How to Make Cupcakes Rise Perfectly

Flat cupcakes? Sounds like a nightmare. While cupcakes have many defining qualities, one of the biggest (aside from delectable frosting) is the perfect rise. But if you’re struggling with your cupcakes rising, you’ll be left with a visually sad cupcake. What’s the deal?

There are many ways to make cupcakes rise higher. The most important thing is to make sure you’re pouring the right amount of batter into the pan or liners, which is 2/3rds of the way full. Ensure you’re using active leavening agents, swap for self-rising flour, and don’t overmix.

Hey! I’m Michelle, a self-taught baker experimenting with cupcakes for the past ten years. Cupcakes are the perfect handheld treat for any occasion. I love the versatility and flavor, so I make them quite often. I’ve discovered how to make them rise perfectly, and I’m sharing my tips today.

Let’s make some cupcakes!

How to Make Cupcakes Rise Perfectly (6 Tips)

Perfectly-risen cupcakes aren’t reserved for professional bakers. You can make the same great cupcakes you’d find at the store right in your very own kitchen. Just make sure you follow these simple tips and tricks to make your cupcakes rise perfectly.

1. Fill Pan/Liners 2/3rds Full

Having the right amount of batter is one of the critical elements to perfectly risen cupcakes. Too much, and the batter will fall off the sides and create an “ugly” handheld cake. Too little, and there won’t be enough batter to rise up over the edges as desired.

So what’s the right amount? Typically three tablespoons of batter for a normal-sized cupcake, one tablespoon for mini cupcakes, and a half cup of batter for jumbo-sized cupcakes

Regardless of the size, your goal is to fill the cupcake pan 2/3rds of the way full. Some people have found that ice cream scoopers work like a charm.

2. Use Self-Rising Flour 

Is your cupcake recipe repeatedly rendering flat or sunken cupcakes? Consider swapping the traditional flour and leavening agent for self-rising flour. Simply skip the leavening agent and reduce the salt by a pinch when using the self-rising variety.

3. Don’t Use An Expired Leavening Agent

If you prefer to use the all-purpose flour and leavening agent method, make sure that your baking soda or powder is still “active.” Expired leavening agents will not allow the cupcakes to rise, leaving you with a sad and sunken cupcake.

That said, double-check that your leavening agent is not expired and is active. You can do this by doing the following:

  • Baking powder: Mix ½ teaspoon of baking powder with ¼ cup of boiling water. Wait for a bubbling reaction.
  • Baking soda: Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with two tablespoons of an acidic ingredient such as white vinegar or lemon juice. Wait for a bubbling reaction.

If your leavening agent does not react, you will need to buy a fresh batch. Otherwise, you will end up with a sunken nightmare.

4. Double-Check the Oven’s Temp

Most cupcakes bake at 325F or 350F. But just because your oven says it’s a specific temperature doesn’t mean it actually is. Yes, it’s true – your oven can lie to you. Don’t trust the display without checking with an oven thermometer.

Why is this important? Well, if the oven is too hot, your cupcakes will rise and fall – and probably end up with burn marks in the process. If it’s too cold, it won’t have the chance to heat and rise properly, rendering flat or sunken cupcakes.

The correct temperature is essential for perfectly-risen cupcakes. That said, you should also avoid opening the door too often, as this will cause temperature fluctuations that damage the rise of your cupcakes.

Let the cupcakes work their magic. Check about ten minutes before the recipe says they’ll be done to get an idea of where your cupcakes are at. They will likely need more time, but it’s better than finding out your cupcakes have burnt to a crisp when the timer goes off!

5. Don’t Overmix

It’s no secret that cupcake batter needs to be mixed, either by hand or with a stand mixer. But overmixing can be a terrible thing for the rise of your cupcakes. That’s because too much mixing will weaken the protein structure that allows for the ideal rise. 

Needless to say, you need to be extra careful when it comes to mixing your cupcake batter. If you’re using a stand mixer, you should only need to mix for about two or three minutes. By hand, you may need up to six minutes.

6. Use Room Temperature Ingredients

Time and time again, recipes say to use room-temperature ingredients. They’re not just trying to be a nuisance. There’s a reason, and that reason is that room-temperature ingredients will mix better, allowing for cupcakes with a perfect rise.

What do room temperature ingredients mean, exactly? When discussing cupcakes, the focus is on butter and eggs. Cold butter and eggs will be challenging to break up and intermingle, which means your batter won’t break down and rise as it’s supposed to.

To ensure you get the best mix and rise, use room-temperature eggs and butter. The butter shouldn’t be melted, but it should have a little “give” to it when you push it down with your finger. 

Keep in mind that butter that’s too soft can also hinder the rise of your cupcakes, so be picky about the temp of this essential dairy product!


Everyone wants their cupcakes to rise like the local bakery cupcakes, and now you can with the simple suggestions mentioned above! If you’re still curious about this topic, check out these frequently asked questions below.

Why are my cupcakes doming?

If your cupcakes are coming out with an unappealing dome, it’s likely an issue with the oven temperature (too hot). 

That’s why it is essential to check the temperature of your oven regularly using an oven thermometer. You may need to lower the temperature by 25F if you keep ending up with domes.

Why is my cupcake so dense?

Dense cupcakes are almost always an issue with excessive flour (and other dry ingredients). When making a homemade batch of cupcakes, use the correct measurements. If you haven’t already, invest in a good pair of measuring cups and spoons.

How do you make boxed cupcakes rise more?

If you’re using a boxed cupcake mix, you can try adding ¼ teaspoon of a leavening agent to the dry ingredients. The added pinch of leavener will ensure that your cupcake rises high. Also, use the right oven temperature, fill the pan or liner 2/3rds of the way full, and don’t overmix!

Final Words

Ensuring that your cupcakes rise perfectly is relatively simple. The biggest thing to remember is that cupcake pans/liners should be filled 2/3rds of the way full. 

You should also double-check that your leavening agent is active or swap to self-rising flour. Lastly, bake at the right temp and always use room temperature ingredients for the batter!

Do you struggle with your cupcakes sinking, ending up flat, or doming? What do you do to fix it? Share your insider tips and tricks so we can try them, too. 

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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