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baking tips and tricks for cakes


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Add a Secret Ingredient

“To ensure great moisture and texture in a chocolate cake, add a can of sauerkraut (well-drained) to your cake mix,” suggests Cindi Warren of Algona, Washington. Sauerkraut chocolate cake is delectable, we promise. (as are these other desserts that rely on secret ingredients).

baking tips and tricks for cakes

Use Parchment Paper

Mrs. Henry Glieb of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, states that when making a layer cake, “I take a double sheet of parchment paper, set the cake pan on it, and cut to the right size.” Then I placed a piece of paper in each container. When it comes time to separate the layers, they simply slide out.”When preparing a layer cake, avoid making these typical errors.


baking tips and tricks for cakes

Add Some Crunch

Mrs. Randy Mohr of Breda, Iowa, suggests a fast garnish for an applesauce or banana cake: “Sprinkle the batter generously with granulated sugar, coconut, and chopped nuts before baking.” The dessert is served with a crispy covering.”

baking tips and tricks for cakes

Keep Frosting Soft

“I add a teaspoonful of vinegar to my boiled frosting,” says Mrs. Amos Hoover of Denver, Pennsylvania. This maintains it moist and prevents it from cracking when the cake is sliced.”

Use prepared frostings like our Old-Fashioned Ermine Frosting for this.

Graham Crackers

Add Flavor on the Bottom

Here’s a novel spin on a delicious garnish. “Try coating the bottom of a cake pan with crushed graham crackers,” suggests Ann Chernabaeff of Wasco, California. They keep things from adhering and give a unique taste.”


Mixing with a Hand Whisk; Shutterstock ID 1485243398; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH

Use a Whisk

Instead of sifting powdered materials for pastry recipes with a manual sifter, Jane Neave of Zion, Illinois, says, “I blend them with a wire whisk.” It’s much quicker than sieving and requires less cleanup.” Almost everyone ignores this process when preparing biscuits. (Hint: It doesn’t involve sieving.)

baking tips and tricks for cakes

Pour Even Layers

Reader Margaret Thelen of Fowler, Michigan, suggests spreading the dough higher around the outside of the pan to achieve lovely even levels when making a layer cake. Typically, the middle raises more.” Another useful suggestion for leveling layers? Purchase a pair of cake bands to drape around the outside of your cake plate to avoid topping. After you’ve baked your cake tiers, you’ll want to follow these torting cake guidelines.


Cake with chocolate and honey; Shutterstock ID 229005178; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH

Sub Out Frosting

When you prepare a cake but don’t have time to make icing, Mrs. Alvin Martin of Mount Joy, Pennsylvania suggests this easy method: “While the cake is still warm, spread it with molasses and sprinkle with coconut or nuts.”

These antique desserts taste exactly like your grandmother’s best recipes.

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Bake a Better Bundt Cake

“I often baked bundt cakes but found the cakes always stuck when I used shortening and flour on the pan,” says Melinda Widner of Waxahachie, Texas. Then I sprayed my skillet with oil and dusted it with sugar one day. I haven’t had a dessert stick since! Allow the cake to settle for 10 minutes before removing it from the container. Most of the desserts don’t even require a topping with the sugar!” Try it with one of our fave Bundt desserts.

baking tips and tricks for cakes

Give It a Devilishly Delicious Taste

“Try grating orange rind into your devil’s food cake batter,” suggests Mrs. Clarence Huss of Hartington, Nebraska. It will add a delightfully distinct taste.”

If you’re pondering what the distinction between chocolate cake and devil’s food cake is, look no further.

baking tips and tricks for cakes

Mix in a Banana

Instead of banana bread, make a chocolate cake the next time you have mature bananas. “Adding a ripe banana to a chocolate cake not only keeps the cake moist, but it also gives it good flavor,”

Baking powder being measured for a recipe.; Shutterstock ID 640739113

Use a DIY Baking Powder

If you don’t have any baking flour, create some! “Combine 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar, and a heaping teaspoon of cornstarch,” explains Mrs. Harry Holmes of Davenport, Nebraska.

Here’s what the distinction between baking soda and baking powder is.

Hands of woman remove bubbles from batter in the pan before baking; Shutterstock ID 1503064115; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH Pop Those Air Bubbles

Make sure your desserts come out precisely from the oven. “When baking a cake, rap your pans sharply on the countertop before putting them in the oven,” says Mrs. Pat Yingst of Covington, Ohio. This will remove the majority of the air pockets.”

Golden Bunt Cake in Oven ; Shutterstock ID 1191256759; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOH

Don’t Let Cakes Dry Out

Mrs. Pat Johannsen of Collins, Ohio, states that for a rich cake, “I always put a pan of water in the oven while the cake is baking.” The sun does not steal hydration in this manner.”

baking tips and tricks for cakes

Prep It in Advance

“Unfrosted cake layers can be frozen on a cookie sheet until firm, wrapped separately in plastic wrap, and kept in the freezer,” writes reader Susan Holtz of Ripon, Wisconsin. Simply defrost, chill, and serve when ready to use.”

Make certain you understand how to properly chill dessert.

baking tips and tricks for cakes

Keep the Cake Plate Clean

“Place strips of waxed paper under the bottom layer before frosting a cake,” explains Joy Lepak of St. Albert, Alberta. Remove the paper gingerly after icing. You’ll have an empty platter.”

Learn more cake frosting tips.

baking tips and tricks for cakes

Use this Cleaning Secret

When a cake or biscuit recipe asks for corn syrup or molasses, Nancy Goss of Pocahontas, Illinois, advises, “First, spray your utensils and measuring cups with nonstick cooking spray.” You’ll be amazed at how quickly everything falls off afterward.”

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Sprinkle on Some Sugar

“I’ve found that sprinkling confectioners’ sugar on the cake plate will prevent the cake from sticking when you serve it later,” adds Mrs. N. Dagerin of Levy County, Florida.

Frying pan with melting butter on grey background; Shutterstock ID 751443862; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHMake It Better with Butter

Reader Noalene Shows of Inverness, Mississippi, suggests melting about 2 teaspoons of butter or margarine and pouring it into the skillet to make cakes come out readily. Then, spin the skillet around and around until the bottom and edges are equally covered. Place the skillet in the fridge for a few minutes to allow the butter or margarine to solidify. Bake the mixture in the prepared skillet. “The cake never gets stuck to the pan.”

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Create a Cake Flour Substitute

Mrs. Henry Bechthold of Booker, Texas, suggests substituting all-purpose flour for cake flour: “Use 1 cup of sifted all-purpose flour minus 2 level tablespoons for each cup of cake flour the recipe calls for.”