Baking is easy once you’ve mastered the basics and home-baked cakes are always much nicer than shop-bought. Follow these simple rules and your cakes will come out soft and fluffy, with a good rise every time.

Before you even begin your bake, read the recipe really carefully and make sure you have all the ingredients you need. Take them all out to make sure.

Read the recipe again! It’s really important to be clear on all the steps. Look up anything you aren’t sure about. Then pre-heat the oven, prepare your baking tins and measure out your ingredients before you start. 
 

Here are our top 10 tips:

 

1. Keep your eggs at room temperature

keep eggs room temp

Eggs stored at room temperature maintain their quality until they expire. Eggs stored in the refrigerator remain edible for a longer time, but their quality deteriorates quite quickly. 

If you're using your eggs for baking, it's definitely better to keep them at a steady room temperature. 

 

 

2. Weigh your ingredients carefully

baking

Precision when measuring out your ingredients is the key to a consistent result, bake after bake

Baking is an exact science, and getting your measurements right is the secret to a delicious end result. 

 

 

3. Use an oven thermometer

oven thermometer

Manufacturers give themselves a wide margin of error, so all ovens are slightly different temperatures. 

Make sure a difference in heat doesn't affect your bake by investing in an oven thermometer. 

 

 

4. Cool cakes upside down on racks

cool cake

Cooling your cakes upside down will give you flat tops that are much easier to stack. 

 

 

5. Invest in cake liners

cake liner

Just pop a cake liner in your pan instead of lining it with greaseproof paper. It's much quicker and less fiddly, plus it helps on the washing up. 

 

 

6. If you can't find cake liners for square pans…

…line them with foil backed greaseproof paper. It will easily mould to the shape of the pan. 

 

 

7. Near the end of your baking time…

baking man

…insert a skewer into your bake to see if it's ready. If it has any batter on it, it needs a bit longer.

 

 

8. Buy new baking powder every six months

baking powder

The same goes for bicarbonate of soda. These ingredients become less effective the older they are. 

 

 

9. Invest in a can of cake release spray

spraying pans
Image via Candied Up

It's the best way to grease muffin pans and cake tins for a quick release and no fuss. 

 

 

10. Always bake in the centre of the oven

bake in centre of oven

Move your shelves around if necessary so that there is enough room. The centre of the oven will always yield the best, most even bake. 

 

Browse products to make your baking easier in our home and garden shop

 

Jacqueline Meldrum is a freelance food writer and recipe developer. Jacqueline blogs at Tinned Tomatoes.

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