Category Archives: Cakes & Oven-Based

Basics of Making a Cake (For Beginners)

BASICS of BAKING a CAKE

 

Before You Begin To Bake

Measuring the flour

  • Clean your work surface well, and wash your hands well before you start baking.
  • Check the expiration dates on all the recipe ingredients.
  • Read the recipe and see whether you have all the ingredients. Follow the recipe directions.
  • Make sure all your ingredients (including eggs and butter) are in room temperature before you start baking.
  • Keep your measuring cups and spoons ready.
  • Measure all ingredients accurately. Take the flour into a dry measuring cup, then level it off with a knife. Do not take the flour directly from the bag with a measuring cup.

While You Mix the Ingredients

Mixing the cake ingredients

 

 

  • If you are using flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, icing sugar, and baking soda, sieve well as it helps to mix the ingredients uniformly. It will also help to remove the lumps.
  • Do not eat raw dough or batter.
  • Grease the pan using ghee or butter before pouring the cake batter into it, or line the cake pan using butter or parchment paper. If you grease your cake pan with ghee or butter, dust it lightly with the all purpose or self-rising flour. If you are using butter or parchment paper, you do not have to dust your cake pan.
  • Preheat the oven for atleast 20 – 30 minutes or until your oven indicates that it is ready for baking because cake should be put straight into a hotoven only then they will arise fluffy.
  • Once the cake batter is ready, immediately pour it into the baking pan and then place it directly into the oven. Do not leave the batter sitting for long as the texture of the cake would get affected.
  • If you are planning to add nuts to the cake batter, dust them lightly in plain flour and then add to the batter. This will avoid the nuts sinking to the bottom of the cake.

While You Bake the Cake

Baking the cake

 

  • Do not open your oven door in the first fifteen minutes or till the cake is baked half way through.
  • Once the cake is baked, do not leave the cake in the oven for long even if the oven is switched off. The remaining heat in the oven would cook the cake further affecting its texture and taste.
  • Place the cake on the center rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Make sure the cake pan does not touch the sides of the oven.
  • The batter should be level in the pans.
  • If you are using more than one rack when baking two or more cakes, wait until the cake is set. Then, rotate the pans during baking or just swap the pans when you are about two-thirds of the way through the baking time.

While You Handle the Cake

Check if the cake is done

  • Let the cake cool for about 30 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pan. Then, turn the pan upside down and the cake will slide out.
  • To check whether the cake is done, insert a clean toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, then the cake is ready.

 

Other Tips for a beginner baker:
Cake baking problems & causes,
How to Preheat the Oven?


Simple Cake Recipes: 

Easy Banana Cake Carrot Cupcake

Banana Muffin                                                       Carrot Cupcake

 

NOTE. This is copyrighted @Nithyascorner. Please do not copy!
Picture1 Source. Realsimple.com

Cake Baking Problems & Causes

Problems & Causes

 


External Cake Appearance


Problem

Causes

Cake sinks in the center – over mixed batter
– too much fat and/or sugar or leavening
– not enough liquid or excess amount of liquid in the batter
– too low oven temperature- use of small pans
– opening the oven door during first 20 minutes or moving the pan during baking
– too short baking time
– use of old baking powder, etc.
Cake did not rise/Cake is small – improper mixing or oven mixed batter
– butter and eggs wrong temperature (may be too cold)
– too much or too little liquid
– too little baking powder or baking powder is too old
– oven temperature too high
– wrong pan size or oversized pan
– baked too long.
Domed/Cracked Surface/Tunnels/Large air bubbles in cake – batter over mixed
– wrong type of flour or too much
– too little baking powder/soda or sugar
– oven temperature too hot
Top Crust Is Too Dark or Hard/Cake top layer burnt – over baked
– wrong oven temperature (probably oven too hot)
– too much sugar, baking powder/baking soda
– incorrect amount of water
Cake Sticks To the Sides of the Pan – insufficient greasing
– remove the cake from the pan soon after baking
– cake is left with the pan for a longer time
– too much sugar
Cake Falls Apart too much sugar, baking powder/baking soda, liquid
– insufficient flour
– improper mixing (undermixed/overmixed)
– oven temperature too low
– insufficient baking
– opened the oven door during the first 20 minutes of baking
– moved the cake often during baking
Cake peaks or cracks in the center  – oven too hot at the start of baking
– too much flour or inadequate liquid
– improper measurements
– cake not placed on the center rack of the oven
Cake is too dense – insufficient amounts of baking powder
– excess use of eggs
– over mixing of the batter
– baking soda is old
Cake rose unevenly – flour not blended properly
– temperature inside the oven was uneven
– oven temperature too high.
Cake lacks structure – excessive mixing
– insufficient liquid
– batter spread unevenly
– oven rack not level
Batter over-flowed the pans – wrong ingredients measurements (too much liquid, flour etc.)
– wrong size pan used.
– too much of cake batter filled in the pan

 

 


Internal Cake Appearance


Problem

Causes

Irregular/Coarse grain  – oven temperature too low- too much baking powder/baking soda- too little liquid- ingredients are not beaten properly (probably overmixed)
Dense grain  – excessive liquid in the batter- improper mixing procedure
Dry texture – too much baking powder/baking soda

– too little liquid

– ingredients not beaten properly

– high oven temperatures and longer baking times

Uneven color/poor flavor – improper mixing procedure- oven too cool (baked too slowly)- unclean equipment
Nuts sunk to the bottom – big and heavy pieces of fruit- fruits not dusted with flour before adding into the mixture- over beaten/too wet cake mixture- oven temperature too low

 

Other Tips for a beginner baker:

Basics of baking a cakeHow to Preheat the Oven?

NOTE. This is copyrighted @Nithyascorner. Please do not copy!

How To Preheat the Oven?

When you bake cakes, it is necessary to preheat the oven to the proper temperature.  It will get you more even temperature throughout. Almost 90% percent of the recipes will instruct you to preheat the oven.

How To Preheat the Oven?

Once you start the cooking process, turn the oven on.

Before You Preheat the Oven

1. Before you turn on the oven, open it and remove things present inside the oven. Some people keep baking trays and containers inside oven. So make sure you remove all of them.

2. In some oven, you could rearrange the shelf levels according to the size of the dish you are going to bake. If you oven has that facility and if necessary do so.

Carrot CupcakeSet the Temperature

Check your recipe for the required preheat level/temperature and then set the oven to the correct temperature.

To preheat the oven, it is best to set the temperature to 180C / 350F.

Modern ovens – you may have to hit a few buttons or turn the knob to the desired temperature.

Old ovens – you may turn a dial. Wait Till the Oven Reaches the Desired Temperature

Modern ovens – gives a beep/sound indicator, light goes off or can see the current temperature in its display.

Old ovens – wait for 15-20 minutes for the oven to be fully heated because old ovens do not have indicators.

Whether it is a modern oven or old oven, it is best to wait for 15-20 minutes. You can make sure the oven has reached the desired temperature using an oven thermometer.

Oven Thermometer

If you find it difficult to check the desired temperature in the oven, you can check the oven temperature using an oven thermometer. Oven thermometer costs about $15-$20. Place the oven temperature in the center of a rack set in the middle of the oven. Set the oven temperature to 180C / 350F. It registers temperature within about 5 degrees or so. Check the temperature on the thermometer at 10 minutes then again at 15 minutes.

Note. 
  • Do not open the door during the first 15-20 minutes while baking your food. Every time you open the door, the temperature will drop slightly and the food will take longer time to cook.

Place the cake pan in the center of the ovenWhat Will Happen If You Don’t Preheat Correctly?

Many baking problems are caused due to incorrect oven temperature. Your dish will take a longer time to cook and even cook unevenly.

Low oven temperature. Cake sinks in the center, cake falls apart, coarse cake grain, nuts sink to the bottom of the cake, cookies spread too much, and soggy pie crusts.

High oven temperature. Cake did not rise, cracked cake surface, cake top layer burnt, cake cracks in the center, and cake dry texture.

For other baking problems and causes, please refer Cake Baking Problems & Causes.