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An Experiment in Crockpot Cupcakes

When I posted about how to make cupcakes in a steamer, Michelle from Michelle and Corey’s Recipe Book commented and asked if cupcakes could be made in a crockpot. I decided this was worth a crockpot cupcake experiment!

Crockpot Inspiration

For inspiration, I checked out A Year of Crockpotting. This blog is run by yet another Stephanie (as you can see, she’s a ph-ie Steph). Steph decided to make a new crockpot dish every day for a whole year. I am in awe of that determination. I bake cupcakes and blog roughly once a week. I can’t imagine cupcake baking and blogging every single day. I’d be HUGE.

Steph had a recipe for crockpot banana bread. I figured if you can bake crockpot banana bread, you can bake cupcakes in a crockpot, too.

How To Make Cupcakes in a Crockpot

  1. Prepare your favorite cupcake recipe. (I made mimosa cupcakes. The post about the non-crockpot version is coming soon.)
  2. Fill 6 cupcake wrappers – if you have a large crockpot – 3/4 full with cupcake batter. (The steamer cupcake method only made four cupcakes at a time. Score 1 point for crockpot.)
  3. Put cupcakes in the crockpot and prop the lid open slightly with a chopstick. (Michelle and Steph both had that suggestion.)
  4. Cook on high for 4 hours. (I used the same setting Steph used on the banana bread.)

The Results of Baking Cupcakes in a Crockpot

I left the cupcakes alone in the crockpot while I went out to dinner. I returned 3 hours later and:

  • The edges of the cupcakes were burnt.
  • When I removed the cupcakes, I noticed the bottom of the cupcakes were also a bit burnt.
  • The cupcakes had also become a bit blob-like from not being in cupcake tins.
  • The cupcakes were generally less soft and fluffy than the ones baked in the oven.

Ideas To Bake Better Crockpot Cupcakes

The best thing (well really the only good thing other than not having to use an oven) about baking in the crockpot is being able to leave the house and come home to an amazing smell. This alone might inspire me to try this again. Next time I might try:

  • Using the low setting instead of the high setting. Maybe it wouldn’t burn?
  • Baking in party nut cups instead of cupcake wrappers. Clara of I Heart Cuppycakes suggested that I try this with the steamer cupcakes. It would help the cupcakes keep their shape. The downside is that I like sucking on cupcake wrappers and party nut cups are a bit too stiff for optimal sucking. I wonder if I’ll get any funky Google search hits from using stiff and sucking in a sentence?
  • Baking in silicone baking cups for the same reason as above. Silicone baking cups are sold on Amazon in a set of 6 and as noted above, large crockpots fit 6 cupcakes. Coincidence?

Do you have any other ideas?

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17 comments on “An Experiment in Crockpot Cupcakes”

  1. Kacisays:

    When baking in the crock-pot place a small wire rack in the bottom, to keep the items from touching the sides or bottom. Another option would be to bake the cupcakes in ramekins and create a water-bath, by filling the crock-pot with water to half way up the sides of the ramekins.

  2. Manggysays:

    Interesting experiment! Although my steamer has much more space than my crockpot :)
    I did the Google search. The first two search results are fine, albeit nothing to do with cooking, the rest are as expected ;)

  3. Hi Stef, I was going to try mini cupcakes or muffins in the next few weeks—so I’m really glad to see this write-up.

    And, I’m so sorry! I *hate* it when stuff doesn’t work out.

    Were those baking cups? Paper? I think Kaci is right that you don’t want the food to touch the sides of the stoneware, and I have seen in some cookbooks that it’s recommended to crumple some foil in the bottom to raise food up or to insert a tiny wire rack.

    I have no experience with those silicon baking cups.

    One other thing to point out, is that I bake gluten-free. Gltuen free baking has different liquid ratios, and the batter is usually much drier. That banana bread, for instance was very dry.

    and dude! way to go on being adventurous!

  4. What about using the Reynolds foil cups with paper liners? Or a thin silicone lined with a paper liner? The Wilton liners are thinner than some of the other brands of silicone.
    I know this as I have a large colletion of silicone that I use for keeping thins seperate in packed lunches.
    Also, if you did choose to try a thin (maybe 1/4 cup) water bath, either of the above would keep paper liners from getting soggy.
    BTW, I love your site. I’ve been a big fan of cupcakes over cake forever. I think cupcakes are far more personal.

  5. Kylasays:

    This is a neat idea.
    If you’re going to try again maybe bake the cupcakes on high for a little bit to start, then turn them down to low for most of the time? A lot of crock-pot recipes I’ve used have that method. Also, I have a silicon baking tray (holds 6 cupcakes) and it works pretty well for baking. That plus a water bath might do the trick.
    Sorry that the first ones burned. I hope you can make it work though, I know I’d love coming home to the smell of cupcakes through the house. =)

  6. Stefsays:

    Wow! What great ideas! You guys are so awesome! I’m definitely going to have to try this again. I actually don’t own a wire rack. I know everyone says baked goods should cool on a rack. I’ve never done it.

    This may be a good time to invest in a small rack. Also, Kyla, that 6 cup baking tray sounds perfect! I may need to buy one of those too. :)

    Does anyone have more thoughts on the cook time and temp?

    Manggy – It cracks me up that you actaully did the google search! That’s hilarious.

  7. It would be cool if you could rig up a multi-tiered rack system and maybe bake a whole dozen cupcakes in the crockpot. Just daydreaming here…

  8. CBsays:

    LMAO. I am glad I inspired a “stiff” and “sucking” alternative. Priceless. Great ideas already from all the above. Let me know if you want me to send you 6 PNCs so you don’t have to buy 250 for your experiment! :) Here’s to round 2…

  9. Stefsays:

    Kimberly Y – Hah! That would be the best! I’m now going to be spending all day thinking about whether I could do that.

  10. wow. the first batch turned out better then i expected. yeah i would definately try silicone next time. tell us how it goes!

  11. CCsays:

    Not quite cupcakes, but… I’ve often baked breads and cakes in my crockpot using the cans from vegetables- it’s not quite a cupcake, but it is a yummy single serve baked good- and they’re easy to remove from the can for decorating and serving-

  12. This sounds so interesting I am going to have to give it a try. Thanks for the awesome post!

  13. Alannasays:

    Just wanted to let you know that your post is featured on BlogHer today! ~ AK

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. I just made Irish Cream Cupcakes in the crock pot, there a a couple of tricks to it. Use a regular 6 muffin tin, (only works in a rectangular crock pot) a rack or trivet (I use the rack from a pressure cooker works great). Preheat crock pot on high while putting baking cups in muffin tin and filling 3/4 of the way. Add about 1/2 cup water to crock pot under rack. Put muffin tin on rack, take 2 paper towels or a tea towel and put over top of crock pot, put on lid and pull towel tight. Cook for about 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low you should have moist perfect cupcakes.

  16. Crystal Braddocksays:

    I’ve seen some oven cupcake recipes in which you use flat-bottomed ice cream cones. First, I have to get a slow cooker, as my rice cooker died the second time I used it. You’re supposed to be able to bake bread and cakes in them, too, but I think the sturdiness of a crockpot will work better for me. Feel free to edit. :)

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