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Let’s talk Baking

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I’m no Betty Crocker but I like to bake. I’ve experimented lots over the years and have hads lots of hits and lots of misses.  One thing I do try my best to realize is that baking isn’t the same as cooking.  I can’t deviate from baked goods recipes or I risk a disaster.   Here are some of the “rules” I’ve learned to make sure I get the best possible outcome when it’s time to get some sweets on the table.

use for liquid measuring

  • use butter when a recipe calls for butter, margarine can cause cookies to spread too thin.
  • reading a recipe that calls for grams and ounces means ingredients should be weighed not measured in cups or spoons.
  • unless a recipe specifically calls for sifted flour don’t bother, spoon flour into your measuring cup and then level off with the straight side of a knife, easy peasy!
  • always prep ahead. Measure out ingredients before you start mixing, this allows for smooth and swift additions. Doing this also helps make ensure you have enough of all the ingredients to correctly make your recipe.
  • measure measure measure, baking is a science where as cooking is not. what looks like a teaspoon in the palm of your hand might not be. Not enough baking powder will prevent getting the proper rise from your sweets.
  • preheat your oven-not much more to say about that
  • cooking spray can be your friend; a quick spray in your measuring cup will lessen the amount of scraping you need to do when measuring out peanut butter, shortening or honey.
  • invest in rubber spatulas, they make for less clean up when you can get every morsel of batter or dough out of the bowl.
  • parchment paper is awesome!You’ll be amazed how easy it is to get a whole pan of brownies out of a pan without losing a single crumb.

    dry ingredient measurement

What are your fool proof tips or secrets to successful baked goods and desserts?

I Disclose

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  1. Great tips! I just heard about the using butter instead of margarine and what a difference it makes. I haven’t tried it yet, but will be sure to next time I’m baking.

  2. Great tips! I’ve said for years that I am a far better cook than a baker. It’s probably because I’m not really doing any of the things you have listed LOL!! I think I better print this and hang it on my fridge.

  3. Great set of tips.

  4. I love to bake with my son. We usually bake cookies and cupcakes.

    By the way, I’m your newest follower via GFC from the Monday Blog Hop.
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  5. The measuring is why I like baking. I like the exactness of it. Great tips here!

  6. I love to bake and you are exactly right about all these tips.
    I only have two things to add: 1. when baking sweet items, use unsalted butter because you will probably be adding salt to your recipe anyway; and 2. my secret ingedient to make chocolate items taste supurb is a little bit of espresso powder… MMMMM
    Happy baking everyone, and HAVE FUN!

  7. I am so bad at baking. My daughter is 8 almost 9 and so much better at it if I have her do all of the ingredients and then I just deal with the actual oven part the food comes out great but if I do it alone, forget it. It never comes out right!

  8. I love baking although I don’t bake cookies very well. Hmmmm, could be the butter/margarine tip you told us about. I will try that the next time a cookie baking hits.

  9. I can measure with the best of them…but for some reason, I’m not so good at baking.

    But, I know, when it says butter, I’m using butter! Tastes so much better, and no hydrogenated fats/oils!

  10. Sheryl K says

    Thanks for the tips, I had not heard some of those. Explains a few disasters I have had!

  11. Laura H. says

    One of the tips I’m surprised that a lot of people don’t know about is reducing your oven temperature by 25 degrees when using dark pans. I also like to reduce my cooking time a minute or two.

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