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How to Make Cupcakes

Anyone can make cupcakes – even if you have never baked before. Here’s everything you need to know to get started making cupcakes from scratch for birthdays, parties, or any day!


What Supplies Do You Need to Make Cupcakes?

Cupcake batter in a cupcake tin

To make cupcakes, you’ll need a muffin tin and cupcake liners. Muffin tins typically hold 12 cupcake liners.

You can also use baking cups which stand up on their own. If you use baking cups, you’ll need a cookie sheet instead of a muffin tin.

It’s also important to have the following when baking cupcakes:

  • Mixing bowls (If you don’t have a set of mixing bowls, you can use any large bowl.)
  • Measuring cups and spoons or a food scale. Most American recipes are written using measuring cups and spoons, but if you are following a recipe written outside of the United States, you’ll need a scale.

It’s really nice to have an electric mixer, especially if you plan to make homemade frosting for your cupcakes. Stand mixers like those made by KitchenAid are the easiest to use, but you can buy an electric hand mixer for about thirty dollars if you are a beginner baker.

Finally, you will need an oven.

If you are just getting started with baking, see my post on baking tools for the short list of what I consider to be the essentials for a new baker.

How to Make Cupcakes

To make cupcakes, you can either use a cake mix or make cupcakes from scratch. I always recommend baking from scratch for the best results.

First, look through the recipe and gather the ingredients you need. Measure them all out in advance to make sure that you have everything you need. This is called mise en place.

Pear Cake Ingredients

Typically, recipes call for all ingredients to be at room temperature, so make sure to plan a little bit in advance to give your butter, eggs, and and dairy in the recipe time to warm up. (Tip: If you forget to warm the butter in advance, you can warm it in the microwave for about ten seconds until your finger can easily make a dent in it but it isn’t mushy.)

Follow the recipe instructions exactly for the best results. Once you get better at making cupcakes, you can experiment with making small changes.

Important Cupcake Baking Terms and What They Mean

  • Cream the butter and sugar – This means to mix the butter and sugar together until they become light and fluffy. If you are using an electric mixer, do this on high speed for about three minutes.

Butter and sugar mixed in stand mixer

  • Whisk together – This means to use the whisk attachment on your electric mixer or to simply use a whisk. If you don’t own a whisk, you can also use a fork to whisk. The goal of whisking wet ingredients like eggs is to incorporate air into them. For mixtures of wet and/or dry ingredients, whisking makes sure they are fully combined and evenly distributed.

Whisking eggs, sour cream, and vanilla

  • Sift together – To sift ingredients, you can either use a sifter or a sieve. The goal of sifting is to remove any clumps in your dry ingredients. If your ingredients are nice and smooth, you may be able to skip this step in a recipe.

Sieve with dry ingredients including cocoa powder being sifted

  • Mix until just combined – If the recipe says to mix until just combined, do exactly as it says. Overmixing the batter can cause the cupcakes to come out rubbery.
  • Fold in – When a recipe says to fold in ingredients, carefully dump the ingredients on top of your batter. Then, reach your spatula under the batter and fold it gently over the ingredients on top. Repeat until the new ingredients are fully integrated into the batter.

folding egg whites into tres leches cake batter

Abbreviations Sometimes Used in Recipes

You may see the following abbreviations used when looking at a cupcake recipe:

  • t or tsp = teaspoon
  • T or tbsp = tablespoon
  • C = cup
  • oz = ounce
  • lb = pound

How to Fill Cupcake Liners

Chocolate cupcake batter on a red disher

Using an ice cream scoop with a lever (otherwise known as a disher) to push to batter out is the easiest way to fill cupcake liners. It works great! Whatever you have on hand is great, but if you want to buy some special dishers for the task, I recommend:

Get more details in my post about how to fill cupcake liners.

How High To Fill Cupcake Liners

Strawberry cupcakes ready to be baked

This varies by cupcake recipe. I STRONGLY recommend baking a test cupcake if you are trying a new recipe.

Fill your test cupcake liners halfway and see how high the cupcake rises. Some recipes don’t rise at all and others will double in size.

How to Tell When Cupcakes Are Done

There are two main ways to test cupcakes for doneness. One is the toothpick test. Stick a toothpick into a cupcake. If it comes out dry, the cupcake is done. If it is still wet, return the cupcake tin to the oven for another five minutes and test again.

The second way to tell is simply to touch a cupcake and see if it springs back.

Once the the cupcakes are done, remove them from the cupcake tins as soon as you can touch them and let them cool on a cooling rack or on your counter.

What Are Popular Cupcake Flavors?

The most common cupcake flavors are vanilla cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, and red velvet cupcakes. But, the sky is the limit when in comes to cupcake flavors! Try carrot cake cupcakes, strawberry cupcakes, banana cupcakes, or angel food cupcakes for some fun varieties.

Frosting for Cupcakes

Cream Cheese Frosting in a piping bag near some cupcakes

The classic way to decorate cupcakes is with a frosting swirl.

The most common frosting flavors are vanilla frosting and chocolate frosting. In the United States, most people make American buttercream frosting. American buttercream is the easiest to make and uses just butter, powdered sugar, and flavoring.

If you like a fluffy, less buttery frosting and are willing to put in a little more effort, try a Swiss, French, or Italian buttercream frosting.

It is also totally acceptable to top cupcakes with ganache (a chocolate glaze) or whipped cream.

Cupcake Topping Ideas

Cherry cobbler cupcakes

You can make cute cupcakes without piping, though! You can always spread frosting on a cupcake and then use a cute topping to make it look nice. Try decorating with:

  • sprinkles
  • berries
  • nuts
  • chocolate chips
  • big pieces of candy
  • small cookies
  • melon balls

How To Store Cupcakes

For food safety reasons, cupcakes frosted with whipped cream, buttercream, cream cheese, or ganache frostings should be stored in the refrigerator and brought to room temperature before serving.

I always keep whipped cream and ganache in the fridge, but I often keep my buttercream- and cream cheese-frosted cupcakes in a sealed container on the counter – and I haven’t gotten sick yet. But, don’t say that I told you do that.

How Long Do Cupcakes Last For

Cupcakes are usually all eaten before they go bad! But, if you can’t eat all of them in one sitting, cupcakes last about 3 days on the counter, up to a week in the refrigerator, and several months in the freezer.

How to Convert a Cake Recipe to a Cupcake Recipe

You don’t need a cupcake recipe to bake cupcakes. In fact, most cake recipes can be easily converted to cupcake recipes.

Typically, cupcakes bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you are not sure, you should monitor your bake closely and/or try making a test cupcake:

  1. Make the cake batter as directed in the recipe.
  2. Fill one cupcake liner halfway with the batter.
  3. Bake at the temperature called for in the cake recipe, but check for doneness starting at 20 minutes.
  4. If the cupcake is not done, check on it at five-minute intervals until it is fully baked. Note how long baking took.
    See how high the cupcake rose. Some recipes don’t rise at all, while others will double in size.
  5. Use the cupcake’s height to determine whether you should fill the remaining cupcake liners more or less than halfway.
  6. Bake the remainder of the cupcakes for the time that you determined in steps 3 and 4. You may need to add a few minutes to account for a full cupcake tin.

Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

To get you started on your cupcake journey, try my very best cupcake recipe! This recipe makes a classic vanilla cupcake and has been made by beginner cupcake makers around the world. You’ve got this!

Cupcakes are one of the easiest desserts to you can make and personalize. I\'m sharing my tips and tricks on how making cupcakes can be fun and easy even for first time bakers!
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133 comments on “How to Make Cupcakes”

  1. Anonymoussays:

    Wow – you’re website is amazing! I just found it for the first time today and I love it. I love baking but usually make large cakes rather than individual ones but your website has really inspired me so I’m going to try some of your recipes. I live in England and just wanted to check whether you think I need to use English muffin or bun tins as I think US/UK terminology differs at lot in baking. Muffin tins here make bigger cakes. I’m think I probably need to use a bun tin but could you tell me approximate sizes of the cupcakes so I can check.

    Liz x

  2. Stefsays:

    Thanks! Glad you are going to try out cupcakes! The baking cups that I use have a 2 in. (5 cm) diameter. They are roughly 1.13in. (2.85 cm) high. Hope that helps. I’m sure you could use your larger sized tins – you just might need to slightly increase your baking time.

  3. Anonymoussays:

    Thanks Stef – I’ll let you know how I get on.

    Liz x

  4. Lawandasays:

    Have you ever experimented with freezing your cupcakes? If so, how long do they generally last in the freezer and was the flavor affected by the freezing process?

  5. Stefsays:

    Lawanda – I really haven’t dome much cupcake freezing. I froze my Better than Sex Chocolate cupcakes and they were perfect when I defrosted them, but generally they all get eaten in the week I make them. Sorry I can’t help more right now. Maybe I should do some experimenting.

  6. Anonymoussays:

    I’ve made a few of your cupcake receipes now and last weekend I tried one of chockylits (which I found via your website). Could you tell me what this means though?

    “2-1/4 cups”

    Does this mean two cups and one quarter cup?


  7. Stefsays:

    Liz – Yes! It means two cups and one quarter cup.

  8. Anonymoussays:

    Thanks Stef – I’m thinking of making your snickerdoodle cup cakes next.


  9. Anonymoussays:

    help! i need 300 cupcakes for a DIY wedding… wanted to bake ahead of time, freeze and then frost a day or so before. what do you think? and how will the taste if set on the counter the night before?

  10. Stefsays:

    Anon – It should work fine. Assuming you have some time before the wedding – what I would recommend that you do is to make one small test batch of each kind, freeze them, and defrost them just to make sure it all works right. Some cakes freeze better than others. Doing your little test run will also help ease your mind for the real thing.

  11. Hi I love reading ur blog, since I have new passion in trying to make cupcakes. If u don’t mind I put link to your blog too.
    Btw, do u have tips about filling and frosting the cupcake, please? Thanks!

  12. Stefsays:

    Mommy’s – Do you have a specific question about frosting the cupcakes? I’d be happy to help. As far as filling the cupcakes, do you mean putting a filling in the center of the cupcake or filling the cupcake liner? I use an ice cream scoop to fill the cupcake liners. It works really well. Thanks for link!

  13. Anonymoussays:

    hi! im really into cupcakes lately im just having problems with the out come.. it comes out saggy ive tried different recipes and comes out the same. what could be the prob? thanks-

  14. Stefsays:

    Anon – Have you checked your oven temp to make sure that it is working properly?

  15. Anonymoussays:

    I only have 1 cupcake pan, so should I refrigerate the remaining batter in between baking each batch of cupcakes? Thanks!!!

  16. Stefsays:

    Anon – I never do. It should only be sitting out for 25 minutes or so. It should be fine.

  17. Stefsays:

    Anon – Oh, I should I also point out that our house is air conditioned. If your house is really hot, you might want to.

  18. I just found your blog and I LOVE it!! I am new to the cupcake blog world but hope to be around for a while!! You have some great cupcakes and love your projects 1.0and 2.o!!

  19. Hi dear Stef,
    Sorry for not being specific enough on my question. I meant what is the best tip for the fillings inside the cupcake. Is it better be jelly, jam, buttercream or pudding, etc?
    Plus, sorry I have more questions: I made chocolate cupcake from oil based cake. I want to make other variations of flavor with this recipe. What should I do?
    And..I recently tried it to vanilla, but they had cracked mounted top. Was the oven too hot or else?
    Which do u think better for cupcake, the sponge cake type or pondcake type?
    Sorrrrryyyy for too many questions! U’re so kind. Thank u!

  20. Stefsays:

    Mommy’s – I have used jelly, jam, buttercream, pudding, and more for cupcake fillings. It is really just a personal preference.

    As for your second question, it’s really hard to say. There are so many options for flavors you can add to a chocolate cake. I really like coffee with chocolate and also chili. You can easily add different extracts and spices to your recipe.

    I’m not sure why your cupcakes cracked on top. Some recipes just do that. I never worry about it because you cover the top with frosting anyway. No one will ever know!

    Both sponge cake type and poundcake recipes work fine as cupcakes. However, I find that people prefer something in the middle of those two – a not to dense cake with a nice crumb.

  21. Anonymoussays:

    Thanks for all your information…
    How can I make a good flavor frosty?

  22. Stefsays:

    Anon – Sorry, but I don’t understand your question.

  23. Anonymoussays:

    Hi! I love your blog :) Been trying to make cupcakes too and i followed some of your baking tips but then it just doesn’t seem to work with me. I used an ice cream scooper to fill my liners, I tried different sizes but all came out either too much or too little. Now I’m using a 2 tbsp. measuring spoon and it works fine but its just too time consuming since I have to use a small rubber spatula to scoop it out. What do size of scooper do you use? By the way I use a 3 oz. liners, is this right? Lastly, i tried making a white chocolate cupcake and the ingredients call for coconut milk/cream. It tastes great but I noticed that when it comes out the center sinks, does this have to do with the coconut cream? Or I’m doing something wrong? Help!! so sorry for my endless question! :) Hope to hear from you!

  24. Stefsays:

    I use these cupcake liners:

    As for the size scoop, my scoop holds 4 T. Depending on the recipe, the cupcake liners need to be filled to varying amounts, so I don’t always use a whole scoop.

    Hard to say what happened with the sinking. It could be the coconut milk, but may also have to do with the amount of baking powder in the recipe. If my cupcakes sink, I usually don’t worry much about it and just fill the hole with more frosting!

  25. Anonymoussays:

    Good cupcake baking tips – thanks. One question – when I bake cupcakes, while they are still baking in the oven they rise beautifully, then once done and I take them out to cool, the nice dome-shaped top flattens.

  26. Stefsays:

    Re the sinking – I’m wondering if that happens with every recipe you make or just with a particular recipe. I wonder if perhaps you are taking them out of the oven too soon? Always make sure that the cupcakes bounce back when touched before taking them out of the oven.

  27. Anonymoussays:

    Do you know why cupcakes sometimes spread over the top of the cup instead of crown nicely? Is it because they are overfilled?

    Thanks, Maureen

  28. Stefsays:

    It could be because they are overfilled. Also, some recipes are designed to dome and others are not. With some cupcakes, you can fill the batter to the top of the liner and everything works just fine. With others, you need to only fill halfway or it will bubble over and look nasty.

  29. Lanisays:

    How can I make my cupcake moist and cakey? I read that adding applesauce instead of oil will make it moist? In your experience, is it right? Kindly help me and enlighten me about this. Thanks.

  30. Stefsays:

    Lani – That is not something I’ve ever heard. Although, it may be true. I’m not an expert on the science behind baking. I just experiment with recipes until I find ones that have the consistency and flavor that I like. As far as moist cakey cupcakes go, I think this recipe is about perfect. You can use just about any liquid instead of the orange juice concentrate to get whatever flavor you’d like.

  31. Hi! I’ve just started baking and have been experimenting with some cupcake recipes. the first couple of batches turned out ok, but then they started rising unevenly- in pointy domes at an angle, almost horizontally. Also, they are super crisp on the outside and undercooked on the inside.
    I don’t think it is a prob with oven, temp etc cause the 1st ones are ok.
    Could I be overmixing, or is it because I took out the sugar in the batter? or is there not enough fat.
    CAn anyone PLEASE HELP and explain to me what is going on!

  32. I’ve just started baking and I’ve been experimenting with some cupcake recipes. Except I’m having a pretty major problem-they keep rising at a aerious angle, like a dome going to the side. They are also super crispy on the outside and undercooked on the inside.
    The first couple of batches turned out ok, so I doubt it is the oven or temperature etc. Could a flaw this serious be because of overmixing? I also stopeed putting sugar in the batter, could this be the cause? I’ve continued to use the same amount of baking powder for the successful and non successful batches, so I don’t think this is the problem.


  33. Stefsays:

    Scarlett – I would highly recommend that if you just started baking you begin by working with tried and true recipes. Removing the sugar from a recipe will very likely affect its consistency. Perhaps you could find some recipes that already don’t have sugar in them to try?

  34. John Gsays:

    I just made these and shared them with colleagues at work. They turned out great!

    One problem was that the crust was too thick at 1/4″. I ended up with only enough crust for 20 cupcakes as opposed to 30. Also, there was a bit too much buttery crust flavor in each bite. Next time I make these, I will roll the dough a bit thinner.

    Also, I cut the streusel topping recipe by half as you suggested, and I ended up short (enough for about 16 cupcakes). I will make the full streusel topping recipe next time.

    Otherwise, great recipe! I love sweet potato pie, and I know Obama would be so proud!

  35. John Gsays:

    Oops, I meant to post that comment that under the Inauguration Cupcakes article. Now it’s there as well : )

  36. Emilysays:

    Hi Stef. I love your website! I am making cupcakes for a friend’s wedding and when I made a test batch they tasted great, but some of the liners started to pull away from the cakes when I started frosting or soon thereafter. How can I prevent this from happening with the real batch? Did I take them out of the cupcake pan too soon? Or did I not wait long enough for them to cool? Or maybe those liners (they were just the cheap kind) were at fault? Any tips would be helpful!!


  37. B.J.says:

    Hi Stef. I haven’t been that much around your site yet, but I for one am missing some basic information in your Cupcake Baking Tips (and I think you should mention it there, if “answering” this comment).

    What is the difference between a muffin and a cup cake?

    I am sure there are many other non-Anglo people around the world who don’t know the difference. I have looked it up elsewhere, so now I know, but it would have been good information in your post, too, along with the other interesting information. Now I know that here in Denmark we basically only have muffins (apparently the cup cakes have not yet been “imported”). :-)

  38. Stefsays:

    Emily – Some recipes are more likely to pull away from the liners than other, but I would try using better quality liners before blaming the recipe. I really like the ones from Fancy Flours.

    B.J. – Here is a link to my post on cupcakes vs muffins.

  39. Lodasays:

    I’ve just found your avocado and lime recipe which i’m going to give a go this weekend. Your site is FAB btw.


  40. Anonymoussays:

    i just came across your website today and found it facinating. i am only 15 years old and have the constant urge to bake cupcakes, there delicious! the only problem is that there isn’t enough people to eat them!

  41. Rosaliesays:

    I didn’t read every post about freezing, but most cupcakes can be frozen without their frosting. Let them thaw completely before frosting and they’re perfect. I haven’t found one yet that didn’t freeze and defrost well but, as Liz said, they don’t stay around all that long.

  42. Stefsays:

    15 year old – I’m sure you could find people to eat them! Do your friends not like cupcakes?

    Rosalie – Thanks for sharing your experience. Glad to hear that you’ve had such success with freezing.

  43. Anonymoussays:

    Hello~ :3 Sorry for bothering you, but i was wondering if you knew any ingredients that you think are essential to making cupcakes. I found this website really helpful and I think you could become a professional cupcake maker easily~
    Thank you~

  44. Anonymoussays:

    Can you double up cupcake liners so that patterned papers don’t disappear when baking? They get translucent but I’m afraid if I put a plain paper instead the patterned one won’t ‘stick’.

  45. Stefsays:

    Doubling liners hasn’t worked for me. The outer liner does not stick. However, not all cupcake liners become translucent. I’ve had a lot of success with the liners at .

  46. Love the tips! I’ll keep them in mind for my cupcake blog!

  47. Anonymoussays:

    Do you have any tips for preventing the liner from pulling away from the cupcake ?

  48. Stefsays:

    Anon – There are many reasons that the cupcakes could separate from the liners. This is the best post that I have seen on the subject: Hope that helps.

  49. CurlyCupcakesays:

    I love your blog! I’ve linked to it on my pretty new cupcake blog (, I hope that’s okay. I do have a question or you though…have you ever shipped cupcakes? I’m constantly trying to find a way to ship cupcakes so they stay in tact but I’ve had no luck. I was hoping to find someone out there that’s been able to do it!

  50. Stefsays:

    Curly – Of course I don’t mind about the link. As for the shipping – the only way I know of is to ship the frosting separately in a ziplock bag and let people pipe their own.

  51. Thanks Stef, that’s what I was thinking too, and thanks for the visit to my blog!

  52. Anonymoussays:

    OH MAN! First off, looove your website. You’ve made me even more obsessed with cupcakes than before. I decided to made cupcakes for my daughter’s 2nd birthday and while doing test batches.. all of my cupcakes are falling and.. well, exploding. I know it’s partly to do with me overfilling them but I think the other problem is high altitude. I live in Denver and was wondering if you have any tips to make recipes high altitude friendly? Thanks in advance!!!

  53. Stefsays:

    Anon – I haven’t had to bake at high altitudes, but I found a great article on Epicurious about it. I hope it helps.

  54. Anonymoussays:

    When traveling to deliver your cupcakes what is the best to keep the frosting from melting in the car? Ie. cream cheese and buttercream frosting.

  55. Anonymoussays:

    I am looking for a light carrot cupcake recipe? I don’t want them to be heavy like bricks. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  56. Stefsays:

    If you are traveling, make sure to pre-cool your car (like you would preheat your oven). Get it completely cooled down before bringing the cupcakes in the car.

    Here’s my fav carrot cupcakes.

  57. Anonymoussays:

    This is a great site. Love all the tips. I have an issue with the frosting on my cupcakes.

    After I take the cakes out of the oven and let them completely cool i put the icing on. The icing is sliding off. Is this because the icing is to hot ? Do i need to refrigerate it before putting it on ?

  58. Stefsays:

    Anon – No, you do not need to refrigerate first. Is it really hot in your house? That could be a factor. Also, what kind of frosting are you using?

  59. Laurasays:

    Dear Stef – you’re blog is so great! I have had a passion for baking for a long time and have been wanting to start my own blog for a while now. Seeing how succesful and fun yours is inspired me to get mine going. I put you on my blogroll :)
    Thanks for the inspiration and keep it up! I love reading your recipes.

  60. Anonymoussays:

    I just made a batch of peanut butter cupcakes and they came out a bit dry. Any ideas as to why and how I could fix that? They taste a little like a biscuit, not a cupcake.

  61. Stefsays:

    Anon – The easiest thing to do would be to simply use another recipe. But, you could also try poking holes in the cupcakes after baking (before frosting) and drizzling some simple syrup into them. That will help to make them moister.

  62. Hi Stef. Lengthy post so bear with me. I’ve had your site bookmarked for ages and I lurk from time to time just enjoying your posts (& indulging my cupcake envy). I’m quite the clutz in the kitchen but started my own cc experiments mainly for my 2 little boys. Although my cuppies are good on the taste front,I haven’t had much success turning out beautifully domed or flat-topped cupcakes. My cc tops are either sunken or cracked or crispy or dense or overflown & funky or any combo of quirkiness. The closest I came to a ‘normal’ cupcake was 2 days ago using ‘The Hummingbird Bakery’ recipe for vanilla/marshmallow cupcakes, which was a totally new (& easy) way of mixing batter for me. I got the recipe from You see, I have to make eggless cupcakes as my 2 1/2 loves ‘cuh-cakes’ but is allergic to eggs among other things. I’ve searched the web endlessly for tips & I’ve figured I probably, aside from eliminating eggs, have been 1. using too much leavening agents (up to 2 tsp per 1 1/2 cups of flour), 2. undermixing (for fear of overmixing), 3. fan-oven temp too low @ 160C-170C (bought an oven therm, finally), 4. opening the oven @ the 20-min mark (which may be too soon for eggless cc), 5. using both US & metric measurements (i’ve got cups, spoons, beakers & a scale, no prob there) or 5. tweaking recipes to make them allergen-free (entirely my fault & I can’t stop myself). I have, gladly & willingly, utilised your tip on filling the sunken cc with icing but would appreciate any other advice, esp. regarding eggless baking. Until then, I shall continue to draw inspiration from your cupcakes. -Michelle

  63. Stefsays:

    Michelle – I would recommend using the book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World as a starting point. All of their recipes are egg-free. If you want to use butter, you can sub the vegetable oil in their recipes for butter, but you’ll have a much easier time making substitutions if you start with a recipe that already doesn’t have eggs. Good luck!

  64. Thank you for replying so quickly. Yes, I have considered buying VCTOTW but haven’t had any luck finding it here in Harrow, UK. Looks like I’ll have to purchase the book from Amazon. Thanks again for the input and taking the time to respond.

  65. Help! This has happened to me several times, whenever I try to bake cupcakes, they first start rising, then it’s like the surface hardens too fast because they “blow” a hole on the edge and spill on the side. This is a picture of how they end up looking:
    What am I doing wrong?

  66. Anonymoussays:

    Help Me Too!

    I have a fantastic chocolate cupcake recipe I use to make minis.

    The only major issues is the famous paper liner pulling away from the cupcake. I have tested and read extensively to see how I can correct the problem.

    I bake at 325 degrees. I originally started at 12 mins, which of course was too much time. I tried again, starting at 8 mins(not baked) then went up in increments of 30 seconds to find 9min 30secs was the right amount however i still get the pulling away from the liner. When I add nuts to the batter the pulling away is only slightly an issue. It’s gotta be a moisture thing. Maybe too much moisture pushes the paper away?

    I have even tried a variety of liners…all show the same issue.

    Is there something else I can do?
    What happens with reducing the heat and increasing the time?
    How can I adjust the recipe enough to get it to work better but not get rid of the great flavor.

    Hope you can help!

  67. Stefsays:

    Eli – Does this happen with every recipe that you use? I’m wondering if it had to do with uneven baking? Does it happen regardless of what shelf of the oven that you put the cupcakes on? Have you tried rotating your pan half way through baking? Or maybe your batter isn’t mixed well enough?

    Anon – I’m impressed with all of your experimentation! As you said, it is probably just a matter of those cupcakes being too moist. You could try baking in mini nut cups instead of cupcake liners. That would look cute and would allow you to use the recipe that you love.

  68. Anonymoussays:

    Any other ways to reduce the moisture? Would rather stick with traditional liners as I always have issues getting a cupcake out of those nut cups. Good suggestion though.

  69. Skippysays:

    Just a note to everyone having problems with cupcakes, collapsing, cratering, etc. A lot of times that means your oven is too cold or too hot. Ovens are often calibrated wrong. Just get an oven thermometer (found in grocery stores or houseware stores, usually about $8-9) and use that to judge what temperature your oven is at any given time.

    Now my question! I don’t have lots of cupcake tins. If I can only bake a few cupcakes at a time, should I put the waiting batter in the fridge? Or leave it at room temp? Or is it just a bad idea all together and neither will help? Thanks!

  70. I finally found out what the problem was: I used a minioven instead of a regular one, so I guess the temperature was too hot and air didn’t circulate properly. Last week I tried a regular oven and it turned out great (and this time I didn’t even preheat properly) I think that temperature is the key

  71. Stefsays:

    Skippy – Leave it at room temp. If you must refrigerate, bring the batter back to room temp before baking.

    Eli – Yay! I’m glad you figured out!

  72. Anonymoussays:

    Do you have experience with storing whipped cream, buttercream, cream cheese, and ganache frostings in the long term (like freezing them) and the short term (like refrigeration)? If so, could you tell me what procedure you took with each type of frosting and how long they will keep? Thanks for your tips! I appreciate it.

  73. Anonymoussays:

    Read your whole entire blog in one day. Great ideas. Love the tips and what you’ve done. Inspired me to get creative!

    Thank you!!!!!!

  74. Stefsays:

    Anon – Are you asking about frosting on cupcakes or just frosting? I don’t have much experience with storing frosting alone. If you are asking about frosting on cupcakes, I’ve kept all of these kinds of frosting in the refrigerator and I would say that they are still good after about 5 days. However, be sure to bring the cupcake to room temperature before serving. I have frozen ganche, buttercream, and cream cheese frostings with great success for a few weeks (it might last longer, but I haven’t tried). I haven’t experimented with freezing whipped cream.

    Anon – WOW! I’m honored! That must have taken a *really* long time.

  75. Hollyesays:

    I had to laugh about the comment you made about where to store the cupcakes. Reminded me about the saying…”It’s always fun until someone loses an eye”..ok maybe just me thinks it’s funny. I don’t keep my cream cheese frosted cupcakes in the fridge either. I am still alive after 53 years!!!

  76. Hi, Stef. My name’s Alexandra and I’m a hobby baker myself. Plus, I am a hobby photographer and I do professional graphic design. So I have two questions:

    First, I am from Germany. Here we measure ingredients in grams and I’m not used to use cups and so on. Now I wanted to make a selfmade measuring cup since I really didn’t find any to buy here. How much grams do you consider a cup?
    The rest isn’t really important since I calculate everything else from that. 1 cup = 8 fl oz = 16 tablespoons = 48 teaspoons and so on. I’d be really really grateful for an answer!

    Second question: Which camera do you use? The pictures are amazing, you just want to crawl into the computer and just eat them.

    I love your blog, keep doing what you’re doing.


  77. Tracey Leigh's Cupcakerysays:

    Love the new graphics on the blog -I must admit, I was a little afraid of the cupcake…the new graphics suit the tone of your blog much better!!

  78. Stefsays:

    Alexandra – The number of grams in a cup depends on what you are measuring.

    Here is the photo gear that Jonathan uses:

  79. Redwinechicksays:

    Hi Stef – I am so glad I found your website! I am not a professional baker and I recently agreed to make 250 cupcakes for my cousin’s wedding. Now I’m completely hung up on the logistics of getting them to the reception. My original plan was to bake the cupcakes and freeze them, then pipe the frosting between the wedding and reception. I still think this could work, but everyone else thinks I’m crazy to do this and would not enjoy the wedding. If I chose to decorate them at home instead, how would you recommend I transport 250 cupcakes without ruining them?

  80. Stefsays:

    Redwine – I’ve tried a few different ways, but I think this time around I’m going to use cupcake boxes from . Don’t forget to air condition your car before bringing the cupcakes into it.

  81. Redwinechicksays:

    Thanks for your response and helpful tip about air conditioning the car before hand! (I’m sure I’ll be referring to your site often.)

  82. Estersays:

    Hello! This site is amazing. My question is Which is the best frosting or icing for piping?

  83. Hello, I’m baking the cupcakes for my son’s 1st birthday party and I’m making a devil’s food chocolate cupcake from scratch and I’m going to use your Banana Whipped Cream Recipe… for the frosting…andI also wanted to fill the cupcakes with bavarian cream…so my question is …Is this to much for a cupcake? And can I decorate these the night before and they be safe to eat..or will they melt? Thanks =)

  84. Can your banana whipped cream be pipped for decorating cupcakes?

  85. Stefsays:

    Ester – Buttercream is the best for piping. Cream cheese frosting also works well.

    Mariaelena.valdez – Sorry I wrote you back to late on this one. :( Banana whipped cream is not the best choice for fancy piping, but you can make a basic swirl.

  86. Sherrysays:

    Hi Stef,

    I think it’s great that you’re making yourself available and accessible to newbies and pros alike. It’s not often that you get to ask questions directly to someone with a lot of experience baking within a specific genre.

    As for my questions, I really have two in one. I have been toying with the idea of putting a filling in the cupcakes but am not sure the procedure or the best types of things to fill it with (cream vs syrup vs pudding). Also, I have read somewhere about using a moistening syrup when making layered cakes for weddings and events, but is there an easy way to do a moistening syrup with cupcakes?

    I ask because I have been doing cakes for a while but just forayed into cupcakes in the last month or so. Most of the time, the cupcakes turn out really well, and I love being artsy with the decorating. However, last night, I finally tried making the Waldorf-Astoria Red Velvet cake recipe (except with cupcakes), and they came out a shade too dry for my taste. Everyone else loved them, but I guess I am just too self-critical and am looking for a way to improve the texture for the future.

    Thanks so much, Stef. I really appreciate you, your time, and your website.

  87. WOW!! I’m just finding your site and I love it. I have a question for you. What do you think makes a great cupcake, moist and dense or light and fluffy? I want a really moist melt in your mouth cupcake but still fluffy. I’ve used some sour cream which really makes for a moist cupcake. However, the cupcake turns out a little dense. So, my ultimate goal is to have a moist “from scratch” cupcake but fluffier. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  88. Stefsays:

    kbody – I think that great cupcakes come in a all textures. My personal favorite cupcakes are pretty dense. That’s just how I like them. One thing you can try to make your cupcakes a bit fluffier is separating the eggs, whipping the egg whites and folding them in at the end. Good luck in your quest!

  89. Stefsays:

    Sherry – I’m so sorry that it took me a while to get back to you after you left such a nice comment.

    As far as filling – anything goes. I’ve used fruit, jams, whipped cream, frosting, mousse, chocolate, etc. There are lots of ways to fill a cupcake, but probably the easiest is to use a cupcake corer.

    You can use a moistening syrup with cupcakes. Just poke holes in the cooled cupcake and drizzle the syrup on top of it. Works like a charm.

  90. Leahsays:

    Hello there! I had a question regarding cheesecake cupcakes. I have a recipe for a large cheesecake, but would like to make them into mini cheesecakes for a dinner party (they are easier to handle… and then I can test one beforehand, too!) I was wondering if you had any tips for making this transition. Thanks so much (P.s.- my friend and I are obsessed with your blog! Thanks for all the great ideas and tempting recipes!)

  91. Stefsays:

    Leah – Thanks! It’s really easy to convert big cheesecakes to mini ones. You can use the same recipe. All you need to do is reduce the baking time – typically it takes about 20-25 minutes.

  92. Shelleysays:

    Hi Stef! Wow! I am addicted to this website!! I saw your feature in the BHG Cupcake magazine and was fascinated by the Beer-Cheese cupcakes! I am in Grad school right now and have been bringing weekly cupcakes to my peers because I’m doing a Share Our Strength-Great American Bake Sale in a couple of weeks and need feedback on what kinds to make! I just HAD to surprise them with such a unique flavor! They were an absolute hit!! Next up, I’m making your Oreo cupcakes and can’t wait for more rave reviews! Thank you for such a funny, inspirational, delicious, and informative website!


  93. Amandasays:

    I sometimes have trouble with my cupcakes getting dry after a day or so… I would like themto last a little longer. I have tried baking them less time, different recipes, not over mixing the flour, etc… it’s hit or miss!! Any suggestions?

  94. Stefsays:

    Shelley – Thanks so much!! What a sweet comment!

    Amanda – How are you storing them? I keep mine in a closed Tupperware-type container and they seem to hold up pretty well. The frosting holds in the moisture.

  95. Anonymoussays:

    Hi fab website, I’m a keen cupcake baker and wondered if you could help? I struggle with the amount of time to whip the frosting (with a free-stading electric whisk), the recipe I use says the longer you whip it the lighter it becomes, but I find it starts to become like mousse (and has lots of air pockets) and so isn’t smooth when it’s piped?

    Also after I’ve frosted my cupcakes and stored them in a tupperware-like box, the frosting starts to go shiny/sticky? Is this due to too much moisture in the tub or air? Thanks in advance! :o)

  96. Stefsays:

    Anon – What type of frosting are you referring too? Different frosting styles would have different mixing times.

  97. Serensays:

    Hi, Love this website! Really useful hints and tips! Very inspiring!! I have a question I’m experimenting with some vanilla cupcake recipes! I’m having trouble with them as when I take them out of the oven they sink and come away from the cupcake liners. Any ideas what I might be doing wrong?

  98. Stefsays:

    Seren – Check out my baking FAQs. I have sections on those exact questions.

  99. Aurorasays:

    Hello, Does the Cupcake pan have anything to do with the way cupcakes dome? Or is the weather more of a culprit??? Little history… Last Friday We had a very hot and humid day in Los Angeles, and my Cupcakes Separated from liners & collapsed in the middle in my new fancy uncoated Aluminum Cupcake pan. However, I got better results with my second batch that same night from the cheapy disposable Aluminum pans. Go Figure??!!!

  100. Marcisays:

    I am planning on making a large number of cupcakes for Christmas, have you ever frozen and then defrosted pumpkin and snickerdoodle cupcakes? I am just wondering if they end up dry after defrosting?

  101. Anonymoussays:

    Hi Stef, I made cupcakes this morning and they came out badly. It was my first attempt at making cupcakes. But I’ve made cakes before a few times.
    1) The outer layer of the cupcakes was crisp, the cupcakes attained a doomed shape but the inner layer was raw and undercooked.
    2) The outer layer started cracking after 12 minutes. My total baking time was 14 minutes at 190 degrees celcius.
    3)The cupcakes became very hard after cooling.

    Please help me identify what I need to rectify/change to get good cupcakes.

  102. Anonymoussays:

    How long are you supposed to leave them in the oven? Im going to make Rainbow cupcakes so do you know?

  103. Stefsays:

    Aurora – Yes, the pan can make a difference. But, there certainly could have been other factors at play.

    Marci – Yes, they should be just fine!

    Anonymous – It sounds like your oven was too hot.

    Anonymous – It’s typically 15-20 minutes.

  104. Anonymoussays:

    I am (unfortunately) lactose intolerant and so I use soy, almond, or coconut in lieu of cow’s milk. How will these milks affect my cupcakes, and is there a “better” choice of the three?
    Thank you!

  105. Pattisays:

    I baked cupckes last evening, Wednesday, and want to ice them on Friday. Is it ok to just keep them covered and leave out, not refrigerate them?

  106. Stefsays:

    Anon – I often use soy milk in baking. Just use it in any recipe that calls for milk and you’ll be fine.

    Patti – Yes. I keep mine at room temp in a covered container.

  107. Pattisays:

    Thank you so much for your prompt response. I will be icing them tomorrow, using them Saturday.

  108. Anonymoussays:

    The last time I made cupcakes, I had a really hard time getting the paper cup to pull away from the cake. I’m going to be making cupcakes for my sister-in-law’s baby shower and I want to make sure I don’t have that problem. What can I do to make sure it doesn’t happen again?

    Thank you,

  109. Judisays:

    Love your website…refer to it often. Been working my way through a cupcake cookbook and tried a Triple Citrus recipe. The flavors from the citrus peel made them so aromatic..yum…but they were tough!
    I made them again using cake flour…better but still not tender. How do I correct this? PS – no baking powder or soda in the recipe…??? Thanks, Judi
    My favorite recipe of yours is the Pistachio with Rosemary and Cherry Glaze.

  110. Anonymoussays:

    Hi Stef

    I had a question I was hoping you wouldn’t mind answering.

    I made a batch of cupcakes yesterday using valrhona cocoa. They were *amazing* yesterday but today they tasted dry. I kept them in a tupperware cake holder on the kitchen counter overnight so I don’t know what I did wrong?!

    Many thanks


  111. Very helpful! Thank you! You came up on my Google “how long to bake cupcake” search. I am using the Bulk Barn cake mix left from my son’s BDay cake. Its so delicious. Gluten-free all that jazz. Time for some Easter cupcakes and use up this left over cake mix!
    Happy Easter!

  112. Anonymoussays:

    I am making 250 cupcakes for a wedding this weekend. Before when I’ve used the classic swirl for icing cupcakes, the edge of the cupcakes that weren’t covered in icing dried out and got very hard. How do you keep cupcakes from drying out while decorating so many and then store them until the reception?

  113. Deepalisays:

    Hey!i just love ur site.its informative & i gues i just got lucky i hooked on the topic i just wanted:). do u have any idea how to deliver whipped cream frosted cupcakes?

  114. I also saw your mention in the cupcake magazine and it was awesome! I wish I had your amount of cupcake skills in the form of decorating skills. We are doing family room decorating and I’m having a really hard time deciding what to do. Things come so naturally to you, and you have such talent!

  115. Anonymoussays:

    Hello, I have a question… If I make cupcakes on Thursday and keep them airtight in a container will they keep for the Saturday?
    And how well does amaretto cupcakes last for???

  116. Anonymoussays:

    Huge dilemma,
    Whenever I try and make cupcakes with really cute baking cup designs, after I bake them, the design is either very hard to see or it smears and soaks completely with the cake so that the color or design of the baking cup cannot even be seen. Any suggestions on how to prevent this from happening???? Thanks

  117. I would like to know is it better to leave the liner on the cupcake after baking or should you keep it on the cupcake to maintain cupcake moisture?

  118. Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article!
    It is the little changes that produce the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!

  119. Nicolesays:

    Can you recommend a cupcake pan? From reading I know the lighter colors are better. I do a ton of baking and I really want them to hold up over time. Do you have a brand that you consistently use?

  120. Debbiesays:

    How do i keep the outer part (layer) of my cupcake moist without frosting

    • Stefsays:

      I’m not sure I follow your question. If you are looking to make unfrosted cupcakes, just keep them well sealed in an air-tight container and they should stay moist.

  121. Rowenasays:

    Hv been baking cupcakes lately but failed as it’s tough (not fluffy). When baking, some raise above the cupcake liners brim, some raise slightly. But when it’s out from the oven, it shrink. Baked at 170 degree C. Any advise.

  122. thaosays:

    Hi Stef. Thank you for the post. so informative. I normally do great on most of the cupcakes but the chocolate or coffee flavor cupcakes aways get me. I fill up about 2/3 of cupcake liner using icecream scooper as shown in your website ( or any other recipes) but they are always endup baked spreading out and run off the tins, instead of raise up nicely. Show i turn up the temperature as first for the cake to raise then lower it down to 350F?

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