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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Cupcakes Detaching from Paper Cases

    My paper cupcake cases sometimes peel away from the cake when cooked. Any ideas as to where I am going wrong?

    From the nigella team:

    Having cupcakes with peeling away paper cases can be frustrating, particularly if you have used expensive decorative paper cases. The most likely cause is that some moisture has built up in or around the cake which makes the paper case peel away. Once your cupcakes have baked let them stand for only a couple of minutes in the cupcake tin (pan) then carefully remove them from the tin and cool them on a wire rack - if they are left in the tin the steam from the cooling cakes can condense and cause the paper cases to become damp.

    Storing cupcakes in plastic containers can also sometimes cause the cakes to "sweat", particularly in warm and humid environments, which seems to lead to the paper cases peeling away from the cakes. Instead try storing the cupcakes in a metal tin or a cardboard box, or leave the top of the plastic box slightly ajar to allow some air to circulate. There is also a small chance that the cakes are slightly overbaked, causing them to shrink away from the cupcake cases as they cool. You could try checking the cupcakes 2-3 minutes before the end of the cooking time in the recipe. If they are risen and firm to the touch then they should be done - or you can insert a cocktail stick (toothpick) in the centre of a couple of the cakes if you are not sure - the cocktail stick will come out clean if the cakes are done.

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