When I first decided that I wanted to venture into the world of cupcakes, I had to ask myself “What makes a damn good cupcake?”  Now don’t get me wrong.  I completely understand that some things are totally objective.  I get that.  But let’s face it.  There are simply some things that can’t be overlooked.  For the sake of time (and sanity), I will focus on those things. 

First things first.  The number 1 factor in determining if your cupcakes are good is moistnessThe term moistness simply refers to the freshness & softness of your dessert.  No one wants to eat a cupcake (or any cake for that matter) that is dried out.  There is no one single method of obtaining the most moist cupcake ever, but I’ve heard a few tips in my baking career that I don’t mind sharing.  Tip 1: Dont overbake the cupcakes.  A baking thermometer can help with this. Remember:  Cupcakes continue to bake in the pan after you take them out of the oven, so please plan accordingly. Tip 2:  Minimize your cupcake’s exposure to the air.  I like to store my cupcakes (at home) in an air tight Tupperware style cake plate or cupcake tray. Tip 3:  Increase the fat content, whether oil, shortening, or butter. Liquid fats tend to work really well to keep moisture, hence why oil is included in your moistest cake recipes.

Secondly, “Good Cupcakes” must have a good flavor.  The flavor of the actual icing on your cupcake is just as important as the cupcake flavor itself.  Now flavors don’t necessarily have to be complex in order to be “good”, but the flavors must be clean, distinct & complementing.  Have fun with your flavors! Don’t be afraid to experiment & try new things, but just make sure those who have to eat your cupcakes can recognize the flavors that they are eating.  They need to taste like what they are supposed to taste like.  If your cupcake has a strawberry based flavor, people should recognize that they are eating something that taste like strawberries.  Good flavor combinations will feel like a party in your mouth! 

Lastly, good cupcakes (especially when you are presenting them to the public) need to look good.  Thats right.  Appearance can make or break your cupcakes.  If they don’t look good, no one will want to eat them.  Good color combinations of your icing and decorations is important.  Make sure the colors complement each other, or compliment the theme you are going for. If you want to keep your frostings & decorations simple, you can always use decorative cupcake liners to spice things up a bit. 

What do you think?  What would you add to my top 3 things?  Let’s hear it!

~Peace. Love. Cupcakes.