The secrets to baking amazing cakes!
Don’t be intimidated by this cake. Yes. It’s fancy.
We encourage you to throw caution to the wind. You can make this incredible Butternut Pumpkin Spice Cake or browse the collection of other incredible recipes for birthday cakes, wedding cakes, afternoon or high-tea cakes and more!
We’re not giving you false confidence so you can end up with a batch of inedible batter and ruined dreams. There are just some simple tricks to nail the method and some window dressing to make cakes successfully every time. Impress everyone at your next dinner party or picnic after reading a few baking secrets.
Our friends at The Dairy Kitchen have given us five top tips for ensuring success:
1. Check your oven
It’s imperative to preheat your oven to ensure your cake cooks evenly. It’s recommended to bake cakes in the top half of the oven, so position your racks before you start baking. Make sure that you also remove any solid metal trays from the oven before as these will stop the heat from circulating evenly.
2. Have all your ingredients at room temperature
Why? This will help the ingredients to blend together and cook more evenly. That’s why we love UHT milk for baking as you can use it straight from the pantry!
3. When creaming butter and sugar, be patient!
When you cream butter with sugar, you’re beating tiny air bubbles into the mixture which help the cake to rise. It can take at least 5-7 minutes and will end up looking very pale and light, by this time almost all of the sugar should have dissolved. Same goes for your fluffy buttercream icing!
4. Work quickly and lightly
As soon as you add the raising agent to your cake (eg. self-raising flour, baking powder etc.), awesome chemical reactions start to take place releasing air into the mixture, get that light pillow of a cake into the oven ASAP to trap all that fluffy goodness in your mixture! Make sure you also fold lightly so that you don’t break too many of the air bubbles in the process.
5. Resist the urge to open the oven
It’s so tempting, but try not to open the oven during the first two thirds of the baking time. We've definitely done this before and ended up with a sad deflated sponge (but it made a delicious trifle)!
Want the recipe for this incredible cake? Get it here, and check out more cakes below!