Top 100 Cake Blog

Top 100 Cake Blog

Monday, October 7, 2013

11 Random Baking Tips

To avoid the above disaster, see tip # 6.

Lessons learned from real-life experience and mistakes
(This is from a hand-out I prepared for an event yesterday; thought I'd share it here.)

1) Read the recipe twice before beginning.  This will eliminate surprises like “place dough in refrigerator for 24 hours before proceeding.”

2) Measure out all ingredients before beginning.  This will ensure that you actually have all the ingredients, thereby avoiding last minute trips to the corner store, and will help prevent you from forgetting to add an ingredient (or two).

3) Use high quality “real” ingredients for best results.  Fake butter will not improve your cake, and may actually sabotage it.

4) Feel free to substitute unsalted butter in place of margarine or Crisco in recipes.  Mid-20th century recipes used these ingredients for economy and perceived “health” benefits.

5) Preheat the oven at least 30 minutes in advance.  And no peeking during baking – it will lower the oven temperature for longer than you think.

6) When in doubt about pan size, opt for the larger one.  Better a thinner brownie than burnt batter cemented to your oven floor.

7) Store nuts in the freezer – they will stay fresh much longer.

8) When making candy, be sure to use cane sugar.  Beet sugar will not work!

9) Except for angel food cakes, there’s usually no need to sift flour.  This instruction is left over from the days when flour was filled with insects and other impurities.

10) Use the correct the measuring utensils for dry and liquid ingredients.

11) Most recipes that call for eggs mean “large” eggs.  When possible, avoid supermarket eggs and spring for the pricier farmer’s market variety.   


  1. Rules to bake by! I usually just put cookie sheet on the rack underneath what I'm cooking if I think there's a chance of it flowing over. Putting tin foil on the floor of my oven was definitely NOT recommended by the manufacturer of my over.

  2. Great tips and yes, the above has happened to me. More than once. Thank goodness for self cleaning ovens!

  3. Just love the pic of this post!

  4. Sound advice. I believe I have learned most of these by trial and error. Mostly error. Thanks for putting them all in one place!

  5. #1 especially hits home. I would add to #4: "Also feel free to substitute shortening for butter," As I often do; I like how fluffy it makes things.

  6. Thank you for these tips. I have always wondered about sifting.