There are many different recipes to follow when it comes to baking cakes. Just like there are many different types of cakes that you can bake as well! You can go for your typical chocolate cake or you can also bake a cake which contains fruit such as bananas or blueberries. There are so many options out there!
Baking can be difficult and many cake recipes will contain some of the same methods for baking your cake, whilst others can be quite different. Here are a few tips that you need to take on board when it comes to baking the perfect cake!
Stick To The Recipe
If you stick to the recipe, word for word, it will go in the direction you want it to do. There is a skill when it comes to baking. However, when you are baking, the best way to bake your cake is to stick to the recipe. Many people will change a recipe so it suits their dietary needs. They could also change the ingredients for the taste as well. This is something that you should not do as it can turn the cake into a disaster.
A recipe will give you all the ingredients that you will need. It will also give you the measurements that you will need. Some recipes will even give you the utensils that you will need for the job. There are some exceptions, for example, if it tells you to use a 6-inch cake pan, you can probably get away with a 5-inch cake-tin or 7-inch. Just make sure it does not overflow and you adjust the cooking time or temperature slightly as the cake might be slightly thinner or thicker. Although it is recommended that you use the right-sized cake tin to prevent overflowing or sunken cakes.
Baking at room temperature is important when it comes to your cake. You will often see this within the recipe as well. It will instruct you to let ingredients get to room temperature before you use them. You will see that recipes usually suggest you leave butter and eggs to reach room temperature.
Ingredients bond together much better when they are at room temperature compared to when they have just come out of the fridge and it makes the batter or mixture less likely to split. Cold ingredients do not mix well so remember this for all your future baking recipes.
The room temperature is considered to be around 20 degrees. Make sure that most of the ingredients, especially butter and eggs, for your recipe are out on the kitchen counter for at least one hour. The best way to test this with butter is by placing your finger into the butter. This should just make an indent and not sink or slide down the butter.
Sometimes you could be too busy to allow your butter and other ingredients to get to room temperature. However, there are a few ways to soften your butter quicker than waiting until it gets to room temperature, like putting it in the microwave for a few minutes.
Stick To The Measurements
This is second to the number one rule of sticking to a recipe. As stated earlier, the recipe will come with the appropriate measurements you need for your recipe. A recipe can easily lead to failure if there has been a miss-measure. There are many ingredients that you need to measure as well. This is why it is so easy to go wrong as well.
Flour is one of those things that could easily go wrong with the measurements of the recipe. The best way to measure flour is by placing a bowl on the weighing scales. Reset the scales so it is set to 0. Then slowly pour the flour into the bowl until it gets to the weight you need for the recipe.
Always pay attention to the cake flour it is asking you to use. Some cannot be used for certain recipes. A great example would be a chocolate cake. If the recipe asks you to use self-raising flour, but you decide to just use plain flour instead, you are likely to have a very flat cake. Professional bakery products are made with such precision, so this is something you should aim to replicate in your own kitchen.
Mix Your Ingredients Correctly
It is important to mix cake batter until the ingredients are fully combined, without over mixing. Over mixing anything can lead to a tough texture for your bakery goods due to you over-developing the gluten. It sounds like it is a petty instruction but it is something that you should pay attention to.
We all have that toxic trait where we open the oven to see how the cake is cooking. Opening the oven multiple times will allow cold air to get into the oven. This could cause the cakes to sink which is the last thing that you want. Buy yourself an oven thermometer so you know the correct temperature of your oven all the time.
The Good Old Fashioned Bounce-Back Test
There are many ways you can test whether your cake is ready. You can use the simple method of using a toothpick to test the temperature of the cake. Placing a thermometer in the centre of the cake is another good way of finding out the right temperature.
However, there is another way to double-check whether your cake is ready or not. This is called the bounce back test. To do this, you take the cake out of the oven and place it onto the kitchen top. Next, you gently press down on the cake and if the cake bounces back, that means it is done. However, if it doesn’t, then the cake will need more time in the oven. Once the cake is ready, take it out and let it cool in the tin.
Here are your tips for baking the perfect cake! Two things to make sure of is following the recipe and instructions word for word and you should also make sure you use the exact measurements for the recipe as well. If you do both of these things then you are not giving much room for failure. Just make sure everything is at the right temperature before you begin mixing. There are many popular cakes out there to bake so explore the recipes for them and get baking.