Top Ten Baking Tips for National Cupcake Week
Here at Flavourtown bakery, we’re famous for making, baking and delivering the best cupcakes in London. Our small team of bakers and decorators are the very best at what they do and they’ve brought their top tip A game just in time for National Cupcake Week.
Heres a round up of our Top Ten Baking Tips!
1.To get flatter, more even Flavourtown looking sponges try turning down your oven temperature to around 150C / 300F and add another minute or two to the baking time. This way the cake batter bakes more evenly and rises consistently rather than the outside baking too fast and forcing all of the sponge into a little volcano in the middle of your cupcake.
2. Our cupcakes are so moist because of how we bake! We have a few ways to test if our Flavourtown cupcakes are done: Firstly gently touch the top of your cupcake sponge, is it dry? does it bounce back? If you can answer yes then get them out of the oven straight away. If you use the skewer test to check for doneness then pull your cupcakes out when they have a few moist crumbs clinging to the skewer! This way they’ll continue to bake in the pan for a little while when they come out and you’ll end up with perfect moist cupcakes every time.
3. You’ll always see recipes bang on about having all of the ingredients at room temperature but you know what? It’s actually kind of important. If every ingredient from butter and eggs to milk is at room temperature your cupcakes will actually bake more evenly. Imagine popping your sponges in the oven with the ingredients at differing temperatures, you’ll never get the perfect bake as everything is heating up at different speeds. A top tip to get your eggs to room temperature is to pop them in fairly hot tap water for a few minutes.
4. At Flavourtown we use the absolute best ingredients in the world in our cupcakes, cakes, brownies, and icings! When you’re talking about tiny cakes you need to make an impact and we’ve always tried to elevate the cupcake to the same level of a patisserie dessert. Buy the absolute best ingredients you can afford when baking, real butter (we use French Lescure AOP butter), organic free range eggs and really good quality chocolate and cocoa powder make all the difference. You can buy really good brands of chocolate online and for home baking we recommend the Callebaut brand. We use Callebaut in our bakery along with Valrhona’s world famous French chocolate and cocoa powder.
5. We use ice cream scoops which are also known as food portioners to make sure every cupcake we bake is the same size here at Flavourtown. This is really important so that every cupcake bakes in the same time and you don’t have any stragglers still baking whilst you fry the ones that are already done.
6. Buttermilk helps make really moist cupcakes! We use tonnes of the stuff every year in our bakery and we love it. Our signature chocolate sponge uses buttermilk and it has a really delicious tender crumb AND you can find it right here to try out at home.
7. How many batches of cupcakes have you made were the liners have pulled away from the sponge and left you with less than a perfect finish? Here’s the secret… Buy cheap thin cupcake liners! The cheaper and thinner the paper the better and the reason is that when your cupcakes cool they contract and if you have heavy paper baking cups the liner won’t follow the sponge as it contracts to leave you with pulled sad cupcakes. Look for cupcake liners with 39 - 45gsm paper.
8. When you’re making buttercream don’t use butter that’s either too stiff or too runny! You need butter that has some give in it when poked with your expert finger, too hard or too soft and it won’t whip perfectly. There’s a stage of whipping up the butter that we call the plastic stage here at Flavourtown and it’s when your butter becomes very pale and looks all glossy and shine and whipped.. almost like cream. When you hit this ‘plastic” stage it’s time to start adding your icing sugar and we only ever use Tate and Lyle sugars in our bakery
9. When you’ve whipped up a perfect batch of cupcake batter pop it in the fridge for at least half an hour before you scoop and bake. This might go against everything you’ve learned about baking so far but trust us that it really does help the baking process and lends itself to perfectly flat delicious cupcakes.
10. We always use gel based colours for colouring icings and sponges. We use a red colouring that we have specially mixed for us here at Flavourtown and isn’t available to home bakers BUT you can get amazing results with something like Sugarflair Red Extra gel.
If you don’t fancy baking your own cupcakes we do of course bake, decorate and deliver cupcakes across London.