Cupcakes are rather simple to make at home and are well worth it for a sweet, delicious treat. However, achieving those perfect bakery-style raised tops has long eluded home cooks. You can achieve puffed-up, domed tops with all of your cupcakes and muffins with just a few simple tweaks to your technique. Try this method on your next batch of cupcakes, and prepare to impress your family and friends.
Prepare your cupcake batter according to recipe directions. Pay special attention to ingredient amounts, since a heavy hand with baking powder or soda can lead to flat or deflated cupcakes. When combining the ingredients, don't over-mix the batter. This can also lead to flat, dense cupcakes. Simply fold the ingredients together with a spatula until they are just combined.
Fill each cupcake liner no more than 3/4 of the way full. If you over-fill your cupcake tins, the batter will have nowhere to expand to and will not rise properly.
Place your cupcakes into a preheated 400 degree F oven, no matter what temperature the recipe calls for. Most cupcake recipes suggest 350-375 degrees F, which results in a flat top. When you increase the temperature, the edges of the cupcakes will solidify first, allowing the center to rise, creating a domed top.
Reduce the temperature in your oven if you wind up with harsh peaks instead of soft domes. Aim for a temperature somewhere between the original and 400 degrees F. Or, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F, and then reduce the heat once you've placed the cupcakes inside.