Why Do Cupcakes Shrink After Baking? 4 Main Reason

Dome cupcake
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Consider that you have just baked a stunning batch of cupcakes. You then put them outside so they can rest at normal temperature. You return a little while later to find that your cupcakes have shrunk!

This annoying and frequent baking issue can occur for a number of reasons.

If the batter includes too much air or moisture, cupcakes frequently shrink, giving rise to the so-called balloon effect.

Another cause of deflation and shrinking is using outdated baking powder and undercooked cupcakes.

Continue reading to discover the reasons why cupcakes shrink and how to prevent them.

Why Do Cupcakes Shrink After Baking?

Cupcakes that have shrunk and lost their air are a sight to behold.

The secret to baking is figuring out why a certain issue keeps coming up.Only then will you be able to make changes and so obtain a different result.

Why Do Cupcakes Shrink?

The four most frequent causes of cupcake shrink after baking are as follows:

  • Underdone cupcakes

Cupcakes occasionally have a gorgeously baked outside but a raw interior!

Undone cake

The cupcakes frequently deflate and shrink when they cool down if you remove them from the oven too soon and bake them only partially.

  • Pounding the batter too hard 

Working your cupcake batter results in two significant problems:
overworking the gluten and overdosing the cake with air. The majority of baked items require gluten to function.

Cake batter

It aids in the rise and spongy texture of the cupcakes. Too much beating of the batter makes it tougher for the gluten to form these pockets of air, resulting in flat or even sunken cupcakes.

On the other side, funny enough, overbeating the batter will result in deflated cupcakes.

Even the most flawlessly baked cupcakes have a tendency to somewhat contract as they cool down because a lot of the air they contained while baking is released.

More air will be released if there is too much air in the cupcakes, which will cause them to shrink and sink excessively.

These two components are leavening agents that aid in the rising of your cupcakes.
When they get old, they don’t mix well with the other components in your batter.

As a result, the cupcakes don’t rise as well as they should, and you can even get cupcakes that have reduced in size while baking.

Baking soda

Combine some baking soda with some lemon juice or vinegar to see if it’s still good. If it starts to fizz, you’re good to go.

When mixing baking powder with hot water, check for foam and bubbles. That suggests your baking powder is still functional.

Get yourself some fresh baking powder from the supermarket if there is a slow or nonexistent reaction.

  • The batter for the cupcakes contains too much liquid.

Your cupcakes leak both air and steam as they cool.
Naturally, too much steam will come out of the cupcakes if there is too much liquid in the mixture.

The cupcakes will shrink and sink as a result of this rapid and excessive steam release.

The simplest approach to avoid this problem is to make sure that the cupcake batter is prepared according to the directions.

Use exactly the amount of liquids called for in the recipe because baking is a science in terms of ingredients and recipes.

If the recipe calls for cups, measure the necessary amount of liquid with a measuring cup rather than a standard cup.

How to Get the Most Out of Cupcakes That Are Shrunk?

Even when you follow all the instructions exactly, cupcakes might occasionally turn out poorly. It occurs!

To get the most flavor out of any tiny cupcake, try these tips: 

Cover up your errors.

Icing’s ability is nothing to joke at. It sweetens and enhances the flavor while also, and most importantly, hiding flaws.

Icing cupcake - why do cupcakes shrink after baking

Add a thick layer of frosting and garnishes on top of the cupcakes that have shrunk to cover up the shrinkage.

Trim your cupcakes.

Cupcakes that have been shrunk have an unsightly hole in the center and some rather challenging edges.

Fortunately, there is a quick cure for this.
Once the cupcakes’ edges are trimmed, they’re ready!

You appear to have baked flat cupcakes. With this clever little trick, nobody will need to know the cupcakes were actually smaller.

Additionally, decorating flat and even cupcake tops is considerably simpler!

The creation of cake pops

There may come a time when the over-frosted cupcakes are too damaged to be saved. Or perhaps you simply didn’t make enough icing. That’s alright too!

They can still be transformed into something delicious and incredibly gorgeous.
Small cakes are what cupcakes are. Therefore, crumble them up and combine them with your preferred icing if you can’t utilize them in their original form.

Create balls out of them, attach a stick to them, and you have delicious cake pops!

Should Cupcakes Be Dome-Shaped or Flat?

Cupcakes come in a variety of shapes, including flat and rounded. It depends on the presentation you want to make for them and the texture of the cupcakes you like.

It all depends on your particular preferences because both flat and domed cupcakes have advantages and disadvantages.

  • Cupcakes in a dome.

Traditional cupcakes are frequently a little domed because they look better. In addition to being simpler to decorate, they also keep decorations considerably better than flat cupcakes.

Dome cupcake

They are therefore a well-liked option for meetings and celebrations.
Although dome-shaped cupcakes may appear prettier, they are frequently a little dryer than flat ones.

A dryer cupcake can result from the middle becoming overheated while baking.

  • Flat cupcakes 

Flat cupcakes are more moist than their domed counterparts due to their even shape.
Flat cupcakes have a form that allows oven heat to penetrate them more evenly, preventing hot spots.

This results in a beautiful, fluffy, moist cupcake.
Flat cupcakes can be frosted, but they don’t look as nice as ones with a dome.

Flat cupcake - why do cupcakes shrink after baking

They typically have straightforward designs because they can’t support the weight of excessive frosting.

This might be okay for certain people, however, domed cupcakes are generally a better option if you want a more elegant presentation!

Which Flour Makes the Best Cupcakes?

It can be difficult to choose which flour is best for cupcakes given the wide variety available.
Although all-purpose flour can be used, cake flour of the highest caliber is by far your finest option for this kind of baked item!

For spongy pastries like cupcakes, cake flour, a light flour with little protein, is ideal.
The ideal option is to use bleached cake flour because it will produce the best outcomes.

Flour - why do cupcakes shrink after baking

Unexpectedly, bleached cake flour alters how the starch behaves in the dough.

Your cupcake mixture will be less sticky and a lot simpler to manage if you use bleached cake flour.

Conclusion about Why Do Cupcakes Shrink After Baking?

In conclusion, After baking, your dough will shrink if it contains a lot of moisture. A lot of vapor is produced by the liquid. After baking, the steam that puffed up the cupcake disappears, causing your cupcakes to deflate.