You’ve just piped the final swirl on top of your perfect fluffy cupcakes, the last decorative flower has been placed and you step back to admire your hard work. But wait – the cases have started to peel away from the cupcakes! Before you give up and decide to never bake again, there’s a reason why cases peel away and yes, you can stop it.
Why Do Cupcake Cases Peel Away?
Moisture is the most likely culprit of peeling cupcake cases. Sometimes, moisture can build up in or around the cake, causing the cases to peel away. This often happens when cupcakes are baked in a steamy environment. Another reason could be that cupcakes are stored in plastic containers, causing the cake to ‘sweat’ (lovely!) The final reason could be that the cupcakes are overbaked, causing them to shrink away from the cases.
How to Stop Cupcake Cases From Peeling Away?
Now is the moment you’ve all been waiting for – how can you prevent this from happening again? Peeling cupcake cases are so frustrating and can completely ruin the look of your beautiful baked goods. The key to preventing cupcake cases from peeling is to prevent moisture from building up, which can happen at any point from choosing the cupcake case right through to storage of your cupcakes. So, let’s take a look at the key ways to prevent the dreaded cupcake case peeling.
Use Good-Quality Cupcake Cases
To prevent peeling, you need to start with the cupcake cases themselves. High-quality cases that have thick paper tend to hold and stick to the cupcakes better. You also want to ensure that the cupcake cases are the right size to fit your pan. For example, if they’re bigger than the pan, they’ll wrinkle up and peel away from the cupcakes.
You also need to fill the cupcake cases correctly by following these three steps:
- Make sure the batter gets into all the nooks and crannies of the cupcake case to avoid any empty space.
- Fill your cases ¾ full – too full and they’ll overflow, but too little and the cases could peel away. It’s a fine art!
- Make sure there are no air bubbles in the batter as this can create steam, which leads to the dreaded excess moisture. Piping in the batter or using an ice cream scoop can help. Use a skewer or toothpick to twirl the batter before baking to remove any sneaky air bubbles.
Choose the Right Recipe
Take care when choosing your cupcake recipe. If there’s a high liquid content such as in fruit, this could result in peeling cases due to the excess moisture. Fat content such as butter and margarine can also be a problem if it’s not light and fluffy enough. Make sure you soften butter until fluffy before adding other ingredients to reduce greasiness and the likelihood of peeling cases.
Now that you’re ready to bake your beautiful cupcakes, you need to be extra careful to avoid peeling cases from ruining your hard work.
- Clean tin – make sure your muffin tin is completely clean and free of grease as your cupcake cases can absorb what’s in the pan.
- Get the temperature right – baking your cupcakes slow and low at 160C is ideal for an even rise. Some ovens run hotter or cooler so make sure that you use an oven thermometer for accuracy.
- Bake until golden brown – underbaked and overbaked cupcakes will both peel away from the cases. You need to bake until they are just right, with a light golden brown top. They should spring back when you press down on them and a toothpick should come out clean.
- Cool correctly – once your cupcakes are out of the oven, cooling them correctly is vital to prevent peeling. You should allow the cupcakes to cool in the muffin tray for 5-10 minutes. The sudden shock of temperature change can cause the cases to peel. Leaving them be for a few minutes eases the cupcakes to room temperature. After 10 minutes maximum, you should cool your cupcakes completely on a wire rack with space to avoid moisture build-up.
Whilst airtight containers can keep cupcakes fresh for longer, the plastic environment can cause sweating, which results in peeling cases. If you’re making cupcakes on the day of an event or party, store them in cardboard cupcake boxes to keep them fresh and avoid moisture build-up. The pretty cases will stay intact and you’ll be ready to wow the guests! Remember to avoid storing your cupcakes in a steamy environment, so lots of boiling kettles or pots of water are a no-go.
Taking the time to bake beautiful cupcakes shouldn’t end in tears with wrinkled, peeling cases. By following the steps listed above, you’ll be able to present the most beautiful cupcakes with perfect cases. We promise it makes them taste even better!