We get asked fairly often if cakes can be frozen, so we're here today to clarify!
2. Use cups to measure
This is the 'American way'. There are so many recipes online which use cups to measure, you'll never run out. Just nip down the shop and buy a cheap set of measuring cups - they can be as cheap as £1.00.
3. Use a liquid measuring jug
My mother-in-law uses this method. I don't like it myself, as it can be incredibly inaccurate, but, you know, horses for courses!
4. Try cookies instead
And if you'd like to start a little more simply, try a cookie recipe like this. I call these 'Emergency Biscuits' when there's nothing interesting in the baking cupboard and I can't find the scales!
Great optional additions include a couple of tables spoons of oats, chocolate chips or dried fruit.
2 level tablespoons sugar
4 level tablespoons butter
9 level tablespoons flour
Cream together the butter & sugar, stir in flour.
Roll out the dough, shape/cut out, and cook for 10 mins at 180 degrees.
Look away now, we don't approve of this final idea!!
5. Buy a packet mix
Everything's already weighed out in these mixes, you just need to add eggs normally, sometimes oil or milk. I warn you now, it won't taste as good as 'proper' cake, but it kind of had to be included on the list as an option...
Next time your battery goes in your digital scales or you old ones break, don't give up. Why not try one of these baking hacks? Let us know how you get on!
Owner, 280 Bakes
You've spent your afternoon finding a good recipe, buying the ingredients and baking a cake - and then it cracks while baking. Dilemma!
Cakes shouldn't crack under pressure. Humans sometimes unfortunately do, but cakes should not. And when we say pressure, we mean heat. Simple 'doming' isn't an issue - cakes can be trimmed down before decorating, but what to do about the cakes which come out the oven with more crack than anyone ever wants to see?
Even the best of us have had a cake crack but there are some things you can do to prevent it happening again - even if they do make comical smiley faces sometimes.
Check your oven temperature
A cake can crack when it's cooked at too high a temperature, causing it to rise too quickly without the structural support below and the flexibility in the crust. A cheap oven thermometer can help you calibrate your oven.
Easy on the baking powder
Go easy on the white stuff, as it can make the cake too excited and grow like crazy, too fast for an even bake. The same goes for baking soda - too much of either of these will make the cake taste a little 'off' anyway, so make sure you follow the recipe.
Problems with pans
Always try to bake your cakes on the middle shelf in the oven - top shelf baking is more likely to cause cracks. Dark coloured, heavy pans can also absorb more heat than lighter ones, so bear this in mind when you come to purchase new cake tins.
The Tea Towel Effect
Wrapping a wet tea towel around your cake tins while they're in the oven can help too. It's all about insulation and an even distribution of heat for an even bake. Silicone cake pans also insulate the batter better, but they do tend to cause more doming.
Don't over-stir your batter
Over-stirring can make the batter form too much gluten, making the cake dry, leathery and crack-prone. Just mix as the recipe says (e.g. mix until combined, beat for 2 minutes), and you should be ok. Obviously, this tip doesn't apply to gluten free baking - you're off the hook!
And if it all gets too much and you need some help, we'd love to bake for you - no cracks, promise!
We'd love to hear if any of our advice has helped with your cracking cakes. What's you're favourite tip?
The Team @ 280 Bakes
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