High-Altitude Hummingbird Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes, Pt. 4: That Pesky Baking Powder

In my last post, I came dangerously close to actual, edible-looking cupcakes simply by reducing baking powder. Would it be too optimistic to say that maybe all I need to do is reduce the amount of baking powder in the recipe?

Let's find out.

Recall in my last post that I took out the rather awkward amount of 3/8ths a teaspoon of baking powder; the cupcakes, although actually distinguishable as cupcakes for the first time, ended up ever-so-slightly cratering as they cooled. This meant that they still had risen too quickly in the oven (indeed, they had looked a little bloated when I first pulled them out of the oven) meaning that I still had used too much baking powder.

This time, I decided to reduce the recipe by a more normal amount -- that is, half a teaspoon. Since the original recipe called for 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder, I simply reduced it to just 1 teaspoon:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • a "scant" 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tspn vanilla extract
This is what they looked like when I first pulled them out of the oven:

(iPhone Camera)


(iPhone Camera)

Not bad, eh? They actually look like perfectly cooked cupcakes. There was none of the bloating or overfilling into other spaces evident in the previous batches. Plus, check out these perfectly-domed tops:

(iPhone Camera)

They even stood the so-called 'Test of Time' -- that is, as I let them cool and returned to them 20 minutes later, they hadn't sunken in at all like the previous batch:

Batch #1 with 3/8 teaspoon reduction

Batch #2 with 1/2 teaspoon reduction
(iPhone Camera)

But what about the flavor?

(iPhone Camera)

To be honest, the cupcakes tasted a little... gummy. They were definitely undercooked. The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook describes perfectly cooked vanilla cupcakes as having a "light golden" color with cupcake tops that "spring back when touched".

These cupcakes were definitely a pale yellow, with a sticky top that did NOT spring back when touched.

Hm. I smell an experiment relating to temperature soon.

But I'm close. SO close.

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