domingo, 3 de abril de 2011

Brownie Cupcakes

Makes 12

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
11 ounces best-quality semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, (optional)
Nonstick cooking spray
Mrs. Milman's Chocolate Frosting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-count muffin tin with cupcake liners, and spray generously with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and 8 ounces of chocolate. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat, and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Add flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Stir in the melted chocolate until combined. Stir in remaining 3 ounces of chocolate and nuts if desired.

Using a 2-ounce ice cream scoop, fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter. Bake until a firm crust forms on the cupcakes, about 20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool, about 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan, and continue to cool on a wire rack.

Ice cupcakes with a generous amount of chocolate frosting.

Hi-Hat Cupcakes


For The Cupcakes
Cake batter from Devil's Food Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting
For The Frosting
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For The Chocolate Coating
1 pound, 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 tablespoons safflower oil

Bake the Devil's Food Cake, following instructions for cupcakes. Let cool.

Make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine sugar, egg whites, water, and cream of tartar. Whisk until foamy. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer bowl to stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until frosting forms stiff peaks, about 12 to 16 minutes. Add vanilla and beat until combined.

Transfer frosting to two large pastry bags fitted with 1/2-inch round tips. Leaving a 1/8-inch border on each cupcake, pipe a spiral of frosting into a 2-inch-high cone shape, using about 1/3 to 1/2 cup frosting per cupcake. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet, and refrigerate while preparing the chocolate coating.

Make the chocolate coating: Combine chocolate and oil in a medium heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water; stir until melted and smooth. Transfer to a small (deep) bowl, and let cool about 15 minutes.

Holding each cupcake by its bottom, dip cupcake in the chocolate to coat frosting, allowing excess to drip off. Transfer to a baking sheet filled with a wire rack. Spoon more coating around edge of cupcake and any exposed frosting; none of the frosting should show. Let cupcakes stand at room temperature 15 minutes.

Place cupcakes on a serving platter, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to let coating set. Cover, and refrigerate 2 hours more. Serve cold. Cupcakes can be refrigerated up to 3 days.

Cheesecake Cupcakes with Sour Cream Topping

Makes 48

For The Cheesecake
3 1/2 pounds (seven 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5 large eggs, room temperature
For The Sour Cream Topping
2 16-ounce containers sour cream
1 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
For Decoration
Currants (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line four 12-cup cupcake tins with heavyweight aluminum liners, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and flour. With mixer on low speed, gradually add sugar mixture to cream cheese; mix until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined; do not overmix.

Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners, 4 ounces per cupcake. Bake for 15 minutes.

Cool slightly until cupcakes become concave. In a medium bowl, stir together sour cream, sugar, and vanilla to make the sour cream topping.

Place a heaping tablespoon of topping in the center of each cupcake, and spread gently to edges of liner. Return to oven for 10 minutes.

Cool to room temperature on a wire rack and chill in the refrigerator until cold, at least two hours. Add small bunches of currants for decoration if desired.

Irish Coffee Cupcakes

Makes 15

For The Cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons instant-espresso powder
1/4 cup whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
For The Frosting
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon whiskey
Instant-espresso powder, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cupcakes: Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour water over espresso powder; let cool. Combine espresso with milk. Beat butter and granulated and brown sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with espresso-milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour (batter may look broken).

Fill 15 cups (of two 12-cup muffin tins) three-quarters full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool; turn out cupcakes from tins.

Make the frosting: Whisk together cream and confectioners' sugar until medium peaks form. Add whiskey; whisk until slightly stiff peaks form.

Top each cupcake with 2 tablespoons frosting; dust with espresso powder.

Cook's Note

If you don't have two muffin tins, bake these cupcakes in batches.

White Chocolate Cupcakes


1 cup Ghirardelli Classic White Chocolate Chips
6 ounces Ghirardelli White Chocolate Baking Bar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large egg whites
1 cup granulated white sugar, plus
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, plus
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 14 cupcake molds or muffin tins with paper liners or spray with nonstick spray. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
To make the cupcakes, in large bowl, beat the 3/4 cup butter and 1-1/2 cups sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light. Add the 3 eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Stir together the milk, lemon juice, and the vanilla. On low speed, add half the milk mixture. Mix until incorporated; scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining milk mixture and the dry ingredients in the same manner. Divide the batter among the 14 cupcake molds.
Bake on the middle oven rack for about 15 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in their pans for 10 minutes. Then unmold and cool on a wire rack.
To make the frosting, melt the white chocolate baking bar in the top of a double boiler, or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Cool to room temperature. While the chocolate is cooling, combine the egg whites and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Place the bowl in a pot of simmering water so the water comes a third of the way up the bowl. Lightly whisk the egg whites just until hot to the touch, about 1-1/2 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the pot on whisk on high speed until very thick and cooled to room temperature, about 5 minutes. Decrease the mixer to medium-low speed and add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing the butter in before adding the next tablespoon. Add the melted white chocolate and vanilla and mix until smooth. Frost the top of each cupcake and sprinkle them with the white chocolate chips.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
15 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
13 ounces granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3 eggs
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons red food coloring

1 1/4 teaspoons vinegar (white or apple cider can both work)
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 cup water
For the cream cheese frosting:
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound butter, room temperature
2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the cupcakes:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside.

In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix oil, sugar, and buttermilk until combined. Add eggs, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla and water and mix well. Add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time and mix on low, scraping down sides occasionally, and mix until just combined. Be sure not to over mix, or the batter will come out tough.

Line a 16-cup cupcake pan with paper liners, scoop the batter into the liners and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.

For the cream cheese frosting:
Whip the butter and cream cheese together in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until creamed. Gradually add powdered sugar to the mixture and scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.

The frosting can be used right away, or stored in the refrigerator up to a week.

Frost cooled cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting.

Creamy Center Cupcakes


1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
3/4 cup shortening
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup marshmallow creme
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 (16 ounce) containers chocolate frosting

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions for cupcakes, using paper-lined muffin cups. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
Meanwhile in a mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add marshmallow creme and vanilla; mix well. Insert a very small pastry tip into a pastry or plastic bag; fill with cream filling. Insert tip halfway into the center of each cupcake and fill with a small amount. Frost with chocolate frosting.


Buttercream frosting is, as the name suggests, a very buttery cupcake frosting that tastes yummy and can be easily colored to suit the look you are after. Buttercream is great for piping as it holds its shape very well.

Fluffy frosting is made with egg whites and is best made on the day it is to be served. It has a beautiful, soft, marshmallow consistency.

There is also a glace frosting which is very quick to make. This only requires beating butter, sugar and water or milk in a small bowl and is ready within seconds.

Fondant, which is ideal for Christening, Engagement and Wedding cupcakes, can also be made. I would recommended using fondant with a fruit cake. Fondant keeps well and can be prepared or bought well in advance.

Chocolate ganache is another cupcake frosting alternative. A ganache has a beautiful rich, smooth texture that transforms a cupcake into a magnificent dessert. It is easy to make and I guarantee you'll receive compliments from everyone who tries it.

Cream cheese frosting is a perfect partner for just about any cupcake recipe. You can play around with the quantities of butter and cream cheese to achieve a unique flavor.

Royal icing has an egg-white base that sets hard on standing. It is ideal for frosting cookies.

Another ideal frosting is Peanut butter frosting. This rich creamy frosting is perfect teamed up with chocolate cupcakes, but can also be used with other cupcake flavors.

Buttercream frosting

There are a limitless variety of cupcake frosting but the most popular and versatile is buttercream frosting. This goes excellent with any kind of cupcake, including vanilla cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, and red velvet cupcakes. Buttercream frosting is traditionally made with two main ingredients: butter and powdered sugar. These are mixed together to make a rich, sweet, and creamy frosting.

Here is my buttercream frosting recipe, which will be a wonderful frosting to top off your cupcakes with.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Makes enough frosting for about 2 dozen cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, room temperature
6-8 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 cup of milk
1.5 tsp vanilla extract

1. In an electric mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment or if you don't have an electric mixing bowl use a large bowl and an electric mixer, mix the butter until smooth and creamy (a few minutes).
2. Add 4 cups of the sugar, the milk and vanilla and on low speed mix until combined.
3.Add two more cups of sugar and on low speed mix until light and fluffy. If you need to, add the remaining two cups of powdered sugar.

Tips: When mixing together the buttercream frosting ingredients, be aware that powdered sugar is very light and will get into the air. You will know this is happening because when you breathe in you will feel and taste a sweetness in your breath. To avoid this, place a clean dish towel over the mixing bowl.

There 'ya go! Buttercream frosting made perfect for your cupcakes.

Buttercream frosting comes in a lot of different flavors, the most common is vanilla, which I have given you the frosting recipe for. It's also often seen in chocolate buttercream and occasionally in other flavors such as almond or peppermint. To get almond or peppermint buttercream frosting, simply replace the vanilla extract with almond or peppermint extract and alter according to your taste.

How to Care for your Buttercream Frosting

Buttercream frosting can be left at room temperature without melting. Do not leave your buttercream frosting in the sun. The best way to store it is in an airtight container. If you want to store your buttercream frosting for a few days, you can put it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and take it out a few hours before you plan to frost your cupcakes so it will defrost and soften up and make the buttercream frosting more spreadable. You can speed up this process by beating it. After you put your buttercream frosting on your cupcakes, the frosting will harden on the outside, so if you are going to decorate the buttercream frosting with sprinkles or other candies, I would advise you to do so immediately after putting it on your cupcakes. Buttercream frosting will form a hard shell in a matter of minutes (sometimes even quicker).

Good luck and come back soon for more frosting recipes and cupcake recipes!

Oreo cupcakes

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
3/4 cup hot, strong-brewed coffee
3/4 cup bread flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
15 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached

1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons Oreo cookies, finely crushed
15 Oreos for the top of each cupcake

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Twist Oreos in half and set aside the extra cookies for later. Place the side with cream filling in the bottom of each cupcake liner, cream-side facing up.
Place chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl and pour the hot coffee over the mixture. Whisk until smooth and transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, 20-30 minutes.

Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk oil, eggs, vanilla, and vinegar into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add flour mixture and whisk until batter is smooth.

Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake until cupcakes are set and firm to the touch, 17-20 minutes. Allow to cool in pans 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until the whipped cream holds stiff peaks. Gently fold in the cooke crumbs with a spatula.

Scoop the mixture into a pastry bag and pipe on top of the cupcakes. Garnish with Oreo cookies.

Makes 15 cupcakes.

crema de maracuya

Ingredientes para Crema de maracuyá:

4 maracuyás
1/3 de taza de azúcar
2/3 de taza de agua
2 tazas de crema dulce
1 lata de leche condensada
2 cdas de gelatina sin sabor
1/4 taza de agua
Conversor de medidas (pesos, volúmenes, temperaturas...)

Sobre la receta Crema de maracuyá:

Receta favorita de 3 usuarios
5362 visitas - 2 comentarios

Añadida el 1 Jan 2010
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Cómo hacer Crema de maracuyá paso a paso:

Ponga la gelatina en el cuarto de taza de agua fría, dejar hasta que se disuelva, más o menos unos 5 minutos.
Corte la maracuyá en trocitos, saque la pulpa y poner a cocer en un cazo con el azúcar y los 2/3 de taza de agua, aprox. tres minutos y a fuego lento, incorporamos la gelatina, se revuelve todo bien, reservar.
Poner en la licuadora la leche condensada y la mezcla del maracuyá, vierta en moldes individuales o en copas de vidrio y llevar a la nevera para por unas 2 horas antes de servir.

Creamy Chocolate Cupcakes


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, water, oil, vinegar and vanilla; mix well. Pour into 18 greased or paper-lined muffin cups.
For filling, beat cream cheese and sugar in another mixing bowl. Add egg and salt; mix well. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoonfuls into center of each cupcake. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.

Sweetheart Cupcakes


1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
8 drops red food coloring
2 drops raspberry candy oil

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a standard muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
Beat the cake mix, water, vegetable oil, and egg whites together on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium for 2 minutes, until smooth. Fill cupcake liners 1/3 full with white batter; set aside.
Stir 4 drops of red food coloring into the remaining bowl of batter to make the batter pink, stir in the raspberry oil. Pour 1/3 of pink batter into a resealable plastic bag and set aside.
Mix more food coloring into the remaining bowl of pink batter until it is an orange/red color and pour the batter into a resealable plastic bag. Cut a corner off the bag, stick the open tip into the center of each cup of white batter and squeeze in about two tablespoons of red batter.
Cut the corner off the bag with the pink batter, stick the open tip into the center of the red batter and squeeze about 1 tablespoon pink batter into each cup.
Bake the layered cupcakes in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Strawberry Cupcakes


10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon strawberry extract
1 3/4 cups self-rising flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries, drained

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease 12 cupcake pan cups or line with paper liners.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the strawberry extract. Combine the self-rising flour and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Fold in strawberries last. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter. Frost with desired frosting.

Apple Banana Cupcakes


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup ripe bananas, mashed
2 apples - peeled, cored and shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour 24 muffin cups, or use paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and buttermilk. Beat in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Fold in the mashed bananas and shredded apples. Fill each muffin cup half full.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Carrot Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing


2 ounces white chocolate
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/8 cups white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 12 muffin cups.
In small saucepan, melt white chocolate over low heat. Stir until smooth, and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in white chocolate, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and orange extract. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until the mixture is fluffy. Mix in heavy cream.
Beat together the eggs, white sugar, and brown sugar in a bowl, and mix in the oil and vanilla. Fold in carrots and pineapple. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Mix flour mixture into the carrot mixture until evenly moist. Fold in 1/2 cup walnuts. Transfer to the prepared muffin cups.
Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks before topping with the icing and sprinkling with remaining walnuts.

Banana Cupcakes

1. We made banana cupcakes out of the Banana Cake V recipe.

As with any cake, you want the butter and eggs to be at room temperature before you begin mixing the batter.
Measure out your ingredients, preheat the oven, and prepare your pans while you wait.
Banana Cake V

2. Before you line your muffin tin with cupcake liners, spray a light coating of cooking spray over the surface of the pan, or use a paper towel to wipe a thin film of cooking oil over the top. This will help keep the tops of your cupcakes from sticking to the pan if they rise above their liners.

3. Why use liners? For one thing, they make the cupcakes easier to transport and handle. They can also add a festive touch to an already fun dessert. Finally, any cupcakes with fruit or chocolate chips in them can stick to the pan no matter how well you grease it, so liners are recommended.

4. Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.

5. Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.

A note on creaming:
This mixing method involves beating together butter and sugar.

Unlike cookie doughs, for which you just want the sugars and butter to be well combined, cake batters require a little more work.
The butter-sugar mixture in this photo is fine for cookies, but not airy enough for cake batter.

6. The butter should be noticeably lighter in color as air is beaten into it; the mixture will look very fluffy.

7. Scrape down the beaters and the sides of the bowl. Add the room-temperature eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

8. If you use refrigerator-cold eggs, they won't incorporate into the mixture as well and will make the batter look "curdled." You want your cake batter to be smooth and homogenous.

9. After the last egg is fully incorporated, add any flavorings called for in your recipe, like vanilla extract or lemon zest. Following our banana cake recipe, we added the sour cream and mashed banana at this point.

10. Ingredients such as cake flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder should be sifted before adding them to the mixing bowl to prevent dry lumps in your baked cake.

These lumps won't be broken up by gentle mixing--and the last thing a cake batter needs is vigorous beating.

11. Once you add the dry ingredients to your cake, you just want to stir the batter until it's smooth, taking care to scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula.

12. Our favorite tool for scooping cupcake and muffin batter is a spring-loaded ice cream scoop. It's fast, it divides the batter equally between the muffin cups, and it keeps your hands clean (if that sort of thing matters to you).

These scoops come in different sizes and are numbered according to how many scoops it takes to make a quart.

Ice Cream Scoop

13. You can also use a spoon or spatula to scoop the batter; the main goal is to try to distribute the cake batter evenly among the cups.

14. Once the pan or pans are full, they should go into the hot oven immediately. The longer the cake batter sits out, the more leavening power you lose, so you should bake all of your trays of cupcakes at the same time. (Our recipe yielded one dozen cupcakes.)

15. Cakes and cupcakes bake in relatively hot ovens so that their structure is set quickly and the cake doesn't dry out during baking. Our recipe called for an oven temperature of 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Because of their small size, of course, cupcakes bake more quickly than cakes. Start checking for doneness at twenty minutes: the cupcakes should spring back when you touch the centers lightly with the tip of your finger.

16. If the surface springs back, use the toothpick test to be sure the cupcakes are done.

Insert a toothpick in the center of a cupcake and hold it there for a second before pulling it out.
If there's any wet batter on the toothpick, continue baking for a few more minutes.
If the toothpick comes out clean, or a couple of crumbs stick to the toothpick, they're done.
Cool the pan on a rack until the cupcakes are cool enough to handle, and then gently remove the cupcakes from the pan to cool completely before frosting and decorating.