See blog on Carrot Cupcakes. These are some tips I learned from Alice Waters.
➢ Have all ingredients at room temperature, especially the butter and eggs.
➢ Sifting the flour does make a difference in a light and fluffy cake. I hate sifting, and reserve that almost exclusively for angel food cakes, but at least fluffing it a little more with either a fork or a whisk is something. Perhaps the food processor?
➢ Creaming the butter and the sugar. This is the one step I never knew the importance of. Cream the butter alone first, and then add the sugar and cream for at least 5-10 min for a light and fluffy cake.
➢ Separating the eggs. Do this before baking, allowing for them to come to room temperature. I notice when I added the yolks one at a time to my nicely creamed butter and sugar, they whipped in perfectly in a matter of seconds.
➢ Beating the egg white and folding them in at the end. I don’t know which steps made the difference exactly, but I have never had cupcakes rise so high into perfect little rounds above the level of the muffin tins without seeping over the edges at all.
➢ Don’t open the oven door right away, and do it as little as possible to keep the temperature up. The cake needs to rise and set first, and once this is done it is less likely to collapse when you decide you must open the oven door.