While I may be very much into symmetry when it comes to wall hangings, furniture arrangement and things I doodle while waiting in the doctor’s office, I’m not so into details that I ever manage to bake things evenly. The problem doesn’t lie in the temperature of the oven or the length of time things cook; it usually has more to do with the fact that I seldom ever seem to distribute things evenly. This is especially true of cupcakes, and for most of my baking life, no two cupcakes were ever the same size or shape. That’s no longer the case, and here’s why:
I have finally put away my muffin tins.
Seriously. They’re shelved. No more trying to fit the cupcake liners into holes too small for them. No more realizing only too late that this cupcake or that one has risen too far over the edge of the liner and will not be letting go of the pan without a fight. And…drum roll please…no more trying to clean the little round crumb receptacles that masquerade as muffin tins. Someone please say “hallelujah!”
Instead of muffin tins, I use small white ramekins. They’re perfect. You can use either standard cupcake liners or larger liners like the ones in the photos. Just place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and place the liners inside them. If you’re using the larger liners, just spray them with a little cooking spray so they cupcakes won’t stick, distribute the batter evenly (about 3/4 of the liner should be filled…which was almost exactly to the top of the ramekins) and bake! This size makes 12 large cupcakes of one regular cake mix.
If you use the smaller liners, spray the tops of the ramekins as well as the liners . By filling the liners all the way to the top, you will have perfectly rounded tops all equal in size. For smaller cupcakes, fill them only 3/4 of the way to the top.
When they are done baking, allow the cupcakes to cool for a few minutes then either flip them over onto a wire rack or gently lift them out of the ramekins and place on a wire rack to cool. Allow them to cool completely and then decorate as your heart desires…I recommend sprinkles.
Using this method, I’ve found that cupcakes bake up evenly and uniformly…even more so if you go the extra mile and use an ice cream scoop or something similar to put exactly the same amount of batter into each one. I haven’t gone quite that far, but I’m thinking about it….