8 of the best baking tips for beginners
by Charlotte Jane Davis
Is there anything more welcoming in a home than the smells of freshly baked cookies? How about the festive surprise of a homemade birthday cake, or spoiling a dinner party host with a loaf of delicious bread from your own oven? Whether you’re baking for fun, for a special event or simply to treat your loved ones, you’ll learn so much from our easy baking recipes. Our collection of handy tips and tricks will help you to achieve success in every baking project you undertake, whether you are a baking novice or an experienced hand.
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- Try a silicone baking mat with your non-stick baking tray
Silicone baking mats are the secret weapon of clued-up bakers everywhere. Simply place these resilient sheets directly on the surface of your non-stick baking trays in order to give your baked goods extra protection from getting stuck or burning their bottoms. Say goodbye to scrubbing burnt-on residue from your baking sheets with baking soda and vinegar! You can keep your bakeware looking shiny and new for longer by pairing one of these clever mats with your favorite non-stick tray.
- Coat heavy ingredients in flour before adding them to your batter
Want to stop fruit, nuts, and chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of cakes and loaves? Simply toss them in a handful of flour until they are well coated before you incorporate them into your metal spatula-safe mixing bowl. As long as your batter is relatively firm, a flour dusting may prevent heavy ingredients from sinking, ensuring an even distribution of flavours throughout your baked goods.
- Spoon flour into your measuring cup instead of scooping it
One of the most important baking tips for beginners is to learn how to measure flour accurately. Many novice bakers don’t realize that scooping actually compacts the flour into the measuring cup, resulting in more flour in the cup and in your batter. The most precise method is to spoon flour into your measuring cup and then level it with a knife.
- Never apply frosting to a warm cake
The most vital tips for baking cakes are often the most straightforward. When it comes to decorating a freshly baked cake, you want to make sure that your cake is completely cool before you apply any frosting. This is because the heat from a warm cake will quickly melt the butter in buttercream frosting, causing it to run. It’s best to leave your cake in its non-stick tin and wait for your cake to cool to room temperature before you take it out and start decorating.
- Don’t be an over-enthusiastic mixer
When it comes to combining wet and dry ingredients for cakes, loaves, cupcakes, or muffins, less mixing is usually more. If a recipe tells you to “mix until incorporated”, you should do exactly that and be very cautious not to over-mix your batter. Too much friction from your mixing action can beat the air and lightness out of your batter, resulting in flat, sunken, or chewy bakes.
- When you’re creaming butter and sugar, cream it well
One of the best cupcake baking tips and tricks that we can share with you is to make sure that you cream your butter and sugar until it is fully incorporated, pale in color, and fluffy in appearance. If your mixture has combined but still looks very yellow or gritty, then you need to keep going a while longer. Butter and sugar are usually the first two ingredients to be combined in a recipe and their blending will play a huge role in determining the outcome of your baking. For lighter-than-air cupcakes with a fluffy texture, make sure to get that first step right and do a thorough job of creaming your butter and sugar before completing the recipe and spooning it into your cupcake baking pan.
- Keep your butter at the right temperature
Looking for cookie baking tips? We’ve got an insider tip for you: always check your recipe for instructions regarding the temperature of the butter you are using. This is an important step, as butter temperature can dramatically affect the texture of cookies. There are three different consistencies of butter – softened (also called “room temperature”), chilled, or melted. Each consistency has its own particular contributions to make to the texture, crunch, and crumbliness of your cookies, so make sure you don’t overlook this vital instruction!
- No matter how tempted you are, resist the urge to peek
You already know that an accurate oven temperature is vital to the success of your baking ventures. But did you know that it only takes a brief peek inside your oven to drop the internal temperature by multiple degrees? Even easy baking recipes can fail when subjected to fluctuating temperatures. While you may be curious to see your cakes, breads and cupcakes puffing up, it’s best to resist the urge to open your oven door for a look.
- Keep your bakeware looking shiny and new by using silicone baking mats
- A light coating of flour will stop fruit and chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of cakes and loaves
- Scooping is not an accurate way of measuring flour, rather spoon and level
- Wait for your cake to cool completely before frosting it
- Combine ingredients as gently as possible without overmixing
- Creamed butter and sugar should be pale and fluffy, never yellow and gritty
- Butter temperature is a vital detail that should not be overlooked
- Don’t open the oven door until goods are done baking
Are you ready to join the baking revolution?
You can learn to bake in your own kitchen and create beautiful cakes, cookies, and cupcakes at home. Regardless of whether you have tons of baking experience or whether you’re a total rookie in the kitchen, you can bake a masterpiece if you incorporate these easy-to-do baking tips into your process and surprise your family with perfectly delicious baked goods on demand.