Preventing Dry Cupcakes Is All In Your Cooling Method

In the grand scheme of things, dry cupcakes aren't the worst kitchen disaster you can face in the course of a day's baking. Leaving aside such legitimately catastrophic events as starting a fire, dry cupcakes aren't even as bad as burnt brioche or a collapsed souffle since you can re-purpose them in cake pops or trifle or just disguise the dryness under an extra layer of frosting. Still, if you can take just the simplest of steps to ensure that your cupcakes remain reasonably moist, why would you not want to do so?

As it turns out, one way to keep your cupcakes from drying out really couldn't be much simpler. All you need to do is just take them out of the pan a bit quicker. While some instructions call for leaving the cupcakes to cool in the muffin pan for up to 10 minutes, this can lead them to overcook as the hot metal of the pan will keep them baking even after you take them out of the oven. Instead, remove the cupcakes to a cooling rack after just two minutes.

Here's how to get those cupcakes out intact

One reason why some of us tend to leave out cupcakes in the pan for too long a time is so we can delay the moment of reckoning when we learn whether they'll actually make it out in one piece. If you are using paper or foil liners for your cupcakes, this may be less of an issue, but still, there's always a chance that they will stick or crumble as you remove them. One way to help ensure that they come out of the pan with minimal damage is to run a knife around the outside edges. Yet another is to cut the bottom out of a plastic container such as a yogurt or sour cream carton (pick one of a similar diameter to the cupcakes), then make a slit down the side. Insert the plastic cylinder around the cupcake and turn it to "unscrew" each piece from the pan.

Once your cupcakes have been loosened, cover the entire pan tightly with a clean towel and invert it. If all goes well, the cupcakes will fall out into the towel. They'll still have quite a bit of cooling to do before they are ready to frost or to eat, but the best way to let them do so is to place them on a wire rack. This will expose them to air on all sides so they can cool evenly while retaining their moisture.