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My fairy cakes keep sinking!

(13 Posts)
Chocaholica Sat 01-Jan-11 09:07:47

Recently, my fairy cakes (cupcakes - whatever you want to call them) have started to peak high in the oven, and sink to the point of being saggy-middled (hmm, sounds so attractive, doesn't it?!) when they cool. Can anyone suggest what might be causing this? Never been a problem before. Could it be my oven playing up? FYI, I usually mix them in the food processor - would I get better results using my KitchenAid? Or my hand electric mixer? I just use the processor because I always have.

Any pointers would be v welcome. TIA!

blueberrysantabait Sat 01-Jan-11 09:12:13

It sounds like you oven could be too hot, the high heat causes them to rise too rapidly and cooks the top so they look cooked but the inside is still uncooked. Try dropping the temp by 10 degrees and buy an oven thermometer it will give you a more accurate idea of you oven temp.

MrsDinky Sat 01-Jan-11 09:58:22

Maybe too much raising agent? Have you changed your make of flour? Are you adding baking powder, if so maybe stop.

I use the same recipe (2 eggs, 4oz everything else, 1 tsp baking powder) for a 20cm sponge or fairy cakes, but only use the baking powder on the large cake, don't need it for small ones.

jkklpu Sat 01-Jan-11 10:10:29

And put a bit less of the mixture into each case then they shouldn't rise up into high peaks

happysunshinedays Sat 01-Jan-11 10:12:28

I've had this problem too. My friend says it's because I scare them by slamming the oven to hard. . . ?? I'll try the above too.

bacon Sat 01-Jan-11 10:34:26

You can over mix - too much air forced into the mix then when cooling the bubbles burst.

When mixing in processor do it very quick and short - no more, absolute min. You could be killing the mix.

Turn off fan assist, turn to just under gas 4/180. Never open door.

Usually peaking is due to tin edges being too hot. The centre rises too quick and the edges cant move as too hot so its also worth checking the temp of the oven with a proper oven thermo (£8 ish)and you can be absolutely sure that yr oven is working properly.

ilythia Sat 01-Jan-11 10:48:48

How do you know they are rising? Are you openeing the over door? Well then Stop it!grin
I never use a mixer, always a wooden spoon so as not to mix in too much air.
Turn oven down a bit as well.

Chocaholica Sat 01-Jan-11 11:20:43

Thank you for your replies. I'm not opening the oven door, I can see through it...

I think I could have the oven on too hot and I could well be over-mixing (food processor - tip milk down the funnel). Could do in KA instead or - radical thought - use my wooden spoon (lazy emoticon needed). I don't use baking powder in the fairy cakes; use same quantities as Mrs Dinky. However, I have been following Nigella's recipe and putting the oven at 200C, whereas I used to have it at 180 - could that be it?

Thanks. I will try all the above and report back. However am out of sr flour (btw, HAVE changed make, to Sainsburys own - surely that isn't too rubbish to make cakes with, or is it?).

It's odd - I can make all sorts of fancy cakes, no problem, but am struggling with the basic fairy cakes! Honestly.

ilythia Sat 01-Jan-11 12:40:27

Oh damn, normally it is easily solved by not opening the door!

FWIW my SIL is a fantastic trained chef, but cannot make glace icing to save her life. And my mum has owned restaurants and run catering businesses all her life, and yet when I was 10ish I was in charge of making the sponge cakes as mine never sank and hers did...

make of flour shoudln't be a problem either.

Where do you leave them to cool? DO you take them straight out of the tin onto a cooling rakc or leave them to cool in the tin? Not sure which is the right weay tbh but might be worth changin that?

DaisySteiner Sat 01-Jan-11 12:48:28

200C is too hot for fairy cakes, especially if a fan oven. I'd go back to 180C or maybe even less if fan oven.

blueberrysantabait Sat 01-Jan-11 16:02:41

Fairy cakes need a fan oven of no more than 170 degrees.

Chocaholica Sat 01-Jan-11 21:33:32

OK, I've definitely had the oven too hot then. And it occurs to me that this may have happened since I started following Nigella with the 200C. Before that I did used to have the oven at 180, but I tended then to make smaller cakes and assumed the 2 egg mix required a higher oven as she specified. Right - next time, 180.

Oh and the cooling thing - I tend to leave a couple of minutes in the tray then transfer to the rack. Does anyone know what the right way to do this is?

coastgirl Sat 01-Jan-11 21:35:01

Don't bang the door shut! Close the oven door as gently as possible.

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