Cupcake Dos & Don’ts

These easy Cupcake Dos & Don’ts make all the difference for the perfect light, fluffy, and moist cakes!

Creating cupcakes from scratch can often feel like a guessing game when it comes to the perfect texture.  Nothing is more frustrating than mastering the flavor only to discover that they’re too dry, too dense, or too firm. I’ve created a little cheat sheet for Cupcake Baking 101!

The LEFT cupcake is dense and dry, while the RIGHT cupcake is fluffy and moist!



Leavening agents will ensure that your cupcakes rise sufficiently.  Too little leavening will cause them to be far too dense.  While it may sound silly, double check the expiration dates on your baking powder and baking soda.  Many of us keep these products in our pantries for long periods of time, and accidentally end up using an expired product.  They will eventually become ineffective so they do need replacing!


While attempting to thoroughly blend ingredients together, it becomes quite easy to unintentionally overmix the batter.  When overmixing happens, it activates the gluten proteins in the flour, and too much of this can result in dense and somewhat gummy cupcakes.  Remember to stick with mixing until “just combined”!


Nobody likes a dry cupcake, but the good news is that simply adding in a little bit of additional liquid is an easy fix.  My personal go-tos are either milk or half and half!


This one feels obvious, but sometimes an extra minute can be all it takes to get that “just a bit too firm” texture.  Err on the side of caution and test your cupcakes with a toothpick sooner rather than later.  You can always add more time, but you can’t undo those extra minutes!  (Do your best to do this without constantly opening the oven as this can interrupt the baking process.)


This is a big one, as well as one that’s often overlooked for the sake of convenience.  Without planning ahead, it’s so tempting to grab chilled butter and eggs straight from the refrigerator and begin the baking process right away.  (Either that, or to attempt to cheat the system by softening the butter in the microwave to the point of being close to melting…I definitely used to be guilty of this!)

Room temperature butter holds onto more air, without which the final cupcakes will be much denser.

Room temperature eggs blend more easily into the batter and also help it to rise more efficiently in the oven.

Baking really is a science, but having a few golden rules to keep in mind throughout the process takes out so much of the guesswork!

Looking to practice your cupcake craft?  Try my Lime Cupcakes + Vanilla Lime Frosting!

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