What makes a cupcake or muffin “bakery style” my friends? Two very important things. Size. Size does matter folks, and bakery cupcakes and muffins are big. The second thing is what goes on top. Rich swirls of buttercream frosting on the cupcakes, and sweet, slightly crunchy, buttery streusel on the muffins.
Ok, first, size. You may have a giant muffin tin and that works fine. I have one, but just the one, and it only makes 6. This makes sense because a standard recipe usually makes 12 regular size muffins or cupcakes. The same amount of batter will make 6 extra large ones. I don’t know about you, but even when I make giant ones, I like to make a lot. Just the way my brain is wired! But you can achieve the same glorious size with no muffin pans at all!
Line up your paper liners on a large cookie sheet. Making sure to leave breathing room in between, fill them 3/4 full with your batter. The papers won’t be restrained by the muffin pan, so they will stretch and spread out. By filling them 3/4 full instead of only 2/3, you insure a nice big muffin top. As you fill them, allow the paper to spread, and add more batter to be sure they are at 3/4 full. They will take longer to bake, of course. Just add about 8 minutes to the original baking time in your recipe, and check for doneness. If they aren’t done, check every few minutes thereafter until they are. Put the cookie sheet on a cooling rack, and just leave them there until they completely cool. Easy! Just double (or even triple!) your original recipe so you will have loads of them!
The following are my favorite buttercream frosting and muffin streusel recipes. With a few simple steps, your kitchen will be the best bakery in town!
Buttercream Frosting: Using either a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together 1/2C each butter and shortening until light and very fluffy. On low speed, beat in 4C confectioners sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add 1t vanilla. Now, to get the consistency you want, start adding whole milk or heavy cream, 1 table- spoon at a time, beating well after each until it’s how you like it. You can just spread it on, or pipe it from a pastry bag. You can also separate it into a few different bowls and use a few drops of food coloring in each to give your cupcakes some colors!
This is easiest to make in a food processor, but you can also cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives to achieve coarse crumbs.
In a large bowl (or bowl of food processor with blade attached), put 1C all purpose flour, 1C light or dark brown sugar, and 1/2t salt. Whisk together (or pulse a few times) to combine. Cut 1 stick very cold butter into cubes. Add to flour mixture and using pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs, about pea sized. (In a processor, pulse quickly several times to get this result.) Sprinkle generously over the surface of the muffins. Bake as discussed.
Such bakery happiness! You will totally impress friends, family, neighbors, strangers… all will be overwhelmed by your immense talent! Tell me how it goes…. when you become famous, I can say I knew you back when!