Cupcakes are an easy dessert to prepare. The key to making cupcakes from scratch is carefully measuring both the wet and dry ingredients. Oven temperature is also very important to ensure even baking. Properly preparing the cupcake pan should keep the cupcakes from sticking to it.
Most cupcake recipes are simple to make. Following a recipe exactly will result in cupcakes from scratch that are fluffy and moist. The butter and eggs used should be at room temperature, the flour should be sifted, and real vanilla extract usually tastes best. Use a glass measuring cup to measure the wet ingredients, while dry ingredients should be lightly packed-down in individual, nesting-style measuring cups and then leveled with a spatula for precise amounts.
When making cupcakes from scratch the oven should be preheated to the temperature indicated in the recipe. Being familiar with the oven is helpful since some ovens have hot spots or cook at a slightly higher or lower temperature than it is set to. The proper oven temperature is essential to prevent the cupcakes from becoming dry or burned.
Carefully combining the ingredients helps make the cupcake batter light and fluffy. The butter should be beat with an electric mixer for one minute before slowly adding the sugar. Eggs should be added one at a time, making sure that each egg has been blended into the mixture before adding the next. Dry ingredients should be sifted together before being mixed with the wet ones. When combining the wet and dry ingredients together, it is important not to over-beat the batter as this can lead to dense cupcakes during baking.
One of the advantages of making cupcakes from scratch is being able to control the flavor. After the batter is prepared, candy, fruit, chocolate chips, nuts, or other ingredients can be added. These ingredients should be slowly folded in, taking care not to overwork the batter.
The muffin tins that the cupcakes are baked in need to be prepared before adding the batter. The pan should be greased to prevent the cupcakes from sticking, or cupcake liners should be placed in the pan. Each cup or cupcake liner needs to be filled until it is three-fourths full.
Cupcakes from scratch must cool after baking. The best way to do this is to place the pan on a wire baker's rack. After the cupcakes are fully cooled they can be decorated with icing or frozen for future use.