Baking Hacks Which Will Save Your Life

Ok, so they won’t actually save your life. But it will certainly feel like it. Let’s call it life changing, not life saving. I am by no means a professionally fully qualified, all singing, all dancing baker (ok, maybe sometimes) but I’d like to think that over 10 years of baking for hobby and for business has taught me a thing or two.

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1 – How do you get perfectly even cupcakes? I use ice cream scoops. Pop a scoop of batter in each cupcake case for equal cupcakes every time. Spray your scoop with a little cooking spray and the batter will just slide off to make it even easier.

2 – How do you bake flat cakes? Try turning your oven temperature down 10 degrees and cooking for 10-15 minutes longer if needed. The lower cooking temperature will stop your cake from rising as much. When cooked, leave to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes then take out, wrap in cling film and leave to cool completely upside down. By cooling with the top of the cake on the work surface, it will flatten it out.

3 – How do you stop wet cupcake cases after baking? Sprinkle a teaspoon of uncooked rice in the bottom of the muffin tray before putting your cases in. The rice will soak up any excess moisture, leaving your cases dry.

4 – Why does my cake sink in the middle? Most of the time it happens because the oven door was opened too early. You need to make sure the cake is at least 90% cooked before opening the door. Any sooner and it will sink. Also, invest in an oven thermometer. It’ll help to know your oven is at the recommended temperature.

5 – My cake hasn’t risen well, why? Baking powder can go off even if it’s not out of date. I generally don’t use baking powder when its been opened for 6-8 weeks. I’ll buy another. Also, too much baking powder can have the opposite effect so make sure you stick to the recipe and don’t over use. Read number 4 again, this will help this problem too.

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6 - How do I keep my cake moist? Don’t over cook your cake. This will cause the cake to be dry from the start. Use sugar syrup on each layer. This is equal parts of sugar and boiling water. Eg. Add 100 ml of boiling water into a bowl and add 100 g of caster sugar. Stir until dissolved. Leave to cool then brush on each cake layer and stack as normal. Deliciously moist cakes! The left over sugar syrup can keep in the fridge for up to 10 days.

7 – Is it ok to freeze cakes? Absolutely. I have lots of times. I never would bake, freeze and use 3 months later. If I have to freeze a cake, I’ll use it 1-2 weeks later. This really does help with time management sometimes if you have a lot booked in. Chocolate cake in my opinion is even nicer after its been frozen. Thaw out as normal before layering and stacking.

8 – How do I store my cooked cakes? As soon as the cake is cooled, wrap in a double layer of cling film and store at room temperature for 24 hours before using. This allows the cake to settle and firm up slightly so it doesn’t break in a million (at least!) crumbs when trying to level the cake.

9-  How is it best to use ingredients? Always use at room temperature as it can effect the rise of the cake. Eggs, milk, butter etc. You can pop the butter in the microwave for 20 seconds to soften. Add a few eggs in some warm water to warm up for a few minutes.. Not for too long though as they will start to cook. I always use UHT milk as it is stored at room temperature already. Or you can just remember to take everything out the fridge an hour before using!

10 – What recipe is best for fondant covered cakes? I believe all recipes are suitable for this. I would recommend using ganache as a crumb coat as this sets very firm enabling you to cover with ease.

We have a range of online recipe guides, perfect for covered cakes. Also, our Ganache and lace cake class will teach you all you need to know about making, storing and using ganache.

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What baking tips have you got to share? Feel free to post below.

Lots of cake love

Dani xx

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