Are You Using The Wrong Type Of Flour When Baking Cupcakes?

If Step One of your cupcake-making routine is buying a box of Funfetti Cake Mix, then you might not even have to worry about flour. After all, if you're making cupcakes, you may have a lot of other things on your to-do list, like inflating balloons, finding the candles, and booking a clown. If you do have time to brave the from-scratch method, flour can play a big role in your end-results, and you're going to want to get the baking down-pat because there's only so much a heaping pile of salted caramel buttercream icing can cover. (Incidentally, we're available to test the validity of that last statement.)

First and foremost, make sure the ingredients from your pantry are still okay to use. No one wants to pay extra for something they already have waiting at home, but some ingredients, like flour, do expire. For best results, flour should be thrown out after six months (via Food Network). Not having fresh ingredients can cause your cupcakes to sink, so it's best to restock your pantry if necessary to ensure the only complaint coming from your guests about your baking is that you don't do it more often.

What flour is the right flour for cupcakes?

There are a variety of flours out there. According to Food Network, the biggest differentiator between flours is the protein content. The higher the protein, the higher the gluten, and the stronger the flour. High-protein wheats known as hard wheats are more elastic and can hold their shape better, making them good for baking bread, but not cakes. Low-protein, or soft, wheats can better produce the flaky quality so desirable in pastries, but not in friends.

If a recipe uses simply "flour," it is referring to all-purpose flour, so be sure to read your recipe closely. The right type of flour for cupcakes is whatever the recipe calls for. Like The Toasty Kitchen points out in their Vanilla Homemade Cupcakes recipe, you can swap out the cake flour for all-purpose flour if you're in a pinch, but the result will be a "coarser" cupcake — and that's one word that is rarely flattering to a cupcake!