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The Best Butter Cupcakes

No matter what your experience is with cupcake baking, you can always find ways of improving your cupcake baking skills.  Well, I can at least.  I've listed a few tips for baking more perfect butter cupcakes below.

Cupcake Baking 101: The Best Butter Cupcakes

Butter cupcakes are sometimes referred to as shortening cupcakes, but in essence, they are the same.  These cupcakes use either butter, shortening, or margarine with flour, sugar, a liquid, and a leavening agent of some kind.

Once cooked, perfect butter cupcakes are slightly moist, velvety, and soft.  They have beautiful golden brown tops that spring back when softly pressed.  The tops are rounded and smooth, and they have an even texture that is not at all crumbly.

Do not substitute shortening for butter or butter for shortening.  You may substitute margarine for butter as long as the margarine is at least 65% fat.  Cupcakes may be softer when margarine is used, but the flavor will still be wonderful.  You may also use butter instead of margarine with a wonderful outcome.

Have your butter, margarine, or shortening at room temperature before you begin the creaming step.  It will be much easier to mix until light and fluffy if these ingredients are not cold.

Don't add your sugar all at once to the butter (or shortening).   Add it in 3 separate parts, beating until very light and fluffy.

Always add your eggs one at a time making sure you beat them well into the butter/sugar mixture.  It is easier to thoroughly beat one egg at a time rather than 2-3 eggs at once.

If you are using a dark nonstick pan, you may have better results if you lower your oven temperature by 25 degrees.  The best pans for baking cupcakes are shiny 12 well cupcake pans.  The standard well size is 2 1/2 inches diameter and 1 1/4 inches deep.

Preheat your oven!  If your oven is not at the right temperature, your cupcakes will not cook properly.  Avoid opening the oven door until at least the minimum baking time has passed.  This will help keep your oven at a steady temperature.

Cool cupcakes for about 5 minutes before removing them from the pan and allowing them to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Bake your butter cupcake batters in cupcake pans placed on the center rack of your oven.  This allows for even heat circulation in your oven thus producing beautiful evenly cooked cupcakes.

Sometimes we all need a little reminding of proper baking techniques so I hope that these tips help both the seasoned baker and the novice weekend baker.  Have fun, and get your family involved in your next baking project.  It will add some laughs to your time in the kitchen!