cupcakes to come out of the oven with a flat top, rather than something that resembles a miniature volcano. Without fail, the answer to this connundrum lies in building a good relationship with your oven ...
Oven temperatures are not an exact science, in fact rarely does the temperature on the dial match the temperature in the oven ~ and the differences can be extreme. My current oven cooks around 10C above the stated temperature, my Mum's is at least 20C above. The upshot of this is that while a recipe calls for a temperature calls for 180C cooking temperature the actual temperature your oven is cooking at may bear no relation.
This gives rise to a challange, but one that is simple to resolve using either of the following methods:
1. Invest in / or borrow an oven thermometer and measure the temperature in your oven.
2. Trial and error, if your cakes are getting burnt or rising more than you'd like, or if they're not cooking in the stated time turn the temperature of your oven up or down 10C and see what result you get, then keep experimenting until you get the result you want.
Of course just because you have discovered the optimum temperature for flat topped cupcakes doesn't mean you shouldn't turn the heat up occasionally. After all there aren't many things that beat the crispy crunch of those volcano like cupcake tops, still warm from the oven.