Banana--Almond-Bread

20 Tips for Baking Better Cakes

Maya

 

Banana--Almond-Bread

I often get questions as to how I bake such soft cakes. I am basically self taught. I have either learned from the books or from some baking professionals on the web or television. As far as I can remember,I rarely had any problems with the texture of my cakes.

I thought I would just share the basic steps that I practice while baking cakes. I hope these 20 Tips for Baking Better Cakes would be a beneficial guide for those of you who are looking for some assistance on cake baking. 

 

  1. Portable or standard electric mixers both work well for beating cake batter. You can also beat your cakes manually, either using a wooden spoon for creaming method or a whisk for whisking method. This would require some amount of strength though, thus I always stick to using electric mixers, unless it is a 1 bowl cake recipe.
  2. Ingredients for cakes should be room temperature unless otherwise stated.
  3. Every eggs used would be large. 1 large egg white = 38 grams, 1 large egg yolk = 20 grams.
  4. Measure the ingredients properly. Spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, then sweep off the excess with a knife. Don’t scoop it directly from the bag with a measuring cup. The flour will become compacted, and you’ll get more than you need for the recipe.
  5. Sieving the flour yields a lighting cake. It also remove impurities found in the floor. 
  6. Dry ingredients should be well incorporated before adding to the wet ingredients. 
  7. Creaming method : – Cream butter and sugar till mixture turns a very pale yellow. This takes about 5 minutes. 
  8. Whisking method: Eggs and being whisked with sugar. This takes about 7 minutes and the mixture would be really fluffy and would triple in volume.
  9. Always start and end with dry ingredients when alternating with wet ingredients. For example, if you start with flour, you should also end with flour. 
  10. Aluminum pans are best when you make a cake because they reflect heat away from the cake and produce a tender and light golden crust. Dark, nonstick baking pan absorb more heat, which causes cakes to bake and brown faster. In this case, it would be good to reduce the oven temperature slightly.
  11. Be sure to grease/flour baking pans. 
  12. It is important to preheat the oven before putting in the cakes. 
  13. Position the cake pans to the center of the oven. The pans should not touch the oven walls. 
  14. It is a good idea to rotate the cake pans while baking. You do have to wait for the cake to set and it should at least be  two-thirds of the way through the baking time. You should not rotate the cake pan before that else you cake would collapse. 
  15. Once baked, cool the cake in the pan for at least 10-20 minutes before removing it from the pan. 
  16. After removing cakes from the baking pan, place the cake on a wire rack and let it cool down completely. 
  17. Cooling a cake upside down, would flatten the tops and this is specially useful when you need to stack the cakes for layer cakes.
  18. If you are going to ice the cakes, let it cool down completely before icing. 
  19. Store un-frosted cakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-5 days. 
  20. If you know that you want to serve a cake more than three days after its baking, seal it in an airtight container and freeze it. When you’re ready to eat it, let it slowly thaw at room temperature. I personally never freeze my cakes. They never lasted that long! 

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