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Old 10-08-2016, 03:17 PM   #1
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Cupcake Engineering Tips, Please

I like to experiment with different flavors for cupcakes and find that understanding how the ingredients interact is kind of confusing.

For example: I just tried a pineapple cupcake and it, not only fell, but it seemed to implode on itself--kind of sucked away from the paper.

I tested the powder..soda (okay); stove kind of sucks, can't fix that;

Because I'm always experimenting, giving the recipe might solve the problem with the pineapple, it wouldn't help me in future experiments though.

So, can someone give ideas of ratios and theories when dealing with dry ingredients like say a chocolate mocha cupcake, which comes out perfect every time; to that of a cupcake where you use apple, pineapple, lemon type ingredients (wet)? And if it's not too much, how the ingredients interact (i.e. eggs with the flour, baking powder and soda.

I hope this isn't too much to ask. If so, just ignore it. I just want to understand cupcakes on an engineering level

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Old 10-09-2016, 05:46 AM   #2
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The scran line is good Youtube channel for cupcakes, have look at that.

So what recipe are you using for the pineapple cupcake, are you just tossing things in and hope for the best or do you have real recipe?

This is my favorite recipe for pineapple cupcakes. Pineapple Cupcakes | Baked by an Introvert
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Old 10-09-2016, 07:18 AM   #3
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Haphazard Recipe

Hey CakePoet!

Thanks for the reply. Don't laugh but I kind of just threw the ingredients together and hoped for the best. To my recollection:

1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1 egg (ran out and just guessed)
1 cup crushed pineapple

1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk

gently mixed and baked for ~40 minutes at ~220C (NOTE: Oven sucks, no telling what the temperature really is. Cooks uneven and seems to be reflective of outside temperatures.

This is why I was asking about the engineering side of things. I'm not sure how the ingredients react when limited or expanded.
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Old 10-09-2016, 07:31 AM   #4
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That why when you start making something , find a recipe that does work and then youy tweak it to suit you. Because most recipes are made with that knowledge and most people start with basic recipe and learn.

220C is too high cakes and cupcakes most often needs around 50- 190 C. Get your self a thermometer, a oven safe one and test the temperature of your oven. If it going and not holding temp, it either time for new oven or time to repair the old one.

From what I can see you had too much butter, too little egg and too much butter milk.
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Old 10-09-2016, 08:48 AM   #5
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Thanks again,
Is there a general idea for ratios when it comes to dry and wet ingredients (i.e powdered less fluid flavors and flavors that call for fruits like pineapple/apple/lemon, etc...). Do I add more flour, less milk and butter when using wet ingredients? I would like to be able to put together something on the fly when it pops in my head--cupcakes have a fairly short prep time and I'd like to be able to just walk in the kitchen and get busy, instead of searching and writing things down.

My lemon, chocolate coffee mocha, red velvet, vanilla cupcakes are fine; although, my lemon doesn't rise as much as the others.

The problems I have are mainly apple, pineapple, strawberry, etc...

The oven knob says 200 not 220--my bad--but the temperature is actually less. I'll have to find an oven thermometer. I live in a country where an adequate oven in the U.S. would be considered high end here, which means the prices skyrocket for an oven that is relatively affordable in the States.
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Old 10-09-2016, 09:14 AM   #6
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How much have you cooked before? I can walk in to a kitchen and bake what ever I want to some point because I remember the basic recipes, which work and have been tested. For example this is plain vanilla cupcake.

50 grams butter. 150 ml milk, 2 eggs, 200ml sugar, 300ml plain flour, 1˝ teaspoon baking powder, 2 teaspoon vanilla.
Melt butter, whisk eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Sift flour and baking powder in a bowl. Combine milk, butter and vanilla in a mug. Sift the flour again into the egg mixture, fold in with a metal spoon, add the wet when half done with folding, fold until combine. Bake at 190C for 10- 15 min.

Apple ones, a wedge of apple dipped into sugar and cinnamon and stuck into the batter.
Fresh pineapple is hard to cook with because of the enzyme, tinned is easier, I have used this and added 1 tablespoon in the middle of the cupcake.
Strawberries, I hate warm, so I made these and then cut in half, add strawberries and whipped cream.
Coffee, replace 50 ml of the milk with strong coffee.

Blueberry, toss blueberries with flour and fold into the batter.

And yes this all from my head and at the moment I am cuddling a 4 year old that is pissed that Jenson Button wont win formula 1.
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Old 10-09-2016, 09:34 AM   #7
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Cooking Hack

I'm a cooking hack, but I like it.

My problem is that I like to experiment; whether it be with sweets or salty recipes. My wife hates it because I love spices.

For example, and this might sound a little crazy: It's just after breakfast here and I just thought of, say, oatmeal cupcakes with cinnamon and banana flavor. In my head I would think of something like:

1-1/4 cup of flour
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
150 grams butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup oats (small)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 ripe bananas

1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk

Now, what if I wanted to substitute the bananas for apples? How would that affect the mixture (apples are much wetter).

This is taking into consideration other recipes I have, but I'm unsure as to quantities. I would consider this a dry recipe mixture, for the most part. So, I'm not sure if it would be better to use baking soda or baking powder, more milk, or more eggs, etc..

sorry about the cups and not metric measurements, but what can I say, I'm American.
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Old 10-09-2016, 09:48 AM   #8
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Yeah that is a rather normal healther form of banana bread. Just look up, because if dont learn the basis and doesnt have oven with steady temperature, then you will fail.

I have baked for 35 years, I didnt become this good directly, I did it by research, figuring out what worked and not. Getting the basic rights, which is different for every thing you add. Yes bananas are high fat so they will not react like an apple in a recipe. So you need to get some base recipes that work and then start to add stuff to them to make them yours. Let me put in a in a none food term. If you never have driven a car, do then pop into a Köningsegg and tries to drive it? Or do you start with something safer and with an instructor?
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Old 10-09-2016, 11:01 AM   #9
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Hi and welcome to Discuss Cooking

I think this is what you're looking for. The author, Shirley Corriher, is a food scientist who has written several books on the science of cooking and baking. This article is about cakes; for cupcakes, reduce the baking time.

It looks like your recipe (the second one) doesn't have enough flour to provide the structure the cupcakes will need, so they won't rise well. If you do a lot of baking, it's a good idea to get a digital scale to measure the ingredients.

http://www.finecooking.com/articles/...akes.aspx?pg=0
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Old 10-09-2016, 02:43 PM   #10
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to GotGarlic

Absolutely!
Thanks for the link, that's definitely a good start and puts me on the path I'm looking for. You know: when to use baking powder/baking soda or a combination; what does the eggs do depending on quantity; is it important to keep the same mixture consistency regardless of the type of flavor ingredients.

Thanks again...I'll take a read and see where I can go with this.
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