Baking Tips & Techniques For Cakes
"It's as simple as baking a cake." Whoever came up with that saying is so wrong! Cakes are science and chemistry isn't always easy. To make your life easier, here are some cake baking hacks will improve your sponge! Personally, we prefer cookies around here and the kind you don't even have to bake. *COUGH COUGH* Gookie Dough!
(Image credit: Georgia's Cakes)
Lining a tin or pan
There's nothing worse when your cake gets stuck to the tin, and when you finally remove it, half of the sponge isn't edible, slightly burnt and uneven. It's unfortunate times indeed! To ensure smooth, easy removal, it's essential to prep pans correctly. If you know you're going to be using flour or butter as ingredients, then it's best to use parchment paper which is traced and cut to fit. Coat the sides and bottom with softened butter and then dust with flour, turning the pan on its side to get full coverage and tapping out the excess. For chocolate cake, swap flour for cocoa powder. PRO TIPS ALERT: cakes that are baked in springform tins don't need paper, just butter and flour. However, angel, chiffon and sponge cakes should go in clean untreated pans because they need to rise appropriately.
If the recipe says '150g sifted flour' then sift the flour first and then measure it. On the other hand, if the recipe says '150g flour, sifted' then measure the flour first and then sift. It can make a bigger difference than you think, the comma means EVERYTHING! Sometimes flour will be labelled and stated as 'presifted', but it still needs sifting just to be extra sure and to refine it further.
(Image credit: Georgia's Cakes)
Eggs should be beaten until light and foamy; they tend to lighten in colour and fall in a ribbon when the whisk is lifted out of the bowl. It's crucial to add eggs one at a time, beating them first until adding the next. Don't rush things.
We'll all admit it. Softened or room temperature butter is a pain, a lot of us ignore this phrase and crack on. However, when butter is softened, it can beat but can maintain its structure so it can trap and hold air which is the key secret to a fluffy cake. Butter that is too cold and firm or warm and melted will result in a flat or dense cake. When it's soft enough to hold a light thumbprint, it's perfect.
(Image credit: Georgia's Cakes//Pinterest)
To divide a cake into layers, run a serrated knife around the perimeter of the cake gently. This will mark a line where you can cut. Then draw the blade through the cake with a gentle sawing motion to cut it in half. No one can get this perfect so put the thicker layer at the bottom!
Happy baking! We'd love to see your creations of any sweet treats, especially incorporating Gookie Dough into them so tag us in your pictures on social media!
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