This Is the Secret to Making Bakery-Worthy Layer Cake At Home

Take your layer cakes to the next level with this trick. It's a secret the pros don't want you to know!

Layer cakes are a key piece of any home baker’s repertoire. You can stack ’em up for birthdays, weddings and holidays, and there are dozens of gorgeous recipes to choose from, featuring just about every flavor imaginable. It doesn’t hurt that layer cakes are straightforward recipes, too, making them accessible for bakers of all experience levels.

Now, what if we told you there was an easy trick to make your next layer cake out-of-this-world good? It’s a secret professional bakers and pastry chefs have used for years to make moist and flavorful bakes.

Here’s what you need to know!

The Secret to Bakery-Quality Cakes

This baking trick is so easy that it actually has “simple” in the name. That’s right—simple syrup is the magic ingredient that will take your layer cakes to another level of goodness.

You can make your own simple syrup by dissolving sugar into water, and then adding flavoring.

How does this transform a cake? Bakers gently brush simple syrup over each layer, allowing the liquid to soak into the sponge. This adds the perfect amount of extra moisture to the cake and gives a touch of added sweetness. It’s also a helpful remedy if you overbaked your cake, because the simple syrup puts moisture back in.

Some bakers will use flavored syrups to add another layer of goodness. For example, you could brush cherry simple syrup on a chocolate cake for a subtle burst of flavor—yum!

How to Use Simple Syrup on Cake

The simple syrup comes into play after everything is baked and you’re putting the dessert together.

  1. As you stack each layer of cake, coat it with the simple syrup. Most people use a pastry brush to do this, but you could also use a spray bottle. Use only a few tablespoons of liquid per layer—don’t go too heavy or your cake will get soggy.
  2. Allow the mixture to soak into the cake
  3. Top with homemade frosting.

There you have it! How easy was that baking trick?

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Camryn Rabideau
Camryn is a freelance lifestyle writer and product tester with eight years of experience testing hundreds of kitchen, home, garden and pet products. She brings her hands-on insight to the Taste of Home table and tests kitchen appliances, grills, home organization tools and more. Her tried-and-true product reviews appear in top lifestyle publications, such as The Spruce, Epicurious, Bon Appetit and People. Offline, she manages a small Rhode Island homestead where she tends to her gardens and furry animals.