So, you followed a basic cupcake recipe, filled the liners, and popped them in the oven. Then you patiently wait for the cupcakes to be baked perfectly. At first, they look beautiful, but then they quickly become flat when you take them out of the oven.
So, why do cupcakes sink in the middle? Is there anything you can do to save these sunken cupcakes? Find out the answers to these questions below!
Why Do Cupcakes Sink In The Middle
Why do my cupcakes sink in the middle? Dropping cupcakes can happen for many reasons, such as adding too much or too little ingredients, mixing the batter wrong, filling the liners too much, or baking the cakes too hot.
1. Add Too Much Liquid In The Cake Batter
To create perfect cupcakes, you need to balance the amount of liquid and dry ingredients. The liquid will bring moisture to the cakes. However, adding too much liquid, such as skim milk or buttermilk, to the mixture can make the batter too heavy for the dry ingredients to support.
Once the cakes aren’t tough enough, the rising of air bubbles can lead to a collapse. This is what makes cupcakes fall.
2. Add Too Much Or Too Little Baking Powder And Baking Soda
Baking powder or baking soda is what makes cupcakes rise. However, if you measure them by eye and add the proper amount of them to the cake mix, they can be the reason for the sunken cupcakes.
Well, adding too little baking powder/soda makes your cupcakes difficult to rise. Thus, you make your cupcakes flat once finished.
On the contrary, using too many leavening agents causes the batter to overflow and get deflated. For these reasons, it is a must to measure the exact amount of leavening agents that your recipe calls for.
3. Don’t Follow The Recipe For Beginner Cupcake Makers
Why do cupcakes fall in the middle? This might happen because you don’t stick to the cupcake recipes. When the cupcake recipe calls for an ingredient you don’t have, you swap it with something you have in the kitchen, right?
This substitution can lead to flat cupcakes. For instance, it’s okay to replace orange extract with orange juice, as this only alters the flavor a bit.
However, substituting natural cocoa powder with dutch-process cocoa powder when making chocolate cupcakes can ruin the texture of your cake dish, as these powders are far different from each other.
Hence, follow the recipe and be careful with your alternative.
4. Overfill The Cupcake Paper Liner
Overfilling the cupcake cups causes the cakes to have no space left to expand and collapse as soon as you get them out of the oven.
So, which is the proper level for filling the cupcake liner? You should fill your cupcake cavities from ½ to ¾ of the way full, depending on your specific cupcake recipes.
5. Mix The Ingredient Improperly
Why do my cupcakes sink? Mixing the ingredients improperly can lead to this issue.
If you don’t beat the eggs or cream your butter well in the mixing bowl, your cakes might not have enough aeration to rise and reach the desired shape.
On the other hand, over mixing basic ingredients may cause too much air incorporated into the cupcake batter. Once your cake mix gets aerated, the cakes will become quite tough and unpleasantly chewy.
So, how to keep cupcakes from falling? The key is to always combine the ingredients at a low to medium-low speed and stop just as they all blend well.
6. Leave The Baking Temperature Too High
Oven temperature is crucial; however, the oven might be finicky. Occasionally, it does not say the proper temperature it is at. If you don’t bake the cakes at the proper temperature, the cakes will either undercook or drop in the middle.
In this case, how to keep cupcakes from deflating? Well, you’ll need an oven thermometer to know the exact internal temperature of the oven. Hence, you can preheat the oven and bake cupcakes at the correct temperature.
7. Take The Cakes Out Of The Oven Too Early
Why are my cupcakes sinking in the middle? This issue might happen because you take the cakes out of the oven too early. Thus, they don’t have enough bake time to set up.
If you open the oven door while the cakes are baking, some heat might get out, and a blast of cold air might go into the oven. The dramatic change in temperature makes the uncooked part of the cupcakes fall in no time.
It is therefore recommended that you avoid opening the oven door too early.
How To Save The Cupcakes That Sink In The Middle?
My cupcakes are flat, so how to save cakes sinking in the middle? Here, let us reveal some useful tips to turn your dropped cupcake into a yummy looking sweet treat.
The first method is for the minor sinking. In this situation, you can top the cakes with cream, cream cheese, or your favorite types of frosting to create delicious frosted cupcakes that will hide the sinking middle. More icing is better… right?
In the case that the cupcake has sunk too much, it would be best to dig out the bad part and decorate the rest with anything you want.