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Cakes

Baking Angel Food Cakes

When baking an angel food cake, use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is not baking at a higher temperature than you set it. And remember to place the pan on the lowest rack to allow…

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Baking Cakes at High Altitudes

High altitude (over 3,000 feet) has less air pressure and drier air. These conditions affect baked goods. The lower air pressure allows the gases created by the leavening agent to expand more…

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Basics of Cakes

Cakes add a festive air to any meal and usually make an appearance at special-occasion dinners. Cakes can be rich and moist, dense, buttery or airy and are divided into two basic…

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Cake Capers

Genoise (pronounced zhayn-WAHZ) is a rich, delicate sponge cake that contains lots of eggs and sugar but little or not fat. It was created in Genoa, Italy and adapted by the French.

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Cake Decorating Tips

When baking a cake to decorate, you want a flat top. One reason a cake crowns, or ends up with a rounded top, is that the oven temperature is too high. Use a thermometer to check the…

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Cake Flour Substitute

When a recipe calls for cake flour, you can substitute all-purpose flour, but not on a one-for-one basis. For every cup of cake flour called for in the recipe, use a cup minus 2 tablespoons of…

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Cooling Cakes in Fluted Tube Pans

Unless a recipe states otherwise, cakes baked in fluted tube pans should cool for 10-15 minutes before you move them to a wire rack to cool completely. Removing a cake too soon can cause it to…

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Cutting a Cake into Three Layers

To cut a cake into three layers, first measure the height of the cake with a ruler. Divide the number by three to determine the height of each layer. (It's okay if each layer's height isn't…

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Decorating with Whipped Cream

To use whipping cream to decorate a cake, first chill the cake before frosting it. Then add 2 or 3 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar to each pint of whipping cream while beating—this will help…

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Flour Facts - Cakes

All-purpose flour is the most commonly used flour and creates a good cake. Cake flour gives a more tender and delicate crumb. Self-rising flour contains the leavening agent and salts, so you…

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Fondant Tips

  • To prevent fondant from sticking to the rolling surface, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

  • Fondant dries out quickly, so while working with it, always keep excess tightly…

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  • Freezing Cakes

    Unfrosted butter cakes and ones iced with buttercream frosting freeze well. Place individual cake layers on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, place in heavy-duty resealable plastic freezer…

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    Frosting Tender Cakes

    When a cake is very tender and the frosting is thick, crumbs may loosen from the cake while frosting. To prevent this, spread a very thin layer of frosting over the side of the cake before…

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    How to Frost Cakes

    To frost a cake without getting crumbs in the frosting, be certain your cake is thoroughly cool before frosting it. Then brush off any loose crumbs with a pastry brush. Apply a very thin layer of…

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    Keeping a Cake Plate Pretty

    When frosting a layered cake, the serving plate can get a bit messy. To help keep it clean, try this trick. Tuck several 3-inch strips of waxed paper slightly under the cake, covering the plate's…

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    Last-Minute Fix for Frosted Cakes

    Like to dress up a plain frosted cake but have no sprinkles? Crush sweetened breakfast cereal and scatter across the top. It adds a fun look and a nice crunch, too. —Marcia P., Winter Park,…

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    Leftover Frosting

    If you have a little frosting leftover after decorating a cake, you can use it to make the following sweet treats.

    Spread some frosting over a graham cracker or the flat side of cookie, such…

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    Making a Cake Roll

    When making a cake roll, to keep the cake from cracking as you roll it up, be sure you’re not overbaking the cake. Most cake rolls bake in 10-15 minutes. Check your cake at 8-9 minutes and watch…

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    Making a Smooth Frosting

    The best way to ensure smooth frosting is to sift the confectioners’ sugar before adding it to the softened butter. Beating with an electric mixer will also help to produce a velvety frosting.

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    Mile-High Chiffon Cake

    To create tall, impressive chiffon cakes, remove the eggs from the refrigerator, then separate them while they are still cold. Then let the whites and the yolks stand at room temperature for 30…

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    Perfect Pound Cake

    For perfect pound cake, first bring all ingredients to room temperature. Thoroughly cream the butter (no substitutes) until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat for 5-7…

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    Problem-Solving Pointers for Butter Cakes

    Cake has a Sunken Center

    Oven temperature was too low. Check temperature with an oven thermometer.

    Cake was underbaked, resulting in a sticky layer in the center of the cake under the top…

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    Problem-Solving Pointers for Cheesecakes

    The Cheesecake has Lumps

    The cream cheese was not softened before mixing and/or was not thoroughly blended before adding the eggs.

    The Cheesecake has a Cracked Top

    The batter was…

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    Problem-Solving Pointers for Foam Cakes

    Cake is Heavy and Dense

    Oven temperature was too low. Check temperature with an oven thermometer.

    Didn't use large eggs.

    Ingredients were folded in too vigorously.

    Eggs were…

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    Properly Storing Cakes

    Cover and store butter cakes for 2 to 3 days and foam cakes for 2 days at room temperature. Cakes with fillings or frosting that contain perishable ingredients (such as cream cheese, yogurt,…

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    Removing Tube Cakes from Pans

    Fluted tube pans should be well greased and floured before adding the batter. After the cake tests done, transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow to cool for only 10 minutes before removing the…

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    Secrets for Successful Butter Cakes

    Use butter, stick margarine (with at least 80% oil) or shortening. The fat should be softened (at room temperature), meaning it is pliable when touched. Whipped, tub, soft, liquid or reduced-fat…

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    Secrets for Successful Cheesecake

    Measure ingredients accurately, using the measuring tools and techniques suggested.

    Before preheating the oven, arrange the oven racks so that the cheesecake will bake in the center of the…

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    Secrets for Successful Frosting

    Always sift confectioners' sugar before using it for frosting. If there are any lumps in the sugar, there will be lumps in the frosting, which will clog decorating tips.

    Frosting needs to…

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    Stacking Layer Cakes

    Stacking a layer cake can be tricky because each layer typically has a little “crown” or dome in the center. To make a uniformly shaped cake, you’ll need to remove a thin slice from the top of…

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    Substitute Cake Tester

    No cake tester handy? Check to see if your cake is done by inserting an uncooked spaghetti noodle instead. —Sharon F., Hinckley, Ohio

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    Tips for Dressing Up Plain Cakes

    For Black Forest Torte, prepare a chocolate or fudge cake mix in a 13-inch x 9-inch x 2-inch baking pan; cool. Spoon a 21-ounce can of cherry pie filling over the top of the cake. Spread 4 cups…

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