With summer drawing to a close and The Great British Bake Off back on our screens, you might be thinking of dusting off the cake tins and rustling up some cakes, cookies, and pies. Whether you're a seasoned baker or a bit of a novice in the kitchen, our 16 super-helpful baking hacks will have you at Star Baker level in no time!
Easy Baking Hacks Every Baker Should Know
1. Substitutions: Did you run out of key ingredients during baking? Don't worry, here are a few tricks you can try that will help you finish your delicious sweet treats.
-Don’t have a fancy cookbook stand? No worries - use a coat hanger and a couple of clips to hang your recipe up at eye-level.
-Run out of icing sugar? Make your own by mixing one cup of cornstarch with one cup of white granulated sugar.
-If a recipe calls for a rolling pin and you don’t have one then use a wine bottle.
-Do you have a large baking pan but the recipe calls for a smaller pan? No problem – just use some tin foil to create a smaller pan.
2. Quick fixes: It's okay to make mistakes whilst baking - being in the kitchen is hard enough right? Here are a few tricks on how you can fix the tiny mistakes quickly.
-No matter how careful you are, a bit of eggshell always seems to end up in the mixture. To get it out, easily dip your (clean) finger in some water then into the mixture. The eggshell will stick naturally to your finger.
-Turn a box of cake mix into cookie dough by adding two eggs and half a cup of vegetable oil.
3. Save time: Baking can be a time-consuming process and saving even 5 minutes can help in the kitchen. With that, here are few tricks that will save you time.
-To get room temperature butter just fill a glass with hot water (not too hot as you don’t want the glass to crack). Let it sit for a moment then tip the water out and place the glass over the stick of butter. As a result, the butter will be nice and soft.
-Line your pan with lightly buttered baking parchment paper when making brownies to minimise washing up later.
4. Improve the quality: The quality of the sweet treats is everything - no one wants a bad biscuit or piece of cake. Here are a few tricks you can try to improve the quality of your baking.
-Once you’ve filled your cake tins, drop them on the counter a couple of times before placing in the oven. This will get rid of any air bubbles meaning your cake will bake more evenly. Plus it can be therapeutic.
-Heat the citrus (lemon or lime) in the microwave for about 5-10 seconds and it will make it easier to squeeze the liquid out.
-Coat frozen fruit in flour before mixing it into a cake or putting in a pie. This will absorb moisture and stop the fruit from sinking – so you can avoid the infamous soggy bottom!
5. Decoration is key: Everyone wants to eat a dessert that looks beautiful right?
-Use cookie cutters as sprinkle stencils.
-You can even make your own custom cookie cutters in any shape you want out of tin foil. Just draw a pattern, fold to the right thickness, shape the foil, and staple.
-Make an impressive chocolate decoration by pouring melted chocolate over some clean bubblewrap. Peel off the bubble wrap once it’s set and voilà!
-Use a vegetable-peeler to make fancy-looking chocolate curls.
-Add a marshmallow to the top of each cupcake for the last 5 minutes in the oven for instant icing!