Hey-yulp! My cupcakes crack while baking!
I'm using the White Velvet Butter Cake from The Cake Bible. I'm filling the jumbo silicone cupcake molds 2/3 full. The molds sit in a shallow cookie pan (for support). I'm baking in a Breville countertop convection oven. Because of the convection feature, the temp is turned down from 350 to 325 degrees.
While in the oven, they rise and seem to set at around 15 minutes, but at 20 minutes they start to crack. I pulled them out and they were still underdone in the middle, so I rotated the pan and put them back into the oven for another 7-10 minutes to finish. The cupcakes didn't start browning until the last few minutes so now they look overdone. Total baking time was probably 30 minutes.
I'm only having the problem with cupcakes, no issues with regular cake pans. Any ideas what am I doing wrong?
Thanks for any advice!
Do you have a option other than the convection feature? Total baking time 30 minutes for cupcakes? 30 minutes is too long a bake for muffins that are just a small amount of batter and too hot with the convection. Underdone in the middle while cracking on the exterior is the giveaway. Lose the convection feature if you can, and use 350° to bake.
Other than that, try a even lower temp than 325° with the convection feature. Rotating the pan is good, given your oven size. I only rotate pans with cookies in a regular oven, as sheet pans are much bigger than muffin tins. You might have to play with it a bit, temp and time wise. Browning on a white cake is not that important. I'd rather have tender crumb and crust.
Let us know how it works out. Good luck.
Thanks for the tips bwgirl. I agree that the total baking time is too long. I thought because they were baked in silicone cups that might have something to do with it but when I googled, I didn't run across any comments to support that theory. The cupcake molds are pretty large - 2" tall, bottom diameter is about 2.5", the top diameter is 4" and holds about 1/2 cup of batter.
I'll give it another shot tomorrow morning, see if my luck changes, and report back.
Take 3. I turned off the convection feature and turned the temp to 350° and popped the batch of cupcakes into the oven. At 15 minutes I rotated the pan. At 25 minutes they were still raw in the middle so I turned the oven down to 325° and left them in another 5-7 minutes. The oven must have some odd hotspots, you can see some burn marks on a couple of the cupcakes. And while some of the cakes still cracked, it was not as bad as the first batch. I suppose that's just the nature of this particular oven.
Will have another go at it tomorrow night. I think the cupcake molds are too large for the counter-top oven and will probably do better in my full-sized oven. If worse comes to worse, I'll buy standard sized cupcake molds - at least I know they will cook much faster. I hope tomorrow's batch is successful; I'm getting really tired of the smell of cake.
Mm, very well may be the countertop oven, although I've heard good things about the Breville. I don't have much experience with toaster ovens in general. Is it possible to temp your countertop, as in oven thermometer? Sounds like it might be running on the hot side.
Anyway, sounds like you've got a good plan, smaller size tins, or the large ones in your full sized oven.
As far as reaching aroma of cake saturation, it happens. Some years ago I worked with a bakery owner for a bit during her busy holiday schedule; her constant complaint were the sweet smells engulfing her on a daily basis. All she wanted after awhile was savory.
Well, next on my list are mini basil-pesto muffins, and corn-chile-cheese cornbread muffins. The savory aroma will definitely offset sweet. In the meantime, I'm assembling appetizers that I can freeze for a couple of days so I'm not overwhelmed come party time (this Saturday).
What's interesting is that I have baked mini muffins in the Breville and had no problem with hot spots. At your suggestion, I ran a temp check with a (new!) oven thermometer and the temp is spot on. Oh well, live and learn.
Thanks for your help and suggestions!