Well, who doesn’t love delicious cakes? Though baking can be quite demanding, a lot goes into ensuring that the final product is delectable. We are here to answer all of your queries. With these tips, you will be able to bake cakes that won’t fall flat, crumble or simply disappoint. Wear your aprons and get, set, go!
- Follow the recipe to the T.
- Room temperature is crucial.
- Use parchment paper rounds.
- Cake flour over all-purpose flour.
- Mis-measured tablespoons matter.
1. Follow the recipe to the T.
It is the most obvious tip on this list and is yet underrated. In the excitement of baking a cake, we often substitute the products listed in a recipe with what is readily available in our kitchens, which leads to utter chaos. Do you leave out eggs, reduce the quantity of sugar or use liquid sugar instead of sugar sound? If yes, stop already!
Kindly don’t waste your time, effort and money. Do not go for alternatives unless the recipe suggests them. It is vital to follow the recipe at least for the first time that you try it. Later, you can make adjustments as per your wish.
You can substitute 8-inch round pans with 9-inch round ones as they take longer, but you should try to follow the pan size mentioned in the recipe. Otherwise, you can have a dense, overflowing, sunken or flimsy cake in your hand and who needs it, right?
2. Room temperature is crucial.
Sometimes the recipe mentions that an ingredient needs to at room temperature. It isn’t for nothing, and there is a legitimate scientific reason behind it. So, stick to egg, milk and butter at room temperature if the recipe mentions it.
Here’s why it is better to use ingredients at room temperature –
- As you would know, beating butter and sugar together is often the first step in any recipe. Now, when the butter is at room temperature, it can trap heat enhancing the creaming process. Later, this air expands during baking and gives you a delicious fluffy cake.
- Cold ingredients do not emulsify together. It is easier to blend ingredients at room temperature without over-mixing them.
Are your cakes often too dense? If yes, the butter might be at fault here. Here is how you can go through a quick check –
- Butter at room temperature (approximately 18 degrees celsius) will be colder than your kitchen. It means that it will feel cold against your skin and not warm. You can do so by allowing the butter to sit on the counter for over an hour or two before you start baking a cake.
- You can also check the butter by poking with your index finger. It should leave an indent but should not sink or slide into the butter. Also, the butter should not look shiny or greasy.
3. Use parchment paper rounds.
Firstly, you need to ensure that you have access to the best quality cake pans. Once you do, here is how you can use parchment paper rounds to prepare an ultra non-stick environment for your cake –
- Trace the bottom of the cake pans on a large parchment paper and then cut out these circles.
- Slowly, grease the bottom of the pan with butter or coconut oil and place the parchment circles inside it. Most of us miss out on the step of lining the parchment circles too.
- When the cake cools, run a thin knife around the edge of the cake pan, and invert the cake onto your working surface. Finally, peel off the parchment circle and voila!
Yet, if you are baking a cake that can be served right out of the pan like a sheet cake, you will not need any parchment papers. Just greasing the pan well will work.
4. Cake flour over all-purpose flour.
Cake flour is low on proteins and has a delicate consistency as compared to all-purpose flour. If you are baking a vanilla cake, red velvet cake or a white cake, it is vital to use cake flour for the desired softness and fluffy texture.
There is always a flip side to every coin. If you are baking any of these cakes, it is better to go for all-purpose flour than cake flour –
- Chocolate cake
- Spice cake
- Carrot cake
- Banana cake
5. Mis-measured tablespoons matter.
Measurements can make all the difference while baking the perfect cake, and even one tablespoon can turn a dream cake into a nightmare. Flour is the ingredient which suffers the most here.
Since baking isn’t very forgiving, follow this “spoon and level” method for accurate measurements –
- Scooping the flour with a measuring cup can give you over 150% of the correct measurement. Instead, use a spoon to scoop the flour into a measuring cup.
- Do not tap the flour or pack it down. After you have spooned the flour, use a knife to level off the top of the cup, and you are good to go!
We hope that these tips were helpful to you. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to share them. We would love to hear from you.