before you begin cake/cupcake baking

Cake baking can be as simple these days as opening up a box and making it, or it can be made elaborate by mixing up something wonderful from scratch.

To make a good cake, you must do the following:

  • use good ingredients –you want to make sure that all of your ingredients are not passed expiration
  • all ingredients should be at room temperature when using, unless noted differently in a recipe
  • measure ingredients exactly-no “about” measurements for cakes
  • use a good quality margarine or solid shortening, do not use oil when recipe calls for margarine or shortening.
  • use clean shiny pans so a dark crust does not form on the cake.
  • glass or dark metal pans will result in excessive browning.  If you have no other choice, turn the temperature down 15 degrees to prevent browning.
  • it is important to use the correct pan size.  Batter should be at least 1 inch deep in the pan.
  • prepare your pans before mixing the cakes.  Use shortening and you can lightly dust with flour after greasing.
  • read the recipe carefully before you begin to make sure you understand the procedure.

Steps to mixing up cake batter:

Typically when making a cake you are to cream the shortening until soft, then add sugar, and continue beating until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and the flavoring.  Beat very well until fluffy.  Add sifted ingredients in three portions alternatively with liquid ingredients in two portions beginning and ending with dry ingredients.   Do not over mix.  Mix only until blended.  Be sure to scrape your bowl thoroughly while mixing.

Sometimes eggs are called to be separated, and the beaten whites to be added later.  If this is the case, beat egg whites in separate bowl until soft peaks form.