Top Baking Mistakes - Corrected
Putting a little bit of TLC (tender loving care) into the baking process can go a long way toward achieving a result worthy of centerpiece destination. Here are some of the most common baking mistakes that people make along with advice on how to avoid making them this holiday baking season.
Don’t spoon flour into the measuring cup! That adds air into the mix, which ends up with less flour in the mixing bowl. Less flour in the mix results in soggy cakes & cookies. More flour results in a drier product. Instead, scoop the measuring cup right into the flour and then level it off with a knife (be careful to never pack the flour either, as more flour means a drier result). We have a flour container and keep a plastic measuring cup on top of the flour at all times. This tip is also mentioned first in our how to build better cupcakes post.
Another ingredient that needs special measuring, if it is being used, is brown sugar. Pack as much of this goodness into the measuring cup as possible.
Cream the butter and sugar together for about two to three minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
If they are not sufficiently creamed together, the resulting baked goods will be flat and dense. Also, if the recipe calls for softened butter, then be sure that the butter is indeed soft.
Check our baking powder page and baking soda page for ways to test if these rising agents will still perform as they should before baking a flat cake.
Always pre-heat the oven period.
Be sure to always under estimate the amount of time needed to complete the baking process. After all, it can always be cooked more – but never less. Check for signs of doneness instead of merely just relying on the clock. Recipes times are not precise, especially since oven temperatures vary. Some signs include if an inserted toothpick comes out clean, the edges have begun to brown and if the result now looks like the recipe photo.
Although we just stated that it is important to check for doneness in baked goods, be careful not to open the oven door too much during baking as heat escapes each time the door is opened resulting in a lowered oven temperature. This is especially true when making things that rise, like cakes. Don’t open the oven to check on cakes until at least three-quarters of the expected time has passed. Also, always close the door gently after checking in on a baked good.
Since ovens cook differently and most are hotter in the back, it is a good idea to rotate the pans halfway through cooking. This becomes especially important if using more than one oven rack – swap the pans top to bottom halfway through for sure.
Top Baking Mistakes Corrected
Keep out weevils, measure accurately and save getting out a knife every time you measure with this handy container made just for flour.