10 Must-Know Baking Hacks

To celebrate World Baking Day (May 17th), I’ve collected a few of my favorite baking hacks that I find myself coming back to again and again.  Some of these I learned from friends and family…others I picked up along the way by trial and error.

Baking shouldn’t be intimidating!  It’s really fun and actually quite easy to experiment with different flavors and textures.  Cake won’t rise?  Canned frosting tastes terrible?  Don’t worry!  There’s a hack for that! 😉

800-pie-crustIf your flour or sugar needs to be sifted, pay attention to how it’s phrased in the directions. For example, “1 cup sifted all-purpose flour” (flour is measured AFTER sifting) is not the same as “1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted” (flour is measured BEFORE sifting).

For better results, use a liquid measuring cup to measure liquid ingredients and dry measuring cups to measure dry ingredients.

For lighter, fluffier baked goods, spoon flour into measuring cups and then level it off. Do not use your measuring cup as a scoop, as this will cause flour to pack down and actually give you more flour than you need.

If you’re measuring sticky items, like honey, syrup, or molasses, spray your measuring utensils with non-stick cooking spray to prevent sticking.

Baking temps matter! For a fluffier cake, bake at a lower temperature (325 degrees F – 350 degrees F). Cakes will bake denser at higher degrees (375 degrees F – 400 degrees F).

Hate that canned frosting taste? Take the frosting out of the can and whip it with an electric mixer for a few minutes to beat in air and add volume. Add a few drops of vanilla or almond extract to add more flavor.

Keep berries and chocolate suspended in your desserts and baked goods by first coating them with flour. A very light coating will work. Great trick for cookies, cakes, and muffins!

If you’re having trouble with your cakes and cookies not rising properly, try replacing your baking powder.

When baking cookies, make sure you bake like-sized cookies for even baking. Use a scoop for plop and drop cookies and bake similar-sized cut out cookies together to make sure everything bakes evenly.

If you have empty cavities in your muffin tin or doughnut pan, add water in the empty cavities to help your baked items cook evenly.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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