Making a cake is simple and fun with these baking and decorating tips. Learn how to make a cake with a few baking and decorating tips, such as mixing batter, greasing a pan and removing cake from a pan.
Baking a cake is a fun way to enjoy baking, whether you are a beginner or an experienced baker. Any kind of baker, whether you love making simple cakes or decorating cakes, can benefit from the following cake baking tips.
Mixing the Cake Batter
Portable or standard electric mixers both work well for beating cake batter. Standard mixers are the more powerful of the two, so when using one, reduce the speed to low during the first step of beating to prevent spattering.
You can also mix cake batter by hand. Stir the ingredients to moisten and blend, then beat 150 strokes for every minute of beating time (i.e. 3 minutes equal 450 strokes).
Cake Pan Tips
- Shiny aluminum pans are best when you make a cake because they reflect heat away from the cake and produce a tender, light brown crust.
- If you use a dark, nonstick or glass baking pan, reduce the oven temperature by 25º F. These types of pans absorb more heat, which causes cakes to bake and brown faster.
- Be sure to follow recipe directions for greasing and flouring pans. Shortening plus flour works well, as does baking spray with flour. However, plain baking spray is often not enough.
- If you are using a fluted tube pan, coat the pan generously as suggested above, so the cake releases easily.
Removing Cakes from Pans
- Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes or according to recipe directions.
- Cover a separate wire rack with a towel and place it towel-side down on top of cake.
- Turn everything over as a unit and remove the pan.
There are several kinds of cake decorating bags available. Some are reusable and plastic coated; others are disposable and made of parchment paper. The plastic-coated bags can be used with or without a coupler. The coupler allows you to change decorating tips while still using the same bag of frosting or icing. A coupler is not used for large cake decorating tips.
- Arrange all the tools you plan to use on a turntable or lazy Susan. That way everything you need is a spin away and within reach.
- Lightly outline areas on the cake to be decorated with a toothpick, or write a message with the toothpick to make sure the spacing is adequate for the size of the cake. These toothpick tracings also provide a guide for piping the cake frosting.
- If your first try doesn’t work, smooth the frosting with a knife and try again.