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I used a new cupcake recipe. It has raving reviews about how moist it is. Mine turned out moist but it's very crumbly. Any suggestions?

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (16-oz.) package light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate; beat until blended.
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.
  4. Gradually add hot water in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in vanilla.
  • 4
    We can't answer your question unless you post the recipe and method. Please edit your question to include this information. – Catija Jan 31 '16 at 1:39
  • Hi, Catija is right. I put the question on hold, but if you come back and add the recipe, we can reopen. – rumtscho Jan 31 '16 at 16:44
  • Oh boy, sorry about that! Here are the ingredients: 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels 1/2 cup butter, softened 1 (16-oz.) package light brown sugar 3 large eggs 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream 1 cup hot water 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. – debwiddi Feb 1 '16 at 18:59
  • And directions Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate; beat until blended. 3. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Gradually add hot water in a slow, steady stream, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in vanilla. – debwiddi Feb 1 '16 at 19:01
  • Thank you for coming back and editing! I reopened it, hopefully somebody will know a good answer. – rumtscho Feb 1 '16 at 19:15
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This looks very similar to a recipe that I make for chocolate cake. Mine was always a bit crumbly until I changed my measuring technique for the flour. Instead of scooping and leveling I spooned the flour in to the cup and then I leveled it. That made a huge difference. Of course, weighing is even better.

It could also be an issue of slightly over baking. You could try testing them 5 minutes earlier.

Those two things tend to be the crumbly culprits in cake.

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I can see a few potential sources of error, in a way they all have to do with regional differences, so it might be good to know where you are :)

-Temperature - How softened was the butter? And what temperature were the rest of the ingredients at?

-Egg size - "large egg" is very subjective

-Flour type - is it really the same cake flour you used as the recipe writer did, or maybe a different style/standard of cake flour, or maybe even 405/Maida?

-Hot water - this could subjectively be 60°C to boiling. And both extremes will do different things to gluten formation (or absence thereof), could denature other ingredients differently, and will mess with the speed of leavening.

-Brown sugar - regional differences, danger of confusion between molasses-rich "brown sugar", ground rock candy, and unbleached raw cane sugar.

-Teaspoons of soda, cups of butter ... same measuring cups/spoons as AB?

I'd check if AB has made video footage of that recipe, and watch closely what he uses...

  • Thank you for your help! When I "grow up" I seriously want to know as much as you people do! I never realized just how scientific baking is until I really became interested in breaking down ingredients and understanding their purpose. I know that sounds pretty naive of a 55 year old woman ;-) I've since changed recipes for my chocolate cupcakes and they are fabulous, if I do say so myself! I've also made adjustments for high altitude and it's made a world of difference. Thanks again! – debwiddi Jul 20 '16 at 11:45

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