what makes a perfect cupcake?

Since I’m always trying out new cupcake recipes (and variations to recipes), I often ask myself: what makes the perfect cupcake? Of course, there is no simple answer to this question, there are MANY things that determine the deliciousness and perfection of a cuppie. But over the years, I’ve come to believe in a few determining factors, which I’m about to share with you.


First of all the size of the cupcake. Now I know this is all subjective, and if my husband had his way cupcakes would all be the size of a King Steer Burger. Or probably bigger. But it is my belief that a cupcake must be neither too BIG (so you feel ill after finishing it) or too SMALL. I always try to find this “just right” size.

Secondly, the amount of icing has to be just right. No one likes to eat cake with just a hint of icing. Unless you’re dieting, I guess. And again I know some of you might disagree, but too much icing can actually ruin the cupcake eating experience.

Then thirdly – and this is a no-brainer – the cake texture must be just right. Cakes should be light, smooth (not crumbly or unevenly textured), and moist but not stodgy. Dry cake is not cool, right? As a baker this one is definitely my biggest challenge.


Fourthly, the icing must be delicious. Of course. I use buttercream on my cupcakes, mostly. Buttercream icing must have the right amount of butter in it though, icing that is too buttery and greasy is GROSS.

And lastly, the prettiness factor. In my opinion, a cupcake shouldn’t look like something from your grandma’s porcelain ornament collection. That is, millions of flowers and pearls and loads of plastic icing is a NO.  But it shouldn’t resemble something put together by your three year old cousin either. It should look, well, pretty.


OK, your turn, what do you guys think makes the Perfect Cupcake?


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7 Responses to what makes a perfect cupcake?

  1. Lauren B says:

    Sprinkles! Cupcakes that have sprinkles of some description, from delicate dustings to delicious smarties (or peanut MnM’s!) are my favourite types of cupcakes.

  2. tunetjordaan says:

    The perfect cupcake is one that combines interesting tastes and textures. With this I am referring to the marvelous cupcakes I once had the privilege of tasting at the now defunct, I Love Cupcake, store.

    They had a cappuccino cupcake topped with a soft meringue peak. I agree on the texture of the cake. I am not a fun of big chunks of icing, so I would substitute icing with chocolate or some other alternative.

    I love the gaint cupcakes they serve at Succulent Cafe, Northcliff, Johannesburg. To me they are the perfect cupcake.

  3. Jolisa says:

    Great point, totally agree. I also love a touch of sourness to counter the super sweetness; a bit of lemon curd or a hint of passion fruit.

  4. Maike says:

    My definition of a perfect cupcake is one that was created by anyone called Dine. Im sure that definition cannot be perfect, since someone out there has a 3 year old cousin called dine who cant decorate cupcakes… but thats the outlier case ;)

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