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If You're Making Cupcakes From A Regular Cake Recipe, A Test Bake Is Key

Three different flavored cupcakes grouped on a wooden board
Three different flavored cupcakes grouped on a wooden board - John Shepherd/Getty Images

No one can resist the moist and decadent consistency of a classic cake. Be it birthdays, weddings, or just a Saturday night, cakes have delectable flavors that strike right at the heart of our pleasure center. But as much as we love them, there is a time and a place to partake in such an indulgence, and cakes are not always the most convenient dessert. Perhaps you're hankering for your favorite cake, but you won't bake a whole one just for yourself. This is where the genius of cupcakes comes in. Cake recipes are not that difficult to scale down to miniature versions, which is perfect when you're just looking for a sweet pick-me-up.

If you plan to transform your cake batter into cupcakes, however, proceed with caution. While relatively straightforward, one mistake could ruin your entire batch. Instead, consider baking a single test cupcake to ensure you are on the right track. This way, you can test out all the kinks that could make a cupcake batch disastrous. Many things could impact your bake, including cooking time, depth of the batter, and oven temperature. It's better to test it out first and avoid a catastrophe.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

How Cupcakes Can Go Awry

Three cupcakes decorated as chicks
Three cupcakes decorated as chicks - irina2511/Shutterstock

One of the biggest concerns when converting a cupcake recipe from cake is the height. When baking a cake, bakers benefit from a round or sheet pan that is generally uniform. Full-sized cakes can be sliced and put back together with frosting. Because cupcakes are smaller, there is also a smaller margin for error. Making the batter will be more or less the same, but you must be more careful with how tall the cupcake can get. This is why a test cupcake is crucial. After baking for about 15 minutes, remove it from the oven and see how it holds up. From there, you can gauge if it is too tall, too short, or requires a longer baking time. Then, you can tweak the recipe so the real batch of cupcakes will be flawless.

Of course, this only applies to cupcakes that utilize the classic mixing technique. This technique requires beating together butter and sugar, which lends well to baking cupcakes. Cakes such as angel food or cheesecake will be a bit more complicated. Cheesecake is notoriously dense, while angel food is more spongey. If bakers are set on converting these types of recipes, they may require more experimentation.

Cakes Perfect For Cupcake Conversion

Wedge of red velvet cake with three layers and white buttercream
Wedge of red velvet cake with three layers and white buttercream - harexape/Shutterstock

Even within the realm of classic cakes, many don't convert well to cupcakes. Pound cakes are far too heavy, and cakes that require yeast are a little too complicated to convert to a smaller form. Bakers will be better off with tried and true favorites that will lend well to testing. Red velvet cakes or chocolate cakes commonplace at birthdays will be better options. You won't have to alter too much of the base recipe to make an admirable treat. Temperatures for baking cakes and cupcakes will be relatively close together.

However, if you want to forgo the domed cupcake look in favor of flat-top cupcakes perfect for decoration, try to alter the temperature. Baking for longer with a lower temperature is a time-honored classic for altering the look of baked goods. The baking time is the biggest difference between baking a cake and a cupcake, but there is no set number on how long it should be in the oven. Because recipes differ based on the size of the pan, how full you fill your cupcake tin, and the heat of your oven, it is better to experiment with baking times on your test cupcake. Try ballparking what you think might be a decent cupcake baking time -- around 15 minutes -- and proceed from there with the final batch. Test the final product with a toothpick, and if after inserting it, it comes out clean, they are ready to cool before frosting.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.