Baking the Basics

Baking a Cake: The Simple Stuff

There is nothing better than a cake baked right at home, and created from just boring ingredients that otherwise wouldn’t be anything. Many people these days think that baking a cake from scratch is a frightening task. Once you get the main idea of it, baking is easy and fun and you won’t want to stop. The first few topics that I would like to cover is making your batter.

You can find just about any recipe you want on the Internet and they usually turn out to be successful to some degree. But from scratch it’s not just adding a few eggs and letting Betty Crocker do the rest of the work. There are a lot of ingredients that have to be accounted for when you make a cake at home.

The most tragic and humiliating mistake you can make is to forget an ingredient. Forgetting an ingredient is unforgivable to the utmost degree. A cake cannot be salvaged if you forget an ingredient. But have no fear!  If you pay attention to your recipe, even maybe cross out the directions and ingredients as you go, you won’t fail at this seemingly easy task. And even if you do mess up it won’t be the end of the world so don’t worry about it, you can always try next time.

Another task you will have to master is baking. A dry cake is almost always due to over baking. Baking the cake is one of the (if not the)  most important parts of creating your wonderful delicacy. If you haven’t picked up on it by now everybody wants a moist cake and nobody wants a dry one, unless you’re crazy. To avoid such a monstrous action as over baking a cake all you have to do is take a few precautions.

Be sure to set your timer at least 5 minutes earlier than the expected baking time. If the recipe says bake for 35 minutes set your timer for 30. When your timer goes off you begin to check to see if the cake is finished. Insert a toothpick and if no batter comes out with the toothpick take out your cake immediately!

If you can follow this step you should have no problem with baking your cakes. They will be moist and perfectly baked.

And the next important feature of your cake is the icing and how to ice the cake properly. Now I hate to disappoint, but no – this is not a tutorial on decorating cakes. This is simply to express my personal opinion on how a cake should be iced. There is no greater displeasure than biting into a slice of cake, purchased from your local grocery store, and experiencing an overpowering mouthful of greasy icing that lingers far after your done with it.

The best type of cake has the icing and the cake work harmoniously in a symphony of deliciousness. If you have too much icing, the cake you worked so hard on, the melody, gets lost in the frantic upbeat of the icing. Naturally your icing, if homemade, will not be greasy, but should be subtly buttery and dissolve quickly away.

The most heinous crime you could ever commit is baking the cake from scratch and then using store bought icing with it. Just don’t do it. Ever. Embrace my message on icing and you will impressing everyone who tries your cake. They’ll be begging for more!

Finally, to ensure that you don’t ruin the cake, grease you pans well. If you lack on greasing you pans you will regret it come time to take them out of their pans. Make sure you spray heavily with Pam Non-Stick Spray and you won’t have that worry. I only made that mistake once and never again will I make it!  What a terrible way to ruin a cake. So if you follow my advice, and keep trying you can achieve greatness and glory with your friends and family. Find a recipe you like and you will be creating delicacies beyond belief. And remember that there is nothing better than a homemade cake from scratch.