General Baking Tips
The Recipes: Always follow our recipe instructions exactly - these recipes have been created and tested (and in some cases, edited!) numerous times to give best results.
Electric vs Gas: If you have an electric oven, be wary! They tend to cook quicker than conventional gas ovens, so we recommend lowering your oven temperature by 10-20 degrees. Of course this is just a guide - you know your oven personality better than we do.
Keep that door shut! However good it smells, try not to be impatient and open your oven door whilst cooking (especially during the start of the bake). Opening the door creates great fluctuations in heat which are likely to cause your cake to collapse.
Turning up the heat: No cheating by whacking the temperature up to max, turning it down to the right temperature and then popping the cake in: your oven will have to much residual heat in and the cake will likely be overbaked.
To sieve or not to sieve: In short, sieve. It’s an important step and stops lumps forming whilst properly incorporating all the raising agent (baking powder etc) - otherwise your cakes will resemble the Brecon Beacons.
Temperature of ingredients: We don’t tell you this in the recipe cards to make your life harder (although that might be fun) - if it says eggs should be room temperature, for example, then you know what to do. If you’ve left your butter in the fridge and are impatient to get cracking here’s a nifty trick: put the butter on a plate, cover it with a warmed glass for about a minute aannnnddd ta daa!
Over/under mixing: Undermixing and your cake will look marbled, so ensure all the flour has been absorbed. Equally, don’t overmix - too much air in your batter may lead to the dreaded Cake Collapse. Once butter and sugar has been properly creamed, add in dry ingredients one spoon at a time and lightly fold or stir until “just” combined. Do not whip it into a frenzy!
How to fold: This isn't as obvious as it sounds - when folding it is important to work quickly but lightly - key is to take care not to deflate the lighter/whipped eggs or decrease the volume of the final product, this will make your cake light and airy. To fold use a rubber spatular or spoon to cut down and through the mixture, then scrape the spatula along the bottom of the bowl, before coming back up - this will “fold” some of the mixture from the bottom of the bowl into the newly added mixture at the top. Turn the bowl after every fold to ensure ingredients are evenly distributed.
Pesky shell fragments? We’ve all done it - cracked an egg but then played a game of cat and mouse with some errant shell fragment that’s fallen into the bowl. Wet your finger and the shell will be much easier to catch (you could say we’ve….. cracked it.)
Prepping your tin: Grease it, flour it and parchment paper it. That’s an order.
The right tin: All our recipes have been modified to fit a 9-inch tin. Please don’t try and squeeze into a smaller tin. Think of that snazzy top we all have in our cupboards. You know, the one that’s just that teensy bit too small? Not a good look.
Smooth cake top: Try and smooth the cake batter once poured into the pan - it’ll ensure a more even bake and will work out any large air bubbles. With thick batters we also suggest tapping the pan gently to knock out any air bubbles.
Are you done yet already?! Test the cake before taking it out of the oven by inserting a metal skewer into the dome of the cake - when it comes out clean it’s done (unless it’s a Brownie Cake in which case you want a few crumbs (or dare we say it, a li'l bit of goo). A perfectly baked cake will spring back when you press the centre (rather than sink).
Take a minute to cool down: So the cake comes out, it smells good, you’re going to turn it out of your tin? Noooo! Good things come to those who wait for the cake to cool for at least 15 minutes or until the top feels firm (as the saying goes). The cake needs to finish baking and acclimatise to room temperature.