Baking doesn’t come naturally to everyone but that doesn’t mean you can’t take your skills to the next level. Whether you enjoy making cookies, cakes or pies, these essential baking tips are sure to come in handy.
5 Simple But Helpful Baking Tips
1. Read the recipe. Twice.
Don’t just read the ingredients in the recipe. Go through all of the instructions so you don’t get caught off guard when the recipe indicates letting something sit overnight or requires special equipment you don’t have on hand.
2. Use room temperature ingredients. Always!
If you are an avid baker then you probably follow this golden rule. If not, it is a must. Room temperature butter, eggs and liquids mix into cake and cookie recipes much better. The temperature of the ingredients also affects baking time.
Of course, every rule has an exception. If you are making whipped cream or pie crust you’ll want your ingredients and equipment to be ice cold. That's why reading the recipe will help you map out the best course of action.
3. Preheat the oven…first
You don't want to mix all the cake ingredients only to have to wait on the oven to heat up. Start by preheating the oven before getting out your measuring cups.
4. Keep the oven hotter than you think
Here’s a nifty tip from pro bakers: preheat the oven 25 degrees higher than what the recipe indicates. Place your cake in the oven then lower to the correct temperature. This will compensate for all the heat lost when you open the oven door to place the cake inside.
5. Let cakes cool completely
Allowing cakes to cool completely is crucial. If you try to frost a cake that is still warm the icing won’t stick.
In the case of cakes that need to be inverted, such as a pineapple upside down cake, you risk having the decorative bottom fall apart or slide off. Allow the cake to cool completely and then invert onto a plate or cake stand.
Bundt cakes and pound cakes can be tricky to release from their mold. In this case allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes then invert it onto a baking rack. Tap the mold slightly (which will help it separate from the cake). Allow the cake to cool and you’ll see how easily the cake pan comes off.