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How to Make Cupcakes

What's great about cupcakes is that a few basic skills, tools and ingredients are all you need to make cupcakes for any occasion, whether they're for a party that's a month away or you're in the mood for a spur-of-the-moment batch.

How to Make Cupcakes
How to Make Cupcakes 

How to Bake Cupcakes 

How to Freeze Cupcakes

Cupcake Baker's Pantry 

With these basic items, you can make and decorate a batch of cupcakes in a snap. 

Equipment: 

  • Cupcake pans (mini and regular) 
  • Paper baking cups available in a variety of colors and prints. Find them in supermarkets, party, craft or specialty cake decorating stores. 
  • Resealable food-storage plastic bags for piping icings and glazes. 

Staples: 

  • Boxed cake mixes in a variety of flavors. 
  • Ready-to-spread frostings. <åç/li>
  • Decorating icing, assorted colors. 
  • Decorating gels, assorted colors. 
  • Food colors (liquid, gel or paste). Try paste food color for more vivid color frosting. 
  • Assorted colored sugars and edible glitters. 
  • Assorted candy sprinkles. 

Baking Pans 

A box of cake mix makes 24 to 30 cupcakes in regular-size cupcake pan. There are also pans that have mini, large and jumbo cups. 

Pan Size     Cup Size
Mini 1 3/4 x 1 inches
Regular 2 1/2 x 1 1/4 inches
Large 2 3/4 x 1 1/4 inches
Jumbo 3 1/2 x 1 3/4 inches

If you have only one pan and a recipe calls for more cupcakes than your pan will make, just cover and refrigerate the rest of the batter while baking the first batch. Cool the pan about 15 minutes, then bake the rest of the batter, adding 1 to 2 minutes to the bake time. 

An easy way to fill baking cups is to use an ice cream scoop. Use one that measures out 1/3 cup batter when filling regular-size cups. Use one that measures out 2 tablespoons batter when filling mini cups. 

Frosting Tips 

Carefully dip tops of cupcake into the frosting, give a slight twist and remove. Finish off with a swirl of a knife if needed. Dip frosted cupcakes into bowls of nuts, colored sugar, sprinkles, or other decors for easy decorating. 

How to Store Cupcakes 

  1. Cool cupcakes completely before covering to keep tops from becoming sticky (about 30 minutes).
  2. Cover cupcakes that will be frosted later loosely so the tops stay dry. If covered tightly, they become sticky and difficult to frost. 
  3. Store cupcakes with a creamy-type frosting loosely covered with foil, plastic wrap or waxed paper or under a cake safe or inverted bowl. 
  4. Refrigerate cupcakes with whipped cream toppings or cream fillings. 
  5. Frost cupcakes with fluffy frosting on the day they are to be served. 
  6. Freeze cupcakes two to three months, tightly wrapped. 
  7. To prevent frosting on frosted cupcakes from sticking, freeze cupcakes uncovered 1 hour, then insert a toothpick in the top of the cupcake, and tightly wrap. 
  8. Thaw cupcakes in the refrigerator or on the countertop. 
  9. When thawing on the countertop, loosen or remove wrapping to prevent condensation. 
  10. Decorating gel, hard candies and colored sugars do not freeze well because they tend to run during thawing.

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