Baking Tips for Beginners
I got into baking to tick it off from my bucket list.
KG and I, are pro in cooking from cookbooks. I mean, we try brand new recipes from cookery books even for a very important get together and they turn out great, always. Following recipes from Nigella or Jamie or Tarla Dalal is the order of the day in our kitchen. So, following cake recipes should be just the same, I thought. I figured that beating and mixing the cake ingredients couldn’t be that hard. I was wrong.
When I started baking, some of my cakes and cupcakes didn’t rise to the occasion, some were as dry as the desert, some were as moist as a drowned rat and some went straight from the oven to the bin. In short, I have had a lot of baking disasters and some crazy and truly funny stories. But all these failures didn’t deter me, I persisted with patience and my whisks.
They say, baking is a science, yet the science behind baking is not always simple and easy. If you’re new to baking or have had baking disasters like me, here are 10 tips you may follow before switching on the oven.
1. Read the Recipe and Grab all the Needed Ingredients and Tools
This seems obvious, but when you’re excited to bake a cake or feel you already know what you’re doing, you might neglect this basic first step.
2. Follow the Recipe
When it comes to cooking, most of us go freestyle, we change, substitute or avoid certain ingredients or steps, fearlessly. But while baking, follow the recipe blindly. Period. Also, it is important to use a reliable, tried and tested recipe.
3. Measure Ingredients Properly
Measuring cups vary. I prefer a digital scale for the precise quantities. If the recipe says 1 teaspoon baking powder, I convert it into grams and measure 4 gms of baking powder. Yes, precision is everything in baking.
4. Ingredients at Room Temperature is the Key
Eggs, butter, milk, nuts, condensed milk which are usually kept in the fridge should be brought to room temperature, before baking. It’s better to keep them out for several hours. In case, I am in a hurry, I grate the butter, microwave milk for a few seconds, and keep eggs in a bowl of water in the sun to get the ingredients at room temperature.
5. Always Sift Dry Ingredients
Dry ingredients like flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, cocoa powder, etc should always be sifted. Sifting ensures that all of the individual dry ingredients come together to give a uniform mixture in the batter or dough and allows for a light, airy and delicate texture of the baked goodness.
6. Do Not Underdo or Overdo
When mixing, folding or kneading, do not underdo or overdo. Mix or fold batter until “just combined”, which means that you should stop mixing as soon as you can’t see the ingredient that you just added.
7. Pre-heating the Oven is an Absolute Must
Do not place the cake batter into the oven until it is at the right temperature. The science in baking will not accept such a mistake and your baking will turn into a failed attempt.
8. Keep the Oven Door Closed
It’s tempting to keep peeping in the oven to see the cake rising, the cookies baking, and the cupcakes puffing up! But doing this can create great fluctuations in heat, which can cause the cake to collapse.
9. Use the Right Sized Tin
If your cake has a big hump in the middle or it spills out of the pan, it is probably baked in a pan that is too small or you have overfilled the pan. If you choose a big tin, your cake could end up a thin, dry pancake.
10. Never Give Up
Don’t get de-motivated! You’ll make mistakes, but just learn from your experiences and keep growing as a baker.
Do you have any baking advice to share? What is your favorite tip for new bakers?
My theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is Food Talks. Join me for some interesting, fun conversations about food experiences, experiments, basics, tips, ideas, hacks, trends and much more.
April 2, 2019 12:20 am|
This post reminded me of my baking disasters in the beginning but I didnt give up. Now my baked goodies are appreciated and feasted by my son and friends.
I follow Tarla dala, NishaMehta and sanjeev kapoor baking recipes.
April 2, 2019 1:05 am|
good tips Shilpa thanks, I usually just wing it. But will adhere to the tips re using things at room temperature – and I do peek.
April 2, 2019 1:06 am|
I love baking, but I had my share of disasters too. Finding the right way to mix the batte in order to have the cake rise was the hardest… and sometimes that doesn’t turn up well either, even today.
Personally, I follow the recipes only the first time. That allows me to make all the ‘necessary’ adjustments the secodn time 😉
April 2, 2019 2:05 am|
My mum loves baking but she’s totally unable to follow the recipes 🙂 I like your advice about having the ingredients room temperature, havent thought of that, thank you!
April 2, 2019 3:55 am|
There is nothing more welcoming than to walk into a kitchen with garlic roasting.
April 2, 2019 4:52 am|
I love tip #10!
April 2, 2019 7:12 am|
Nice advise. Following the measurements is the absolute key.
April 2, 2019 8:24 am|
These are some good pointers here, following the recipe and keeping measurements same get tricky at times, But, yes that’s the key to success.
April 2, 2019 9:20 am|
These tips are absolutely spot on, Shilpa. Baking is very challenging till you get a hang of it. Proportions are everything and trying a recipe 2 or 3 times finally nails it.
April 2, 2019 10:16 am|
Nice tips. Cooking is an art. Still one has to follow the process diligently.
April 2, 2019 10:35 am|
Being a baker as well a food blogger, agree fully with all your tips. Would definitely be following all your Food talks
April 2, 2019 10:57 am|
Your tips will certainly help beginners, Shilpa.
Like you I always follow any recipe to the T, the first time. If it turns out right, i make my changes 🙂
April 2, 2019 11:41 am|
Oh I love baking too and it is such a stress buster!
Measuring the ingredients is one of the most important baking tip. Else it can go either way.
April 2, 2019 11:55 am|
I can so relate to every point here, Shilpa. ….I have been there, done that and learned quite a few things about baking. But, it is an activity I enjoy and look forward to…It’s my de-stressor!
Pinned this post! 🙂
April 2, 2019 12:48 pm|
These are some very helpful tips for bakers especially those who are beginners. I love baking and I know these tips are very useful.
April 2, 2019 1:24 pm|
Mom used to bake a lot, mostly cakes. So she instilled in me the importance of points 3, 5 and 7 early on, by asking me to help her with the cake making.
I especially liked your tip number 4, about room temperature. Not that I’m going to make a cake anytime soon. I’ll just call you and fix up a meeting! Heeheehee! 😛
Find my post for today @ 10 Bookish Challenges Only Bookworms Have To Deal With
April 2, 2019 2:47 pm|
Interesting to read, never really was into baking, my daughter is very interested shilpa and keeps trying making mistakes and learning:) thanks for sharing the tips
April 2, 2019 3:20 pm|
This is really helpful. Never have I ever been able to come up with the perfect cake despite trying varied recipes from many people. The measuring is a bit of a challenge as well as the ‘mixing it just right’. I need to remember that last point and keep going.
April 2, 2019 4:32 pm|
I have had so many baking disasters, somehow only the microwave cake worked for me and nothing else. These are good tips. Maybe I should try to follow the recipe as much as I can 🙂
April 2, 2019 4:35 pm|
I suck at baking, Shilpa! Daym! I will definitely follow your tips the next time I “try” to bake something.
April 2, 2019 6:21 pm|
I love to bake, I and my daughter recently baked a sooji cake..it turned out to be good.. your tips and information are really helpful 🙂
April 2, 2019 6:39 pm|
Very helpful points. I have been baking since last 2 years and after many trials and errors, now I can bake decently and know how important all these tips are. Especially “Never give up”. The first few attempts were disastrous but I kept trying 🙂
April 2, 2019 8:48 pm|
Those were great tips for a beginner.
I am such a bad baker 🙁 My yeast never froths and I cannot pipe cream even if I tried really hard. 🙁
April 2, 2019 9:06 pm|
Baking when not followed the rules correctly end up as a nightmare! These tips are very useful.
April 3, 2019 2:32 am|
Needed these tips for baking! And you have put it all in one place…thanks!
April 3, 2019 9:44 pm|
I have never baked in my life, but I love watching cookery shows, MasterChef Australia being my favourite. I don’t think I will start baking anytime soon. I need to first learn to cook!