Baking your own cakes can be a rewarding and successful experience. This is a guide containing cake baking tips and tricks.
Adding 1 tablespoon of honey to any cake batter keeps your cake moist. The honey draws moisture to the cake and it stays moist from first slice to last. You do not need to change any ingredients and it can be added to a box cake mix or a homemade cake.
Source: A master beekeeper in PA.
By Lisa from Alexandria, VA
I have been baking for a home industries shop for 3 years now and lately my cakes are not rising properly in the center. They seem to rise nicely, then after 3/4 time has elapsed, they sink in the middle. I have changed my flour and baking powder, and reduced my oven temperature. I am now at a loss as to what to try next. Please can someone throw some light on this problem.
Carolyn from South Africa
By guest (Guest Post) Flag
February 14, 2008
You can try to add a little more flour .I have found that some recipes from the coastal towns don't rise and if you add a bit more flour it seems to help not too much or you will have to adjust the liquid as well in some cases.Also check if your raising agent is fresh as stale raising agent can cause cakes to flop too.
When baking layer cakes, I cut pan liners out of brown paper bags. I lay the pan down on a bag and draw around it, then cut it out. If there is any printing on the bag, put it face down. This way, you never have to grease the pans or worry about the layers sticking and tearing.
After cooling 10 minutes in the pans, I run a butter knife around the edges to loosen, then turn the cake over onto my hand, peel off the paper, and turn the cake back over onto a cooling rack.
Source: my mother
By karenbuddy from Mobile, AL
I have a recipe that calls for baking a cake in a skillet. I don't have a skillet that I can put in the oven. Can I use a regular cake pan?
October 28, 2008
Is it the handle melting,you are worried about? Just wrape the handle in foil first.I saw this on many,tv.cooking shows.
What is the easiest way to bake a cake without it sticking to the pan and spending all this time scrubbing the pan?
By booboo kitty from Jacksonville, FL
October 28, 2009
I got this hint from some ladies in a cake club who swear by this recipe that works like a charm & I never use those sprays anymore.
1 cup Crisco Oil
1 cup Crisco Shortening
1 cup flour
(I have also used no-name brands & they work well too.)
Use equal amounts of each to make the amount you will want. Blend together and store in an airtight container & spread on your pans with a pastry brush.
I personally use 1 cup of each & store the jar in the cupboard or fridge if the weather is too hot.
*The first time my daughter tried this method, the cake came out so fast it ended up on the floor!!*..I have never had one stick and the pan washes easily. Hope this helps..Dianne
My pound cake came out dry, although I used 7 eggs as the recipe called for. My oven cooks slowly and I had to leave it in 15 minutes beyond the recommend cooking time. Could this have caused the dryness?
By EasyLikeSunday from Philadelphia, PA
October 16, 2009
Use 2-3 more eggs and use mayonnaise instead of oil. Also only cook it in the time alloted and remove it from the oven (as it will still continue to cook) or turn the oven off 10 minutes before the cooking time is finished.
Cut old towel the height of the cake pan and length of the circumference or perimeter of the pan. If the towel is thin, make it twice the height and fold in in half lengthwise. Before putting the cake batter in the pan, wet the towel strip and put it around the outside of the cake pan, pinning it in place with straight pins or safety pins. It will keep the edges from cooking sooner than the center and result in a flatter cake top for decorating.
By Har'et from Lakewood, CA
Many times a cake recipe will tell you to use 2 round pans. I eliminate using 2 and use only 1 deep pan. Then when the cake is cool enough to handle I take a piece of sewing thread about 16" long and wrap it a finger on each hand. Then slowly start pulling it through the middle of the cake. Continue until the thread cuts through the cake completely. And now you have 2 cake rounds. Happy dividing!
Eighteen frugal and time saving tips for baking cakes and cookies.
By Eileen H. 1
After baking a cake, put your cake pans in the freezer for an hour before frosting them. They will not crack and crumble when you put on the frosting.
I used a white cake mix and followed all directions to the 'T.' It would not rise. I then bought a yellow cake mix and it would not rise. Why oh why? I bought them at the same store. Could they be old? I have been using cake mixes for 30 years and never had this problem.
March 27, 2015
If the expiration date was past or close to expiring the leavening agent may have lost it's ability to help the cake rise. If any time you may be in doubt simply add a 1/2 tsp baking powder to the dry ingredients and mix dry with your mixer for about two minutes. then add your liquid ingredients and bake as usual. I've done this to many a mix that was well past the exp. date and have had very few failures. Best use for a failure is to crumble the cake into a pudding and pass it off as a parfait. Most people wont know the difference or care.
Will the powder sugar melt if I dust them the day before I want to serve the cake?
By xueli from Malaysia
October 15, 2014
In my experience it will melt and be sticky.
Here's an idea, though- If you put a paper doily on the cakes before you dust them and remove it afterward (carefully) it will make a doily pattern on the cake.
I bake from scratch and my white and yellow cakes are always dry and my cupcakes are like biscuit consistency. Can someone please tell me what I am doing wrong? Any tips?
July 10, 2015
Here are some possible solutions:
You may be under- or over- beating your batter. Under-beating will cause coarseness.
It is possible your stove is too hot. You'll need to get a stove thermometer or borrow one to test the temperature of your oven for accuracy.
Be sure to measure water and oil exactly.
Check for doneness as soon as you suspect it might be done. Don't overbake. But let the minimum baking time elapse before opening the oven door.
Use the correct sized pan.
Why does my cake rise higher in the middle?
April 29, 2012
I'm 72 years old and every cake I have baked in my life is always a little highter in the center. It has never made any difference to me. The same goes for everybody that I have ever known. Of course none of us are professional bakers, but the way I look at is if the texture is good and the cake tastes good why worry about it.
This is in response to baking a flatter cake. All you have to do is either torte the mound off, torting means to cut the cake in several layers or just the top or in half horizontally (not up and down). Or just turn over with the cake bottom up after cooling about 10 minutes, you will have a perfectly flat cake all the time.
If you do not want to use the wet rags around your cake pan, (this only works with round, square or oval pans, character pans have to many corners to put wet towels around), put a Pizza stone in the bottom of your oven.
Try to keep it away from the pilot light, like putting it on risers. If you have an old oven, the pizza stone will help to keep an even temperature in an uneven oven.
If you put a pizza stone in your oven and it breaks, leave it there and get another one, this will increase the chances of better - even temperature also.
Source: This information comes from the years of baking cakes for weddings, baby showers, birthdays, etc. and from teaching cake decorating.
By Mary from Atascadero, CA
I have a NordicWare fluted bundt muffin pan; and it sticks so badly it tear sthe muffins up when trying to get them out. I know I can use the baking cups, but then I don't get the pretty formation of the pan's muffins. I tried spraying with Pam the last time I used it, but it is as if I used nothing. I have not used the pan for awhile because my beloved hubby passed away and I haven't had the heart to cook for a long time.
By mauigal 1
Can I use whole eggs for a white cake mix? I am putting in half the batter.
By Laurie from Cranston, RI
Why did my cake stick to the greaseproof paper that I lined the tin with? Can anyone help me please? This happens every time I bake a cake, even though I grease the paper before I put the cake mixture in.
By Susan C from Shrewsbury, England
Trace the bottom of cake pan onto wax paper and cut out the circle. Cut wax paper strips the height of sides of your pan. Coat inside and bottom with oil (I use canola). Put wax paper circle and strips inside pan. Pour in cake batter and bake.
When done, flip out cake onto cake plate. Do not let cake stay in cake pan and cool. Peel off wax paper slowly while cake is hot.
This is an old bakers secret! Check out my previous tip for making your cakes level.
Take old (low loop nap) towels. Cut them at two times the height of the side of your pan. Wet towel strips and pin to sides of pan. Use large safety pins.
They will come out of oven browned. Just wash and reuse. The towels may burn some in oven but it will not affect smell or taste of the cake. They will not catch fire. I have never used in an oven any hotter than 350 degree F.
You can buy the silver ones that you wet. I found these wear out faster and are really expensive. I also found that they do not come in the correct heights for my pans.
I make a glaze that has to boil for 3 minutes and then you poke holes in the cake and drizzle over. What would cause the glaze to harden?
By Kelly P.
My cakes are not browning when I use three layers. How do I get them to brown without drying them out?
I recently moved to Florida from Vermont and find the humidity makes the flour very heavy and in order to have my cakes rise better I have been sifting the flour at least 4x. Does humidity effect ones baking ?
By Thelma S
I just picked up a heart shaped pan at an estate sale. The size looks like it would hold 1 box of cake mix, but it has a hole in the middle (6 inches) in diameter. What kind of pan is this?
By Meryl R. from TN
I learned something very neat at my job the other day, since I work alone in the kitchen. I needed to make a cake and I did not want to stay to scrub this pan.
My cake stuck to the pan. I greased and floured the pan (Wilton 9 inch round). I just started cake decorating class and thought baking would be the easy part, I guessed wrong. How do I stop the cake from sticking? Now I have a clumpy mess of cake so I will have to make a new one. Any hints or advise would be appreciated. Thanks.
Janet from Ontario
I found if I wait for about a minute before I try to "depan" the cake it's less likely to stick. (01/26/2009)
After your cake comes out of the oven lay the hot pan onto a wet dishrag and let the cake cool completely before attempting to remove it from the pan. (01/26/2009)
You need to let it cool in the pan for about ten minutes before you take it out. If you leave it in too long, it will stick; but if you put it back in the oven briefly (to heat the pan), you should be able to get it back out.
Another trick is to line the pan with foil or parchment (just the bottom if you use parchment), and grease and flour that. Then if it doesn't slide out, you can lift the foil out and peel it. (01/26/2009)
Before putting the batter in the pan, make sure you lightly grease the pan (I've always used Crisco) and then lightly flour the pan. The key is lightly so you don't add extra grease or flour to the batter itself. This works every time. (01/26/2009)
I grease and flour the cake pans and I also cut two round pieces of parchment paper which I line the bottoms of the pans before I pour in the cake batter. (01/26/2009)
The easiest way to be sure the cake won't stick is spray your pan with Pam cooking spray, not the Olive oil spray it does not work for baking. Once you have sprayed your pan just pour in your cake batter. You don't have to flour the pan it won't need it at all. Let your cake cool about 10 minutes before turning out of the pan. Works every time. I bake a lot. (01/26/2009)
The parchment and then letting them cool in the pans is the key. I let mine cool about 10 minutes. After they're cool, wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze. They're easier to frost. A cake baker taught me this. Happy baking, and don't get discouraged. (01/27/2009)
I always line my cake pans with wax paper. Just trace an outline of the pan and cut out. I still grease and flour the pan. A nice trick for flouring is to use flour for light cakes and cocoa for dark ones. (01/28/2009)
By piki viki
I use a can of spray called Baker's Joy and have never had a problem with a cake sticking. Works great. (01/28/2009)
I have been making wedding cakes for many years and I also use the waxed paper rounds on the bottom. I also use the Pam Bakers Spray which has the flour in it. Spray the pans over the sink so it doesn't get all over everywhere, let the cakes cool on baker's rack. Then run a moist knife around the inside edge and flip over on the plate. Now peel off waxed paper and you have a clean, crumbless surface to frost. (01/28/2009).
I also took a cake decorating class and was told to spray my pans and then put a paper towel (with no design imprint) in the bottom. When you get ready to dump your cake, all the crumbs stick to the paper towel. (02/05/2009)
By L Ward