Thursday, July 18, 2013

How to Bake a Cake

How to Bake A Cake....I know. It seems so simple right? Well it is! But there are so very many steps in baking correctly baking a cake. Of course, if you're just cutting it out of the pan and serving it, there are steps that maybe aren't so important.  But... PEOPLE!!.... If you're baking a cake to decorate, it is so important that you do things the right way. Now, let me be clear... I get that my way is not the ONLY right way. But what I do works for me so I stick with it. I would expect that if you need to change things up so they work better for you, you would do so. I have just come up with this little routine that works for me. So here it goes....

First... before I even begin to mix up my cake, I prepare my pans. So let's talk about pans... It's a quality thing for me when it comes to pans.  The nice heavy cake pans are WORTH their weight in GOLD! So, my suggestion is for you to go to Michaels or Hobby Lobby (or other awesome craft stores in your area that offer 40% off coupons) and use your 40% off coupon and get some nice pans. I like to buy the sets because there will be a time and place to use every single one of them. They also have all of those really fun character pans if that's what you would rather use. Anyhow... so what I'm telling you is that quality pans may cost a bit more, but they're highly worth it. Your finished product will be enough thanks for you, I promise!

So now... prepare your pans! I make my own pan release "cream". Believe me... I love Baker's Secret but with the quantity of cakes I'm baking, it gets extremely expensive. So I researched until I came up with an alternative. And it's simple!

Pan Release Cream

1/3 c flour
1/3 c oil
1/3 c Crisco

Mix it up. Make sure there aren't any lumps... Put in an airtight container. I put it in a pint size jar and seal it. Just keep it in a room temperature place. It should keep for up to 6 months. I wouldn't know as I use it quickly. Brush on your pans with a pastry brush. If you don't have one... use a paper towel, or your fingers!

Now mix up your cake.  With this little tutorial, we're not too worried about "stacking" cakes, so just mix up a cake. Whether you want to use a mix, a from scratch recipe... just mix 'er up! For these pictures, I'm just mixing up an Awesome Chocolate Cake and baking it in (2) 10" round baking pans and (2) 6" round baking pans. This is a cake I am making for someone's birthday. I like to use a heavier cake recipe when I plan on stacking cakes.  They just hold up better.

Before taking your cake out of the oven, check for doneness (is that a word?) with a toothpick. Simply stick a toothpick into the center of the cake.  If the toothpick comes out clean... then it's done.  You'll also notice that the cake will start pulling away from the edges of the pan.

After removing your cake from the oven, let it cool for 5 minutes or so on a cooling rack.  Then place the cooling rack over the pan and turn over, turning the cake out onto the cooling rack.

Let cool completely.  If you want to speed up the process, you can put it in the freezer for a couple hours. 

Baking a cake the correct way is as simple as that!  And see how beautifully the cakes come out of the pans?
Makes a girl like me really happy!  You almost don't even have to wash these babies! 

Next tutorial will be on how to properly fill, frost, and stack cakes!  Stay tuned!

Happy Baking!


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