Tips to Cake Success
Use the size of pan called for in the recipe or on the package of mix. How do you know the size of a pan? Measure across the top from inside rim to inside rim; then place the ruler inside the pan to measure the depth. If the pan is too big, your cake will be flat and dry; too small and it will bulge or overflow the pan.
Preparing the Pan
A correctly greased and/or floured cake pan will keep the cake from sticking. In most cases you will want to grease the bottom and sides of the pan with 1 tablespoon shortening. Then dust the pan with about 1 tablespoon of flour and tap out the excess. For chocolate cakes, try dusting the pan with baking cocoa. Some recipes only require the bottom of the pan to be greased, or for leaving the pan un-greased. Follow recipe directions for the best result.
Cooking spray may also be used; however, the cake may rise with high sides and a lip. If using spray, coat only the bottom of the pan and do not dust the pan with flour.
Be sure to measure correctly and carefully. When measuring liquid always use a liquid measuring cup. Place the cup on a level surface and then pour in the liquid. Check for the correct amount at eye level. Too little liquid can cause a heavy, low-volume cake. Too much liquid can cause the cake to fall.
When measuring dry ingredients, gently spoon the ingredient into a dry ingredient measuring cup. Then level off with a straight knife of spatula. The only ingredients that should be packed into a measuring cup is brown sugar.
Many cakes require mixing with a hand held electric mixer. However, you can also use a wire whisk. Take care not to over mix, this actually breaks down the cake and may cause it not to rise or it may shrink as it cools.
Cool cakes in their pans on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before attempting to remove the cake from the pan. This helps prevent the cake form breaking apart which can happen when it is too warm and tender. For deeper cakes, such as bundt cakes, cool in the pan for 15- 20 minutes before removing.
* DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *