If there's a cake recipe you're dying to try as cupcakes, fear not -- you don't need a cupcake recipe to make cupcakes. With the help of our baking experts, we put together five simple steps to make cupcakes with a cake recipe.
When making cupcakes from a cake recipe, choose a butter-style cake recipe (a cake that starts with beating butter and sugar together). Some of our favorite recipes for cupcakes derive from these cake recipes: red velvet cake, white cake, yellow cake, and chocolate cake. A two-layer cake recipe usually makes 24-30 cupcakes, while a one-layer cake will make a smaller batch of 12-15 cupcakes. You can also reverse this idea and bake cakes from cupcake recipes.
Once you've decided on the cake recipe you want to convert, line your desired number of muffin cups with paper baking cups, or grease and lightly flour the cups. If you don't have enough muffin cups to bake all the cupcakes at once, refrigerate the remaining batter while the first batch bakes.
No matter the cupcake recipe or size of muffin cups, it's best to fill cups one-half to three-fourths full with batter. If desired, before baking the whole batch, bake one or two cupcakes with different amounts of batter in the liners to see which height you like best.
Bake the cupcakes at the same temperature called for in the cake recipe, but reduce the baking time by one-third to one-half (cupcakes usually bake for 15-20 minutes).
Check doneness by inserting a wooden toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. If the toothpick comes out with moist crumbs on it, bake the cupcakes for a few more minutes.
Let cupcakes cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, get creative with frosting and decorating. One of the advantages of making cupcakes from a cake recipe is that you can decorate one batch in a variety of ways.