In all of our cupcake decorating classes whether it is buttercream piping or creating domed cupcake toppers, we always work on flat baked cupcakes so we have a nice level surface to add any decoration to so I am always getting asked how we get them so flat!
Well, for a start all the cupcakes we use in our classes are freshly baked by Rachaels Kitchen but when I do bake this is how I get a lovely flat topped cake!
If you find your cupcakes are domed or look like a volcano there are 3 things you can change to ensure a flat bake next time:
Firstly.. start with a really good but simple cupcake recipe
Use one which doesn't add any extra rising agents - the self-raising flour is really all you need.
Our recipe has 3 main ingredients, butter, sugar and flour. We sometimes add milk to loosen the recipe and will always add a flavouring - vanilla, chocolate etc etc.
Secondly.. when you fill your cupcake cases (we like these Dr Oetker muffin cases best) ensure you only fill them 2/3 full.
To ensure all your cupcakes are filled equally invest in an ice cream scoop for this job!
Lastly... turn your oven down.. yes down! Most recipes will advise you bake around 180c but the higher your oven temperature, the higher your cake will rise.
I like to bake around 150c max (sometimes I'll turn the oven down to 140c if I am doing more than one batch) Invest in an oven thermometer to check that the actual temperature matches the oven dial!
Of course baking on a lower temperature will mean you'll have to bake for slightly longer.
Our vanilla cupcakes bake at 150c for approx 18-20 minutes until golden brown.
If you find your cupcakes are still slightly domed when you remove them from the oven, use the back of a large spoon to gently flatten the top whilst they are still hot.
And if all else fails, just cut the top off when they are fully cool, we all love cake off cuts with a cuppa don't we!