Skill Level: Intermediate
- 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 egg whites
- 8 drops red food coloring
- 2 drops raspberry candy oil
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Good ingredients truly equal good taste. When your teeth sink into a cupcake, your taste buds should register nothing but bliss. To send them straight to cupcake heaven, consider splurging on top tier ingredients, say the sisters. Gourmet flavors are highlighted in something as small as a cupcake, so make those 3-4 bites count. “We use Plugra butter, Madagascar bourbon vanilla, and Valrhona cocoa, and they make a huge difference in taste,” says LaMontagne.
Never, never over-bake a cupcake. “We always recommend erring on the side of under-baking,” says Kallinis. “If you over-bake a cupcake, there’s no way to save it. And it won’t be moist on the inside.” Georgetown Cupcake’s team of bakers even set two timers to ensure the cakes make it out of the oven on time. For even better results, check your oven’s heat with an oven thermometer, to determine it’s true temperature. You’re doing it right when your cupcakes look slightly sunken, rather than peaked, says LaMontagne. Test them with a toothpick if you’re unsure — if no batter clings to the pick, they’re done.
Mix your batter with a light hand. If there’s one thing we’ve learned as bakers, it’s to simply be more gentle, says LaMontagne. “Baking fluffy, moist cupcakes is all about creating air bubbles in your batter that expand in the oven,” she says. “If you over-mix your batter, you collapse those bubbles and end up with a brick-like cake.” To avoid this, always mix on a low speed, stopping just as all ingredients blend.