I don’t think that there is a person alive who doesn’t enjoy home baking. If there are, they are not to be trusted. Coming home to the smell of warming butter and sugar (in whatever form from cakes and cookies to pies and scones) wafting through the house is enough to make anyone smile.
Baking, however, can be a pain. First of all , there is the whole pile of dishes at the end to clean up, and if you’re anything like me somehow flour and icing sugar gets everywhere (including my clothes). Plus, with how hectic people’s lives are nowadays, it can be hard to find the time to do it. So any tips and tricks to make it easier and faster, is a good thing.
1. Make Boxed Mix Tastes Like It’s From Scratch
I have a brother-in-law who, whenever he is served a dessert, asks if it’s made from scratch. He’s a bit of a dessert snob. While I am usually a “from scratch” kind of girl, every once in a while I use a boxed mix to cut corners, but always with this added flair. So after he takes his first bite and then asks me if it’s from scratch, I’ll smile and say “you can’t fake that taste.” Works every time.
3. Substitute Butter And Oil For Healthier Alternatives
You can substitute apple sauce, other fruit purees (like banana…mmm), or yogurt to reduce the fat in your baking without risking the flavor.
via Live Strong
4. Don’t Have A Heart Pan, But Want A Heart Cake? No Problem
It’s Valentines day and you want to make a cake for your Sweetie. Use a circle and a square pans to get the heart shape, and you won’t have to run to your local craft store and drop money on a pan you’d only use once a year.
via Better Recipes
5. Substitute Vodka For A Rolling Pin
This really works with any kind of bottle, from wine, to whiskey.
6. Make Perfectly Flat Cake Layers
Don’t waste time trying to cut the rounded tops off of your cake layers to make them stackable and flat (plus, that’s a waste of perfectly delicious cake). Instead use strips of wet cloth to make sure that they come out from the oven perfectly flat.
via A Cozy Kitchen
7. Have Your Cake Release Perfectly Every Time
There is nothing as disappointing as making a cake just to have it stuck in the pan when you’re ready to frost and layer it. With this awesome combination of oil, shortening, and flour, you won’t have to worry about that happening again.
8. Chilling Cookie Dough Will Prevent Spreading
I know that once you whip up your cookie dough, the last thing you want to do is chill it and have to wait EVEN LONGER for a delicious straight-from-the-oven cookie, but it is worth it to not have your cookies spreading out and getting crispy.
via Vittle Dee Dee
9. When You’re Really In a Pinch – Three-Ingredient Cookie
For those days when you’re having a major cookie craving, but cannot drag yourself out to the store to get all of the ingredients, there is the three-ingredient Nutella cookie. Yum!
10. Perfect Cheesecake Every Time!
Baking the perfect cheesecake is an art. There are so many things that can make a cheesecake go wrong, so here are some things to always look out for. Temperature – allow the cheesecake to chill. This is essential. Soften the cream cheese; always bring it to room temperature before you start the mixing. Pre-bake your crust, because it will give you a much nicer texture. Lastly, whip the heck out of it. To get a really smooth and silky texture is to whip until the batter is shiny.
via the Kitchn
11. Baking Time For All Cookies
Ever find a recipe, but want a different outcome? Make a cookie bar recipe into drop cookies, or make a dough recipe into a pizza cookie with these easy conversion charts.
via Baking About, image via 1000 Awesome Things
12. Icing Swirl
Want to make a swirled frosting with two or more colors or flavors? Place them into disposable frosting bags, them place all bags into one large piping bag with tip.
13. Unsweetened Chocolate Substitute
If you’re in a jam and need unsweetened chocolate, but don’t have any, you can use 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of melted butter per ounce of chocolate.
via Live Strong
14. Tart Pan from Baking Sheet
Need a tart pan, but don’t have one? Use aluminum foil to create an edge the correct size of a tart pan! Boom!
15. Pie Shell Edges with Necklace
Use a pearl necklace to make a great edge to the pie shell.
via Libbie Summers
16. Heating Pad can Help Bread Rise
You need bread dough to rise in a warm place, but if you’re finding a warm place lacking when the temperature changes, use a heating pad and place your bowl on top!