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The cupcakes cook faster than the big one piece cakes, so does it make sense to assume that the cup cakes bake faster in a 24 hole cup cake tray rather than a 12 hole cup cake tray?

My oven has a convection fan.

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I assume you mean the same amount of batter divided into 24 small cupcakes instead of 12 big ones? Because there are 24-cup pans meant for the double amount of batter. –  rumtscho Mar 17 '12 at 13:20
    
@rumtscho your assumption is correct. But won't the 24 holes be much smaller than the 12 hole tray? –  TheIndependentAquarius Mar 17 '12 at 13:31
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rumtscho was saying: there's more than one kind of 24-cup pan. One kind indeed has smaller cups, and another kind has regular-size cups - it's just like two regular 12-cup muffin pans stuck together. In any case, it's the size of the muffins that really matters, not the number of cups on the pan. The best way to ask your question would have been "do mini-muffins bake faster than regular muffins?" –  Jefromi Mar 18 '12 at 6:53
    
@Jefromi thanks for explanation. –  TheIndependentAquarius Mar 18 '12 at 8:05
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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I immediately thought of this table, from the front of the muffin section in Bread, by Beth Hensperger*:

Muffin size          Baking time     Yield
Mini/gem (1 5/8")    10-15 minutes   18-20
Regular (2 3/4")     20-25 minutes   9-10
Oversized (3 1/4")   25-30 minutes   6-7
Muffin cake (8-9")   55-65 minutes   1

The baking times are for 375-400F; most recipes will fall around that range. Note that the yields don't necessarily match up to typical pan sizes; for example, if you take a recipe meant for 12 regular muffins, you'll probably have more batter than you need for a pan of 6 oversized muffins. Similarly, if your recipe says to bake regular muffins for 30 minutes, you might have to bake miniature ones a bit over 15 minutes. "Muffin cake" refers to baking in an 8-9" pan of some sort - the author says that you can get away with it for any muffin recipe, but I've never tried it!

P.S. I know this is for muffins, but cupcakes are fairly similar, so I think it'll be about right!

* At least, I'm pretty sure it is. I have a copy of just this page (for the recipe next to the table, actually), from a book my mom has. I recognize the cover, I know we had that book, I think this was in it, and Google book search somehow found it when I searched for "fresh-lemon muffins".

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+1 Excellent chart showing the relationship of surface area to cooking time...one recipe of muffin will cook in aprox X minutes depending on how it's divided for serving size. –  Chef Flambe Mar 20 '12 at 4:23
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Yes, they will indeed cook faster, simply because the heat can penetrate through the cakes faster. Likewise, if you had 48 instead of 24, they would take even less time.

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If the size per cake is reduced then they will bake faster and also have a greater chance of becoming dryer. If they are the same size per cake simply more of them, then no they won't bake faster and will probably take a little longer to cook.

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"If they are the same size per cake simply more of them, then no they won't bake faster and will probably take a little longer to cook" little longer as compared to baking a big round loaf of cake having the same quantity as 24 cupcakes batter? right? –  TheIndependentAquarius Mar 18 '12 at 5:35
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If you have 2 litres of batter in a cake tray it will take longer than 2 litres divided into 24 cupcakes; 2 litres in 24 cakes will take longer than 2 litres divided into 48 cakes. The difference is the surface area exposed to the heat. However, if you have 2 litres divided into 24 cakes then 2 ADDITIONAL litres divided into 24 more cakes, you've DOUBLED the amount of batter to 4 litres and the number of cakes to 48 but the extra 2 litres of batter WILL extend the cooking time. –  Chef Flambe Mar 20 '12 at 4:18
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