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Why are my cupcakes sinking?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am using the Hummingbird vanilla cupcake recipe, I have used it before with no problems but today my cupcakes are coming out of the oven looking lovely and then sinking and pulling away from the cases as they cool.

Recipe is:

120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter
120ml whole milk
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Baked for 25 mins on gas mark 3. I did triple quantity (36) today.

Any ideas?
post #2 of 11
You tripled the batch? I am not clear on the amounts being decimal, but they look good in relation to each other. The only thing I can tell you is some recipes are not conducive to being doubled or tripled. I've seen this complaint in books, recipes that specifically say do not double and even heard it from people who own cupcakerys. So it could be that this is one of those picky recipes.

If I had to take a guess I would say it is the amount of leavening. Sinking and pulling away can mean overleavened, overbaked, overcrowding in the oven (that could be it!), too much liquid, too much fat in relation to the amount of flour.

How many pans did you put in the oven at the same time and how much space in between them?

See, lots can be going on here. I feel for you.
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
I only put one 12 cupcake tray in the oven at a time, as my oven doesn't cook very evenly and last time I tried 2 at once the top ones got overcooked.

You may be onto something with the too much liquid idea - I did find it to be a rather runnier batter than I'm used to for making sponge cakes, but I assumed that was a cupcake thing?
post #4 of 11
So you left the rest of the batter out while you baked them in each 12 cup pan? Then how did the first batch look like compared to the other two? Depending on which baking powder you used, it could have lost all it's gas power (so to speak) in the time it took to bake them.

Then again, if the batter looked runny it could have been a liquid problem too.
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
I did read something on here the other day about leaving batter sitting, but the first batch as the same as the other two.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by babapeela

I am using the Hummingbird vanilla cupcake recipe, I have used it before with no problems but today my cupcakes are coming out of the oven looking lovely and then sinking and pulling away from the cases as they cool.

Recipe is:

120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter
120ml whole milk
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Baked for 25 mins on gas mark 3. I did triple quantity (36) today.

Any ideas?


I tried to convert to our measurements the best I could from the internet. If you triple these ingredients then it looks like you have a higher ratio of sugar than flour and way too much baking powder. The baking powder will make them rise beautifully and then deflate when done if there's too much.
Tripled the recipe would be:
1 1/2 C Flour
Scant 2 C Sugar
1 1/2 C milk
4.5 tsp baking powder
salt (more than a pinch)
1/2 C butter
3 eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla

I tried to find another version of Hummingbird vanilla cake and the only ones that would come up have banana, pineapple etc.
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post #7 of 11
Do you mean hummingbird cake or the recipe from the hummingbird bakery?
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post #8 of 11
Ok. I found the recipe on line and it is exactly like she posted.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/recipes/6781405/Vanilla-cupcakes-recipe.html

I found one similar in Classic Vanilla Cupcakes but the sugar ratio is still less than the flour and quite a bit less milk also.

CLASSIC VANILLA CUPCAKES

1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup cold milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake Time: 18-24 minutes.


Yield: 12 cupcakes.


Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. Add to butter mixture; stir in milk.



The only thing I can think of, since one batch worked fine, is to try to mix batches separately.
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I am inspired by my Grandma who was the best baker I've known. My wish is to now inspire & create warm memories for my Grandchildren.
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I am inspired by my Grandma who was the best baker I've known. My wish is to now inspire & create warm memories for my Grandchildren.
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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Vanilla cupcakes form the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook
post #10 of 11
I agree with GrandmaG that it must be that a triple batter just doesn't work. Once you triple everything, the baking powder is out of whack with the flour. Try cutting it down to 1.5 tsp.

If GrandmaG's conversion is correct and I'll assume it is (because she converted and tripled so I can't compare it to the original) then 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder is way overleavened in the original recipe. Why it worked for you that way before I can't say. Possibly it was because it was such a small amount of batter? Anyway once you triple everything in the ingredient list, it is way off wack.

I have read in several places that doubling and tripling a recipe just by doing that to the ingredients does not always work. This goes for baking as well as cooking. Only we see the results a little bit more clearly when we bake.
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post #11 of 11
Okay, I just had this problem. My reason was I was underbaking the cupcakes. You may want to see if you need to bake them longer. Just try a batch and leave them in a little longer. Especially since you said your oven bakes unevenly. Plus you may want to rotate the pan.

HTH
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