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Can any cake recipe be used to make cupcakes?

1munchy1 Aug 6, 2009 08:30 AM

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. Junie D Aug 11, 2009 12:00 PM

    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
      souschef Aug 12, 2009 08:36 AM

      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
        Junie D Aug 12, 2009 09:29 AM

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

    2. souschef Aug 6, 2009 04:49 PM

      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
        hotoynoodle Aug 7, 2009 07:02 AM

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

        1. re: souschef
          recipelover Aug 11, 2009 01:37 PM

          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
            Nyleve Aug 12, 2009 08:23 AM

            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
              souschef Aug 12, 2009 08:34 AM

              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
                souschef Aug 12, 2009 08:54 AM

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

                1. re: 1munchy1
                  NYCkaren Aug 12, 2009 09:53 AM

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

              2. greygarious Aug 6, 2009 04:38 PM

                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
                  stilton Aug 7, 2009 02:01 AM

                  Spray the liners with nonstick spray before filling with batter.

                  1. re: stilton
                    The Dairy Queen Aug 7, 2009 02:20 AM

                    I love my silcone cupcake liners!


                  2. re: greygarious
                    chowser Aug 11, 2009 02:51 PM

                    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. jeniyo Aug 6, 2009 10:38 AM

                    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
                      maplesugar Aug 6, 2009 10:59 AM

                      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 down...works for me. Can't speak to temp since when I make minis I use a no-bake recipe.

                      1. re: maplesugar
                        alkapal Aug 7, 2009 06:18 AM

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

                        1. re: alkapal
                          maplesugar Aug 7, 2009 10:38 AM

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

                          1. re: maplesugar
                            alkapal Aug 8, 2009 03:47 AM

                            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
                              1munchy1 Aug 11, 2009 08:20 AM

                              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
                        Claudette Aug 6, 2009 01:32 PM

                        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. r
                        recipelover Aug 6, 2009 08:44 AM

                        Regarding cupcakes...Absolutely YES. Cake batter produces cake whether it is baked in a 9inch cake pan or cupcake tins.

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

                        Regarding cheesecake...same as cupcakes.

                        17 Replies
                        1. re: recipelover
                          Sooeygun Aug 6, 2009 09:18 AM

                          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
                            NYCkaren Aug 6, 2009 09:44 AM

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

                            1. re: Sooeygun
                              jeanmarieok Aug 6, 2009 11:22 AM

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

                              1. re: Sooeygun
                                recipelover Aug 11, 2009 01:27 PM

                                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 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ AZCooking/?yguid=65471452

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

                              2. re: recipelover
                                lgss Aug 6, 2009 07:20 PM

                                Even angel food?

                                1. re: lgss
                                  Kelli2006 Aug 7, 2009 12:40 PM

                                  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
                                    chowser Aug 11, 2009 02:48 PM

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

                                    1. re: chowser
                                      Kelli2006 Aug 11, 2009 08:06 PM

                                      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
                                        alkapal Aug 12, 2009 05:01 AM

                                        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? http://www.nordicware.com/store/produ...
                                        cute, huh?

                                        1. re: alkapal
                                          souschef Aug 12, 2009 06:08 AM

                                          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
                                            Kelli2006 Aug 12, 2009 08:29 AM

                                            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
                                              Sooeygun Aug 12, 2009 10:05 AM

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

                                              1. re: Sooeygun
                                                Kelli2006 Aug 12, 2009 12:24 PM

                                                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
                                            chowser Aug 12, 2009 05:03 AM

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

                                            1. re: chowser
                                              maplesugar Aug 12, 2009 12:52 PM

                                              I've made the Lemon Angel Food Cupcakes from myrecipes.com - 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
                                      tamphis Nov 17, 2009 05:45 PM

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

                                      1. re: tamphis
                                        Claudette Nov 18, 2009 02:57 PM

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

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