HELPFUL BAKING TIPS
Baking Powder and Baking Soda are leavening agents that cause cakes to rise while baking and create a light, tender texture. Ineffective baking powder and ineffective baking soda cause flat, dense, dry cakes. Test both before using.
Test Baking Powder Before Using. Pour a few tablespoons of warm water into a small bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. The mixture will fizz if the powder is fresh. If there’s no reaction, trash it and buy fresh baking powder.
Test Baking Soda Before Using. Pour a few tablespoons of white distilled vinegar into a small bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. If it’s fresh, it will fizz and bubble vigorously. If it doesn’t have a strong reaction, use it for scrubbing pots and pans. Or, leave opened box in fridge to absorb odors. Buy a new box for baking.
Butter’s high fat content gives cakes and other baked good their melt-in-your-mouth texture and buttery flavor. Margarine contains more water and less fat. The give cakes and baked goods a dense texture and a flat flavor. Butter is far better.
Room Temperature Eggs disperse evenly into the batter, causes even baking, and a lighter texture because eggs trap air. Bring eggs to room temperature quickly by soaking in a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes.
Oven Temperatures Vary. Some ovens cook faster than others. If the cake’s edges start to brown 15-20 minutes after placed in oven, immediately decrease temperature 25 degrees. Continue baking.