100 Best Baking Tips and Tricks

Today we’re discussing our 100 Best Baking Tips and Tricks to help you produce better baked goods on a consistent basis.

100 BEST Baking Tips and Tricks! #howto #baking

Something I’ve noticed since starting A Spicy Perspective 5 years ago, is that many of you have a love-hate relationship with baking.

You love having sweet aromas wafting out of your oven, and having treats to share with friends and coworkers. Yet, you hate precise measuring, and the anxiety that can come with hoping your baked goods will come out of the oven as planned.

MY OTHER RECIPES


Let’s face it. The most tested baking recipes can still flop on occasion. It’s usually a culmination of little issues, you may not even be aware of, that add up to flat greasy cookies or a sunken cake disaster.

Today I’m hoping to shed some light on some basic baking tips and tricks that will help increase your odds of having perfect cupcakes, cookies, and bread every time you bake.

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100 Best Baking Tips and Tricks

1) Cooking is an Art, Baking is a Science. In cooking, you can throw in a handful of herbs or a little more butter, like you were adding a bit more chartreuse to an oil-painting. You can make changes as you go with no major catastrophe in the end. In baking, everything matters. Think of baking as chemistry. One small adjustment could be your undoing, but you won’t know it until you pull your cake out of the oven. When making something for the first time, read the recipe thoroughly before you start. Follow every step to a tee. Remember, the recipe developer thought each element was important enough to document, so there must be a reason for it. Do not alter the recipe until you’ve made it successfully at least once.

2) Measuring matters. We Americans like to kick it old-school in the measuring department, relying on cups and spoons to give the proper proportions. Yet pastry chefs world-wide measure their ingredients by metric weight. The reason for this is that a cup of flour can vary greatly in weight depending on the type of flour, and how packed it is. In a perfect world, all home-cooks would use scales and metric measurement to insure exact amounts of wet and dry ingredients. As that’s never going to happen, make sure to always pour ingredients into your measuring cups, never scoop. Scooping packs the ingredient down, meaning you end up with more than you want. Always level the measuring spoons and cups with a knife or spatula. *If you are a habitual scooper and can’t stop, at least stir the ingredient (especially flour) to lighten it, before scooping into the bag.

3) Quality ingredients. Different brands of butter, yogurt, buttermilk, and flour have varied levels of moisture, fat, and protein. These little variations can greatly effect the outcome of the final product. Use the brands the recipe developer recommends, or find brands that suit your baking needs and use them exclusively so you know how they will react in your recipe.

4) Ingredient temperature. If a recipe calls for cold butter, melted butter, or room-temperature eggs, remember that any adjustment you make will effect the outcome. The difference between putting a dough with cold butter and one with warm melted butter in the oven, is HUGE. It results in a completely different chemical reaction. 

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5) Butter loses moisture the longer it sits in the fridge, which can cause your baked goods to be dry. Buy and use the freshest butter you can find. Check dates on the packing and always select unsalted butter, because salt is a preservative… Meaning salted butter has probably been in cold storage longer than unsalted.

6) Baking with unsalted butter, also means you have full control of the sodium level in your baked goods. If you must substitute salted butter in a baked recipe, reduce the additional salt by half.

7) Leavening. Baking powder, baking soda, and yeast lose their lifting power over time. I buy new baking soda and baking powder every 6 months, and toss the old container, just to be on the safe side.

8) Yeast. Storing dry active yeast in the freezer helps it retain its lifting power.

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9) Mood matters. This may sound silly, but it has to do with measuring and delicacy. A pastry chef once told me that when she’s upset, her recipes don’t turn out. She’s heavy-handed while measuring and rough on the dough and batter. She is physically not in the proper state of mind to turn out perfect baked goods. Try to bake when you are relaxed and have plenty of time on your hands.

10) Weather. Standard “room temperature” is right around 70 degrees F. If you bake when it’s really hot outside or bitter cold, and the outside temperature is affecting the inside temperature, your results will be different. If the humidity is higher or lower than normal, your results will be different. That’s why our grandmas use to tell us never to bake on a rainy day. The heavy moisture in the air effects the ability of the dough/batter to rise and dry.

11) Parchment paper is your BFF. Parchment paper helps batter and dough bake evenly. It also makes it possible to get brownies and cakes clean out of the pan, and stops cookies from spreading out on baking sheets. Always line baking sheets, cake pans, and baking dishes with parchment. Always.

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12) Invest is a good mixer. Who wouldn’t like a beautiful shiny stand mixer sitting out on their counter top? However a good quality mixer is so much more than kitchen eye-candy. It insures even mixing, stiff meringues, and perfectly whipped cream. If you buy a good one, it should last for decades.

13) Grease and flour. Cake pans should always be thoroughly greased and floured, so the cakes can slip out of the pan easily after cooling. If using a bundt pan, the more grooves your bundt cake pan has, the more you need to pay attention during the greasing and flouring process. I like to use a baking spray like Pam or Baker’s Joy that incorporates flour in the spray. I feel like I get better coverage with a spray, and the fact that it’s a onestep process is nice.

14) Nonstick spray. When spraying pans with nonstick spray, hold the pan over the sink (to reduce clean up) and spray every nook and cranny.

15) Grease and sugar. For a 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.

16) 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.

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17) 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.

18) 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.

19) Pan size. 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. 

20) 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.

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21) 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.

22) Rotate pans while baking. This pertains primarily to cookies, because you do not want to open the oven while a cake is rising and risk a collapse. However, rotating cookie sheets halfway through baking will ensure even baking. You can rotate cake pans after they’ve been in the oven for at least 20 minutes.

23) Cooling. Take cookies out of the oven when the edges are golden and set and the center looks slightly under-baked. Then cool completely on the cookie sheet for soft chewy cookies.

24) More on cooling… Cool cakes upside down on a cooling rack. This will flatten out the tops, creating easy-to-stack disks for layer cakes.

25) For level layer cake stacking, evenly slice off the dome top with a serrated knife. (That is, if you didn’t cool them up-side-down, or the top is still too round.)

26) Don’t doctor the oven temperature and cooking time for faster baking. Cakes especially lose moisture when cooked hard and fast, and you also run the risk of burning delicate ingredients.

27) Not sure your oven is accurate? It fairly common for ovens to lean to the hot or cool side of a specified temperature over time. Invest in an oven-safe thermometer that can attach to an oven rack, so you can adjust your oven if needed.

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28) Substitutions. The most common failed-recipe comment I get here on ASP reads something like this. “I made your recipe exactly as you said, except I used stevia instead of regular sugar, gluten free baking mix instead of flour, then I added chocolate chips and an extra egg. AND IT DIDN’T TURN OUT AT ALL! This is a horrible recipe.” Ahem… Now excuse me for pointing fingers, but if you’ve left a comment on ASP or any other site about substitutions and failed recipes, I’m talking to you. Substitute at Your Own Risk. The truth is, there’s no real substitute for white granulated sugar, white wheat flour, or real butter. You most definitely can substitute all you want, but don’t be upset if your baked goods don’t turn out as shown in photos. Especially when substituting “healthy ingredients.” Baked goods are meant to be treats, and treats are meant to be enjoyed in moderation.

29) Separating Eggs. The best way to separate eggs for baking is to: Start with cold eggs, Crack them on the counter, (cracking on the side of the bowl tends to create more shattered pieces) Strain out the yolk through your fingers and place in separate bowls. Remove any shell debris with a fork.

30) Meringues. If using egg whites for meringues, make sure to keep your fingers out of the egg whites, as oils from your hands can flatten the meringue. In this case, use an egg separator. Make sure the yolk doesn’t break. One drop of egg yolk will make it impossible to beat the egg whites into firm peaks. Then using a whisk attachment, beat with an electric mixer with 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar.

31) Room temperature. Unless otherwise stated in a recipe, always start a baked recipe with room temperature eggs and room temperature butter.

32) Warming eggs. To bring eggs to room temperature quickly, crack them into several small bowls before starting the recipe. If you are in a huge hurry, run them under warm tap water for 5 minutes before cracking.

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33) Be gentle with pie crust (and other pastry dough) and bread for that matter. It’s a common misconception that it’s okay to take out your daily frustrations on dough. However, this can cause tough baked goods. Handle dough gently and use only a light dusting of flour on the rolling pin or counter. Too much handling and extra flour results in a tough dry pie crust and bread.

34) For pie crust and quick breads (like scones and biscuits) let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, to make it easier to handle.

35) For pie crust and quick breads, roll and cut the dough quickly, so you get it in the oven while it’s still cool. This produces a light flaky quality. If the dough warms before you are done rolling and cutting, chill again before baking.

36) Foaming yeast. The yeast foaming (AKA sponge or bloom) process in recipes is very important. If you add the yeast to water that is too hot, you will kill the yeast and it won’t sponge. If the water is cold, it won’t activate. Add dry active yeast to luke-warm water and add 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon of sugar (check recipe for measurements.) Then allow the yeast to sit for at least 10 minutes to foam. If it doesn’t foam, you will need to start again.

37) Always flour your work surface, rolling pin, hands, cookie cutters, or knife before rolling and cutting dough. When it doubt, lightly flour it!

38) Moving pastry dough. Roll your pastry dough on a sheet of lightly floured wax paper. Invert the pastry right over the pan, or filling, and peel the paper off.

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39) Holes in dough. You can patch tears in pastry by pinching or pressing it back together. Large gaps can be patched with trimmings cut from the overhanging dough.

40) Holes in dough continued… However, pizza dough and bread dough is almost impossible to patch once torn. Handle delicately.

41) Don’t ever stretch pastry dough. When you are lining a pie pan with the bottom crust, make sure to carefully lay it in the pan, not pull it into position. Crusts have a memory and will shrink back to their original shape. Ease the pastry dough into the pan. Then gently tuck it into the bottom creases and crimp the edges.

42) Shiny! For added color and luster, brush the top of crusts, scones, rolls or biscuits with cream just before baking. You can also sprinkle sugar over the top for extra glitz. Egg wash works as well.

43) Egg wash. This mixture of 1 large egg and 1 tablespoon water is used to seal crusts together (like in turnovers) and to add color and shine on the crust of baked goods. I usually use egg wash over pie crusts and pastry dough, and cream over everything else.

44) Air baking. I’ve used a lot of baking sheets in my day, and have found these air baking sheets (with two layers of metal and room for air flow in between) produce the most even results.

Convection Baked Cookies

45) Conventional vs. Convection. If you live in a newer house/apartment, chances are you have an oven with both conventional and convection heat. Convection heat offers greater airflow and drying while baking, creating higher crustier, baked goods. So when should you use convection? The most simple answer is always use what is recommended in the recipe the first time you make it. However, I like to use convection on cookies and breads because it tends to create fuller cookies with an crispy exterior and soft center, and perfectly browned crusty bread.

46) Convection Conversion. It’s tricky to give an overall conversion rate when adjusting a recipe from conventional baking to convection. It depends on what your baking, how long your baking it, and of course the temperature. Some ovens actually convert for you. However, a general rule of thumb is to reduce the temperature by 25 degrees F. (50 degrees for higher temps) and to check your baked goods 5-10 minutes before the specified bake time. Some of my cookie recipes that take 8-10 minutes to bake conventionally, take 5 minutes on convection.

47) Hands off the door. For conventional and convection baking, resist opening the oven door until the minimum baking time has passed, or you will release the oven heat and upset the baking time.

48) Preheat like your life depends on it. It’s so tempting to throw a pan of brownies into the oven before your oven reaches the specified temperature… BUT DON’T DO IT! Baking is chemistry, remember? The temperature will highly effect the outcome.

49) Preheat tweaks. When you know you are going to have your oven door open for longer than normal (You are loading something heavy or delicate into the oven. Or placing multiple baking sheets in the oven…) I like to preheat the oven to 25 degrees higher than recommended, then lower the temperature as directed, once I close the oven door. That way, my baked goods are more likely to start off at the right temp. Just don’t forget to lower the temp!

50) Fixing frosting. Loose frosting can be fixed by adding extra powdered sugar. If your frosting is too thick to spread, slowly stir in a spoonful of milk, one at a time, until it reaches the right consistency. 

51) Cool before frosting. Patience is a virtue in life and baking. Never frost a cake, cupcakes, or cookies until they have fully cooled… unless you like frosting that slides off to the side.

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52) Quick cool. Sometimes we’re in a hurry and need our cake to cool (or chocolate to set) so we can finish our recipe. In such a case, place the baked goods in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes, or in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to bring the temperature down. Make sure not to forget about them.

53) Flash freeze. Flash freezing is the process of freezing something unwrapped, so you can later wrap and freeze it without upsetting its appearance. I do this with frosted cakes and cupcakes most often. Place them in the freezer uncovered for 30-60 minutes, until the exterior is hard, then wrap well and freeze. When you are ready to use the cake, unwrap first, then thaw for several hours on the countertop.

54) Bake in advance. As a time-saver, you can make pie crusts and cookies in advance, then freeze and bake straight from the freezer. Also try flash freezing (above) to finish your baked goods days before an event. This helps lessen the stress of party planning.

55) Mix in order. Sugar and butter should almost always be beaten together before adding anything else. Dry ingredients should be combined together thoroughly in one bowl before adding liquids. Liquid ingredients should always be added after the first two steps are complete. This method creates smooth even mixing.

56) Don’t overbeat or underbeat the batter. Underbeating or overbeating will affect the texture and volume of the cake. Most recipes are tested using an electric mixer, which produces the highest volume. Read the recipe to be sure which method to use, electric or hand mixing. One minute of medium beating time with a mixer equals, usually equals about 150-180 strokes by hand.

57) Gentle folding. When a recipe asks you to “fold” something into the batter, always start at the bottom of the bowl and sweep the spatula over the top to incorporate the new ingredient gently into the batter. Rotate the bowl to insure even folding.

58) Creaming butter and sugar. This is a highly important baking step that people like to skimp on. Creaming butter and sugar means beating it at high speed with an electric mixer until the butter is fluffy and the sugar breaks down. Skipping this step effects the light airy quality of baked good. I recommend creaming for 3-5 minutes. If you don’t normally do this, you will notice a difference in your cookies and cakes immediately.

59) Toothpick/Skewer Test. If you love baking cakes, it’s probably a good idea to invest in a package of long toothpicks or wooden skewers for testing. (Normal toothpicks just don’t cut it when you need to test a deep cake.) After baking, insert a long wooden skewer into the center-most part of the cake. If it comes out clean, turn off the oven and cool the cake on the counter. Otherwise continue baking.

60) Other ways to know your cake is ready. If you don’t have toothpicks or skewers on hand, you’ll know your cake is fully baked when: the sides pull away from the pan, the cake is pillowy and golden on top, the top bounces back when you touch it, and/or when the internal temp reads 210 degrees F on a thermometer.

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61) Test batch. If I’m making something that can be baked in several small batches, I always place a small test batch in the oven first, then make adjustments and continue baking. Things I might adjust: oven temperature, baking time, chilled dough, size of baked good.

62) Don’t overbake. This may seem obvious, but many bakers think their baked goods are not quite done, only to pull them out after they’ve past their prime. Always set the time to the minimum baking temperature, then check. Cookies are usually best when you pull them out just slightly undercooked in the center. Once they’ve cooled on the warm baking sheets the centers will set.

63) Use cooled baking sheets. Cool baking sheets between batches before reusing. Wipe the surface of each with a paper towel, or line with a new sheet of parchment paper.

64) Baking Soda and Baking Powder. You often see recipes with both baking soda and baking powder. Ever wonder why? Both are used to neutralize the ph balance of a recipe and offer an airy lift. However, if you just add baking soda, you might create neutralization, but not lift. Baking soda needs some acid to react. You could use baking powder alone, but then your finished baked treats might taste too acidic. A combination of both is usually your best bet.

65) Invest in quality bakeware. I prefer to bake in ceramic baking dishes and pie pans because they offer consistent baking. For cake pans, select metal straight edged pans that are thick and sturdy.

66) Toasting nuts. Toasting nuts intensifies their flavor making them stand-out in or on baked goods. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast them in a 400-degree F oven for about 10 minutes. Shake the pan once during this time to make sure the nuts toast evenly. The nuts are done when their color has deepened and you can smell their aroma. 

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67) Don’t over fill. Fill cake, muffin, and bread pans only about 2/3 of the way up, leaving enough room for the batter to expand and rise as it bakes. There’s nothing worse than burnt cake batter stuck to the bottom of your oven.

68) Baking with chocolate. The best chocolate contains only cocoa butter and no other fats. Read labels. If the chocolate contains vegetable oils, choose something else.

69) More on chocolate… When adding melted chocolate to a recipe, remember you are adding extra density and fat. If you are creating the recipe from scratch, remember to use slightly less fat (oil or butter) than you normally would, and increase the leavening agents.

70) Even more on chocolate… Chocolate chips contain additives that help them hold their shape while baking. Although this is great for cookies, it’s not so great for ganache and melted chocolate for dipping. Be sure to use solid chocolate bars for all baking projects when the “chip” shape is not necessary.

71) Chocolate chips. Semisweet and Bittersweet Chocolate are interchangeable in recipes. Semisweet Chocolate is Dark Chocolate. Bittersweet Chocolate is Extra Dark Chocolate.

72) Freezer storage. Remember I mentioned keeping dry active yeast in the freezer for longevity? Here are other baking ingredients you can keep in the freezer to increase their life span: flour (all varieties), baking soda and powder, nuts, berries, spices, ripe bananas, buttermilk, and extra butter. Just make sure your baking soda is in an air-tight container or it will absorb unwanted odors.

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73) Know your baking equivalents. 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon. 4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup. 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon = 1/3 cup, 2 cups = 1 pint, 2 pints = 1 quart, 4 quarts = 1 gallon.

74) Refreshing spices. Spices lose their intensity over time. Ever open a jar of cinnamon and wonder where the fragrant aroma went? To refresh spices for baking, place them in a dry skillet and set over medium heat. Watch closely. The moment you can smell the spices, toss and remove from heat. This draws the remaining oils to the surface so you can use the last of your spice jar. 

75) Rise time. Bread (or other yeast doughs) usually call for two rise times. The first is 1-2 hours to double the dough in size. Then deflate the dough, roll, cut, or separate as needed and rise again for approximately 30-45 minutes before baking. If you allow the dough to rise too long, it may deflate in the oven. If you do not allow enough rise time, the loaves will be dense and compact. The general rule of thumb for rising is one hour to double in size, then half the time on the second rise. Heavy dough with dense grains may take longer to rise the first go-around.

76) Salt. There are not many things I get snobby over, but salt is one of the few. I NEVER buy basic iodized table salt. If you test-taste table salt with quality sea salt you will notice a distinct difference in flavor. This little change carries through in baked goods. Always choose fine-grade quality salt for baking, over quantity.

77) Servings. It’s hard to measure servings for pan sizes, especially when eager youngsters are cutting their own piece of cake! Yet, here are some standard guidelines: 8 inch square cake = 6-8 servings, 8 inch round layer cake = 12-16 servings, 9 X 13 inch sheet cake = 12-16 servings, 12-cup bundt cake = 12-20 servings.

78) Dairy substitutions. Some people may argue with this, but I have found full-fat buttermilk, sour cream, and greek yogurt can be interchanged in equal proportion, without any major effects on the outcome.

79) Dairy substitutions continued… However, substituting skim for whole milk can have a disastrous effect. If a recipe calls for whole milk and you only have skim, add 2 tablespoons of melted butter.

80) Split your dough. When working with chilled dough, I usually spilt it into several pieces and wrap them separately. This helps the dough to chill faster. Then I can take out one piece at a time to cut for cookies or crusts, leaving the rest to chill.

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81) Keeping baked goods soft. A friend’s mom taught me long ago that placing a piece of sandwich bread in a container of cookies will keep them soft. The moisture from the bread miraculously absorbs into the cookies. This works well with muffins and biscuits too. Replace the bread when it’s dry.

82) Keeping brown sugar soft. The answer is found in marshmallows! Place 2-3 marshmallows in your bag of brown sugar to keep it from hardening. Replace the marshmallows when they are hard.

83) Don’t have a cooling rack? Cool your baked goods on the parchment paper you baked with. Slide it directly onto the cool counter. If you need to absorb grease, slid the baked goods onto flattened paper grocery bags to cool.

84) Never store warm. Always, always cool your baked treats to room temperature before wrapping or covering them. The evaporation and condensation from warm cookies or muffins, wrapped too soon, can ruin the golden crispy tops.

85) Stay stocked. For baking on a whim, I like to keep these things on hand: All purpose flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, honey, baking soda, baking powder, dry active yeast, quality salt, unsalted butter, coconut oil, cocoa powder, various spices, pure vanilla extract, nuts, and shredded coconut. A lot of magic can happen with these items!

86) Playing with sugar. When adjusting sugar in a recipe, be careful. Too much sugar can cause a dark crust. Too little can cause too light of a crust, or tough texture.

87) Layer by layer. For evenly-baked cakes, without rounded tops, bake layer-by-layer.  Meaning, if you’re baking a 3-layer cake, use 3 of the same size/shape pans, and bake in 3 separate batches.

88) Frosting a cake. Brush the excess crumbs off the cake and freeze each layer for easy stacking. Then use a long frosting spatula to spread the frosting on evenly. Rotate the cake while frosting. A revolving cake table comes in handy here.

89) Piping. If you are new to piping frosting, buy a set of piping tips with several standard sizes (no need to go overboard) and practice on a piece of wax paper before piping onto your cake. The back of the package will have some guides as to what shapes you can make with the tips you bought.

90) Filling piping bags. To easily fill piping bags, place the piping tip in the bag and secure it with a coupler ring set. Then place the tip of the piping bag down into a tall drinking glass. Fold the edges of the bag over the glass to keep the bag open while filling.

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91) A sexy finish. For a super professional looking cake, give your frosted cake a glossy finish. Use a hair-dryer on medium heat over the outside of the cake right before serving, so it glistens.

92) Cutting desserts. If your dessert is cold, use a hot knife. (Run it under hot water and wipe dry.) If your dessert is hot, use a chilled knife (place in the freezer for a few minutes) and work fast. For clean slices, wipe the knife with a wet paper towel between each slice.

93) Cutting bars. Line the baking pan with parchment paper or foil before baking. Once the bars are cool, lift the whole sheet out of the pan from the corners, and peel back the paper. Then score the edges, so your pieces are evenly measured. Cut straight down, and pull backward, moving the knife up and down like a saw, as you remove it. Wipe the knife before making the next cut.

94) Healthify. So I already discussed making substitutions earlier, and in great detail, but I know some of you are going to do it anyway. *wink* If you MUST substitute oil or butter for applesauce or plain yogurt, use an equal 1:1 ratio. I repeat, this will not work perfectly on all recipes, but it does cut the fat. You’ll have the best results with cake, muffins, and sweet bread recipes.

95) When to sift. When a recipe calls for sifting, measure first, then sift. I sift only when making ultra light cakes or biscuits, and when incorporating cocoa powder into other dry ingredients.

96) Cake flour substitution. If a recipe calls for cake flour, in a pinch, you can substitute all purpose flour + corn starch. Measure 1 cup of flour. Remove 2 tablespoons of the flour and place back in the bag. Then top the measuring cup with 2 tablespoons corn starch. Sift well.

97) Making buttermilk. When a recipe calls for buttermilk, in a pinch, you can make your own! Measure one cup of whole milk, stopping just shy of the top. Then add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or rice vinegar, to level off the measuring cup. Allow the milk to sit for 10 minutes and curdle. Then use as needed.

98) Running out of butter. You can never have too much butter on hand, in my opinion. If you start baking and happen to run out of butter, measure the appropriate amount of canola oil or shortening. It doesn’t offer the same rich flavor, but will not upset your recipe. You can even try substituting smashed avocado for the butter!

99) Evaporated milk. A can or two of evaporated milk is a good thing to keep in the pantry. If needed, you can substitute it for heavy cream in a baked recipe.

100) Don’t give up! After reading through this post, you might be thinking back on some past baking projects that didn’t turn out so well. At least now you know why! Calm gentle hands, careful attention to detail, and patience make up for a lot in baking. Now head back to those recipes that flopped and give them another go. You’ll be glad you did!

Whew…

I know this is a lot of information to swallow, and you may not need it all at this very moment. I suggest you bookmark (or pin) this post, so you can refer back the next time you fire up your oven.

Happy Baking!

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21 comments on “100 Best Baking Tips and Tricks

  1. Lizposted April 3, 2015 at 7:30 am Reply

    I shared a similar post last week—and am going to add your link! Terrific tips!

  2. Julie @ Table for Twoposted April 3, 2015 at 8:04 am Reply

    Wow, what great tips, Sommer!! I love this extensive list!

  3. Jenny Flakeposted April 3, 2015 at 8:51 am Reply

    Great info Sommer!!  This will be bookmarked by many!!  Love!

  4. Julie @ Running in a Skirtposted April 3, 2015 at 9:28 am Reply

    I learned so much! Thanks for the great tips!!!

  5. Alison @ Ingredients, Incposted April 3, 2015 at 2:17 pm Reply

    wow fabulous tips!

  6. Annalise @ Completely Deliciousposted April 3, 2015 at 3:55 pm Reply

    Wow – so many great tips here!

  7. Teresaposted April 3, 2015 at 11:05 pm Reply

    This list is absolutely  excellent. I’ve been baking a really long time and found a lot of helpful hints here. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Melissa from Hungry Food Loveposted April 4, 2015 at 7:20 am Reply

    This will be THE source for baking tips when ever I am in trouble. Actually why wait? I can’t wait to read it all (it looks so complete!) and improve my game as well as jump into some baking right away. Amazing post! Thanks!

  9. marlaposted April 4, 2015 at 9:54 am Reply

    So many amazing tips I really need!!

  10. loisposted April 4, 2015 at 4:43 pm Reply

    Thank You Thank You!
    Great tips all in one pin!
    Some I have never heard of before
    that I am going to try!

  11. Tiffany Klineposted September 30, 2015 at 5:38 pm Reply

    I love this! As a new baker, I love having tips to help me. But I never keep regular milk around, I usually use coconut milk. Is it possible to do any baking with that? Or do I need to just go get regular milk?

    Thank you!

  12. Paulineposted October 2, 2015 at 7:10 pm Reply

    when I make my pastry I refrigerate it for at least a half hour to chill , then roll it  & chill it again before baking but it still shrinks. What am I doing wrong? Any tips please

  13. www.newpelay.composted November 2, 2015 at 5:34 am Reply

    Hello everyone, it’s my first visit at this web site, and post is truly fruitful for me, keep up posting
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  19. Ga b @ TryMyKitchenposted July 18, 2016 at 8:47 am Reply

    Excellent Post – Thanks. I will share with our baking community in London !

  20. Bhavik Vasaposted January 20, 2017 at 2:38 am Reply

    A long article but worth reading. Very helpful tips.

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