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Strawberry cupcakes with sunken middles. Help!

To the expert bakers of Food52:

I recently posted this recipe (http://theroamingkitchen... while all my tests came out well, I've had a few comments of cupcakes with sunken/mushy middles. This won't do!

I thought it might be too much liquid in the batter. Could the evening agent have to do with the problem? Any and all advice appreciated. Thanks!

asked by Cristina Sciarra over 1 year ago
11 answers 565 views
16f72ccb 3197 434b a946 8e9e68a3715f  cristina 014 web final
added over 1 year ago

*levening

16f72ccb 3197 434b a946 8e9e68a3715f  cristina 014 web final
added over 1 year ago

Yeesh. *leavening agent

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sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 1 year ago

I saw the cupcakes on your site and they are wonderful looking. There are several factors that can cause a cake to sink in the middle, wrong size pan (which in this case probably wouldn't be since they are cupcakes) or oven that is not consistent with the temperature, it could also be the leavening agent, sometimes too much baking powder or baking soda can cause this. It is also difficult when adding fruit to a cake batter because fruit or berries can vary in juiciness, sweetness etc.. it could very well be that it's the fruit thats the culprit. I looked at the cake you adapted your recipe from and it's stunning. If you consistently have comments from people that their cakes are sinking in the middle it's hard to ascertain if it's something they are doing or their oven. When I looked at your recipe my first thought is that 1 cup of flour is not enough, there is a lot of liquid, strawberry and coconut milk and then 8 tbs butter. I am not an expert but I think there needs to be more flour and also a slight increase on the leavening agent. Sorry to ramble.

16f72ccb 3197 434b a946 8e9e68a3715f  cristina 014 web final
added over 1 year ago

Thanks, Suzanne! You're right that the fruit is going to vary in juiciness. Perhaps I will lessen the amount of fruit.

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sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 1 year ago

Your batter in the pans looks perfect but lessening the fruit would probably do the trick.

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boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 1 year ago

Problems may be coming from bakers who live at elevations above 2000'. You are at sea level, which (mysteriously) all recipes presume. If you don't mind forwarding problems to me, I would be glad to send them adjustments to leavening - which needs to be decreased - and protein - which need to be increased, relative to every 500' of elevation beginning at 2000'.

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boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 1 year ago

P.S. I authored the High Altitude Baking chapter of The Bakers Dozen Cookbook, and have a chart I can email to your readers who have questions.

16f72ccb 3197 434b a946 8e9e68a3715f  cristina 014 web final
added over 1 year ago

Thanks so much, Cynthia. The problem turned out to be too much puree (more than I recommended) added to the batter. I will keep your chart in mind though, it sounds amazing.

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PieceOfLayerCake

PieceofLayerCake is a trusted source on baking.

added over 1 year ago

Is there a way you can determine, weight-wise (or even volumetrically), what amount of pureed strawberries is sufficient? Measuring fruit volumetrically, ahead of time and expecting the puree to be consistent is tricky. I looked at the recipe, and I can't imagine a scant teaspoon of baking powder is too much leavening. Since there is acidic ingredients in the cake, have you tried adding a touch of soda to neutralize that?

16f72ccb 3197 434b a946 8e9e68a3715f  cristina 014 web final
added over 1 year ago

I decided to also include a weight measurement for the puree. Thanks for the suggestion!

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added over 1 year ago

Another high elevation possible solution: refrigerate your batter for a couple of hours before baking. I live at 6000 feet, and it has helped all my cakes, cup or otherwise.