Should Cupcakes Be Flat Or Domed

Should cupcakes be flat or domed, is something you hear quite often, and this is actually a source of debate relatively frequently.

The results of your cupcakes depends on how your cupcakes bake, and the recipe you use when you bake cupcakes.

Generally speaking, depending on how your cupcakes have been baked, the ingredients which you have used, and how you mixed the batter, cupcakes can be flat or domed.

Flat cupcakes tend to have a flat top which may be slightly curved, whereas domed cupcakes will have a much more pointed top which has sharper edges.

There are different advantages and disadvantages to each type of cupcake, so getting one or the other will not ruin your project, however, there may be one which you prefer.

So to help answer the question of whether cupcakes should be domed or flat, we are going to explore these pros and cons.

Pros Of Domed Cupcakes

  • By themselves, a lot of people prefer the look of domed cupcakes.
  • If you are trying to get taller frosted cupcakes, then this is a preferable result.
  • Domed cupcakes can also hold more decorations.

Cons Of Domed Cupcakes

  • Domed cupcakes tend to get too dry compared to moist flat cupcakes.
  • The center of a domed cupcake is more likely to get too hot and then burn.

Pros Of Flat Cupcakes

  • Flat cupcakes are more likely to be moist cupcakes.
  • A flat cupcake tends to be cooked more evenly.
  • Using flat cupcakes is great on layer cakes.

Cons Of Flat Cupcakes

  • The edges of these cupcakes are more likely to get overcooked and a bit too crispy.
  • Without frosting, they generally look less good than domed cupcakes.

Why Are My Cupcakes Domed?

The main reason why your cupcakes are turning out domed is because the pan which you are cooking them in has probably gotten too hot too quickly.

This makes it, so the batter will rise too quickly, and then the outer parts of the cupcake will cook before the rest of the cupcake has a chance to cook.

However, there are some other reasons why your cupcakes could end up domed.

Another common reason why you will get domed cupcakes is because the pan you are using is too small.

This means that the batter will rise too quickly as it pushes against the sides of the tin. You will also get a similar result to this if you are overfilling your tin with too much better.

Also related to your batter, but if you are mixing your batter too much, this can lead to a domed cupcake.

When you are mixing your butter you are aimed to get air into the batter and this will make your cakes more fluffy.

But of course, if you are mixing the batter too much then the cake will get too light and too fluffy, and this will lead to a domed cupcake.

You might have also cooked your cupcakes at too high of a temperature, and by having too much heat, the batter is rising very quickly, and then you will get the signature dome.

This could be caused by your oven not being very temperature accurate.

There is also a chance that you are using too many leavening agents like baking powder, or baking soda, so make sure you are following directions well.

Why Are My Cupcakes Flat?

The main reason you will end up with a flat cupcake is because the cupcake batter ended up being too soft.

If your batter is too soft it will not be able to hold enough air and this is what will make your cupcakes rise more.

Should Cupcakes Be Flat Or Domed (1)

This means that the batter is too dense and then you will end up with cupcakes which are too dense. However, just like with domed cupcakes, there are multiple reasons why you could have a flat cupcake.

One of the other main explanations for flat cupcakes is that the batter is too thick, and this means that the batter will not spread that well and you will likely get a flat top.

Seemingly the opposite problem from with domed cupcakes, but there is a chance that your cupcake pan is too big, and this will directly cause your cupcakes to be too flat.

You may have not mixed your batter enough. This is because you have not mixed enough air into your batter and this is what causes the cupcakes to rise, so if you do not do this it will end up flat on top.

There is also a chance that you have cooked your cupcakes at a temperature which is too low, so this is something you want to make sure you avoid.

You need the temperature of your oven to be high enough to activate all the ingredients and get the cupcake to rise properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Use An Oven Thermometer?

We recommend avoiding using an oven thermometer while your cupcakes are baking as this could lead to sunken cupcakes if you open the oven midway through baking.

However, if you do not trust your oven’s temperature, try testing the temperature another time when you are not baking cupcakes.

Am I Using Too Much Baking Powder?

If your cupcake is too domed, then you are probably using too much baking soda, however, if they are, you have flat cupcakes, you could always try using more.

But if this does not bother you, you can just add frosting.

Should I Use Different Cupcake Liners?

Some cupcake liners can react with your batter differently from others, for exactly silicone cupcake liners react differently than paper or foil ones.

However, this does not usually change whether the cupcakes are domed cupcakes or flat cupcakes. Sometimes your cupcake pans could be the issue, but this is rarer.

Should I Try Different Cupcake Recipes?

If you are consistently having issues with the cupcake recipes you are trying, then try using different ones.

However, if every time something goes wrong, then you might have an issue with your ingredients or equipment.

Picture of Kathryn Sewell

Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

About the Author