To some of you out there who haven’t had the best luck with baking and also to the ones just looking for a few extra tips to try out, here are a few ways in which you can make sure that every time you bake a cake, it’s deliciously soft and spongy and surprisingly light as well.
- As a general rule, preheat your oven before you start prepping and preparing the cake mix and preheat the oven for about a good 20-30 minutes, at the given temperature. But, the tricky bit is to not overheat the oven because that can cause your cake to puff up and have a hump after it’s done. Another thing you need to keep in mind is the container you choose to bake your cake in and try to get it in the size the recipe recommends. Also, different cake containers yield different results; for example, if you choose to use a glass container instead of a tin, lower the oven temperature by about 20 degrees so that the cake doesn’t bake any differently.
- Use ingredients like fat, butter, eggs, liquids (water, milk, and so on) at room temperature because if the ingredients are cold, you may end up with a curdled batter. Also, if you’re trying to eat a little healthier, there are a few great substitutes you can try out. Try substituting eggs by adding 2 tablespoons of potato starch for every egg and using vegan flour instead of regular self-raising flour or even switching regular sugar for brown sugar. And if you’re feeling particularly spirited, there is a whole other range of healthier substitutes you can try out.
- When you beat the butter and sugar together for your cake batter, take your time to cream them. Whisk them or beat them with a wooden spoon for at least 3-4 minutes till they’re thick and creamy. The addition whipping creates tiny air pockets in the batter which will actually ensure your cake has a lovely fluffy and spongy texture and is delightfully light. To make sure you’ve mixed them well enough, rub some of the sugar and butter mixtures between your fingers and if you don’t feel any undissolved sugar granules, you’re good to go.
- You need to measure your ingredients to the exact amount that’s given in the recipe and to do that you can use a knife to remove the excess of any ingredient while you’re measuring it. If you’re just a few baked items old or if it’s your first time baking, use measuring cups because that will help you get a proper batter and eventually a deliciously light and spongy cake. Another thing you should keep in mind is that while baking, sifting is essential and you have to sift all the required dry ingredients because sifting prevents lumps and it also ensures all the ingredients are combined well.
- If or when you try to bake a foam cake, like an angel food cake, the trick you need to remember is when to add the flour to the beaten egg white mixture. The egg whites are an essential ingredient to the cake because they’re what add the intense spongy and light texture to the cake. If you don’t mix in the flour gradually and add all of it at once, the egg whites might lose their airiness which is what keeps the cake so fluffed up. So, when mixing in the flour, be gentle and fold in the flour with the egg whites instead of whisking it in.
- Ideally, your cake mix should fill at least half of the container you’re using to bake it in but it shouldn’t fill more than 2/3 of it unless the recipe you’re following specifies otherwise. Now, when you’re baking your cake, make sure you place the cake tin in the center of the oven. But, if you’re baking more than one cake at a time, try not to place the cake tins too close to each other and crowd them because then the cakes will end up baking unevenly. Once your cake is baked, before cutting it, run the knife you’re going to use through some hot water and dry it to get clean and crumb-free slices.
- A few of the common problems that you might face and have already faced are deep cracks, sunken in the center, hump in the center, the texture is to the course, and the likes. A few tips to avoid them are, controlling the temperature of the oven and checking the amount of baking powder you’re adding in case of deep cracks. To avoid sunken centers or the ones with a hump, make sure you add exactly the amount of flour and liquid your recipe specifies. Lastly, for the texture, make sure you beat your cake mix for exactly as long as the recipe says, don’t go overboard, but make sure you do enough.