We all can’t resist, those yummy homemade cakes when baked and cherished with love and affection are the best but this may often become a phobia for someone who may have had a terrible experience with baking. Baking is not that much laborious as it seems to be but if a proper approach is followed along with the best recipe then it will give the same results that you expect somewhat like the softest, airy, and the moist cake is here in front of you.
If I talk about my personal experience then I would always recommend especially for a beginner that doesn’t stick to a single recipe, you should try multiple of it and I guarantee you that you will discover the finest one among all that works the best for you every time you bake. Before talking about the tips and tricks that you should follow to get the awaited outcome, I would like to mark a point that whichever recipe you choose whether eggless or with eggs, it must be from a trustworthy source which is a tested one as there are countless recipes on the web that are not tested and at last the product you get is not at all satisfactory up to your expectations or as illustrated in the video or the book.
A lot of talks are done, now let’s look forward to the secrets to make that great cake!
1. Prepare the cake tin appropriately
The first step before baking a cake is to make the cake tin ready by lining a parchment paper as It works well without any failure when you de-mold your cake from the tin. Brush the lined paper with some refined oil or butter and then sprinkle some plain flour or cocoa powder all over the surface and your cake tin is ready. In case, you don’t have the parchment paper no need to worry, you just need to oil the bottom of the cake tin thoroughly and sprinkle a little bit of plain flour all over and remove the excess by tapping the tin upside down.
One more point I would like to include in this tip is that select the appropriate size of your baking dish ( an aluminum tin is always suggested) as per the amount of batter you’re making.
Also Read Japanese CheeseCake Recipe
2. Preheat the oven
To make your cake rise well and cook properly from within, you just can’t ignore or skip this step. Yes, this is the most important step before putting the cake batter into your oven (conventional is mostly preferred for baking purposes) is to preheat to 180℃ for about 10 mins. If you put the cake tin directly into the oven then it will not get that required temperature and will not be processed in a well-risen cake. Furthermore, stick to the overall cooking time as it differs for different temperature settings and also the size of the cake tin.
3. Be precise with measurements as given
This is a widely done mistake that fails your baking experience. Whenever you prepare the cake mix, give special attention to the measurement of every ingredient in the recipe you’re following. 1.5 cups of flour mean 1.5 cups only not 2 cups, use the teaspoon and tablespoon measurements wisely. It may seem to be a small thing but it does make a quite difference in the texture of the baked cake. One more point to consider here is that you must sieve all the dry ingredients first and gradually mix them into the wet one. This will avoid lumps in the batter while mixing.
4. Check the temperature of the ingredients before blending
Take care of the fact that all the ingredients whether you’re using eggs, curd, or milk must be at room temperature as this is very essential to take care of yet ignored. You will find out the difference yourself while beating eggs that are straight from the fridge will not get foamy and light as expected.
5. Try to make the batter airy and light
The more the batter is lighter, the fluffier and squishier your cake will come out. Don’t mix the mixture vigorously as it may knock the air out rather try to mix the cake batter gently and incorporate more air into it. Cream the egg whites and sugar or butter and sugar until its texture becomes lighter and frother.
6. Don’t over-mix the batter
Whenever you’re preparing any kind of cake batter whether for cupcakes or muffins you must take care that you should not over-mix as well as under-mix the batter. This has become the customary mistake that everyone does while mixing dry and wet ingredients. The right technique that you should follow is the ‘ cut and fold ’ method as this allows the cake mix to incorporate more and more air bubbles and that’s the key secret to get that soft and moist cake. In this method, you just need to cut the mix from center and fold the rest along the other side in one direction only. Make sure to do this for not less than 5 mins or until there are no lumps remaining.
7. Size of the cake tin
For 1 cup to 1.5 cups of plain flour the preferred size of cake tin is 7 inches, this will ensure that the batter takes ¾ of the cake tin which is the correct depth required. If a size smaller than this is used then the cake batter may come out of the tin while baking or it will take a longer time to bake than usual. Moreover, the top layer of the cake may have some cracks and will not be even as the cake will not get enough surface area to rise.
8. Place the cake batter directly into oven after mixing
The raising agents like baking soda or baking powder will start its reaction as soon as it comes in contact with the wet ingredients so put the mixture straight away into the preheated oven and this needs to be quick to ensure that the cake rises well. Wait patiently for the cake to bake because if you open and close the oven door in between the cooking time then the cake may collapse as cold air comes in contact and at last you will not get the expected outcome.
9. The trick of ‘Bounce-Back‘
The indication of a perfectly baked cake is that when you tap on the top-most surface of your block you’ll notice it bounces back to its original shape. Another method to check is to insert a tooth-pick carefully at the center of it if it comes clean which means your cake is perfectly cooked from all within. Moreover, the baked block will leave its side from the tin. In these ways, you can confirm that your cake is baked happily. You must stick to your cooking times also. If you left your cake inside the oven for even more 5 mins than it’s actual timing, then in no time it will become a bit hard and desiccated.
10. Cool the cake properly before demolding
It is essential to cool the cake after taking it out of the oven in a wire rack by covering it with a slightly damp cotton cloth for some time. Scrape the edges of the tin with a knife to loosen it a bit, do try this trick as it will not allow the top surface of the cake to dry out and keep it moist, also after proper cooling when you will de-mold it, your cake will come out easily. Otherwise, if you try to take it out while it is still hot it may break from the sides.
I have discussed nearly all the tips and tricks which I follow whenever I bake a cake, I can reassure you that if you follow all of these without skipping any of the instructions then, you will get that perfectly baked cake. There won’t be any complaints that the cake remains uncooked from the middle, it is not as soft and mushy as expected or it didn’t rise well. You don’t need to remember these, it’s just that repeat all of them with the recipe you accompany for at least 2 or 3 times, then it will sure shot become a habit every time you bake.