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The Best Tips on to How to Keep Cupcakes Moist

Cupcakes are delicious treat enjoyed by everyone. No one likes a dry cupcake. It’s easy to keep them moist.  With just a few simple tricks and tips, you can make the best tasting cupcakes and make sure they stay as moist as when they were freshly baked.

apple cider cupcakes

How to Keep Homemade Cupcakes Moist

Cupcakes can get a bit dry as time goes by. It happens when the moisture evaporates, and things like overbaking or not storing them right can speed up this process. Even certain ingredients like sugar can suck up the moisture from the cupcake, making it dry. Knowing these troublemakers is key to a perfectly moist cupcake. 

Don’t Overbake 

When baking cupcakes, watch out for overbaking – a common slip-up! The best way is stick to the recipe and keep an eye on those beauties in the oven. Set a timer for a tad less time than stated, and give them a peek now and then. Once that toothpick comes out clean, they’re good to go. Something good to know, they’ll keep baking a bit even after you pull them out.

vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting

Buttermilk is Your Friend

Buttermilk is a fantastic ingredient for keeping baked goods moist. The acidity in buttermilk helps break down the gluten in flour, resulting in a softer texture. It also adds moisture to the batter, ensuring your cupcakes stay moist even after baking. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make a substitute by mixing 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes before using. 

Add Sour Cream or Yogurt

Similar to buttermilk, sour cream and yogurt have the same acidic properties that help keep cupcakes moist. They also add a creamy texture and slight tanginess to your cupcakes. Replace 1/4 cup of the liquid in your recipe with either sour cream or plain yogurt for extra moisture. 


Add Moisture-Boosting Fillings

Add an extra touch of moisture to your cupcakes with fillings like fruit preserves, custards, or ganache. Not only does this create a moist cupcake, it makes for flavorful cupcakes. Use a piping bag or a small spoon to fill them before frosting. Not only do fillings boost moisture, they bring in new flavors and textures to your cupcakes.

Don’t Overmix 

Overmixing the batter can lead to cupcakes that are dense and dry because it develops the gluten in the flour too much. Mix your ingredients until they’re just combined—stop as soon as you can’t see any dry flour. This helps keep the texture of your cupcakes light and moist. Use a gentle hand or a low speed on your mixer for the best results. 

pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes

Frosting Matters

The frosting you choose can also affect the moisture of your cupcakes. Buttercream, cream cheese, and whipped cream frostings all add an extra layer of moisture to your cupcakes. It is an easy way to add moisture and flavor. 

Experiment with Different Flavors

Adding different delicious flavors to your cupcakes can also help keep them moist. For example, using fruit purees like applesauce or mashed bananas adds moisture and flavor to your batter. You can also try adding in some chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruits for extra moisture and texture. Have fun experimenting with different flavors to find your perfect moist cupcake recipe.

peanut butter chocolate chip cupcakes

Try These Recipes

Proper Storage Tips

It is important to store cupcakes properly to maintaining their moistness. Make sure the fresh cupcakes cool completely, using a wire rack, before placing them in an airtight container. They make a storage container designed specifically for unfrosted or frosted cupcakes. 

Store them at room temperature, for 2-3 days, in a cool and dry place. Storing cupcakes in the refrigerator will make them a little drier but will extend the shelf life to 3-4 days. While this is the rule of thumb, cupcakes with a perishable filling will need to be refrigerated. 

If you need to keep your unfrosted cupcakes for longer than a day or two, freezing cupcakes will make them last longer. Just make sure to wrap them in plastic wrap (saran wrap), in a plastic bag, or an airtight container before freezing to prevent freezer burn. The cupcakes will last for a couple of months when wrapped well or in a freezer bag.  Let the frozen cupcakes come to room temperature before serving. 

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

Revive Dry Cupcakes

If your cupcakes have lost some of their moisture, there are ways to revive them. One method is to brush the cupcakes with a simple syrup made of equal parts sugar and water. This will add some moisture back into the cupcake. 

Another option is to warm them up in the microwave for a few seconds or place them in a sealed container with a piece of bread, which will help absorb some moisture from the bread and transfer it to the warm cupcakes. 

air fryer cupcakes

When the Store-Bought Cupcakes are Dry

Even when you’re faced with store-bought cupcakes that can lean towards dryness, there’s no need to lose hope. A nifty trick to revive them involves delicately poking their tops with a fork and then adding a light touch of milk, fruit juice or simple syrup. This method brings in moisture without compromising the cupcakes’ texture.

For an extra indulgent twist, give them a drizzle of flavored liqueur. It not only adds moisture but also kicks up their flavor a notch. Just a heads-up, these tricks work best when you enjoy the cupcakes soon after. Storing them for too long after adding these liquids could impact their texture and freshness.

If the cupcakes are frosted,  another way to revive them is to remove the frosting and warm up the cupcakes in a microwave or oven. Once they have warmed up, you can re-frost them.  Whip the buttercream frosting well and use a piping bag to decorate the cupcakes. This always works for cream cheese frosting.

bisquick cupcakes

What to Do With Leftover Cupcakes

Leftover cupcakes, while delicious, can sometimes pose a dilemma. However, there are creative ways to repurpose to turn a dried-out cupcake into something equally delightful. 

One popular option is to make cupcake parfaits. Simply crumble the cupcakes, layer them with whipped cream or custard, and add a layer of fresh fruit or jam in between. This not only gives the cupcakes a new lease on life but also transforms them into an elegant dessert. 

Another fun idea is to use them as a base for a trifle, mixing them with layers of pudding, fruit, and cream. 

Everyone loves cake pops.  So why not turn your leftover cupcakes into cake pops? Simply crumble the cupcakes, mix in some frosting, and shape them into small balls. Dip them in melted chocolate or candy melts and add sprinkles for a fun and tasty treat. 

Leftover cupcakes can also be used to make a delicious bread pudding. Cut the cupcakes into cubes, place them in a baking dish, and pour a mixture of milk, eggs, white sugar (or brown sugar), and vanilla over them. Let it sit for a bit to allow the cupcakes to absorb the liquid, then bake until golden brown. 

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