Tips & Tricks

Top 31 Baking Tips & Tricks

donuts and bagel display


  • Towel It:

 Grease baking pans using a paper towel. Rub a little bit of shortening or butter along with all areas of the pan (if the recipe calls for a greased pan).

  • Baking Utensils:

Make sure you have both liquid and dry measuring spoons and cups, and the specified pan sizes. Recipes require a standard dry measuring cup for dry ingredients, which include flours, cocoa powder, granulated (brown and regular) sugar, cornmeal, and powdered sugars.

  • Tricks Of The Shell:

Fingers aren’t good for retrieving eggshells. When eggshell pieces fall in the batter or mixture, use the empty half-shell to scoop them out.

  • Rack Rules:

Wondering which oven rack to use? The middle rack is the best choice for baking unless otherwise specified.

  • Pie Preparation:

 If baking more than one pie, lower your oven temperature.If the 2 pies are different, use the lowest oven temperature of the two recipes. Bake on separate baking sheets.

  • Don’t Go Changing:

 When baking, don’t change the recipe. Cooking can be modified, but baking is an exact science.

  • Only the Best:

You get out what you put in. Use the freshest dairy, fruits, and spices to give the best baking results.

  • Beating Basics:

Don’t over-beat or under-beat your cake batter or you risk changing the cake’s texture or volume. One minute of mixer beating time is the same as 150 strokes by hand.

  • Best Eggs:

 Unless a baking recipe calls for a specific size of eggs, choose medium to large. Large eggs can cause cakes to fall while cooling.

  • Shine On :

Shiny aluminum pans reflect heat away. When baking cakes this will result in a soft, golden crust.

  • Chocolaty Dust:

When a recipe calls for dusting the tins with flour, try something tastier instead – use a little of the dry cake mix or sifted cocoa powder.

  • Cracking Up:

Does your cake crack when baking? This means your oven is too hot or the rack is placed too high in the oven.

  • Baking Powder Basics:

Did you know baking powder loses its strength? Test yours – pour hot water into a small bowl and add 1 teaspoon of your baking powder. It should fizz like crazy. If it doesn’t, it needs to be replaced.

  • Butter Means Butter:

Butter, margarine, and shortening are often not interchangeable in recipes. The fats are different and may change the result of the recipe.

  • Extract Or Flavoring:

What’s the difference? Extracts are required to contain the natural flavor. Flavorings and imitations may be made artificially.

  • Cold Concoctions:

When using extracts for cooking, add them when your mixture is cold. If added when the mixture is hot, some flavor may be lost due to evaporation.

  • Pack It In:

Brown sugar should be measured by packing it in a dry-cup measure, whether specified or not. With brown sugar, packing is always assumed.

  • Trade-Off Cakes:

Missing the right size cake pan? Two 8-inch square baking pans will work instead of a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

  • No Peeking:

Don’t open the oven door while your desserts are baking. Each peek lets out 20% or more of the heat.

  • Repurposed Tools:

A chopstick or broken kitchen tool handle can be stored in the flour container as a measuring cup level. This prevents dirtying another utensil each time.

  • Cool Off:

Run out of cooling rack space for pies? Use an upside-down muffin pan as an extra cooling rack. The middle space between molds allows free airflow.

  • Parchment Pointer:

When rolling piecrust, place dough between 2 sheets of parchment or waxed paper. This avoids the flour mess and makes for a more tender crust.

  • True Trifecta:

Chocolate, vanilla, and salt are made for each other. Use vanilla to give the chocolate a smooth taste, and salt to enhance the chocolate taste and balance the natural sweetness.

  • Muffin Mastery:

If you want your muffins to slide from the pan without sticking, place the hot pan on a wet towel first. They should slide right out.

  • Take The Cake:

For parties, don’t pre-slice your cake more than 20 minutes ahead or the cake will dry out.

  • Embrace The Brown:

When bananas turn brown, don’t toss them out. Peel and freeze them to use in banana bread later.

  • Bounty Of Berries:

Buy berries in season at a cheaper price. Freeze them on a cookie sheet and then place them in zippered freezer bags. You’ll have perfectly frozen individual berries rather than a mushy mess.

  • Soaking For Success:

If raisins are called for in a recipe, try plumping them first. Measure the number of raisins required by the recipe, cover with very hot water (not boiling) and allow them to soak and plump for 2 to 5 minutes.

  • Rockin’ Raisins:

Try soaking raisins in cola instead of water. Cola plumps them up and adds a delicious spiciness.

  • Raisin Ratio:

Raisins often sink to the bottom of the cake batter. When adding raisins to the batter, stir only 1/4 of the recipe amount into the batter. Pour the batter into your pan and top it with the reserved raisins.

  • Floating Fruit:

When making blueberry muffins, toss fresh blueberries with a tablespoon of flour to keep them from sinking to the bottom. The flour helps them stick to the batter.

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