Ask iHCMarch 2, 2010 at 8:13 AM | Posted in Ask IHC | 15 Comments
Have your cupcakes ever separated from their liners? If so, do you know why that happened? (via twitter)
Hi [wishes to remain anonymous]!
I get this question ALOT from my cupcake minions… ahem… readers. Here are a few things that I’ve noticed when I bake that may play a role in cupcake separation from liners.
(1) Humidity and excessive rain (weather) is a big factor. If there is more moisture in the air than usual or you live in a high humidity environment combined with the heat from the pan, steam will occur between the liners and the pan if you leave the cupcakes in the pan to cool. Regardless of increased moisture, I usually take my cupcakes out of the pan after they come out of the oven and let them cool on a rack or baking sheet to avoid the build up of steam. Also make sure that before you start baking that your cupcake pan is dry too!
(2) I have found that there is variation in cupcake liners. I usually like the party nut cups for their simple structure and it allows me to get away with not using a cupcake pan but when I’m baking for clients many request the normal cupcake liners since they are easier to unpleat and eat. I suppose the customer is always right. HA! In my experience the plain white liners seem to work better than the more decorated ones. To be honest I’m not sure if there’s something different about some of the decorated ones vs the plain white ones. That’s just an observation I’ve noticed. Decorated liners have a little wax maybe? *shrugs
(3) Make sure to fill your cupcake liner to the correct height so that the cupcake rises enough towards the top of the liner. I’ve noticed that the cupcakes that aren’t filled enough seem to separate more if they don’t rise above the top of the liner. Maybe there’s less moisture build up at the top of the liner so they are able to stick better? Unfortunately all recipes are different so you’ll have to experiment with each recipe for the amount to fill the liner before the breaking point of overfilling. I aint gonna lie. It’s a fine line. I usually fill mine about 1/2-2/3 full depending on the baking soda/baking powder measurement in the recipe.
(4) There’s also a fine line for overbaking. I try really hard to pay attention to my kitchen timer when I bake but life gets in the way sometimes and when the timer goes off at 17-20 minutes (although most of the time I rely on the toothpick test more than time) but the dog is running up and down the stairs b/c the UPS man is at the door, it’s really hard to remember you’ve got cupcakes baking. (I think I need a clone.) Overbaking cupcakes could result in dry cupcakes that tend to pull away from the liners. And who wants a dry cupcake? Let the UPS man wait.
(5) In contrast, underbaking could be an issue too. If the cupcake is too moist especially from excessive butter, buttermilk, sour cream, oil, water etc that could result in the cupcakes not adhering to the liner.
(6) I don’t use cooking spray on my liners. It seems to defeat the purpose of wanting them to stick to the cupcake liners IMO.
Hope that helps!
PS- You all have no idea how much it irks me that I could not come up with 4 more reasons to make it an even 10. I’m a list and numbers girl. It’s either 5 or 10. Anything in between is just weird on the eyes. Is it just me??
PPS- Please remember that I have no scientific proof. (It pains the scientist in me to say that.) I’m just going off what I’ve seen in my own kitchen. If any readers have something to add to my list, feel free in comments! Preferably 4 more things… Please and thanks.
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