Secrets From the Pros: Cake Baking

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Whether you only bake cakes at birthdays or enjoy them as a dessert year round, it’s possible to make your cakes as delicious as those purchased at an excellent bakery. Just try these easy tips.

Keep it warm

All the cake ingredients should be room temperature before you begin mixing them together.

Fruit puree

Use equal amounts of fruit puree and oil in your cakes. The fruit not only adds flavor, it keeps the cake moist and makes boxed cake mixes more like “from scratch” cakes. Just be sure to reduce the amount of liquid the recipe calls for by half.

An unlikely ingredient

Add ¼ cup of mayonnaise to your cake recipes or boxed cake mixes. It sounds dubious at best, but it keeps cakes light and moist.

Let it rise

To make any cake more fluffy, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of meringue powder to the dry ingredients.

Beat it

Cream your butter for at least 5 minutes. The more you beat it, the more air will enter it, making for a lighter, fluffier cake.

Be choosy

Select a good recipe. If you’ve never tried the recipe before, choose a reliable source, like these cake recipes on videos.

It’s in the pan

Shiny metal pans are best for cake baking. Glass baking dishes or dark baking pans absorb more heat, making it more difficult to create a thoroughly baked but moist cake.

Paper

To give 100 percent assurance your cake won’t stick to the pan, line the bottom with waxed or parchment paper. Lay the paper out on a flat surface, place the bottom of the cake pan on top of it, and trace around the pan with a pen. Cut out the waxed paper, lightly coat the pan with cooking spray, and put the paper in place. Once the cake is baked and cool, the paper easily peels off.

Dusting

To rid your cakes of white flour dustings, dust your pans with some of the dry cake mixes. Or, for chocolate cake, dust with cocoa.

Fill ‘er up

Fill your cake pans only halfway. This allows the cake to rise more evenly.

Check the temp

If your cakes have valleys or hills in them, or if the tops brown before the cake is completely baked, your oven temperature is probably incorrect. To remedy this, simply place a portable oven thermometer inside your oven and adjust your oven’s temperature as necessary.

Know when it’s done

The best way to know a cake is done is to poke the center with a toothpick. If the toothpick comes back clean, the cake is finished. Other methods of testing a cake’s doneness may lead to over baking and dryness.

Let it rest

Once the cake is out of the oven, always let it rest 5 to 8 minutes before you do anything to it. This prevents the cake from crumbling when you place it on a plate.

Apply several coats

Pros always put a “crumb icing” on cakes before proceeding with decorating. This ensures a smooth, even icing job. To create a crumb icing, thin down some frosting with a little water until it looks like a glaze. You should be able to apply it with a knife – barely. When the cake is just cooled, spread the glaze over the cake. Let the cake sit this way for 30 minutes, then proceed with a traditional frosting.

Source by Kristina Seleshanko