How to bake a perfect cake every time!!!

Does it REALLY matter whether your eggs are at room temperature, that you beat the flour in on full speed and don’t always stick to a recipe?? I found out the hard way that, YES, it really does matter, changing just a few simple things can mean you end up with perfect cakes every time!!!

  • Pay special attention to the temperature of your oven or you’ll end up in all sorts of baking trouble. If your oven is too hot you’ll end up with dried out cakes, too cold they may not rise very well. Invest in an oven thermometer just to make sure your oven is doing what it says it’s doing
  • Ingredients really do need to be weighed out accurately and the recipe followed properly. Each ingredient has its own important role to play and too much of one and not enough of another will only lead to problems. It’s fun to throw a handful of this in and a cup of that but that’s best saved for Masterchef moments rather than Madeira moments.
  • Always make sure your butter and eggs are at room temperature. Air bubbles form when you beat eggs or butter and these lovely air bubbles help the mixture to rise. If either of these ingredients aren’t at room temperature when you beat them, they won’t mix into your batter evenly afterwards (which means your lovely little air bubbles won’t either) and you’ll end up with an uneven rise.
    Don’t worry if you forget to take the eggs out of the fridge (I’m always doing this). Put them in a bowl of warm water for ten minutes and they’re good to go
  • Five minutes max when it comes to beating the butter and sugar together. If you cream them for much longer they produce too many air bubbles and the mixture kind of collapses. You won’t know this until you remove your cake from the oven and it looks like a biscuit!!
  • Let’s get back to those eggs again for a second. Always use the size it advises on your recipe. If you use Medium eggs instead of Large, there won’t be enough liquid in the cake mix and you may end up with a dry cake (which is almost as bad as a flat biscuit cake!!)
  • Make sure you use good quality flavouring too, otherwise you won’t be getting the Paul Hollywood handshake!!! If you can afford to choose extracts over essences you’ll get a much tastier result. Vanilla extract is literally what it says on the bottle, an extract from the beans. Essence is produced using a chemical process and doesn’t taste half as delicious.
  • Once you’ve added the flour, always keep the mixer speed on low. Flour contains gluten. The more you beat gluten the stronger it becomes. If it’s too strong the cake becomes too firm and dry and it’ll be like eating toast instead of a delicious Victoria sponge. Don’t get impatient and open the oven door too quickly. Have a cuppa and wait!!! If you open the door before the cake is ready, the temperature will drop and your poor cake will sink.

Follow these simple tips and you’ll know how to bake a perfect cake every single time. Have fun!!!