8 Hacks for Easy Baking

From cakes to cupcakes, here are the baking hacks you can't live without. Become a better baker and have fun on the way with these 8 pro baking tips.

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
2-minute read

Make Some Baker’s Magic

Professional bakers generally don’t grease and flour their pans, which can leave flour on your baked goods or make them cook unevenly. Instead, they mix up a batch of “baker’s magic,” and now you can too. Mix half a cup of room temperature vegetable shortening, half a cup of vegetable oil, and half a cup of all-purpose flour. Blend the mixture well and use it to grease pans. You can refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to six months.

Baking Cakes and Cupcakes

For best results, there are two rules we always follow: Use a cool pan, and never fill the tin more than two thirds full. We can’t guarantee other mistakes won’t happen, but at least we’ve got the basics covered!

How to Fix Dusty-Looking Cakes

Hate that white, dusty look on your cakes after you’ve floured the edges of your cake pan before baking? Make it a thing of the past. Reserve a small amount of cake mix, then use that to “flour” your pans. The cake will absorb the mix, and you won’t have a white mess on the outside when the cake is done.

The Glass Baking Dish Rule

Baked goods should always be cooked at the temperature directed in the recipe, with one notable exception: If you are using a glass baking dish, reduce the specified oven temperature by 25°F. Glass heats more slowly than metal, but it retains heat well; failing to lower the temperature can result in burned bottoms.

See also: How to Bake Healthier and Tastier Than Ever Before

Dusting Sugar

Fill a saltshaker with confectioners’ or colored sugar for dusting candy, cakes, and cookies. For the best results, choose one with large holes.

Softening Brown Sugar

If you find that the contents of your brown sugar box have become one giant lump, wrap the box in a ball of foil and bake in a 350°F oven for five minutes. It will be back to its old self in no time.

How to Fix Lumpy Brown Sugar

Brown sugar loses moisture rather quickly and develops lumps easily. To soften hardened sugar, put it in the microwave with a slice of fresh white bread or half an apple, cover the dish tightly, and heat for 15-20 seconds; let it stand five minutes before using. The moisture from the bread or apple will produce enough steam to soften the sugar without melting it.

How to Fix Lumpy Granulated Sugar

Granulated sugar clumps less than brown sugar, but it’s still prone to getting lumpy. Keep this from happening by sticking a few salt-free crackers in the canister to absorb the moisture. Replace the crackers every week.

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About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.