Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Aug 6, 2009 08:30 AM

Can any cake recipe be used to make cupcakes?

I mean, can you just pour any cake batter into cupcake tins and bake them for less time?

I guess I'm leaving out chiffon cakes, bundt cakes and gateau type cakes.

Also, anyone make little cheesecake cupcakes by making tiny graham cracker crust in the cups and tossing cheesecake batter in?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Regarding cupcakes...Absolutely YES. Cake batter produces cake whether it is baked in a 9inch cake pan or cupcake tins.

    Regarding a bundt is a cake baked in a bundt pan.

    Regarding cheesecake...same as cupcakes.

    17 Replies
    1. re: recipelover

      I agree. Cakes can be adjusted to whatever size pan you want. In a few of my cookbooks there are lists of pans and the volumes they hold, so you can figure out how to convert your recipe.

      And cheesecakes...same thing. They take a lot less time in cupcake cups, so be careful. I have one of these pans with the little discs that come out. Much easier to push the cheesecakes out. And they are about the size of a cookie, so often I buy a package of a complementary flavour of cookie and put them in the bottom instead of a crust. The mint girl guide cookies (Canadian version) work really well.

      1. re: Sooeygun

        Thanks for the idea of using packaged cookies that way. That's a good tip.

        1. re: Sooeygun

          I've used vanilla wafers and gingersnaps as base for cupcake size cheesecakes .

          1. re: Sooeygun

            Just remember to fill your cupcake tins only 2/3rds full. Something we were taught in 7th grade home economics in 1950.

            our little recipe board AZCooking/?yguid=65471452

            A great idea - using cookies instead of a bottom crust when making mini-cheesecakes.

            1. re: lgss

              You can use angle food cake batter to make angel food cupcakes but you will have a difficult time inverting them as they cool.

              1. re: Kelli2006

                Would you have to with cupcakes? They're so small and light. Would they collapse on themselves?

                1. re: chowser

                  Ive never tried baking angel food in cupcake tins but it could be worth sacrificing 1/2 dozen egg whites in the interest of culinary science.

                  1. re: Kelli2006

                    how about using those cute mini-bundt pans? or would the design interfere with the rising of the cake up the sides of the pan?
                    cute, huh?

                    1. re: alkapal

                      I have something similar from Williams-Sonoma. There is no problem with the rising of the cake; I have not made angel food cakes in them, though. One problem with them is that they are a pain to clean (all those grooves).

                      1. re: alkapal

                        Those might work but it could be very difficult to get an angel food cake to release due to the fact that you cannot grease the pan. This might be the one time that silicone mini cake pans might be useful.

                        1. re: Kelli2006

                          There are mini angel food pans out there. Not as small as a cupcake, but awfully cute.

                          1. re: Sooeygun

                            I wonder if the bottom is removable because they would be difficult to depan, unless you cut individual parchment circles for every cupcake.


                      2. re: Kelli2006

                        Given how angel food can be sticky to cut, this might be my next project!

                        1. re: chowser

                          I've made the Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes from - had some stick at the edge if the tin was too full but I was still able to get them loose just fine & they came right out of the liners.

                2. re: recipelover

                  I've been looking for a mini pan with the bottoms that pop out! Where did you get it?

                  1. re: tamphis

                    I got mine at Sur La Table a yr or two ago.

                3. i always wondered the same thing about my mini cheesecake pan. cookies sounds so much easier than measuring and pressing in a even layer of crust. thanks!!

                  would you guys dec. the temp on them because they are not to be baked in a water bath? how much?

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: jeniyo

                    I use a mini cookie scoop to make sure I'm putting an equal amount of crumbs in each tin and in order to make an even crust I just use a shot glass to press the crumbs for me. Can't speak to temp since when I make minis I use a no-bake recipe.

                    1. re: maplesugar

                      maplesugar, you've got the technique down, so you must make these a lot! ;-).

                      1. re: alkapal

                        lol I make a lot of mini desserts... keeps me from swearing at the scale ;)

                        1. re: maplesugar

                          and a lot of the times, it's just those one or two bites that you want to taste....

                          those are the best bites of any dessert anyway. then it's the law of diminishing returns, i think....

                          so... why not save the calories? exactly!

                          (plus, the minis are cuter! ;-).

                          1. re: alkapal

                            I don't know, I always end up eating more minis, and eventually eating just about as much, if not more, than if I had a regular cupcake.

                            For me, I might as well get the regualr sized, unless the bakery only makes minis.

                    2. re: jeniyo

                      You can use a water bath with mini cheesecake pans if you wrap the bottom of the pan in two layers of foil. As for temperature, I bake at 350 w/o a water bath if I want a drier cheesecake, and at 300-325 w/ a water bath if I want a creamier cheesecake (adjusting the amount of sour cream helps, too). The exact amount of time depends on size, recipe, and oven, so I just keep checking it at reasonable intervals.

                    3. Since you are about to explore cupcakes, let me share some info about cupcake liners. Using the paper ones is self-explanatory. The foil ones can be used without a muffin pan - just line them up on a sheet pan before filling. Great in theory, peeling the foil off the finished cupcake is a pain, as you will be dealing with tiny little bits of foil. These liners are packaged with a plain paper cups in between each foil one. I assumed this was just to help in getting the foil out one at a time, until I saw Jacques Pepin using them: leave the paper one inside the foil one, and you'll have no problem peeling off the double liner. Also, you can cut a square of parchment paper and press/fold it around an inverted glass to make a liner (they charge a mint for pre-folded natural brown parchment cupcake liners). The right-angle edges just stay there, so the baked cupcake is in its little parchment nest.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: greygarious

                        Spray the liners with nonstick spray before filling with batter.

                        1. re: stilton

                          I love my silcone cupcake liners!


                        2. re: greygarious

                          I'd always assumed the paper/foil ones were made to use both together. If you bake muffins enough, it's cheaper (and better environmental) to buy just the paper liner--not directed at you, greygarious, since I assume you know but just a general comment. You just have to be careful in the store because they're packaged the same way. I found unbleached brown liners that I really like. I think it gives cupcakes a more rustic look.

                        3. If the batter contains baking powder you may not be able to use any cake batter. The reason I say this is that I vaguely remember reading in the The Cake Bible that you don't just double the amount of baking powder if you are doubling the rest of the ingredients to make a larger cake. The same would apply, I think, to smaller (cup)cakes.

                          I need to go back and check it.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: souschef

                            it would be the same amount of batter, just portioned differently, so need to adjust proportions of ingredients.

                            1. re: souschef

                              Baking is a science project. The batter is a formula (aka recipe). However, once the batter is created you can bake the batter in as large or small container as you wish.

                              One only has to folllow the recipe.

                              The container used to bake the batter has nothing to do with how much baking powder one uses. That rule only applies when one is doubling or halving a recipe.

                              1. re: souschef

                                I actually just made 100 cupcakes for a wedding. Used two different recipes from the Cake Bible - neither one was specifically for cupcakes and they both turned out fantastic. I made the Downy Butter Cake recipe - adding orange oil and orange zest to the batter instead of vanilla to make an orange cupcake (it was iced with orange cream cheese icing). And I made the Almond Cake (not sure that's the exact name but it's an almond flavoured cake using finely ground almonds) and iced it with white chocolate ganache. I did not double either recipe - instead I made separate single batches (each recipe made about 18 to 24 cupcakes), so there was no need to mess with proportions of anything. The baking time was the only thing that needed adjustment; they were done in about 20 to 25 minutes - about 10 minutes or so less than the full cake recipe. It was pretty easy to tell when they were baked using the toothpick test.

                                1. re: Nyleve

                                  I have made Golden Grand Marnier Cakelettes from The Cake Bible many times. They are really delicious. I have also made the whole cake; I recently made one, put a lot of extra Grand Marnier in it to preserve it, and mailed it to a friend in Germany. I was told that it was very fresh (and delicious), even after the week's trip. RLB mentions doing this in the book.

                                  1. re: 1munchy1

                                    I wish the binding of the book were better. My copy is in pieces from being used so much.

                                    1. re: 1munchy1

                                      It's not a pumpkin roll, but there's a pumpkin walnut bundt cake in "The Cake Bible" that I like a lot.

                                  2. I find it works best for me to increase baking temp by about 25 degrees F when making cupcakes from a cake recipe. Just as when baking larger than 9" you usually need to decrease baking temp.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Junie D

                                      I agree with increasing the temperature for smaller cakes, but for larger cakes isn't 350 degrees about the lowest you would go?

                                      1. re: souschef

                                        For something as large as a 16" round, for example, I may go down to 325.