If you have ever wondered how to make cupcakes but were intimidated by the process, let me assure you that making cupcakes is very easy, even if you have never baked before. I will give you a few tips before you start to ensure your success. First, get all your ingredients out on the counter and let them get to room temperature before you start. Yes, even the eggs. In some places, they don’t even refrigerate their eggs so allowing them to be unrefrigerated for a short period of time won’t cause you any harm.
I hate waiting, so if I know I will be baking, I get the ingredients out the night before to ensure they are at room temperature for baking day. This does several things. It ensures my ingredients are at room temperature before I get started, it gives me the opportunity to check to make sure I have all the ingredients I will need, and it gets the family excited anticipating a yummy baked treat. I also get out my measuring spoons, cups, spatula, bowls and mixer. Having everything ready to go really speeds up the time it takes to make cupcakes by not having to go back and forth to cabinets, drawers and the pantry.
When you are ready to get started baking, the first thing to do is to preheat your oven to the desired temperature. You want a hot oven when you have your batter ready, you don’t want to have to wait for the oven to get hot. Line your cupcake tin with paper liners and have them ready to go before you get started with the batter.
Beat the fat (usually butter or margarine) with the sugar and then add one egg at a time. I crack the eggs into a small clear glass dish so I can take a look a the egg to make sure it isn’t bad, and so I can make sure I haven’t accidently included a piece of egg shell. Cracking an egg into a dish may sound easy, but it is a skill. Once you have mastered it, teach your kids. It is a good skill for them to learn as well. It might be messy at first, but will give them a sense of accomplishment once they master it. Once they get their confidence up, they will want to help you bake cupcakes all the time. It’s a great way to make a memory while teaching them a skill.
Mix your dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients by pushing the flour mixture out and away from the center. You should be able to see the center of your bowl when you are through. You are basically making a place for the wet ingredients to go. Once you have mixed the wet ingredients together, pour the wet ingredients into the well you have created in the large bowl with the dry ingredients. When you combine the wet and dry ingredients together, you want to fold the two together and then use an electric mixer and beat them together for no longer than two minutes. Over mixing your cupcake batter will produce a tough cupcake. I have had tough cupcakes before and believe me, it is not an enjoyable experience!
Once the baking powder is added to moisture, it activates and will need to be put in the oven as soon as possible. If you wait to long, the cupcakes won’t raise and they will be denser than they need to be. They will still taste good, but won’t be as light and delicate as they could be, making for a less than desirable cupcake.
Now you have some of my baking tips and know how to make cupcakes. Next, try making the zucchini cupcakes with caramel frosting. It’s a crowd pleaser! You don’t have to tell your family that it has zucchini in them which is full of nutrients, just smile as you watch them disappear.
Note: If the caramel frosting seems like more than you want to tackle, try the cream cheese frosting. It goes with everything and is delicious!