How to bake a cake – If cooking is like an art, then baking is most definitely a science. In order to bake a perfect cake from scratch, you do have to be careful with measurements, pay close attention to the ingredients, and be precise with temperature and cooking time in order for the exact chemical reactions necessary for baking to take place.
How To Bake A Cake
For the reasons detailed above, baking is something that often scares new cooks away. However, despite needing to be more scientific in your approach, learning to bake a cake is achievable by anyone.
The first thing that creates a perfect cake is the right ingredients. It’s a great idea to set out all your ingredients before you get started. Ingredients include:
There are many types of flour, and all of them produce different types of cake. For the best results, you should weigh your flour, measuring cups is an accurate way to measure. This is when you scoop an overflowing cup and then level the top with a smooth surface. Many recipes also use a weight that can be measured with digital scales. All-purpose flour is the most commonly used, but cake flour or pastry flour is also common.
Baking soda or powder
Be sure that this ingredient is fresh to avoid a bitter taste, and to ensure proper leavening.
Salt helps the leavening agent to activate.
Most recipes will call for some amount of butter, and it should be at room temperature before you mix it into the other ingredients. Milk does not have to be at room temperature, but be sure to measure it carefully. If a recipe calls for full-fat dairy, don’t substitute skim or low fat, as it will affect the moisture.
Use the type called for by your recipe. In general, brown sugars will create a denser, chewier texture.
Eggs should also be at room temperature before mixing.
Depending on your cake, it may call for vanilla extract or other flavourings. This is one of the few areas where it’s okay to get creative. Try Mexican vanilla for a richer flavour, for example.
How To Bake A Cake – Tips and Techniques
When mixing ingredients, always start by first creaming the butter and sugars together. This creates a light, fluffy cake texture. Do this with a stand mixer or by hand for at least three to five minutes to ensure that the batter is well aerated. Also, be sure to add eggs one at a time rather than all at once, and give each a chance to fully emulsify before adding the next. This prevents pockets of eggy texture.
Always be sure to preheat your oven before you begin mixing ingredients. An even temperature is very important for getting the right results with baking a cake.
Cooking Equipment Needed When Baking A Cake
When learning how to bake a cake remember that all cakes call for different types of pans, but in general, glass or shiny metal provide an evenly baked cake. Try to avoid dark pans, such as cast-iron, unless you are making a very thin cake that doesn’t require much time to cook all the way through. Many cakes are suitable for being baked in silicone moulds or by using adjustable cake rings.
If you only have a dark metal pan, you may want to experiment with lowering the temperature of your oven, anywhere from 15 to 25 degrees. If your pan is clear glass and the centre isn’t cooked when the timer goes off, add an extra 5 to 10 minutes and test it again.
How To Test If A Cake Is Baked
To test a cake, insert a toothpick or other clean utensil, such as a skewer, into the centre and remove. If it comes away clean, the cake is done.
You can also test a cake for doneness by lightly touching the surface. If the cake springs back into shape, you have successfully baked your own cake. Be sure to let it cool on a wire rack before icing, trimming, or serving.
If you have found this information interesting you may be interested in finding out about cake decorating help and support