There’s nothing better than a freshly baked cake or warm cookie straight from the oven – but as many of us know, baking can be intimidating and overwhelming. That’s why we’ve rounded up our top 10 best baking tips, so you don’t have to feel intimidated when experimenting with recipes. Whether you already love whipping up creative desserts or just starting, these tips will help you learn the basics of baking like a pro. So grab your mixing bowl, preheat your oven, and let’s get started on the journey towards becoming a home baker.
10 Basic Baking Tips
1. Read the Recipe
Before attempting any recipe, read through it once or twice. This will help you understand what needs to be done before beginning and prevent any surprises throughout the baking process. Even if you have baked something before, it is best to double-check the recipe, as different recipes may require other techniques and steps unfamiliar to you.
2. Check your Ingredients
Before beginning your recipe, ensure you have all the ingredients listed and that they are fresh, not expired or spoiled. Gather your ingredients before starting and double-check that you have everything – including spices and extracts – even if they are not listed in large amounts on the recipe. This will help prevent any unnecessary trips back to the store midway through your baking project.
3. Check your Utensils
The proper utensils can make a world of difference in your baking experience. Both measuring cups/spoons and mixing bowls should be used carefully; old or scratched measuring cups may give inaccurate measurements, while dirty mixing bowls may interfere with good results. Make sure all utensils are clean before use.
4. Preheat your Oven
Preheating is one of those things that is often forgotten about when baking but is essential for successful results. Preheating ensures that cakes, cookies, and other treats bake evenly throughout instead of burning on top while staying raw on the bottom. Letting your oven heat up for 5-10 minutes before adding your goodies will ensure perfect results every time.
5. Follow Instructions Step-by-Step
While there may be times when changing something up works out great (like adding chocolate chips!), generally speaking, it is best to follow instructions exactly as written – especially when first starting with a new recipe or technique. Be careful not to skip steps or leave out ingredients, as this could drastically change how your finished product turns out.
6. Measure Ingredients Carefully
Accuracy matters when it comes to ingredients like flour and sugar, which can significantly impact how baked goods turn out if mismeasured. Something as small as an extra teaspoon of sugar can make a big difference in how sweet (or not) a cookie tastes. Use liquid measuring cups for liquids and dry measuring cups for dry ingredients. Level off extra dry ingredients using a butter knife or other flat object instead of scooping directly from the bag/container. This adds excess, which can throw off measurements considerably.
7. Be Careful Not to Overmix Batter
It is important not to overmix cakes or cookies as this can lead to tough or dense products instead of light and fluffy ones. Instead, aim for just enough mixing until all ingredients are combined, then stop – using low speed on mixers and stirring by hand also helps keep from overmixing batters, which can be easy if high-speed settings are used too often.
8. Bake Thoroughly
An oven thermometer helps ensure baked goods get cooked thoroughly and evenly without burning parts and leaving undercooked areas. You can also use the toothpick method when testing the doneness of cake-like products. The toothpick should come out clean after inserting it in the middle to determine if it is fully cooked and ready for removal from the oven.
9. Cool Completely
Depending on what type of treat you are making, cooling completely may not always be necessary, but it does allow flavors time to develop fully. Allowing cookies and cakes time after taking them out from the heat allows them to settle down and firm up again, so they stay whole during serving.
10. Have Fun
Most importantly, have fun experimenting with recipes and flavors while learning new techniques. Baking should be enjoyable, so don’t take it too seriously – enjoy every step from start to finish. Get the whole family involved and create fun lifelong memories in the kitchen.
Notta Lotta Sugar’s Simple Baking Ingredients
Notta Lotta Sugar mixes use simple ingredients, contain added fiber, fewer calories, lower sodium, no artificial flavors, and use a plant-based sugar substitute. With any Notta Lotta Sugar bake mix and a few simple ingredients, you will be on your way to baking like a pro.