How to Make a Cake: 10 Secrets to Success

How to Make a Cake: 10 Secrets to Success

Choose A Good Recipe

To guarantee results, it's important to stick to baking recipes so that your cakes are as good as the recipe you use. Start with recipes from sources you trust. A lot of recipes, especially on the internet, are not tried and tested.

Use The Correct Tin Size in The Recipe

If you want to use a different one, you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Baking parchment is great as a liner because it's nonstick. Floured softened butter or floured oil are both substitutes. Don't use too much fat though, or you'll fry the sides of the cake. You can also wrap the outside of the tin with brown paper and twine to keep the edges from burning if you're cooking a cake for a long time, such as a rich fruit cake.

Preheat The Oven

If you put the cake in an oven that isn't hot enough, it will affect how it rises. Fan ovens can dry out cakes slightly, so for a longer shelf life, use the conventional setting.

Be Sure of Accurate Weights and Ingredients

Make sure to use the exact measurements and ingredients stated in the recipe. If you want your cake to rise more, you can't just add more baking powder, or replace regular flour with self-raising flour. Use measuring spoons instead of utensils for accuracy. Also, avoid mixing imperial and metric measurements, choose one or the other.

Make Sure Right Temperature for Ingredients

Most recipes call for fat and eggs to be at room temperature. If you take the butter straight out of the fridge, it won't cream well, and the cold eggs can easily curdle the cake mixture.

Get As Much Air into The Cake As Possible

Cream butter and sugar until mixture is light in texture and color. This adds air and volume to the cake and makes your result lighter.

Sift and mix the flour and other prescribed ingredients together, adding air to make them easier to fold. A large balloon whisk (used gently) is best for folding, as it helps keep the flour from clumping, but doesn't over-beat the mixture. Do not try to stir vigorously as this will break the air and cause the cake to become heavy.

Put The Cake Straight into The Oven

The leavening agents start to work as soon as they come into contact with any "wet" ingredients, so to ensure good rise, your cake mixture should go into the oven right away.

Place The Cake on The Correct Rack

Cakes are generally best placed on the middle rack to ensure even heating.

After the cake is in, avoid opening the door until it's almost done. If you let cold air into the oven, the cake will most likely collapse and you'll need to wait until it's fully set. Likewise, when you put the cake in the oven, don't hang around and let all the heat escape.

Stick to The Cooking Time

The times stated in the recipe should be accurate if you're using the correct tin and you have a good oven. As ovens do vary, please check the cakes before the cooking time is up. A well-cooked cake should feel the same if you press on the edges or in the middle. Also, the skewer inserted into the center should dry out. If your cake is not fully cooked but looks brown, you can cover it with a little damp greaseproof paper.

Cooling Cakes

Recipes usually give cooling instructions, but in general, most sponge cakes are best left for a few minutes before placing on a cooling rack to avoid soggy edges. The rich fruitcake is best chilled in a tin.

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