Bake the Perfect Cupcake: Step 7
7. Resist the urge to take a peek.
I know that cupcakes are very exciting, and don’t they look great, but don’t be tempted to open the oven door over and over again to check on their cooking progress! If you accidentally slam the oven door open or closed towards the start of cooking, it can very well cause fragile air bubbles in the batter to burst and you will end up with a very dense cake. Even if you are gentle with the oven door, a small rush of cold air can also disrupt the very structure of the cupcakes as they begin to bake.
The gluten and the fat molecules in the cupcake batter are what helps the cupcake to set and to maintain its fluffy, light structure – give those molecules a little while (at least 2/3 of the total baking time) to set and to stiffen up before you start to introduce any cold air to the atmosphere by sticking your nose in to check on things. If you’re too quick to poke around, you may find yourself with dense, sunken cupcakes.