10 Baking Hacks You Never Knew You Needed
10 Baking Hacks You Never Knew You Needed
If you are an avid baker and think you know everything there is to know about baking, you are probably wrong. Not completely wrong, but a little bit. There are so many new things that people are discovering that have to do with baking that you will be surprised at just how many things you can change about your baking routine to make it even easier. Who doesn’t love a great life hack? If it can cut down on some of the cooking, cleaning, or even decorating of the product, why not try it out and see just how much easier your life in the kitchen can be?
#1 Use lace and powdered sugar to make your cakes fancy
Perhaps you want to make a cake but you have never been one for decorating. Or perhaps you have someone in the house or party that does not really like frosting? Well do not worry about making your cake or even cupcakes super fancy or alienating that person who just thinks frosting is too sweet. There is a simple solution to fix that problem. Just take a piece of lace that you can get at any fabric store, of if you happen to have some lying around, that’s just great too. Make sure that it is slightly bigger than the cake or cupcake that you want to decorate. Simply lay it on top of your cake and lightly sprinkle powdered sugar over the lace piece. Gently remove the lace so it does not smudge the sugar, and you will see you have an elegantly decorated cake with a minimal amount of sweet topping. Just make sure that if you are decorating cupcakes that you use a new piece of lace for each little make.
#2 Use marshmallows as frosting instead
Another great alternative to frosting cupcakes is to use marshmallows. If you do not want to take the time to frost each individual cupcake when they come out of the oven, take an easier route. Simply pull out the tray of cupcakes when they are close to being finished and place a large marshmallow right on top of them. Put them back in the oven until they have melted on top. This gives your cupcakes a whole new taste, while making your decorating that much easier. Plus, people will be impressed that you went to the trouble of making marshmallow frosting, when in reality, it was hardly any work at all.
#3 Use a Ziploc bag as your piping tool
If you are an avid decorator that loves to make designs on cookies and cakes but you find that you don’t have a proper piping bag or perhaps your other one was too old and you forgot you threw it out. Do not worry because there is a hack for you! Simply take a Ziploc bag, put it in a cup, open it up and fold the edges over the cup. Fill up your bag with your frosting, close up the bag, pull it out of the cup, twist it just a little and cut the smallest amount off the corner of the bag, to make an opening. Then, use it to pipe your frosting onto your cookies or cake. And the great thing is after you are done, there is no clean up, you can simply toss the bag in the trash.
#4 Dress up a boxed cake mix with a few simple changes
Are you one of those bakers that perhaps are too lazy to make a cake or cupcakes from scratch sometimes? It’s nothing to be ashamed about, everyone has been there. Or perhaps you don’t have the time to do so? If you have a box cake mix and some butter, then you will be okay. To take that box cake mix up a notch and make it taste more homemade, simply add an extra egg to the batter and instead of using vegetable oil like the recipe says, replace it with the same amount of butter. This will take your previously boring cake mix to the next level of moist, delicious cake.
#5 Hate having honey stick to your measuring cups? Grease them!
If you do a lot of baking of cookies or cakes that use sticky ingredients like honey or molasses, this trick is for you. It is pretty annoying having to scrape the rest of the honey out of your measuring cup just so you can get the correct amount, right? Well make your life a little simpler by coating that measuring cup in either a tiny amount of vegetable oil or spray oil. This is grease up the cup enough that the sticky ingredient slides right off, but because it is essentially tasteless, there will be no change to the flavor of your final product.
#6 Cut the fat in cakes by substituting something else for butter or oil
Trying to watch your weight, but you still want a delicious piece of cake? There is a simple way to get what you want. All you need to do is simply replace the amount of oil in the cake with the same amount of applesauce. This little trick will cause your cake to be just as moist and tasty as the oil would, but you can cut down on the fat a little bit and not have to cut the flavor. You can also use avocado in replacement of butter in cakes as well. The healthy fats in the avocado give you some extra nutrients while not taking the texture of the cake away.
#7 Your brown sugar gone hard? Soften it in the microwave using this simple trick
This has probably happened to you before. You are going to make cookies and you realize that your brown sugar is rock hard and you can’t properly scoop and measure it. Well don’t give up your dream of having cookies for dessert, all you need to do is put it in a microwave safe bowl or baking dish, cover it with a damp paper towel, and heat it for 20 seconds. This will soften it right back up. Or on the opposite side, if you are going to make cookies and realize you do not have any brown sugar, you can easily make your own with regular white sugar and molasses. It’s simple, all you need to do for one cup of brown sugar is mix one cup of white sugar with two tablespoons of molasses. You can use a food processor to make it easier. This will give you the brown sugar that you need while not spending any extra money or leaving the house.
#8 Substitute your missing egg with a number of great alternatives
It can be slightly aggravating when you are making something and you realize that you have run out of eggs. This is terrible because eggs are a crucial ingredient in almost any baked good that you can make, except some pies perhaps. Well, if you find yourself in this situation, do not worry, there are plenty of substitutions you can use that you should already have on hand. For instance, you can use applesauce instead. Or, if you do not have applesauce on hand, use vegetable oil. If you are down one egg, just use ¼ cup of vegetable oil as a substitute. Or, another substitute is a mixture of water, oil, and baking powder. Simply whisk together two tablespoons water, one teaspoon oil (like corn or vegetable oil) and two teaspoons baking powder. This will do the job perfectly and you do not have to worry about not having your delicious treats for dessert.
#9 Make TV worthy pie crusts with this simple video
If you make a lot of pies but you are always tired of having the same kind of pie crust in the end, there is a new and fun way to change up your pie game and make your pie look like it should be photographed in a magazine or shown on television.
#10 Need soft butter? Soften it in the microwave using just a glass
Like most people, you probably forgot to lay out your butter so it would be room temperature for your cookies or cake, right? This is common enough. But then when you microwave it, it gets melts a little bit and this can change the texture of what it is that you are baking. Well, you can simply put it under a glass on a plate in the microwave to fix this.
With these ten simple baking hacks, you should now be able to take your kitchen game up a notch. There is simply no stopping you from getting in there and making the best decorated cookies and cakes that your friends and family have ever seen come out of your kitchen. Learning little hacks like these can make your time in the kitchen much less stressful because you are no longer worried about maybe not having a certain ingredient or not being the best cake decorator. The best part about all of this is that unless you tell people exactly what you did, they are going to think that you worked a lot harder than you really did. And that is part of the fun of it. Show them how talented you are while working a little less hard than they believe you did. Go out and show the world how great of a baker you are!