like baking powder and baking soda.

6. COOL YOUR CUPCAKES BEFORE FROSTING THEM

Why is this important?

This one is pretty simple. If you don't make sure you cool your cupcakes to room temperature, your frosting will melt off your cupcake.

Think of it like spreading cold butter on a piece of toast where the butter melts. The frosting is acting the same way here, except in this case, we want to keep it cool, not hot.

7. USING A BOXED CAKE MIX? USE EVAPORATED MILK TO MAKE YOUR CAKE EXTRA MOIST

Why is this important?

While an average boxed cake mix can be just fine by just using the regular water, if you are unsatisfied with how dry it turns out, you can replace the water with evaporated milk to make a more moist cake.

How would this be the case though? The way I would view it is the evaporated milk is probably evaporating slower than water does, and as a result, this would keep more liquid in the cake.

So there you have it. If you follow these tips, you should be well on your way to an awesome cake. As you can imagine though, their are a whole variety of things that can effect a cake.

Which is why, if you find yourself with any issues with your cake, or any baked good, feel free to send me an email at - colton@thebakerslife.com to ask me any baking questions you might have. Or as a matter of fact, an even better option is you could share it over on "The Baker's Life Community", where you can get your answer from me, and allow other people to learn with you. Chances are if you are thinking the question, other people have the same question as well.

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