The holidays are the perfect time to impress your friends and family with delicious baked goods that look just as good as they taste. Baking truly is a science and it’s hard to master all the necessary techniques, so we’ve put a list of hacks together to make the process easy as pie (yes, I said it). These hacks will make you a master baker in no time!
30. Coat Frozen Fruit With Flour
Adding fruit to cake is also a delicious and fun idea, but if you’re not careful it will sink to the bottom instead of being evenly distributed. To avoid this, coat your frozen berries in a little bit of flour before adding them to the batter. The flour will also help absorb any moisture the fruit gives off so you won’t end up with a soggy bottom.
29. Marshmallow Frosting
The easiest way to make frosting in a pinch is by using marshmallows! You may have never thought of this clever trick, but the next time you’re running low on time and you need frosting for your cupcakes, grab some mallows! About five minutes before your cupcakes are ready to come out of the oven, pop them on top and watch them melt into delicious globs of frosting. This way you can save time on actually making the frosting and you don’t have to wait for anything to cool.
28. Egg Shell Disaster Averted
Egg shells can be a real pain in the bum, especially when they just keep appearing every time you crack an egg. Luckily, there is a really easy way to get them out of the bowl in seconds. Just wet the tip of your finger and place it next to the shell. It will shoot right up to your fingertip in no time, almost as if it’s magnetized.
27. Lace it Up!
The next time you don’t want to spend a lot of time decorating a cake or cupcakes, just grab a piece of lace and some powdered sugar. Lay the lace over the cake and sprinkle the powdered sugar over it. Simple as that! Not to mention, your cakes will be looking like they came right out of a bakery.
26. Swirl Icing
Another way to easily make your cakes and cookies look professionally decorated is to use two icing bags with one tip to create a lovely swirl effect. You can either use two different flavors like chocolate and peanut butter, or two different colors to get a rainbow effect. The possibilities are endless!
25. Frosting Color Chart
Talk about all the colors in the rainbow! This chart helps you make frosting any color you can possibly think of! Just think of all the possibilities… You can easily make the best cakes at the cake walk, no doubt. You can thank the chefs at Food Network for this cheat sheet!
24. Jell-o Frosting
No food coloring? No problem! Just use a pack of Jell-o instead of running back to the store. Here is a simple Jell-o frosting recipe:
- 3 oz package Jello (pick your flavor/color, not sugar-free)
- 2/3 C sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 C boiling water (must be boiling to dissolve the sugar)
23. Bring Your Brown Sugar Back To Life
It’s always disappointing to look into the cabinet and notice your brown sugar is looking a little sad and clumpy, but luckily there is an easy way to fix it. Just microwave it in a bowl for 10 seconds with a wet paper towel covering as a lid. The sugar will absorb the moisture from the towel and it will plump back up and look like new.
22. Oat Flour
It’s actually really easy to make your own gluten-free flour, and you probably have all the ingredients you need in your cabinet. Making oat flour is a breeze, all it takes is grinding up some oats in a blender until it’s the consistency of regular flour. Gluten-free and healthier, this is a great option for everyone.
21. Swap Avocado For Butter
A great way to lighten up any dessert is to replace the butter with avocado. The idea here is replacing the fat with a healthier option, one that still works the same so you won’t lose any moisture. Swap out one cup of butter for one cup of pureed avocado, and reduce the heat about 25%. Your cake will probably take a little longer to cook, but it’s worth it.
20. Wine Bottle Rolling Pin
If you ever find yourself in a baking situation where you have no rolling pin or you need a bigger one than you have, try using a wine bottle. This trick is great because you can pop it in the fridge or freezer and use it to roll out cookie dough or pie crust without melting it. Full or empty, a wine bottle always saves the day. And when you’re done successfully baking the perfect treat, have a glass, enjoy the success.
19. Homemade Sprinkles
Homemade sprinkles are delicious, and guess what? They’re easy to make! You will need an icing tip with either one small hole or multiple to create the perfect shape, but if you’re a baking nerd you’ll already have something that could work. The best part about making your own sprinkles is that you can flavor them with any extract you can think of and they won’t be full of additives like wax and Cellulose gum like the store-bought kind.
Here is a quick recipe to make your own:
2 cups (4 ounces) confectioner’s sugar (+ more if needed)
1 teaspoon Just Egg Whites
1 tablespoon warm water (+ more, if needed)
1/4 teaspoon flavoring or extract of choice – vanilla, almond, etc.
Pinch of salt
18. Custom Pan in Seconds
Ever thought about making a tart but then realized you didn’t have the right pan for the job? Next time you’re in a pickle, just make your own with some aluminum foil. Works like a charm every time.
17. Banana Bread Anytime
If you’ve ever wanted to make banana bread on the spot but don’t have any overly ripe bananas to do the job, no problemo. Preheat your oven to 300ºF and let them slowly ripen for 40 minutes. No more waiting for those pesky bananas, they’re on your time now.
16. Mason Jar For The Win
Despite what you may think, you don’t need a traditional stand mixer to make whipped cream. All you need is a mason jar and a strong arm. Fill up the mason jar with some cold cream and get to shakin’! Ever seen a Shake Weight? You get the idea.
15. Why it Didn’t Work
You can thank me later for this chart because it will be your saving grace one day. This will tell you everything you need to know when something goes awry. You’ll be a baking genius in no time.
14. No Muffin Tin? No Problem
Did you know you don’t even need a muffin tin to make the perfect muffins? Neither did I, until now that is. You can make them just as easily and perfectly with just the liners, or you can use liners and mason jar lids to secure them in place. No longer do you have to spend hundreds of dollars on kitchen accessories to be the best baker on the block.
13. Rustic Liners
You can even make your own cupcake for muffin liners for a more rustic feel. All you need is some parchment paper and some scissors. How easy is that?
12. Paper Plate
If you use a hand mixer then you know that things can get a little messy, quickly. To avoid painting your walls with cake batter, use a paper plate like pictured above as a splash guard.
11. Toothpick Tracing
Using a toothpick to trace out your design before going in with the icing is a good idea because this way, you can’t mess anything up. Your words will always be perfectly aligned, every time. Professional hacks don’t have to cost a lot, they just have to be smart.
10. Ice Cream Scooper
An ice cream scooper does a lot more than just scoop ice cream, it works wonders when trying to portion out cupcakes or muffins. If you’re having trouble with too much batter sticking, just spray the scooper with some baking spray and it’ll slide right off.
9. Fill Your Cupcakes Easily
Here are three ways you can easily make your cupcakes go from decent to decadent! Filling cupcakes or muffins with caramel, chocolate, or berry filling is actually rather simple, and you can do it with any of these tools.
8. Cookie Guide
Ever wonder why sometimes your cookies come out a completely different shape than the previous time? It all has to do with what kind of ingredients you use and at what temperature they’re at when you use them. It can get a bit complicated, but here is a cheat sheet to keep you informed.
7. Room Temperature Butter
It can be hard to get butter to the right temperature in the microwave and sometimes you forget to take it out of the fridge in time. If this is the case, just warm up and glass and place it over the butter. In minutes you’ll have room temperature butter, perfect for your baking project.
6. Bread and Sugar
You can keep your brown sugar moist by using a piece of bread. Sounds strange, but the sugar will absorb all of the moisture from the bread and won’t crumble or dry out.
5. Make Your Own Brown Sugar
Next time you run out of brown sugar, don’t bother going to the store to get some. All you need is white sugar and molasses, and boom! You’ve got fresh brown sugar.
4. Finishing Sea Salt
If you really want to take your cookies to the next level, finish them off (while they’re still warm) with some coarse sea salt. This will give them the perfect salty-sweet combination that will have everyone coming back for more.
3. Muffin Tin Cookie Bowls
Take your baking to a whole new level by creating your own cookie bowls. Serving ice cream in cookie bowls is obviously more exciting than dishware, and you won’t have to wash a bunch of dishes afterward–a win-win! Use your favorite muffin tin, flip it over, and form the cookie dough over it. Bake them as you normally would, but make sure they cool all the way before taking them off or they’ll lose their shape.
2. Utilize Your Freezer
One of the best things you can do is utilize your freezer. Make a batch of cookies in advance, pop them in an ice tray and then straight in your freezer. You can take them out and make a treat whenever you feel like it, without the work.
1. Cup it up
Using a cup to fill a pastry bag will ensure you can fill it up without any unnecessary mess and you can get all of the icing or batter in the bag. You can also use a Ziploc or plastic bag if you don’t have any pastry bags, just cut a hole in the tip for the perfect tool.