25 Great Cake Baking Tips for the holiday season

I know, I know we keep on harping on about how close Christmas is and all the amazing things you should be making, baking and creating.

So you don’t have a “I totally saw this on Pinterest and can totally recreate this five layered white chocolate truffle rum ball cake” disaster here are 25 Great Cake Baking Tips for the holiday season. Just to help take a bit off the stress off you. There are only 12 days left.

Recipe Ingredients:         

  1. Ingredients for cakes should be room temperature (can take out of refrigerator approximately 60-90 minutes before needed).
  2.  To check freshness of eggs, put in a bowl of water–if they sink, they’re fresh. If they float and stand on one end, they’re not.
  3. Weighing ingredients with a digital kitchen scale is the most accurate method of baking.
  4.  To bring cold eggs to room temperature quickly, you can put the whole eggs into a bowl of lukewarm water (not hot otherwise they cook. It’s hard to whip three hard boiled egg whites) for 30 minutes.
  5. To bring butter to room temperature quickly, you can cut into small cubes on a plate for about 15 minutes.
  6. Semisweet Chocolate = Dark Chocolate.  Bittersweet Chocolate = Extra Dark Chocolate.
  7.  Semisweet & Bittersweet Chocolate are interchangeable.
  8. Use unsalted butter for cake recipes.

    Mixing:
  9.  Incorporate dry ingredients together with whisk before adding to wet ingredients.
  10. When creaming butter and sugar, get the mixture very pale yellow and fluffy–this will take several minutes (around 5).
  11. Always start and end with dry ingredients when alternating with wet ingredients (3 dry additions, 2 wet). Also make sure that you don’t overmix once dry ingredients are added. Just mix on low speed until incorporated.
  12. Beat egg yolks with fork before adding to batter.
  13. A pinch of salt brings out the flavours in sweet baked goods. Make sure it’s a lady size pinch. Not a fish n chip shop lady’s hammer throw of salt
  14. When folding, you should always add the lighter of the two mixtures on top, using a gentle folding motion, to avoid deflating batter.
  15. If incorporating more than one flavour into a batter or icing, always start with the vanilla; vanilla enhances most flavours.

    Baking Cakes:

  16. Get a separate oven thermometer for an accurate temperature reading–most ovens are either “hot” or “cold.”
  17. Always wait for oven to reach necessary temperature before putting cakes in oven and keep cakes away from sides of oven, and if possible a few inches from each other
  18. Use middle rack, unless otherwise stated in recipe.
  19. Typically, when in oven, cakes are nearing done when you can smell cake in the kitchen.
  20.  Leave cakes in the oven when testing. When a skewer comes clean from center of cake, it’s done.

    Cooling & Decorating

  21. Let full cakes cool in pans on wire racks for 20 minutes before removing from pans.
  22.  Remove cupcakes from pan immediately, placing individual cupcakes on wire rack to cool. If you don’t they will continue to bake around the edges. Leaving you with very crunchy cupcakes.
  23.  Always place cake on a thin foil-covered cake board the same size/shape as the cake for ease of icing/serving, etc.
  24.   Brush away any stray cake crumbs with silicone pastry brush before icing.Apply even layers of filling using an 18″ pastry bag and large round tip.Apply thin layer of icing to seal in crumbs, then place in refrigerator for 30 minutes before second layer of icing.
  25.  If you don’t have time for frosting your cake, a good sprinkling of powdered sugar does wonders! Tastes and looks great on most cakes.
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