For an extra crusty exterior, try greasing and sugaring the pans. This gives cakes a firm candied outer layer. Grease the pan well, then toss sugar in the pan to completely coat the sides.
Scrape your bowl.
It’s an easy mistake to hurry through your batter preparation and forget to scrape the mixing bowl and remix. The problem is, you leave important ingredients at the bottom of the bowl and end up with inconsistencies in your batter. I usually scrape the bowl twice during cake prep. Once after I’ve creamed the butter and sugar, and again at the end once all ingredients are incorporated into the mixing bowl. Use a flexible spatula to scrape the entire surface of the mixing bowl down to the very bottom, then turn the mixer back on and beat until smooth.
Invest in good spatulas.
I like a spatula that is silicone, so it can withstand heat, and is made in one solid piece so the handle doesn’t fill with water in the dish washer… You know what I’m talking about.
High altitude baking.
Since there is less air pressure at higher altitudes, cakes rise higher and can dry out because the liquids evaporate faster. If you live above 3500 feet: Increase the oven temperature from 350 to 375 degree F. Then increase the liquid by 2 tablespoons for each cup used. Decrease each cup of sugar by 1 tablespoon, each teaspoon of baking powder by 1/8 teaspoon. Also decrease the baking time by 5 minutes. This works for most standard cakes recipes.
Use the pan size recommended in the recipe you are following. If you alter the pan size, you can expect your baked good to cook much faster or slower than mentioned.
Like fluffy cookies?
Roll your dough into logs, wrapping the logs in plastic, and freeze it. Then cut the dough into rounds and bake just like store bought break-and-bake cookies. The exterior of the dough will set and bake before the interior has time to thaw, resulting in puffier cookies.
Bake in the center.
Position the pans and baking sheets as close to the center of the oven as possible… unless otherwise noted in your recipe. They shouldn’t touch each other or the oven walls. If your oven isn’t wide enough to put pans side by side, place them on different racks and slightly offset, to allow for air circulation.
Do you have any cake baking tips to share? Leave a comment!