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How to turn cupcakes into mini cupcakes

Cupcake and mini cupcake
The only baked good cuter than a cupcake is a mini cupcake, but there aren’t as many recipes out there for these downsized goodies as there are for their full-sized counterparts. Fortunately, it is not difficult to turn a batch of full sized cupcakes into miniature ones as long as you have a mini muffin pan to work with.

Most cupcake recipes can be made into mini cupcakes. Mini cupcake pans hold roughly 1/3 of the amount of regular cupcake pans, so if you have a recipe that yields 12 full sized cupcakes, you’ll get 36 minis from the same amount of batter. It is much easier to start with the full recipe and make a big batch of minis than to cut down the recipe, as there are some recipes that don’t take well to downsizing.

Once you have your batter, fill up the mini muffin pan as you would a regular muffin pan (filling each cup somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 full) and pop the tray in the oven. While most cupcakes take about 15-20 minutes to bake, most mini cupcakes take from 9-14 minutes or so to reach donenss. Check your minis at 9 or 10 minutes with a toothpick and bake longer as needed. The only thing you really need to look out for is the fact that it is easy to overbake these miniature cakes, so keep a close eye on them while they’re baking and check them at very short intervals when they’re close to being done.

All this is also true of mini muffins. One additional thing you’ll want to keep in mind where muffins are concerned is that they tend to have mix-ins, and while big blackberries make a great addition to a full sized muffin, they can overwhelm a mini. Scale down your mix-ins by opting for smaller pieces of chocolate, nuts or fruit to keep them proportional to the mini muffins.

Here are a few mini recipes – and these already come with baking times – to get you started:

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  • Great post! I was looking for estimated baking times for minis the other day. I deffinitely need to get a mini cupcake pan.

  • Amy @ A Little Nosh
    March 22, 2011

    I make almost every muffin into a mini. Keeps me from eating too much. 🙂

  • Lori @ Girl Meets Oven
    March 22, 2011

    Great tips for making mini cupcakes. I received some mini muffin pans as a gift a while back, but only ventured to use them recently. For my first attempt using them, I made mini cornbread muffins for the Superbowl (http://bit.ly/flxsDP). The pumpkin mini muffins you shared here sound great too. I may have to try them next with the leftover canned pumpkin I have in the pantry. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sabine
    March 22, 2011

    Thank you so much for this post!!!
    I bought some mini muffin silicone molds and was looking for a hint how to handle them! 🙂

    So, thank you again!!! I´m going straight to the kitchen now!

  • Chef Basket
    March 23, 2011

    Thanks for this post about mini cupcakes. I think a lot of people like these little guys even better than the big ones.

  • Holly
    March 24, 2011

    hmmm…where does one find cupcake papers for the minis?

  • Baker
    March 22, 2012

    This is such a silly article. Do people really need to know how to turn cupcakes into mini-cupcakes? Use the same cupcake batter and pour…duh!

  • Kayre
    April 7, 2012

    Thanks for the info…I was mainly checking for baking times and got so much more!

  • anne
    April 12, 2012

    You can find the cupcake papers at Michael’s and Jo Ann Fabrics and probably any other craft store or specialty food store.

  • Sarah
    April 17, 2012

    Thanks for the tips! I just got a mini muffin pan and was wondering about the baking time.

    And for those looking for the mini cupcake papers, I found mine at the local grocery store. If I would not have found them there, I was planning to buy them from Amazon.

  • Jessica E
    April 22, 2012

    I love all your photos! Very cute cupcakes.

  • jan
    May 7, 2012

    hi! i would just like to ask what is the size of the liner that you use for the mini cupcakes?

  • Mary Jane Newlon
    May 13, 2012

    You can purchase mini cupcake liners at iWalmart.
    I hope that helps.

  • Lien Tran
    December 4, 2012

    Hi, I dont have a mini muffin pan, I only have mini cupcake papers. Can I bake mini cupcakes without pan ? Than ks

  • Jayne
    March 3, 2013

    I love mini cupcakes, but sometimes don’t have the time to bake them, (only 1 pan). I bake a sheet cake, let it cool and cut out circles with a cookie cutter, put them a paper, or not, pipe on some frosting, and they are done.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • Julie
    June 9, 2013

    Thanks for the info. Just bought my mini
    Pan and wasn’t sure on time. Got my
    Paper liners at the store, right next to the
    Big ones. @baker we were looking for
    Timing, not how. Once again. Thanks
    For all the info

  • carol
    July 20, 2013

    Can you freeze mimi cupcakes with the frosting on them?

  • Yasmin
    July 27, 2014

    I’ve found that cake recipes without eggs do not come out of my mini muffin pan very easily…. just something to keep in mind.

  • […] “They are very tasty! Kinda reminded me of a praline you get in a Mexican restaurant. The icing was great.” “It’s cool – I can’t get it on me.” – then proceeded to juggle the cupcake. Yes juggle. I could totally see these as minis! Check out how to make any kind of regular sized cupcakes into mini bite sized bundles of joy at Baking Bites. […]

  • […] you need some practical tips, read How to turn cupcakes into mini cupcakes by Nicole Weston of Baking Bites. If recipes are what you seek, you can try the vanilla cupcake […]

  • […] So what was my impetus for finding a peppermint mocha cupcake recipe? Easy, I love Starbucks Peppermint Mocha and you can only get it at one time of year! So why not find a recipe that I can make whenever and get a bite sized portion of the peppermint chocolate coffee goodness that is a Peppermint Mocha! This recipe is for standard size cupcakes not minis so that was an added challenge this time. I found a website that details the conversion of baking time and started there. The website states that since a mini cupcake should take 9-14 minutes to bake compared to the 15-20 for a standard cupcake (http://bakingbites.com/2011/03/how-to-turn-cupcakes-into-mini-cupcakes/). […]

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