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
• 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!