Decisions. To be Team Cake or Team Cupcake?

In a bidding war between both baked desserts, layered cakes usually come out on top. Personally, I’m always in the mood for a classic, stacked layer cake with frosting, but thanks to the reality TV baking surge--particularly with shows like The Great British Bake Off and Cupcake Wars--cupcakes have become my go-to, bite-sized treat of choice. Despite my appetite for chocolate cake all day, every day, the likelihood of me having the motivation to bake, cool, trim, stack, and frost chocolatey layers on any sort of regular basis is next to none.

Although they’re somewhat awkward to eat, this is where cupcakes prove to be a handy (literally) solution. They’re simpler/faster to bake, frost decently, and serve than a 3-layered cake. Not to mention, they're more easily adjusted for a half-batch.

Now, here's the kicker--you can still use your favorite layer cake recipes, even enjoying a laid-back cupcake lifestyle. Yep, you can take just about any recipe for a double layered cake and use it to make convenient, grab-and-go cupcakes. And Deb Wise, our in-house baking expert, filled me in on all the tips and tricks for converting a layer cake recipe into delicious cupcakes.

Prepare to be amazed and to lick the spoon. All you need to transition your favorite cake into the perfect cupcake are these six easy steps:

  • Scale Accordingly - According to Wise, scale is important. Expect to yield about 24 cupcakes from the same amount of batter you would typically use to make a double-layer cake. Keep in mind you can always cut it in half to make one dozen.
  • Fill Liners - Use standard cupcake liners in a muffin pan, and fill each cup 1/2 - 3/4 of the way. To keep the liners from sticking to the pan cups, Wise coats the cups with baking spray and a little flour. And the best part is that you don't have to give up on tasty fillings when baking cupcakes. Wise advises putting half the batter at the bottom of the liner first. Next, put at least two teaspoons of the filling of your choice, and finally, add the rest of the batter on top. Voila! You now have cupcakes with a little surprise inside.

Of course, if you want to skip the cake conversion, check out our favorite recipes for a simple, sweet bite of decadence.

By Michelle Darrisaw and Michelle Darrisaw