The most important part of baking is making sure your cake is perfectly fluffy and moist. Making a cake is easy, but making a GOOD cake requires precise measurement, patience, love, and in most cases, maybe just one or two extra key ingredients. Follow this guide and your crumbly, dry cake failures will be long forgotten.
Use Cake Flour
The main benefit in using cake flour rather than all-purpose comes from the addition of cornstarch mixed into the flour. It makes the cake much more spongey and lightweight, giving it a satisfying, crumb-free texture that is easy to cut into slices and distribute to your guests.
NEVER use Margarine or Butter Substitute
Even if the recipe you are referencing uses a butter substitute, replace it with REAL BUTTER. The fat contained in butter helps hold your cake together by moistening the batter. Margarine contains excess water that results in a dryer cake when all that water evaporates in the oven. Most beginners will hesitate to do this because they are still following the recipe exactly, but butter is always the better alternative. When it comes to cake eating, nothing is worse than a dried out texture, so always use basic, wholesome ingredients like real butter in your recipes.
ALWAYS Let the Cake Set and Cool Down Before Frosting
Don’t you want your cake to be perfect? Then don’t disregard this simple tip, ever. Let the cake set and cool completely before adding icing and cutting it; otherwise, your cake will get soggy and limp. Always use a cooling rack, which allows air to circulate under the cake and saves it from the detrimental effects of condensation. Also, make sure you spray the cooling rack with cooking spray so the cake doesn’t stick to it. Again, no matter how much of a rush you are in, let the cake cool!
Bake the Cake for the Right Amount of Time
Over-baking or under-baking your cake can both lead to very undesirable outcomes. Too much baking can make your cake taste dried out while not baking enough will leave it a soggy mess. Make sure you are paying very close attention to your cake while it is in the oven. The best way to do this is to periodically check on the cake towards the end of the baking time. This is especially important since there are many variables that could slightly affect how fast or slow your cake bakes.
Beginner Mistakes to Avoid
There is absolutely no shame in being a beginner. Everyone starts somewhere so don’t be embarrassed if you fall into this category. For the newbies, remember to ALWAYS preheat the oven! This is a very simple yet imperative step that could totally ruin your cake if not followed. Putting the cake in the oven while it preheats will negatively affect the chemistry of the baking process, which can result in dry and crumbly cakes.
Another mistake many beginners make is greasing the pan incorrectly. Even if you do everything else right, improperly greasing your pan calls for a very disappointing end result. First, you need to spread a rather copious amount of butter everywhere on the pan, including the corners, edges, sides, and bottom. Next, take a large spoonful of flour and slowly shake it around the pan, evenly distributing it to the best of your ability. Then, shake the pan and tilt it to the sides until the flour is evenly distributed. After that, you can flip the pan over to remove any excess flour.
Then, if you want to take extra precautions, line the pan with parchment paper, an expert baking tip from Martha Stewart on an episode of “Martha Bakes.” The only challenge you will face is cutting the parchment paper into the same shape as the pan. Remember kindergarten? Just follow your scissors along the edge and cut as accurately as possible. Finally, grease and flour the parchment paper just like you did with the pan. When it is done baking, your cake will beautifully and easily slide out of the pan without any torn crust.
If you incorporate these tips into your baking routine, you will become a cake-baking master in no time! Baking cakes isn’t a very complicated process, but there are many careless mistakes to be made; successful baking just takes repetition and practice. If your cake doesn’t turn out right or you simply don’t have time to bake a cake from scratch, you can still enjoy the taste of home-baked goodness with the delicious treats from Ne-Mo’s Bakery. With wholesome ingredients and a moist, fluffy texture, these classic cake breads are a taste of heaven. Individually wrapped and portioned, they’re a perfect choice for on-the-go snacks or roadside coffee breaks.