Getting Started With Ingredients And Tools
How to ‘make and 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.
Want To Skip Ahead?
- Make A Cake From Scratch
- Beginners Cake Baking Tips
- Equipment When Baking Cakes
- How To Test If A Cake Is Baked
- Silicone Cookware For Baking
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.
How to bake a cake from scratch
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.
Cake baking for beginners 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.
- 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.
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.
Silicone cookware for baking
Silicone cookware has been around for many years. Furthermore, it has become a common piece of equipment in professional kitchens. The trend has started to grow in the home kitchen with many home chefs using silicone cookware.
Due to many home cooks taking up baking and cooking.
There are many shows on television nowadays showing the ways in which chefs get their cooking and baking results. Many people are watching these shows and are picking up the methods used and look to use these methods at home.
One method that is commonly seen on shows such as Masterchef, Celebrity bake off or one of the other TV shows is the method that use silicone baking equipment.
Silicone tools have been used for many years in professional kitchens. And the trend for using these items of equipment grows in the home kitchens. Using silicone bakeware is a very effective way of cooking and baking.
Also, the cookware will help reduce wastage and costs. Due to the equipment being able to be reused over and over again.
This type of cooking tool has many uses in the kitchen include cooking, baking and used as mold’s for cold desserts.
Silicone cookware examples
Silicone cooking and baking equipment is a rubber-like material that can withstand high temperatures. The pieces of silicone tools used in cooking and baking include silicone mats, silicone moulds, silicone sheets, pans and cups.
Furthermore, his type of bakeware is very easy to use for new cooks and trained chefs, it is nonstick, flexible and very easy to clean.
The silicone cookware for baking and cooking can be used over and over again lasting for long periods.
How to clean silicone cookware
A great advantage of silicone cookware is that it is easy to clean, there is no need for oil or butter most silicone equipment before using as it is made with a non-stick material.
At times when using cups or moulds some foods are much easier to take out of the silicone moulds if sprayed with a low-fat oil.
Silicone cookware can be washed quickly by hand and can also be cleaned in the dishwasher.
When cooking some foods it is a good idea to spray moulds or cups with a low fat oil spray.
In the professional and home kitchen?
Silicone cookware is mainly used for cooking and baking foods in the oven and can handle high temperatures used in most recipes.
For example, silicone equipment can be used to make loaves of bread in bread moulds to using silicone mats when making macaroons or biscuits.
Silicone cookware mats moulds and cups can all be used in fridges and freezers to set desserts.
This is ideal for setting cold desserts. Such as jellies, panna cotta or mousses and these desserts can be easily removed from the silicone moulds. Silicone mats come in a few sizes.
Although they can be easily cut into smaller squares or shapes to fit a range of different sized trays.
Silicone equipment is a very useful kitchen tool being used by home cooks. And all the way up to the top pastry chefs in the UK.
Silicone cookware prices?
Silicone kitchen equipment is a cost-effective tool to use in the kitchen and helps to reduce wastage. Using this type of kitchen tool there will be less damage and wastage of foods.
Due to the non-stick material and can be used over and over again. Many chefs use non-stick parchment paper for cooking and baking, a quality parchment paper can be used only once in many cases.
Switching to silicone mats will reduce wastage as these mats can be used many times. Silicone cooking equipment is sold individually or in sets, with an average price of a baking mat being £12 – £20.
Silicone moulds and cups can be priced from about £10 each.
5 secrets to cake decorating
Whether you are new to the joys of baking and cake decorating or you are someone who doesn’t hesitate to volunteer to make a fancy cake for an event.
It is likely that you still would like some insider secrets. Many already know about lining the space around the cake (between the plate and the cake itself) with strips of wax paper to ensure a clean presentation.
And many have also already discovered that meringue buttercream (as opposed to standard buttercream) is far more forgiving.
Still, there are many other surprising tips that pros provide to those eager to make flawless cakes. So, let’s take a look at five of the best:
1. Crumb coat or go home
Ask any professional baker about the crumb coat and they will all tell you it is an essential part of a beautifully decorated cake. Regardless of the behaviour of your frosting. The crumb coat will serve as a protective layer between the cake and that silken finishing layer.
How is it done? While you can use a cooled cake and frosting, most experts say that a chilled cake (give it an hour in the fridge) is even better.
Then you just apply a super thin layer of the icing on the cake.
This will be a bit messy and crumby, but you then return it to the fridge for another ten to fifteen minutes. You may want a second crumb coat if the cake seems to be shedding – and a second chill.
Once the frosting dries, you will find a flawless surface to place the perfect icing.
2. Turntables for cake decorating
Don’t listen to anyone who says pros won’t use such gadgets as turntables. They absolutely do, and most rely on them for even the most casual icing jobs because they deliver a measure of control and consistency that nothing else can match.
While you are at it. If you want the very best outcome with a turntable, invest in an offset spatula as well.
3. The spatula…
Another top tip is to heat the tools – especially the spatulas – with a quick dip into hot water before using them. Dunk the tool, dry it and then use it to apply or finish the frosting. Why? That mild heat actually melts the frosting a bit. And helps to even it out and create a smooth finish.
4. Another top tool
The turntable and offset spatulas are essential, but so too is an ice cream scoop. The pros are able to add the exact same amounts of icing between the layers of any cake by using the handy ice cream scoop.
If you’ve wondered how this precision occurred. It is more than likely that your baker has used such a tool when making layer cakes.
5. Master the swirl
Another unique tip from top cake decorators is to learn to do the swirl finish. This is that lovely and elegant swirl decoration appearing on some of the finest cakes. If you don’t have time to do a lot of fancy piping or decorative work.
A precise icing and a swirl at the top is often a fantastic way to create a formal look without a lot of, well…formality.
Once you have these basic, fail-proof tactics in your arsenal, it is time to consider expanding your repertoire.
The very best professional cake decorators say that they are always learning. So be sure that you try out the latest techniques, master some of the trendiest designs or styles.
And always look for ways to improve upon your existing skill set. You will be amazed at how quickly you can decorate like a pro.
Mastering simple baking recipes
Do you hesitate to buy baking ingredients like five- pound bags of flour or sugar?. Maybe it’s because that container of baking powder languishing in the pantry is older than a member of your family?
Maybe you don’t buy ingredients because you don’t have time to bake? We have 5 easy baking recipes anyone can master.
While that’s not at all unusual in our super busy world. The good news is that you don’t need hours of time to whip up delicious baked goods or recipes. We have five incredibly easy baking recipes any amateur can master.
And a few other tips and suggestions that can help you wow your family and friends. And also satisfy your cravings, without leaving you stuck with half bags of flour or unused ingredients.
A key is recipes with few ingredients
As that indicates above, the key to enjoying these easy baking recipes is that they are also easy baking recipes with few ingredients. Not only does this keep things simple and affordable, but it also means only a short period of time is needed.
No advanced skills are needed (making most of them easy baking recipes for kids). And you can even enjoy the fact that they are healthier than cheaply made, shop-bought treats.
Whether you are eager to find some easy things to bake when you’re bored, some easy baking recipes for beginners. Or even a few easy baking recipes for cupcakes and muffins, the following five easy baking recipes will meet your needs.
Each is different and may combine a blend of standard cupboard items or even pre-made dough. Either way, each whips up into easy baking recipes that will become part of your growing repertoire of super tasty treats and snacks.
Ideal for a quick afternoon coffee with a friend. Or just to give yourself a well-deserved reward at the end of a busy day or week, we hope you enjoy them!
Three ingredients promise that this recipe ranks as one of those easy cakes to make at home. You can slice it like brownies or serve like a cake, as easy tray bakes go. This one rate at the top of almost any list! And with just four ingredients, it definitely shines as one of the easiest of any easy baking recipes you will find.
- 13 oz. jar Nutella
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup unbleached flour – 70g (Plain Flour)
- 1 cup fillings (optional) can include chopped nuts, chocolate chips or whatever options appeal. You can even save a bit of the Nutella to use as a “swirl” added just before baking
Instructions for the nutella brownies
- Preheat your oven to 175◦c (350◦F).
- Grease or line a round cake pan.
- In a bowl, combine the first three ingredients until blending into a smooth and thick batter.
- Gently stir in any fillings you have chosen (not mandatory if you don’t want fillings).
- Pour the batter into the pan.
- If you wanted to reserve a few tablespoons of the Nutella as a swirl, this is the time to add drops of it into the batter and use a toothpick to swirl it around.
- Put into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Test with toothpick for doneness around 15 minutes and leave it until the pick comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and cool on the rack.
- Once cool, you can serve with some ice cream, drizzle with some caramel or even a berry sauce, or top with some more nuts and chocolate chips.
As far as easy baking recipes go, that is really one of the simplest, authentic recipes. However, if you are okay with purchasing a pre-made roll of cookie dough, you will fall in love with one of the easy baking recipes that allow you to “dress it up” a bit, too. You can adapt this to serve as a super simple holiday cookie or just use this recipe when your pumpkin spice urges kick into overdrive!
This one makes about two dozen cookies, but can be multiplied as much as you would like thanks to the ease with which the pre-packaged cookie dough is used.
Pumpkin peanut butter paradise drops
- 1 package of Ready to Bake Pumpkin Cookies (these are seasonal, but freeze beautifully, so stock up during the autumn and winter months)
- 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp. peanut butter powder
- Preheat your oven too – 175◦c (350◦F)
- Lay out the cookie dough on a flat surface and roll each piece between your palms to make a 1-inch ball of dough.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes.
- While they back, mix the other two ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Drizzle water into this mixture (no more than 1tbsp. at a time), and mix to a nice, fluid consistency. You will be drizzling it over the cookies, so add only enough water to make it fluid but not so loose it won’t drizzle well.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and place on a rack. All of them to cool only briefly before you add a dollop of the icing in the centre or by drizzling heavily. Allow this to set for at least ten minutes before serving (or before pouring some milk and getting ready to eat them!)
Now that you’ve done a bit of authentic baking and enjoyed a shortcut recipe, we can amp up your level of skill where easy baking recipes. In this next recipe, we are going to blend premade and prepackaged foods along with regular baking ingredients to create an epic mug cake. This is one of the truly ideal easy baking recipes for a dorm room, for an individual craving a treat but not eager to have huge amounts of sweets laying around afterwards, and is actually easy enough for kids to tackle on their own, too.
It relies on a microwave, a microwave-safe mug and a few minutes of prep to create what is one of the most delicious five-minute treats imaginable. This recipe is for a single serving, and through multiple mugs can be prepped at once, they must cook separately.
Mug Cake a la Oreo
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 ounce of high-quality milk chocolate
- large egg x 1
- 2 tbsp. whipping/light cream
- 1-2 drops of real vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp. flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 3 Oreo cookies (or a generic copy, but we LOVE the real thing) broken into large chunks
Instructions For The Oreo Mug Cake
- Place the butter and the chocolate into your mug
- Put the mug into your microwave and heat together for 40 seconds. (Check at 30 to see if everything is melted and if not finish up the timer)
- With a fork, beat this mixture into a smooth paste. Let it cool for a few minutes.
- Whisk the egg in a bowl or cup and then drizzle this into the cooled, melted butter and chocolate. Remember that if the chocolate is still too hot, the egg will actually cook and this will ruin the recipe.
- Add the drops of vanilla, the flour, powder and the cream. Stir it until combined.
- Add the Oreos, stirring to combine.
- Place the mug (uncovered) in the microwave and cook it for one minute and 30 seconds. Take it out and let it cool for a few moments.
- Top with a final, extra Oreo that has been broken into bits.
NOTE: It doesn’t “look” cake-like when it comes out, but as you dig into it, you get an amazingly dense and cakelike treat. You can a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream to make it extra rich.
Recipes with a few ingredients
So far, the easy baking recipes have not been exactly what might be viewed as healthy. However, there are some recipes that can offer you easy prep, limited ingredients, and a healthy dessert or treat.
The following recipes are one such example, and it even comes with the added benefit of being super flexible. Though it emphasizes apples, you can alter to almost any seasonal fruit.
It is a classic “crumble” that could work with sturdy berries (like fresh strawberries), tangy rhubarb, summery peaches, autumnal pears, and more.
Also, the vegans of the world can enjoy this one by swapping out the butter for a vegan ingredient or even a super sweet and animal-friendly maple syrup, instead. This recipe makes four very generous servings.
Unbelievably Easy Apple Crumble
- 3 apples, peeled, cored and cut into large chunks (you can also swap this out for an equivalent amount – around three cups – of other fruits)
- 1/4 cup butter, softened or at room temperature
- 4 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned, rolled oats
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar, divided
The apple crumble
- Preheat your oven to 175◦c (350◦F.)
- Prepare the apples and then put them in a bowl, and sprinkle with three tablespoons of the cinnamon and a few pinches of the brown sugar.
- Blend together the flour and the butter to make a paste.
- Add the remaining cinnamon and the oats.
- Add this to the apples and toss well to coat the apples.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until the topping is nicely browned and the fruit “fork tender”.
NOTE: This is almost irresistible if paired with a scoop of ice cream while still warm!
By this time, you are building your skills and probably willing to have a few regular baking ingredients on hand. In our final super easy baking recipe, we are looking at a simple tray baking recipe that makes an incredibly kid-friendly, sturdy and satisfying snack. Ideal for lunches, it could also be that one dessert that earns universal raves at the office or neighbourhood potluck! This recipe yields a very generous 32 servings.
Peanut butter dream bars
- 1 cup of light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup light oil
- 1/2 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter (we love the natural and unsweetened types)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups of “self-rising flour” (This is much easier to use and allows you to avoid measuring out regular flour along with both baking soda and baking powder! This is sold in smaller bags, so don’t worry about having lots of leftovers…plus, you will probably want more of these fairly quickly and that remaining flour won’t last long!)
- 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
- 3/4 cup peanut butter chips
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips or mini-chips (optional, but highly recommended)
Instructions to make the dream bars
- Preheat your oven to 175◦c (350◦F.)
- Grease a 13x9x2 baking pan and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, eggs, cooking oil, and peanut butter. Blend until smooth.
- Add the milk, and then stir in the flour until the mixture is thick and well combined.
- Spread this into the prepared pan.
- Coat the top of the batter with the peanuts, and both types of chips.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, and test with a toothpick for doneness.
- Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
We hope that this simple assortment of easy to bake recipes has encouraged you to experiment with additional options. Don’t forget that you can make your own treats without baking (as we did with the microwave in the mug cake recipe).
There are different “barks” that can be whipped up by melting some chocolate in the microwave, spreading it on wax paper and topping with nuts, dried fruits and other tasty treats.
Crescent rolls from the refrigerator section can be filled with sweet cheese and jams or preserves for instant pastries.
The options for fast and simple baked goods are limitless. Use a bit of imagination and soon you can master the art of quick but delicious treats for yourself, family, friends, unexpected company and so many more!
Your home cake business
Whether it is your goal to become the champion cupcake maker at your university or you hope to establish yourself as the premier cake business for weddings and events in your region. You’ll need to begin at the beginning.
While you always need to master your cake making and decorating skills. You also need to stay up to date on trends and developments in the industry, there is also the business side of things.
Make no mistake, you cannot ignore that part of your creative business. Because it is the key to long-term growth and success.
Unfortunately, managing a business can end up being quite costly if you find yourself paying a range of professionals. Such as bookkeepers, marketers, and sales professionals don’t work for free, and they don’t come cheap.
That is why it is mostly up to you, as someone eager to manage a home-based cake business, to make the right choices and take the right steps. We’ve assembled this list of seven free resources to help you get a good start.
This seems wildly obvious, but as the ultimate free resource for creative ideas, forums for talking with other home bakers, and marketing tools, it just can’t be beaten.
Make sure you have a good computer and connection to the Internet (sorry, your phone won’t really cut it for a full business management system) as you begin.
Now, this is not free, but in essence, it is the only conduit to many of the free resources we are going to suggest. So, think of it as an essential.
Software or Apps
With that computer on hand, you can then use some of the best apps and software for managing a cake business. The free apps we suggest include BakeCalc, which is an invoice maker and cake pricing calculator application.
You will also want to obtain accounting and bookkeeping software suitable to a small business, and we recommend one like Wave that is easy and free. Contracts are also part of a baking business and at WickedGoodies, you can find they’re easy to use a template.
Don’t think that marketing with local ads in newspapers, phone books, flyers and other tactics is as effective as online marketing…it just isn’t! While we are all for flyers posted all over town and printed materials passed between customers and prospective clients.
You need to go online and market yourself like crazy. For that, there is nothing to compare with Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You’ll also need to use tools like MailChimp for easy communication.
In addition to managing the business, you’ll want to be sure you have the skills, and/or that you are learning more all of the time. Wilton is a leading name in cake decorating, and they have free guides that can be great primers.
JoePastry also has free tutorials, and YouTube is amazing where tutorials and skills are concerned. There are also hundreds of cake decorating classes online at Craftsy (though they are not free, they are very affordable).
In addition to the apps for business management, you also need to think about things like a website, time management and more.
We recommend sites like Squarespace or WordPress to get started on a blog or website, and there is nothing like Google’s calendar feature to allow you to create even a wildly complex array of events, alerts, and more. The AngelFoods site even shows you – for free – how to start a blog or a website.
Using the Internet to find some basic answers is helpful, and the marketing that you’ll do through social media is going to provide a lot of useful information. However, if you are managing a business, it is best to have proven answers from fellow baking professionals.
There are many working bakers offering useful tools and tips. For instance, this Pricing Resources site offers a huge array of tools.
This is a bit of a subversive way of getting help managing your business, but it works. Go to a website like Amazon.com and search for books about cupcake cash, cake baking businesses, and all the rest.
Then simply use your local library, and/or its interlibrary loan service, to peruse the books for free. If something is super useful, you can then purchase a used copy and enjoy its information!