baking 101

Everyone always says that baking is so hard and complains that they aren’t good at it. I learned to bake before I learned to cook, so perhaps I’m biased but I believe that if you can read a recipe, you can bake a cake. So throw all of your preconceived notions about baking to the wayside. With a few fool-proof tips you’ll be baking cakes and cookies in no time.

First, you must face the fact that you have to buy 10 things for just one round of baking. Then, remember that you will use those items for many more bakes down the road. I think this is the hardest thing because at that point it’s easy to go to a bakery. BUT this way is so much more fun! I promise. Go to your favorite grocery store and buy:

-nice eggs (I know they’re a little pricier, but the 30 cents does make a difference in the end result)

-baking soda

-baking powder

-good flour (with gluten free flour I had a difficult time telling, but I think it’s all good…as long as you have anthem gum. Be sure to get that if you are baking GF.)

-sugar

-good vanilla (I’ve been enjoying this one with bourbon)

-butter (please get the real deal…I admit I buy store brand but no margarine)

-sprinkles (pick your favorite)

-berries for decorating (I’ve been partial to blackberries and raspberries recently)

-(3) 8-9″ cake pans (just be sure that they are all the same size so you can make a nice layer cake) OR if you’re more of a cupcake person get a nonstick cupcake tin–also get cupcake tins OR I’ve been loving these (5) 6″ pans that yield smaller/ taller cakes

baking 101

So my tips for baking are as follows:

Always allow plenty of time to bake. Most recipes will take about 30 minutes of baking then 30 minutes in the oven then another 30 minutes to an hour to cool. Set aside 2 hours (and remember that you’ll have downtime while it’s in the oven and cooling, so you can get ready for your event).

Always follow your recipe (at least the first time). The recipe should describe how your batter will look after each step, so do your best to get your butter and sugar creamy then a light and fluffy batter.

Always use a good recipe!!! Don’t get me wrong, I love pinterest. But, I have had (and heard) bad baking experiences/ pinterest fails if you will. I prefer to use a cookbook that is well known or anything from foodnetwork.com if you want to use your computer. Ina Garten is my favorite (or you could get something delicious from Paula D as well).

Now you’re set. Go out and bake a cake :)

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