Do your dry, crumbly cupcakes make you wonder what to add to cupcakes to make them super soft and moist? Find out your answer in this post.
People of all ages love a good cupcake. But what makes a great cupcake? It has a great taste, a good shape, and a delicate texture, but above all, it needs to be moist. Nobody would want a cupcake that's dry, but how do you bake a cupcake that’s perfectly moist?
From using the right quantity of ingredients to relying on brown sugar instead of white and using oil in place of butter are some of the ways to make moist cupcakes. But there are several other additions that can help you make super moist cupcakes.
We all love cupcakes! Whether it's the classic vanilla or chocolate to the all-time favorite red velvet, no one seems to get enough cupcakes. Covered with frosting and lovely décor, cupcakes make the perfect treat for a celebration of every occasion. And while baking cupcakes is usually not a challenge, not everyone can get it done right. If there is one thing other than the frosting of the cupcake that needs to be extra special, that is the moisture content of the cupcake. Everyone loves fluffy, moist, and soft cupcakes, but not everyone knows the tips and tricks to get them done right.
As baking enthusiasts, we share several tips and tricks that will help you bake a cupcake that’s super moist and delicious that you would like to have any time. So let’s get started.
How to Make Super Moist Cupcakes?
Before we delve deep into how to make nice and super moist cupcakes, let's take a closer look at how and why cupcakes are moist. In what follows, we look at some of the critical considerations that will help you make perfectly moist and soft cupcakes.
Ingredients of the Cupcakes
The moisture content of cupcakes has a lot to do with the ingredients that are used to make the cupcake and how the cupcakes are baked.
To get started, you would want to ensure that your recipe for cupcakes has an adequate amount of dry and wet ingredients. Some of the typical wet ingredients that are used in the recipe for cupcakes includE water, milk, and eggs. However, sometimes, other wet ingredients such as cream or coffee (which is usually used as an ingredient in chocolate cupcakes to enhance the chocolate flavor) are also used when making cupcakes.
Make sure you use an adequate amount of wet ingredients to ensure that you end up with super moist cupcakes. Ensure that you measure all the wet ingredients accurately so you can get all the moisture you need to create moist cupcakes into the bowl before you bake them.
The Fat Content in the Recipe
Another critical aspect of the ingredients that you need to keep a check on is the fat content in the cupcakes. Fat is one of the key ingredients that help add moisture to the cupcakes and helps keep the cupcakes soft when it bakes. Make sure that the recipe you use for making cupcakes should have at least some quantity of oil, butter, or alternative fat to keep your cupcakes soft. If using fat in your cupcakes is a concern, then you can also opt for low-fat alternatives such as yogurt, applesauce or any other kind of fat alternative. Remember, all wet ingredients help keep your cupcakes soft and moist, but you need to use some sort of fat or low-fat alternative to accomplish your goal of baking super moist and soft cupcakes.
Once again, don’t forget to measure your ingredients correctly and never skip the fat (instead, use a low-fat alternative) to prevent your cupcakes from being dry or crumbly. And as we talk about drying off the cupcakes, remember that cupcakes tend to lose moisture as they bake. You must have noticed that the hot temperature of the oven dries out most of the liquid inside the cake. While it is a good thing as it gives a firm texture to the cake and transforms it from being a wet batter to a set, baked, overbaking the cupcakes is not always a good idea as it can dry out the cakes even further, making them dry and crumbly.
Baking Time and Temperature
One of the other integral considerations for making soft and super moist cupcakes is the baking time and temperature. Make sure you use the right temperature (typically, a temperature of 180OC to 200OC is perfect for baking cupcakes. And bake the cupcakes for the right baking time, so you end up with perfectly baked, super moist cupcakes.
Remember, leaving your cupcakes in the oven for too long is a guarantee for dry cupcakes. You can check the baking time in your recipe and preheat the oven for a few minutes before you place your cupcakes. Moreover, once your cupcakes are in the oven, you can check whether they are baked or not by sticking a toothpick in the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cupcakes are ready, and you need to remove the tray from the oven. Moreover, you can also check your cupcakes by simply touching the top of the cupcake. If your cupcake springs back to the touch, they are ready to be out of the oven.
What to Add to Cupcakes to Make Them Moist?
Now that you know some of the tips and tricks that will help keep cupcakes moist, let's take a look at specific things you can add to ensure that your cupcakes are soft and juicy every time.
Make Use of Cake Flour
Most recipes for cupcakes rely on the use of flour as one of the main ingredients that are used to thicken the batter and balance the proportion of dry and wet ingredients. But regular flour is rich in gluten and has lesser acidic content, which may result in dry and crumbly cupcakes.
An alternative to regular flour that you can use to make your cupcakes super moist and soft is cake flour. Cake flour is bleached, which enhances the acid content of the flour. Moreover, it typically has less gluten compared to all-purpose flour, which is why cake flour is more tender. Together, these two properties allow the flour to hold more moisture as the cupcakes bake, and that's precisely what you need if you are looking for a super moist cupcake.
In all, if your recipe for cupcakes relies on the use of all-purpose flour, you can try swapping it with cake flour but make sure you use the same quantity of cake flour as mentioned in your original recipe. Swapping all-purpose flour with cake flour is perhaps the easiest way to make super moist and soft cupcakes.
Use Brown Sugar Instead of Regular White Sugar
The most common type of sweetener that most cake recipes use is white sugar. However, one of the most effective ways to bake super moist and soft cupcakes is to use brown sugar instead of white sugar. Using brown sugar can significantly increase the moisture content in your cupcakes because brown sugar is created by adding molasses to white sugar. As a result, brown sugar is much damp and dense compared to white sugar, and the extra moisture content in your cupcake resulting from the use of brown sugar will shine through your cupcakes and make them very soft.
However, one thing that you should keep in mind is that brown sugar is darker in color, so if you are baking vanilla cupcakes with the use of brown sugar as your sweetener, you will end up with darker, better for your cupcakes.
To use brown sugar for your sweet treat, simply swap the quantity for white sugar with brown sugar, and you will end up with soft and moist cupcakes. However, if you are not replacing the entire quantity of white sugar with brown sugar because you will end up with darker batter, you can simply replace half and even with a split of two different types of sugar, you will get to experience some extra moisture in your cupcakes without significantly changing the appearance of your batter.
Replace Butter With Oil
Remember that fat is an integral aspect of moist cupcakes, so you need to make sure that your recipe for cupcakes has some sort of fat. But did you know that oil is a better fat compared to butter? While it might be a surprise for some of you, butter actually has slightly less fat than oil which is 100% pure fat. And while there is only a slight difference in the fat content of oil and butter, even that slightly extra fat is enough to prevent gluten in your cupcakes from forming hard gluten chains. When there are lesser gluten bonds in your cupcakes, you will end up with softer and more tender cupcakes.
All you have to do to enjoy super moist cupcakes is to replace butter with the same quantity of oil, and you will end up with much softer cupcakes.
Add in Sour Cream or Yogurt
Another simple addition that you can make to your cupcake recipe is yogurt or sour cream. Most cupcake recipes use wet ingredients such as water, milk, or cream. To make your cupcakes softer, all you have to do is replace these wet ingredients with a denser dairy product.
Both yogurt and sour cream have lesser water content compared to milk or plain water. As a result, there is lesser content in your recipe that will evaporate as you bake the cake. Moreover, both
sour cream and yogurt are also more acidic than cream and milk, which results in more moist and soft cupcakes.
And if you are wondering how much sour cream or yogurt to add to your recipe, here is how to go about it. If your recipe calls for a cup of milk, simply switch milk with a cup of yogurt or sour cream and enjoy super soft cupcakes.
Try Some Mayonnaise
Adding mayonnaise to a cupcake recipe may sound quite strange, but it is actually one of the ingredients that you can add to your cupcake to increase the moisture content. Mayonnaise is made up of eggs and oil, and both the ingredients are already present in your cupcakes. However, this extra bit of eggs and oil that comes from mayonnaise will keep your cupcakes softer. Moreover, it also contains vinegar which is acidic and enhances the softness of your cupcakes. Furthermore, vinegar also acts as a natural preservative, so it means that your cupcakes with mayonnaise will be softer and will last longer, so it's a win-win situation.
As for the quantity, add ¼ cup of mayonnaise to a 12-cupcake recipe and look forward to super soft cupcakes that will also last longer.
Put In a Little Pudding
Pudding may be a complete dessert on its own but adding pudding to your cupcake recipe is another great way to enhance the moisture of your cupcakes. The pudding mix contains gelatin that will make your batter more smooth and of course, more moist. However, you don't have to replace any of the ingredients with the pudding mix. Simply use it as an add-on ingredient. A 3.5 ounce of pudding mix added to your cupcake mixture will add great texture and flavor to your cupcakes.
How to Make Your Cupcakes Moist If You Have Already Baked Them?
While these are some of the things that you can add to the recipe and look forward to super moist cupcakes but if you have already baked the cupcakes and feel they are a little dry, you can try adding a filling (buttercream or cream cheese) or you can brush some sugar syrup and can enjoy cupcakes that are moist, soft and fluffy.
About THE AUTHOR
Lori has been a Culinary Arts instructor for twenty years. She has taught in the public school setting, at the collegiate level and through adult continuing education as well as running several cooking and baking camps for children. She has participated in several cooking, cake & chocolate contests and has been well recognized. She has raised thousands of dollars for charities using the byline “Saving the World one Cupcake at a Time”. Additionally, she has had several articles regarding food published in various magazines.Read More About Lori Gilmore