Our Favorite Baking Hacks

Our Favorite Baking Hacks

We’ve learned a thing or two in our professional baking experience, including a batch of tips and tricks best described as baking hacks.

Baking hacks save time and take plain old recipes to a gourmet level. So, the next time you’re halfway through a recipe and realize you’re missing an ingredient — or whenever you simply want to bake a better cake — remember these baking hacks.

DIY Confectioners’ Sugar. 

You’re making a cake from scratch, have moved your batter to the oven and are about to start on mixing up the icing when it hits you — you forgot to pick up confectioners’ sugar when you were at the grocery store. Don’t fret! Go the homemade route by popping a few cups of granulated sugar into your blender and quickly grinding it to a fine powder.

Coat Frozen Fruit in Flour.

Toss frozen blueberries, raspberries and strawberries in flour before adding them to a recipe to avoid those soggy, blackish-blue muffins.

Fast Molasses?

Substitute honey, cup for cup, whenever a recipe calls for molasses if you simply don’t have any on hand.

Spaghetti Noodle Frosting Tent.

You’ve got two beautifully frosted cakes but only one cake dome. Don’t ruin all your hard decorating work by placing plastic wrap up against the frosting. Instead, use uncooked spaghetti noodles as stakes. Insert the dried pasta into the cake and tent with plastic wrap. The stakes will keep the plastic from coming into contact with your buttercream. Find a complete tutorial for this baking hack here.

Skip the Margarine. 

For healthier treats, substitute half a cup of applesauce for each cup of margarine called for by any recipe.

DIY Piping Bag. 

You can make your own piping bag out of a triangle of parchment paper — just like the pros! This video tutorial shows you how.

DIY Cake Flour. 

When a recipe calls for cake flour and all you have is all-purpose flour, you can hack your own using other ingredients in your pantry. This tutorial has the scoop.

Quick and Easy Chocolate Peels. 

Garnish frosted cakes with chocolate peels that you make yourself. Simply take a chocolate bar (the kind you can eat all on its own — not baking chocolate), let it come to room temperature and make your shavings using a potato peeler.

Perfect Cake Slices.

Warm your knife in hot water and dry it before slicing to plate perfect, crumb-free pieces of cake.

Emergency Eggs. 

Cracked your last egg? You can mash half of a ripe banana and use it in your dessert recipe if you’ve come up short by one egg.

Grate Your Butter.

Before kneading it into your pie crust, grate your butter for easier mixing and better integration. (Of course, this hack only works with sticks of butter.)

Spritz Your Measuring Cup.

Keep sticky liquid ingredients like honey from adhering to your measuring cups — and not pouring easily — by giving their insides a spritz or two of cooking spray.

Butter for Oil.

This hack is especially great for boxed cake mixes. For truly sensational flavor, substitute an equal amount of melted butter for any oil specified in the cooking instructions.

DIY Buttermilk.

Who ever remembers to buy buttermilk? If you can add one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to one cup of milk and let it stand for five minutes, then you’ll never have to make a middle-of-the-recipe trip to the supermarket again.