At Just Bake, we're always looking for great baking advice and tips from baking experts. We have been fortunate enough to interview the lovely Ruth Harmer from Southwell Cakery based in Nottinghamshire to gain some fabulous baking tips.
How do you fill the cupcake cases cleanly without getting the mixture on the sides?
There are two popular ways of filling cupcake cases successfully. The first is to use a piping bag - this is quick but only suitable for thicker mixtures. The second (and my preferred way) is to use an ice cream scoop which divides the mixture evenly.
How full do you fill a cupcake case with mixture?
Cupcake cases should be filled between 2/3 and 3/4 full depending on the recipe.
How do you tell when a cupcake is cooked thoroughly but not over-cooked?
Use a timer when baking and without opening the oven door, keep an eye on them. Check your cupcakes are ready when they spring back when touched and a skewer or cocktail stick comes out clean when inserted in them.
What should you bake cupcakes in in the oven?
I always use good quality, greaseproof cupcake cases which keep their colour and shape well. I use muffin tins with more vertical sides as I prefer the shape of the finished cupcake.
Any top tips for cooling the cupcakes e.g. do you cool the cupcakes in the muffin tin or out on a wire rack?
I leave my cupcakes to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning them out. Remember, your cupcakes will continue to cook whilst they are in the tin. Then, empty the cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool completely before decorating. I have a multi-tiered rack that you can stack - great if you are short of space. Remember to cover your cupcakes with a food umbrella or improvise with a tea towel to protect from any flies.
Are there any other tips for baking cupcakes that you think might be useful?
- Have an organised kitchen. I keep utensils in the draw/cupboard closest to where I use them in the kitchen.
- Follow hygiene rules.
- Don't attempt new recipes when you are under pressure or in a rush.
- Have all your ingredients at room temperature unless your recipe states otherwise.
- If you are using foil cupcake cases, you may have to adjust your oven temperature/cooking time as the cases will conduct more heat.
Southwell Cakery are specialist makers of wedding cakes and other special occasion cakes and cupcakes. They supply across the East Midlands and beyond.