I found this photo the other day and thought “WOW, I’ve been baking for a long time!” I’m often asked about how I make my cakes look so pretty and so I will share a few tips for getting “professional” results at home.
- Assemble all ingredients before you start baking. Measure everything and have items at room temperature or as stated in the recipe. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to put something in the batter.
- Preheat your oven and check temperature with an oven thermometer. This is probably the one item that is overlooked if your cakes aren’t baking properly.
- Don’t over mix your batter. Only mix your cake batter for the time stated in the recipe. Over mixing makes the cake tough and heavy – light and fluffy is what you want.
- For cupcakes or muffins only fill your muffin pans 1/2 to 2/3 full to get that pretty domed top.
- Baking strips are the best! You pre-soak them in water and then secure around the outside of the pan to get level cakes.
- Don’t open the oven to peek once the cake is in the oven. Opening the oven while the cake is baking doesn’t keep the temperature consistent and you risk the cake falling.
- Don’t jump around or drop something heavy near the oven or your cakes will fall. I have a young son who is banned from the kitchen when I’m baking – enough said!
- I use waxed or parchment paper on the cooling racks so they don’t stick.
- Cool your cakes COMPLETELY before attempting to decorate them – don’t try to rush this or you’ll have this.
- 10. Don’t be afraid to experiment with recipes – there are tons of recipes online and one of my favorite cooking sites is http://www.tastespotting.com – it’s an addicting site so be ready to spend some time there!
If you have a baking question, put it in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer it! Sorry, Rachel I’m still not sharing my buttercream icing recipe!!