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Cupcake and Muffin Liners/Papers

Tooba says: I love baking and have recently started making cupcakes and muffins. I have two questions:

1. What is the difference between a cupcake liner/wrapper and muffin liner/wrapper? 2. The liners I use to make cupcakes/muffins absorb oil. When I take my cakes out, the paper has changed color like it changes when some […]

How to Fix a Dense, Heavy Zucchini Bread?

Liz asks: I have been using the same zucchini bread recipe for a number of years. Over the past few months, every time I make it, it comes out flat and very dense. I have tested my baking soda and baking powder and they are both fine. What else could be causing this problem?

Baking […]

Buttermilk Pancake Recipe: Inspired by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

I read a newspaper article recently about Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. In the article, a woman was attempting to make pancakes from scratch for the first time in her life. She didn’t know how to make pancakes that didn’t come from a box mix. Unfortunately, her experience represents that of most Americans.

I want to […]

Foil vs. Paper Cupcake/Muffin Liners

Robyn asks: I’m making butterfly cakes for my daughter’s engagement party, so I bought some pretty aluminum foil cases. When I opened the packet, I discovered each foil case has a separate paper liner sitting inside it. There was no mention of the paper cases on the packaging.

Do I leave the foil case on […]

Muffins sticking to paper liners

Ro asks: Is there any way to get muffins that are stuck in paper muffin cups unstuck?? Thanks for any help you can offer.

Baking S.O.S. says: The best thing to do is allow the muffins to cool completely before you try to peel the paper away. Strange as it may sound, it actually gets […]

Raspberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

A friend requested raspberry recipes after she picked 7 pounds of fresh raspberries. I tested and loved this recipe, which I modified slightly from the original recipe by Elinor Klivans published in the “Washington Post” Food section (2001).

Raspberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

Yield: 12 cupcakes


Are baking powder and baking soda interchangeable?

Chef Asata asks: I don’t bake. What is the interchangeability of baking powder and baking soda? Can I substitute one for the other?

Baking S.O.S. says: It’s interesting you asked this question. My first class in Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales was Beginning Baking, and we had to write a research paper on something […]

Can I reduce the amount of salt in a recipe without affecting how it bakes?

Sandra asks: What purpose does salt play in quick breads and muffins? If we are watching our sodium, can I safely eliminate it or reduce it?

Baking SOS says: Salt, when used in quick breads and muffins (as well as in most pastries), serves only as a flavor enhancer. It has no effect on how […]

Why do my quick breads turn out flat on top instead of domed?

Sandra asks: My quick breads rise, but they rise square – no doming. Why is that? They also seem to take a long time to bake, longer than the recipe calls for. My oven temp is OK, cycles a bit but not out of the ordinary.

Baking SOS says: What causes quick breads to peak […]

Smart Balance 50/50 Baking Sticks Test: Take 2

Recently, I tested a new product for baking: Smart Balance 50/50 butter blend sticks. These sticks are a combination of 50% Smart Balance spread and 50% butter. The benefit to baking with Smart Balance sticks is that they contain 28% less saturated fat and 50% less cholesterol than butter (according to the Smart Balance web […]