Bake the Perfect Cupcake: Step 2
2. Bring ingredients to room temperature.
I don’t always do this. But I really should be doing it. When using eggs or milk (or wine/beer/liquor, if you are making some boozy cupcakes!) straight from the fridge, they tend not to combine as well and smoothly with the dry and the room temperature ingredients. Which can result in clumps of one or more ingredients sticking together and then making an appearance in one not so fortunate bite, which tends to be no fun.
Ingredients that are poorly combined can also cause a cupcake to be dense rather than fluffy and light. Rose Beranbaum (the guru behind The Cake Bible) suggests that you bring the butter to a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit while warming other liquids and eggs 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of the butter is especially important: because the colder that your butter is, the more time expended in breaking it down into a cream consistency, meaning you run the real risk of over mixing your cupcake batter. Use some nice, soft butter for the very best results.
The finished cupcake batter should ideally be between the range of 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Rose Beranbaum. You do not have to bust out your thermometer every time that you make a cupcake, but try to at least give your ingredients a touch and gauge their approximate temperature. If the eggs and the butter are still cold to the touch, allow them to sit awhile longer before you start baking.