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Cupcake cases: tips and advice
July 10, 2012
Cupcake batter overflowing? Paper cases peeling away? The Hummingbird Bakers are on the case!
A cupcake isn’t properly dressed without its case. These delicate papery cups are what separate cupcakes from the rest of the cake crowd.
We get through millions of them every year in our bakeries and it’s a real talking point for many of our home bakers. So to lay a few queries to rest, we thought we’d crack the mystery of the cupcake case once and for all!
Every season brings a new case onto the cupcake catwalk. Even if you chose to bake with a different patterned cupcake wrapper every time you baked, you’d probably never run out of design options. From florals and checks to polka dots, cartoon characters and more, the selection is enormous and it is simply down to personal preference which one you go for.
In our bakeries we use classic white paper cases for all our cupcakes aside from our Made Without range which come in silver cases. Simple and understated like a classic white shirt, a plain case lets our cupcakes shine.
Aside from disposable paper cases, there are also durable silicone cupcake cases available. These hold their shape, so your cases never collapse under the weight of the mixture – this means that they are handy if you wish to bake your cupcakes in the shape of hearts, stars and suchlike without them becoming misshapen. Due to their squishable nature, they are easy to store and can be reused.
However, they’re not so great for parties or goodie bags, as you may need to chase your guests with a rolling pin to get them back! They also tend to come in plain colours, so you miss out on the decorative designs of paper cases.
We’re often asked which cupcake cases we recommend and what brand we use for our own cupcakes. With so many brands available, unless we’ve tested them out in our own kitchens, we’re unable to vouch for their quality. Moreover, many of our home bakers find different cases work best for them so it’s really down to personal preference.
The cases we use for our cupcakes aren’t available for retail and are created specially for us, but for whatever reason, we occasionally get a dud batch. Whether they peel or go a bit soggy, sometimes cases just can’t keep pace – c’est la vie. We just throw them out and try a different batch of cases.
American baking is all about being bigger and better! Our recipes suggest you bake using muffin cases rather than dainty little fairy cake cases so that you get a more satisfying sponge.
When filling your cupcake cases, only pour the batter until it is two thirds full… then stop! Overfilling leads to overflowing, so always leave some rising room for your cupcake sponge. If you’re baking muffins, you can top them up until they are around three quarters full.
Peeling, sticking and shrinking
Watching your beautiful patterned cases peel away from their sponges can be a disappointing sight, but there are a few things you can look out for next time you bake a batch. Moisture is the enemy and steam from baking can cause wayward cases to lose their grip, so always tip your cupcakes onto a cooling rack before placing them in any containers.
If your cupcake has been undercooked or overcooked, this may also affect moisture levels by making the cakes sticky or making them shrink. An oven thermometer can help you check the temperature of your oven and adjust the heat so it isn’t too hot or too cool for the recipe. Of course, if the cupcake in question contains sticky, gooey, mushy, yummy ingredients like fruit, chocolate or syrup, the cupcakes may be trickier to remove from the cases but this is perfectly normal.
Posted in: Baking Advice