Tis the season for baking. You may be planning to bake cakes for family holiday gatherings, and you want to be sure your result is a hit and not a flop. These five baking tips will give you great results every time!
1. Follow the recipe.
While this may seem obvious, following the recipe is the most crucial cake baking tip for a home baker. Get experimental in the kitchen with a pasta sauce, but not with your cake batter. Cake baking is a chemical science, so when we sub and swap, we often end up with a result that is less than ooh and ahh worthy. After you’ve baked a recipe a few times, you can start to experiment, but in the beginning, remember there is a reason the recipe is written as it is, so follow it to the T.
2. Spoon & level your ingredients.
Flour is the most commonly mis-measured ingredient. I regularly see bakers dipping their measuring spoons into the flour bag or packing flour down. These measuring mishaps can result in way more flour than you actually need, which will give you a cake batter that is off from ideal consistency. Instead, when measuring flour, use the “spoon & level” method. Use a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup. By using this simple technique, you can guarantee better baking results.
3. Understand there is a difference between melted and room temperature butter.
Look carefully at what your recipe calls for. Room temperature butter is simply softened from sitting out, while melted butter pours.
Even if you forgot to leave your butter out to soften, the good news is that most newer microwaves have a soften setting that can speed up a stick you need sooner rather than later.
4. Don’t crack the over door 15 times.
I know that cake smells so good while it bakes, and you want to watch its progress, but keep the oven door closed through your baking time. When you do, you let cool air in, and the drastic temperature change can cause the rising cake to sink. When you think the cake should be done is a safer time to take a peek.
5. Let your cake cool completely.
We’re often in a rush to get to a final product, and it’s tempting to want to start assembling and decorating before a cake is completely cooled. You took the time to whip up something good, so don’t ruin your efforts in the end by assembling before the cake has cooled and settled or with frosting melting on a warm cake instead of spreading. Give it a little time, and you’ll be much happier with your end result.
I hope these five simple tips leave you with a cake that you’re proud to present at your holiday table, and your guests are happy to gobble up. If you want to learn more pro tips, then we’d love to see you at a Sweet Bites Baking School class in the new year!