A perfect cake is a work of art. However, a lot more goes into making the perfect cake; baking is primarily a science. From collecting and measuring the precise amount of ingredients to flawlessly decorating it with those final touches, each step of baking a cake requires precision and some extra thought.
Making sure to carefully follow each step of the recipe, plus some useful tips, will enhance your baking and result in a delectable cake that is beautifully baked. . We want to help you achieve those amazing results here at Rosalind Miller, so we’ve put together 7 professional cake baking tips that will make all the difference to your baking experience.
By following these baking tips, you are sure to avoid simple mistakes that can stop you from achieving the ideal light and fluffy sponge that both tastes delicious and looks amazing.
Of course, if you’re really dedicated to becoming a master cake baker, then our Online Cake Baking Masterclass developed by an award-winning expert team, is just what you need.
Cake Baking Tip no.1 – Follow the recipe
This may seem like a very obvious one, but following a cake recipe is one of the most important cake baking tips to follow. It is also the most ignored baking tip, with most bakers substituting accuracy with convenience and using ingredients they have at hand.
This step is just as important as selecting the correct cake baking temperature or cake baking time so you don’t end up with an underdone or overdone consistency. Using the wrong type of flour (such as bread flour) instead of cake flour, or icing sugar instead of granulated are the type of baking mistakes that can leave your cake a bit worse for wear, or result in a complete disaster.
Don’t let convenience or being in a rush get in the way of using the correct ingredients and accurately following a recipe. Most cake fails happen when recipes aren’t followed properly. It’s a good idea to follow a recipe the first time you try it, and then make changes as you see fit the next time.
Cake Baking Tip no.2 – Use the best ingredients
The ingredients you use in a cake recipe are another very important element to consider when trying to make the perfect cake. Using the best quality, freshest ingredients can make all the difference to the quality and taste of your cake.
It is always a good idea to use organic ingredients whenever possible, and natural flavourings rather than artificial ones. A vanilla extract or vanilla seeds straight from the pod will always taste much better than an artificial vanilla essence, for example. Specialised ingredients will also make a big difference, such as ‘cake’ or ‘sponge’ flour, which has been specially made for cake baking (as it’s grown with a lower gluten content) and will bake a softer, lighter sponge.
Cake Baking Tip no.3 – Use room temperature ingredients
There are several ingredients that should be used at room temperature to make your baking experience easier and aid in the preparation of your cake, as well as enhancing the final result. These are ingredients such as eggs, butter, and milk.
For the time being, let’s focus on room temperature butter. Most cake recipes start with creaming butter and sugar together to get the mixing process started. Air is incorporated into the mix during the creaming process, which expands during the baking to produce a fluffy cake.
Unless the recipe states otherwise, cream together the butter and sugar until it’s really light in colour and a fluffy consistency. Ensure that the butter is soft not melted. You can test this by poking the butter with your finger. Your finger should leave an indent in the butter without it sinking or sliding.
Room temperature ingredients are also easier and quicker to bond together since they are warmer. Simply put, colder ingredients have a harder time emulsifying together to create the desired baking consistency.
Cake Baking Tip no.4 – Measure accurately
This is another very obvious and no-brainer cake baking tip, but it can be the area where most cake baking mistakes take place. A recipe success or a recipe failure can lie within a single inaccurate tablespoon of sugar.
It is imperative to measure ingredients correctly. We recommend always investing in a digital scale to ensure you always measure accurately. A handy cake baking tip that many amateur bakers forget is to measure eggs without their shells to get the accurate weight of each egg.
Cake Baking Tip no.5 – Mix ingredients together properly and don’t over or under mix
Make sure to not fall victim to over-mixing or under-mixing your ingredients. Over-mixing batter can lead to a tough-textured cake. After all, you’re deflating all the air from the mix and over-developing the gluten in the flour.
A good baking tip is to always sift your flour when adding it to your bowl of ingredients. This gets rid of lumps and helps to incorporate more air.
Avoid under-mixing too as all ingredients should be mixed and incorporated together before being baked in the oven. ‘Fold’ in the flour and milk very gently. You can do this using a large metal spoon to scrape the base of the bowl (making sure to catch all the ingredients), then twist in a folding motion as you lift folding’ it back into the mixture.
Cake Baking Tip no.6 – Grease and line baking tins
A good quality cake tin goes a long way in the cake baking process, but it’s just as important to make sure to prepare it appropriately. Grease and line your tins with baking or greaseproof paper.
For cakes over 25cm, you can fold some brown paper to the height of the tin, and wrap around the outside of the tin. This helps to prevent the edges from burning before the centre of the cake is cooked.
Cake Baking Tip no.7 – Storing cakes
Cakes often have to be prepared in advance so cannot be eaten immediately after baking. It’s important to store and wrap them correctly to maintain freshness and taste. You can bake your sponge in advance, double wrap it in clingfilm, and freeze. When you’re ready to ice it, defrost it until it’s back at room temperature before icing.
To get some inspiration for your own expertly baked cakes and to see the beautiful cakes our expert bakers turn out, follow our Instagram page.