So, I know that we have all these wonderful baking tips that help, but there are some things you won’t find in a book. Pinterest is a great place to start, I’ve added several of them to my page, and sometimes, you just have to bake a horrible cake/cupcake to know what to do right the next time. Some of these tips seem crazy, and some may seem very straightforward but they work. You won’t disappointed!
1. After baking cake layers, put a slice of wheat bread on each slice to keep the cakes moist. The bread will become rock hard. I know, this is pretty weird, but who doesn’t love lovely moist cake in exchange?
2. When baking cake layers, before you put the cake inside, lift the pan a little bit off of the counter and drop it back on the counter (PLEASE. No crazy drops). Do this about 3 times for nice, even layers of cake. BONUS: If you forgot to properly sift your flour, those terrible clumps will rise to the surface, allowing you to serrate it off. NOTE: DON’T DO THIS TO CHEESECAKES!
3. For your perfectly even cheesecakes now! I tried this and it has worked ever since. It’s a bit meticulous, but worth it. Don’t even pour your cheesecake into the center of the pan. Pour it at one side, slowly, and allow it to naturally cascade over. This isn’t crazy but it’s an usual thing to do, but when I see 0 cracks, I mean 0 cracks. When you pour it into the center and quickly so, it kind of puts pressure on that point and can leave a crack. But pouring to the side and letting it fill the container by itself allows it to be naturally even. When done, use your spatula and just even the layer in ONE direction.
4. Is your cake layer falling apart? Freeze it. No, really. Wrap it in saran wrap, flash freeze for 30 minutes and try again. It will be much easier to layer now and will stay together. NOTE: use your discretion. Some cakes can’t be helped! See tip 5 for help to keep that layer moist.
5. A simply syrup can transform your dry cake to a moist cake. After cakes have baked and are cooling, make a simple syrup of 1/2 cup water, 1/2 sugar. Bring to a slight boil then allow to cool completely. I also like to add 1/4 teaspoon of crushed coffee grains for a chocolate cake to bring out the chocolate. All you have to do is brush it onto the cake and it will go all the way through the cake, not in a soaked way, but will moisten your cake. This is also great when freezing layers just in case it dries the cake out a bit. This is also a great way to add subtle flavours in a cake; just add 1/8 teaspoon of the extract.
6. Always end up with baked but flat cupcakes? Where’s that gorgeous dome?? *scene changes from black to colour* All you need to do is lower the baking temperature a bit, increase the batter in the liners, and bake the cupcakes for a little longer. For example, if the cupcakes were baking at 350 degrees for 22 minutes, with 2/3 full liners, bake the cupcakes at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, with 3/4 full liners. The result? Fuller, fluffier and lighter cupcakes. This takes a bit of time to adjust to, but never do it in a rush! You need to watch your cupcakes.
7. Mise en place. This isn’t so crazy, but many of us (okay, yes, myself included sometimes) NEVER think about it! It’s a french phrase which means everything in place. Do this, and you will never flubber (yes after the movie) about how much butter, how little eggs, wait why I forgot the chocolate powder in the chocolate cake? Yes, that is possible. Lay everything out, and I mean, cut the right amount of butter, heck, dice it into cubes to make it easier! Sift the flour, and put everything in the layout you need. You can even be pretty and lay it out like this:
8. Are your cupcakes coming out with an ugly brown bottom? *sad face* yes, we all hate that. Place the cupcake pan on a cookie sheet and bake as normal. No ugly brown bottoms!
9. Do your frosted cakes have crumbs all over the front of the cakes? Not so crazy but crazy useful! A crumb layer for frosting your cakes. It’s so simple but makes a world of a difference. Put a very thin layer of frosting on your entire cake (do the filling as normal) to catch all of the crumbs. Put the cake in the fridge for about 30 minutes for the frosten to harden a magical crumb catcher layer. Then frost as normal. Look ma! No Crumbs!
10. AND! My favourite crazy tip, this one courtesy of Rosie from Sweetapolita – To give your frosted cake a glossy finish, you can use a hair-dryer on medium heat over the outside of the cake (right before serving). Yes, it works! Hold it about half an arm’s length away from the cake.
I hope these helped and you’re on your way to some crazy good cakes :D.
Get it? Crazy? Because…