For most bakers, the delights of baking aren't just about the end result. As fun as they are to eat, cupcakes also have the added benefit of being a creative outlet. Decorating is all a part of the cupcake experience and this requires a specific type of skill. Flat-top cupcakes are the best for decoration because your intricate designs won't fall from a sloped surface. But as many bakers know, achieving the flat cupcake isn't as easy as it sounds, and there are many mistakes to avoid when baking cupcakes. Air pockets in the batter expand while in the oven, as does the top of the cupcake which leads to the domed look. To obtain the coveted flat cupcake look, some effort has to go into the batter before popping it in the oven.
It is as simple as one utensil. After pouring your batter into the individual cupcake molds, take a spoon and scoop out some batter from the center of each. This does not -- and ultimately should not -- mean to take out a majority of the batter. It should only be a small scoop from the top. This will ensure that enough batter remains to provide a girthy cake treat while at the same time not allowing the center to rise too much. When the baking concludes, you should have a perfectly flat top ready to cool off before frosting.
Read more: 8 Baking Sheet Mistakes You Want To Avoid
The Trick To Flat-Topped Cupcakes
A spoon may be a surprising tool to use for bakers who have been trying to achieve the flat-top look on their cupcakes. When it comes to creating perfectly level cakes, many cooks have recommended simply slicing off the top to obtain a result ideal for decoration. However, this doesn't look very professional and counts against the aesthetics of a beautifully designed dessert. Using a spoon is a much easier method and doesn't mutilate your cupcake. Instead, nature takes its course when inside the oven. With fewer air pockets to expand during the baking process, there is less cause for the cupcake to dome.
That just goes to show that as important as your spoon is to this method, heat is just as significant. Since heat causes expansion during the baking process, it can also be manipulated to further your dreams of decorating your very own flat cupcake. Temperature will severely impact whether your cupcake will dome or not. A good rule of thumb is to cook your cupcakes about 15 degrees lower than what the recipe indicates. This way, the oven will not run too hot and create those horrid domes that make decorating a chore.
Other Tricks Of The Trade
When making cupcakes and brownies, baking low and slow is always the preferred method. Flat-topped cupcakes flourish when baking for around 40 minutes at around 300 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there are other ways to ensure you are not wasting your time in the kitchen. Uniformity is always a good idea when baking, especially if you want the final product to look professional. Many chefs recommend implementing an ice cream scooper to ensure all the cupcakes will come out the same. Depending on which one you buy, this can also contribute to a cupcake with a flat top. The batter should only fill up a little over half of the cupcake mold. With the right size, an ice cream scoop can get the perfect amount of batter, which is about 1 ¼ tablespoons.
Other methods are more time-intensive but will get the job done. There is always the option of using gravity to ensure a flat top. Once your cupcakes are out of the oven, place a small amount of frosting on the top and flip them over so the dessert is standing upside-down. Slide them this way into the freezer so they keep their shape. Once they come out, you will have a fully flat surface ready for you to demonstrate your decorating prowess.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.