1. Beat it. Mixing a cake using an electric mixer is easiest, but you can also mix the batter by hand. Stir the ingredients until they're combined, then beat 150 strokes for each minute of beating time (4 minutes equals about 600 strokes). If a cake isn't beaten enough, it will have a slightly coarser texture and be lower in volume.
2. Size it up. Check the pan size. If your pan is larger than the size stated in the recipe, the batter will not be as deep, the cake will bake more quickly and it will not rise as well. If your pan is too small, the batter may overflow. Standard pan sizes are usually marked on the back of a pan if not, measure across the top of the pan from inside edge to inside edge.
3. Pour and bake. Bake the cake right away after pouring the batter into the pan. If you wait too long before baking, the cake may not rise properly. Placing the pan in the center of the oven is important so the cake bakes evenly on top and bottom. You may also need to lower the oven temperature by 25° if the pan has a dark nonstick finish.
From "Betty Crocker's Bisquick Cookbook." Text Copyright 2000 General Mills, Inc. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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