The 3 Biggest Mistakes You're Making While Baking + How to Fix Them

 
 

You don’t have to be a professional baker to work your stuff in the kitchen. Yet, before you go off channeling your inner Cake Boss, there’s a few mistakes you need to avoid. Avoid these pitfalls and much-too-dense desserts and dry baked goods will be thing of the past!

Mistake #1

Measuring dry ingredients in a liquid measuring cup

Precise measurement is the key to crafting delectable baked goods. However, using a liquid measuring cup to portion dry ingredients (while you’re in a pinch) creates more hassle than it’s worth and could result in inaccurate measurements.

For example, if you’re using an ingredient like, say, flour, you’ll have to knock your cup against a hard surface in order to level the line. This can result in the flour becoming compact, causing you to use more than your recipe calls for. Baked goods, like cakes or muffins, tend to be tough and dry when overfloured.

What you should do instead:  

Always use dry measuring cups when portioning out dry ingredients like sugar, flour, cocoa, cornstarch, and so forth. These cups are designed to allow you to gently spoon in your ingredients and carefully scrape off any excess.

For exact measurements every time use a food scale to portion your ingredients. After all “the scale doesn’t lie,” right?

Mistake #2

Baking with cold eggs and dairy products

While most of us may do this without thinking twice, pulling eggs and other dairy products straight from the fridge and incorporating them into your batter can result in dense cakes and breads. At room temperature, butter, eggs, and milk are able to bond and form an emulsion that traps air which allows them to become light and fluffy when the air expands while baking.

What you should do instead:

Plan ahead by leaving your ingredients out on your counter 30-60 minutes beforehand. If you’re in a time crunch, try placing your eggs in a bowl of warm (NOT hot) water for 10-15 minutes and soften your butter in the microwave.

Mistake #3

Overmixing Doughs and Batters

Overmixing can result in dough that too firm. While this sort of density may be perfect for a chewy pizza crust, it doesn’t do much for your cakes or cookies. When it comes to mixing, slow and steady wins the race.

What you should do instead:

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients gradually with your mixer on a low speed (or choose to mix by hand). While you may see a few lumps, visible bits of butter and flour are perfectly fine because you want to work the dough as little as possible.

Crafting the perfect baked treat isn’t complicated, it just takes patience! Keep these three tips in mind and your signature chocolate cupcakes are sure to rock your next bake sale or birthday party!

 

Are you guilty of any of these mistakes? What’s your secret to crafting delicate baked goods? Leave us a little baking advice of your own!