No matter their shape -- standard round, heart or intertwined initials -- pancakes have found their way onto family breakfast tables around the globe. This trend continues with the batter increasingly being poured into a beloved cylindrical shape and eaten at times other than breakfast, becoming a pancake cupcake. However, the density of the pancake batter is often different than that used for cupcakes. Determine the temperature for cooking based on the cupcakes' size, the ingredients and any added fruit.
Depending on your recipe, ingredients can range from the standard flour, salt, sugar, eggs, baking powder, oil and milk used to make generic pancake batter, to adding ricotta, butter, sour cream or other ingredients more commonly seen in baking. The heavier ingredients generally require a longer cooking time, and on average need an oven set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit to cook through. As with standard pancakes, lumps are fine within this batter.
2. Added Fruit
Mixing in berries generally makes the batter slightly more wet. This requires a longer cooking time and sometimes a higher heat to reduce the moisture and allow the batter to set. If using frozen berries, defrost them and drain the moisture using a colander. Both fresh and frozen berries generally require an oven temperature of about 375 F to cook through. Bananas also add a heaviness and moisture to the batter, which requires a higher temperature.
3. Cup Size
Larger muffin cup sizes require lower temperatures and longer baking times while smaller muffin cup sizes require average temperatures but shorter baking times. This rule of thumb is the same whether baking muffins, cupcakes or pancakes in cupcake form.Try 350 F or larger cup sizes and 375 F for smaller cups.
4. Heat Complications
One of the best ways to tell if a temperature is too high for the pancake cupcake you are making is by examining whether the edges are browning to a dark golden color, but the middle remains soft and liquid, without setting. Lower the temperature by at least 25 F if this is the case. If the pancake cupcakes are quite browned but the centers remain uncooked, turn the oven off completely and use the residual heat to bake the remaining batter without increasing the browning. Make note of the temperature for the next time you repeat the recipe. Also, each oven is different. Pay attention to see if it generally cooks hotter or cooler than the suggested temperature in recipes.
Whip maple syrup with frosting to create an unusual but delicious topping for the cupcakes. Other alternatives are using whipped cream and fresh berries, and drizzling maple syrup over top. Crumble bacon on top for a sweet and salty flavor. If serving hot, be conscious of the effect this will have on the topping -- whipped cream and frosting will melt into the cupcake. If this effect is undesirable, allow the pancake cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
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