Ever wonder why your cake fell in the center or why your centers didn’t bake well or why the whole thing fell apart? Well, over the years, you learn from your mistakes. Here are some tips that have helped me be a better baker:
- Rule number 1, measure accurately! Even better, weigh your ingredients if you can.
- Spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and then sweep off the excess with a knife. Don’t scoop it directly from the bag with a measuring cup.
- If you run out of buttermilk, you can substitute 1 cup of milk + 1 teaspoon vinegar ( let it stand 5 minutes before using)
- Out of sour cream? Not to worry, use 3/4 cup buttermilk plus 1/3 cup butter.
- The most useful tip I have learned was the secret to fluffy cakes is fluffing the sugar and butter for about 5 minutes or more! Believe me, it makes all the difference.
- NEVER overmix your ingredients. It will not only entrap bubbles but result in a dry cake.
- A good substitute for cake flour is ¾ cup all purpose flour + 2 tablespoons corn starch.
- Don’t drop the salt, it makes a difference in balancing the flavor!
- Avoid using cold eggs. If you are in a hurry, place them in a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes.
- Break your eggs in a dark bowl, you’d be amazed of the tiny eggshells you leave behind.
- Pre-heat oven for about 15-20 minutes. One of the mistakes of failed baking is not having a preheated oven.
- Grease pans with shortening as it will give you better coverage. About the only time I really use shortening is for greasing my pans and the work surface, otherwise I love using butter!
- Bake your cakes in low tins to ensure proper baking. This method always comes out fluffy versus the deep pans which make the cake too dense.
- Dry cakes are the result of baking too long. Bake until just done, when a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool cakes 10 minutes and flip out of pans. If they stay in for more than 10 minutes, they will be difficult to remove. If you remove them too soon, they will fall apart. So 10 is the magic number!
Thanks for reading!