Red Velvet Cup Cakes Above Center – Attempt #3

What We Changed

Today we weighed our sugar and flour instead of just measuring.   

Yesterday when we were looking at the RRVC recipe, we noticed that the sugar and flour weighed the same and when we weighed ours they were not  quite the same.   Her recipe said 1 cup/ 7 oz of sugar. Ours called for 1 1/2 cups.  We weighed 1 cup of sugar and it weighed 7 oz. We worked out 1 1/2 cups weighed 10.5 oz. So that’s what we used for both the sugar and the flour.

We weighed each cup cake.

Yesterday most of the cupcakes came out oval shaped.  We thought it was because they cooked too slowly.  But today we decided to weigh each cupcake as we filled it so we knew how much batter was in each one. We started out using a heaped tablespoon and weighed a few to find most were 1.7 oz so we settled on 1.7 oz for the first batch.

We changed shelf position.

Yesterday we thought that the cupcakes spread out and were slightly sunken in the middle because they might have cooked too slowly.  Instead of increasing the heat we decided to use the shelf just above center to see if that helped.

What We Found

Our first batch of cupcakes  rose nicely without any sinking. But they had were still were “flat tops” and mainly oval shaped. 


We decided that maybe there was too much batter and so for the second batch we made two changes:

  1. We used only 1.5 oz batter
  2. We used two different cup cake holders, the ones we already used and ones from IKEA that had higher sides. 


This time the ones in the original cup cake holders were still a bit oval and so we decided that even 1.5 oz was too much for them and maybe 1.2 oz was all they could hold. 


The IKEA ones looked perfect.  But they all still had flat tops. What is with that? 


 And now for some Maths …

While waiting for the second batch to cook, we wondered why today we only made 22 cakes and yesterday we made 26.  The recipe said 26 to 30 and many people had asked how you could get 30 cup cakes out of this recipe. Some has not even gotten 20!  So working off the weights we had used we worked out how much batter we had:

12 * 1.7 = 20.4
11 * 1.5 = 16.5

Total         36.9 oz.

If we had done them all as 1.5 we would have had 24 cupcakes … not 30!

To make 30 cupcakes from 36.9 oz of batter you would need to use only 1.2 oz in each paper cup.

Of course there is always a little bit left in the bowl. But isn’t that always the last step? Lick the bowl?

What we will do next

We are going to use the IKEA cup cake holders from now on.

We are going to use 1.5 oz of batter in each.

So next, we’re going to keep the recipe the same, weighing the flour and sugar from now on and change the steps!

See the full photo gallery.

Posted by Annushka in Cup Cake Trials and tagged with
  1. Mummy says:

    We also made the frosting with 3 cups of icing sugar ( confectioners sugar). Two cups was less thick and three was better. But 2 cups makes more than enough so with 3 you have some left.

  2. Rose Levy talks about the quality of a cake not just in appearance and taste but in the ability to store it and eat it later. It's a good point.

    We kept our first cup cakes in the sealed container and the frosting in the fridge and we just frosted on the go. it worked. Even though they were a disaster appearance wise, they tasted OK and they remained moist.

    We sent the second batch off to my husband's work and just ate a few ourselves that night so there was no test for storage.

    This third batch also went to work but we kept a few frosted ones in the fridge for a couple of days. Rose says you need to get a cake out and let it warm back up to room temperature before you eat it. So we tried that. To be honest, these cakes tasted a bit dry on day three.

    So is this where using oil comes into it?

  3. We ended up NOT weighing our flour and sugar for our 4th attempt. No real reason why except I'd come across several recipes so similiar to the one we were using I started to wonder why 2 1/3 cup of flour and not 2 1/2 like so many other recipes … was this important or just a minor tweak to personalize a recipe and call it your own?

    Plus we trialled several cupcakes sizes because we decided we like the idea of mini cupcakes

  4. A cup of flour is supposed to weight about 4 oz.

    So 2 1/3 cups should weight around 9.3oz.

    For our frist attempt, our 2 1/3 cups of flour 11.3 oz.

    We were 2.0 oz more.

    This is all due to how packed into the cup the flour is. And this is why sifted weighs even less.

    This is an issue!