Cupcake Research- Tips for bakers!

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 Tip and Tricks for making perfect cupcakes. This is your go-to guide for how to bake cupcakes including pan sizes and how full to fill each liner.

Everything you need to know when it comes to baking cupcakes. This is your go-to guide for how to bake the perfect cupcakes.

Over the last several years I’ve baked a LOT of cupcakes and I am not ashamed of going through the checkout line with 30 boxes of cake mix. You will find quite a few cake mix recipes or “doctored” cake mix recipes on my blog because I think that everyone deserves to be a successful baker and that is the first step. If you’re looking for something more homemade, definitely try my homemade moist vanilla cake recipe.

Tip and Tricks for making perfect cupcakes. This is your go-to guide for how to bake cupcakes including pan sizes and how full to fill each liner.

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In this post I explore the difference between different types of cupcake pans including dark nonstick versus light nonstick, mini versus regular versus jumbo cupcake pans and the tools to achieve the best results. If you’re looking for the perfect frosting, don’t worry, I got you covered there to. Are you looking for decorating tips? I’ve got some of those as well.

What’s the difference between ⅔ full and ¾ full? What does ⅔ full even mean? Let’s talk about it. These are my personal preference and opinions that I’ve learned from all the baking I do, but please keep in mind that everyone’s tools and equipment will vary, especially ovens. I know that my oven is about 15 degrees off, so I use an oven thermometer and offset my oven temperature accordingly.

Tip and Tricks for making perfect cupcakes. This is your go-to guide for how to bake cupcakes including pan sizes and how full to fill each liner.

The more and more baking I do, I learn that size, baking time and measuring batter is especially important. First lets talk about pans. In this post, I refer to two types of pans. I use a Wilton dark non-stick pan and an Wilton Recipe Right Nonstick-12-Cup aluminum pan. Both are non-stick but the surfaces vary.

Tip and Tricks for making perfect cupcakes. This is your go-to guide for how to bake cupcakes including pan sizes and how full to fill each liner.

If you enjoy baking as much as I do, I am sure you have a variety on pans in your house. Cookie sheets and cupcake pans are similar in that a dark non-stick pans are great because they are easy to clean, but it doesn’t always enhance the food.

Dark non-stick pans will produce a crispy surface on any area it cooks against. Whether it is the bottom of a cookie or cupcake and even the edges of your cupcake, they will bake up darker and slightly crispier than an aluminum pan. Through my different trials, I did find that the dark non-stick pans will generally result in a better rise when it comes to the cupcakes.

Tip and Tricks for making perfect cupcakes. This is your go-to guide for how to bake cupcakes including pan sizes and how full to fill each liner.

My normal go-to cupcake pan is my Wilton Recipe-Right nonstick pan. Even though the cupcakes do not rise as high, it prevents the cupcakes from getting too dark around the edges or the bottom. As long as the batter is well mixed and evenly measured, it tends to produce very consistent results.

So let’s start with your standard size cupcake pan. For this test, I use a large cookie scoop, which is 3 tablespoons worth of batter. This will fill your liners 2/3 full, and this results in the highest yield of cupcakes, about 22-24 cupcakes based on your standard 15.4oz cake mix. In my oven, these bake 14-16 minutes depending on the recipe.

Tip and Tricks for making perfect cupcakes. This is your go-to guide for how to bake cupcakes including pan sizes and how full to fill each liner.

If you looking for slightly larger cupcakes, then you will want to fill them ¾ full, which equates to ¼ cup of batter. I love the way these cupcakes look because they rise over top of the liner and they are nice and full. However, because you’re using so much more batter in each cupcake, this produces a lower yield, around 16-18 cupcakes. Since there is more batter in these cupcakes, you will need to adjust the baking time accordingly. In my oven this is 15-18 minutes depending on the recipe.

Tip and Tricks for making perfect cupcakes. This is your go-to guide for how to bake cupcakes including pan sizes and how full to fill each liner.

Tip and Tricks for making perfect cupcakes. This is your go-to guide for how to bake cupcakes including pan sizes and how full to fill each liner.

I also conducted tests using the same pans but eliminating the cupcake liners. I am a fan of using the liners, because I think it helps insulate the batter a bit more, which means the cupcake bake more evenly. It also prevents to edges from getting too dark.

Tip and Tricks for making perfect cupcakes. This is your go-to guide for how to bake cupcakes including pan sizes and how full to fill each liner.

If I am baking in bulk, I usually buy bulk white liners. However, when I am looking for fun and colorful cupcake liners, I buy them from Sweets and Treats. Their greaseproof cupcake liners stay bright and colorful, even after baking because they are GREASEPROOF. That is the secret my friends. If you don’t believe me, you can check out my cupcake section to see if yourself. I think these liners work best if they are filled 2/3 full.

Tip and Tricks for making perfect cupcakes. This is your go-to guide for how to bake cupcakes including pan sizes and how full to fill each liner.

If you are going to be baking without the liners, I insist that you must spray your pan or generously grease with Crisco. Even though these are nonstick pans, I find that they release a whole lot easier with the use of some extra grease.

Next we can talk about mini cupcake pans. I love a good mini cupcake, but I always felt like the mini cupcakes you find in the bakeries are so much bigger than you get at home. Then FINALLY I found my dream mini cupcake pans from Caphalon. These are deeper than the traditional mini pans you’ll find in the store and the sides are more vertical, which means a skinner and taller cupcake.

Tip and Tricks for making perfect cupcakes. This is your go-to guide for how to bake cupcakes including pan sizes and how full to fill each liner.

If you have a standard mini muffin pan, then it is best to use a mini cookie scoop, which is about 2 teaspoons. Since I use my Caphalon pan, then I use a medium scoop, which is 1.5 tablespoons. This is also the most common cookie scoop size.

Tip and Tricks for making perfect cupcakes. This is your go-to guide for how to bake cupcakes including pan sizes and how full to fill each liner.

Finally there is jumbo cupcake pans. My dad used to make muffins in a jumbo pan; like seriously, he never made regular size muffins. However, I don’t think these are best for cupcakes, they are more like mini cakes!

For the jumbo cupcake pans, I conducted 2 tests using 1/3 cup of batter and ½ cup of batter. I found the best results were using ½ cup of batter. However, the baking time is significantly increased when you’re baking jumbo. When I was baking the jumbo cupcake without a liner, I found that they were very misshaped.

Tip and Tricks for making perfect cupcakes. This is your go-to guide for how to bake cupcakes including pan sizes and how full to fill each liner.

I know this is a lot of information for to take in, but I also know that there are plenty of, “what does it mean to fill my cupcake liners 2/3 full?”. This is the most common instruction called out in most recipes. My hope is that this will help you guide you to becoming a successful baker. And remember, baking takes practice too!

Tip and Tricks for making perfect cupcakes. This is your go-to guide for how to bake cupcakes including pan sizes and how full to fill each liner.

There are more frequent questions I get asked including cupcake liners. Almost all of my cupcake liners from Shop Sweet Treats, which are GREASEPROOF liners. This means that the color won’t fade after you bake your cupcakes. Isn’t that the most frustrating thing when you buy those cute liners at the store and then they are ruined after you bake in them? Not these ones! I also like to buy white cupcake liners in bulk but I usually buy those at cake decorating stores. One thing I always buy online are cupcake boxes (just don’t forget to order the liners).

If you have any more question, please let me know by leaving me a comment below! Happy baking friends!

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If you love no-bake recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, No-Bake Treats!

 

You might also like:

How to Decorate the Perfect Cupcake

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The Best Chocolate Frosting

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131 Responses
  1. Christine

    I made Lemon cupcakes today, and used the ‘rice’ method to keep the liners from folding in! It worked, but my cupcakes had folds on the tops of the cupcakes, and when I removed them from the pan, each one had a serious indentation on the bottom underside of the cupcakes! The rice was even and flat! What could have caused this to go wrong as this was a tip and trick I read to help protect the liners, and evenly baked cupcakes! I’m a tad frustrated because I now have to make and bake another batch!

  2. Julie Nguyen

    Hello! Thank you so much for all of the great information!!! I have a question regarding what size cupcake most home bakers bake and sell. The cupcake trays at the grocery stores are for standard cupcakes, but do bakeries bake jumbo sized cupcakes? I feel like I should be upgrading to jumbo cupcakes since I see the bakers on Instagram with such large/non-standard sized cupcakes! I got my tray and liners from the grocery store. Thank you so much in advance!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Julie- I don’t sell anything, so I am not familiar with what home bakers sell. Sometimes you can use a standard size pan and just fill it 3/4 instead of 2/3 and the cupcakes will be taller.

      1. Aurelia Burhama

        Do you use STANDARD liners or JUMBO liners when using the 1/4 cup BATTER filling?

        I notice when i over fill my liners, they dont dome like yours, they end up looking like mushrooms with the sides hanging outside the liner😫😫😫

        1. Beyond Frosting

          Hi Aurelia, I use standard size, but this is also showing it with a cake mix. Some recipes are not meant to be made with 1/4 cup of batter

        2. Jenn

          Mine too!! I want a nice hearty cupcake, but not ones that flow over the sides they don’t flow over evenly it never looks neat 🙁

  3. Brittany Nobre

    Hi, thank you for sharing all the tips and tweaks you’ve learned along the way. I was wondering if you’d be able to help me figure out why the top of my cupcakes become hard. The rest of the cake is soft and fluffy but there seems to be a shell that forms on the top! I’m looking to have the soft and fluffy cupcake top that you get from a bakery. How do I get there?

    Thank you!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Brittany, unfortunately I can’t be of much help, because this seems unique to the recipe or perhaps your oven, have you tried baking your cupcakes on a different shelf? Does this happen with EVERY recipe you use or just one?

  4. Sharon

    Hi I really enjoyed your sharing on cup cakes. May I know why my sponge cup cakes sink in the center? They still taste yummy but sink when cool.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Sharon, it really could be a number of things. You might be over filling you liners, or pulling them too early from the oven, they may need another minute or two of baking. Your leveling agent might not be good anymore.

  5. Vanessa

    When using the jumbo cupcake pan , and using a liner, if I am using a 1/2 cup of batter, how long should I be baking them for? Thanks!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Sorry I can’t say for certain, it’s not a standard size I use. I always recommend starting with 15 minutes and then adding minutes as needed.

  6. Janet

    Hi you mention that the baking time for jumbo cupcakes is significantly increased but you don’t mention how long to bake them. Any general guidelines? Thank you!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Janet- At this point I can’t recall, it’s been awhile. What I usually do is set a time for 15 minutes, look at my cupcakes and then continue baking in 2-3 minute increments as needed and I watch them closely. Sometimes all you need is another 30-60 seconds towards the end.

      1. RT

        Hello Julianne
        Trying to make the mini cupcakes in a dark nonstick pan without a liner. How do you prevent them from browning on the sides. Your look so white! Mine keep coming out crispy on the edges. Any suggestions?

        Thanks!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Rica, do you mean the link to the cupcake liners isn’t working or they don’t have your color available? I have not found any other greaseproof liners that I like as much, meaning ones that hold their color. I usually buy bulk white liners from Amazon because I do a lot of recipe testing.

  7. Misty

    Hi! I was wondering if you have found a good tulip liner for the jumbo cupcakes? I have looked ALL OVER and the ones advertised as ‘jumbo’ are just taller but not wider. I am looking for ones to fill the Wilton jumbo tin (6 muffins/cupcakes to a tin). They’re 2 1/2″ at the base and 3 1/2″ at the top opening.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Misty, I have not used them personally but webstaurant store makes liners for bakeries and such, you might check them out.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      This pan is deeper and wider than standard mini cupcake pans. I had to double check the dimensions on Amazon, It’s 1.25″ H. The diameter at the base of the cup is 1.5 inches. These are the recommended liners on Amazon.

  8. Tiffani

    Hi,
    I have 2 questions:
    1. I baked cupcakes in both regular size and mini.. both from the same batter. The shape and taste were perfect, however, the mini cupcake liners pulled away from the cupcake on almost all of them, making the presentation look crummy. The regular size cupcake liners did not pull away at all. Any idea why that happened.
    2. I’ve been trying different cake mixes. Duncan Hines has the best flavor, but when they cool down, the top gets wrinkly looking. Any help on that?

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Mary, it’s hard to say without seeing you pan, do a test batch with 2-3 cupcakes. Start at 5 minutes and then check out on every minute or two after that.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Jenny, it could be a number of things. You batter mix be over or under mixed but the most common reason would be that they aren’t actually baked all the way through in the middle, so they sink just a little bit. Sometimes and extra 30-60 seconds makes all the difference. If you use a large cookie scoop for your batter, you will have a more consistent bake time for all the cupcakes.

  9. Christina K.

    When my father was a kid, he remembers going to a German bakery that had cupcakes that looked like muffins. They had the large crown and were “jumbo” in size. I’ve been playing around with the cake recipes to get the cake portion right for him to taste, but now that I have the recipe right I can’t get the crown top — or even get it to rise right. I attempted the large tin, with six to a pan using the 400/350 approach to get the dome, but instead they sunk in the middle and had no crown to speak of. Before I invest $50 in a special restaurant large crown muffin tin – are there any tips, tricks, or hints that I can try I’m ready to keep trying.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Sounds like you may need to fill you pan a little bit more? And probably more baking powder. You might also be taking them out a minute or two early if they are sinking in the middle, it sounds like it’s not quite cooked enough

        1. Beyond Frosting

          Let us know how it goes! Maybe try reducing the batter then a little bit in each one, even 1 tablespoon less and see if that helps. When I am testing something like this, I bake 2-3 at a time and play around with the temp and baking time until I find what works. Sounds like you’ve done a lot of that already!

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