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Top five tips for baking the best cupcakes

Help celebrate National Cupcake Week 2011

Kitchen machine

It’s National Cupcake Week this week – so what better way to celebrate than with some tasty, delicious cupcakes? Follow our top five quick tips to making the best ever cupcakes in the comfort of your own kitchen.

1) Find a good cupcake recipe

Grab your favourite cook book or search the internet – there’s an endless source of cupcake recipes and ideas. 

The basic recipe for 12 cupcakes is: 

  • 125g butter.
  • 125g caster sugar.
  • 125g self-raising flour.
  • pinch of salt.
  • 2 medium eggs.
  • 2 tablespoons of milk.

2) Get the mixture just right

A good kitchen machine can help take the hassle out of creaming and mixing ingredients, and can be a good investment if you’re a regular baker, or like to make big batches of cake batter.

When we test food processors and kitchen machines in the Which? test lab, we measure how well each appliance mixes cake batter – including speed, how evenly it’s mixed and how much the cake increases in volume after baking. 

Best Buy kitchen machines are rated good or excellent for cake mixing – our food processors review reveals which models we recommend.

3) Use a good cooker

You’ll only get the best cupcakes if you’re using a decent oven, where the heat distributes evenly. Otherwise you’ll end up with some of your cake batch burned, and others pale and unbrowned. 

As part of our oven testing, we bake strips of shortbread to test oven heat distribution and a large sponge cake to measure how well and evenly it rises and browns. Our top-rated Best Buy ovens all feature accurate temperature controls and are evenly heated.  

Cup cakes Fotolia 7886500 XL

4) Cupcake decorations

Make them pretty. Use your imagination and make the icing as colourful, adventurous or a simple as you wish. 

5) Cupcake makers

If fiddling about with kitchen scales, paper cases and the oven seems a bit too much hassle, you could always take the easier route – use a standalone cupcake maker instead. All you do with these is pour the cake mixture into the moulds, close the lid and wait for 10 or so minutes for the cakes to bake. 

We’ve tried the Lakeland Cupcake Maker so you can see how it measured up against oven-baked cakes.

More on this…

  • Cupcake makers, pie makers – are you a fan of obscure kitchen gadgets? Tell us what you think on Which? Conversation
  • Top cooking appliances – latest built-in oven, freestanding cooker and range cooker reviews direct from the Which? test lab
  • What makes a Best Buy food processor? Discover how we test food processors in this video guide
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