If you can turn on the oven, you can bake a great cake.
There’s something magical about cake. Cake is one of the only things that can make both an eight year old and an eighty year old’s eyes light up. It can brighten the darkest of days, be the life of a bad party, and smooth over fights. What other is that powerful?
And if you harness this power yourself, think of what you could do! If you’ve never fancied yourself a great baker, don’t worry about it. Here are a few fantastic cake-baking tips that will help you impress the world in no time flat.
Some Basic Recipe Tips
It goes without saying, but when following a recipe, be sure to avoid confusing your teaspoons (tsp or t) and tablespoons (tbsp or T). Nothing ruins a cake faster than too much salt, too little sugar or strange combinations of spices.
Let’s talk about eggs. When you go to the grocery store, you’ve probably seen that they come in a ton of different sizes. However, you’ve probably also noticed that recipes rarely specify which size to use. Unless otherwise noted in the recipe, you should use grade-A large eggs, which are the standard staple of baking.
Grease your pans, and grease them well. Even the best cake recipes are prone to sticking, so make sure you either grease, or grease and butter your cake pan before you get baking.
A lot of people take this for granted, but an oven that is properly preheated will deliver cakes that are moist, delicious and—most important—evenly baked. Preheat your oven for at least 15 minutes before you start baking, though a full half hour would be even better.
How many times have you been in this exact scenario: You’re going to make a cake, but you realize that you’re missing a crucial ingredient. Sure, you could go out to the store, but maybe you don’t want to make the trip in rush hour traffic. What if I told you that you only needed one ingredient to add to your favorite Betty Crocker cake mix to make it delicious and moist? It’s true.
All you need is one box of Betty Crocker cake mix, and your favorite can of soda. Simply pour your cake mix into a bowl, and mix in your can of soda. Then, bake according to the directions on the box. Not only is this quick and simple, it allows you to create some delicious flavor combinations. My personal favorite is yellow cake mix and lemon-lime soda. Another good combination is chocolate cake and orange or cherry soda. Of course, you can also use club soda if you don’t want to add any additional flavors.
If you’re like me, you love marble cakes, but hate the fact that they only seem to come in the standard flavor of chocolate and vanilla. As long as you have two cake pans, all you have to do is make two batches of separate cake batter in whatever flavors you would like. Then, simply spoon half of each into both pans. Swirl with a butter knife to create a marbled effect, and enjoy your new flavor combinations. My personal favorite? Strawberry chocolate marble cake, with a cream cheese frosting!
Budding bakers, these should be all the tips you need to start baking your cakes and impressing your crew!