Measuring dry and wet ingredients – if you get into the habit of measuring dry ingredients before you measure liquid ingredients, you will not have to wash and dry your measures before you finish measuring.

The right size tin – cake mixture should only fill 2/3 tin, allowing it room to rise.

Leftover cake mix can be used to make muffins – fill muffin holes one-half to two-thirds full. Bake in a preheated oven at the same temperature called for in your cake recipe, reducing baking time by a third to a half.

Don’t open the oven door or disturb the cake until it has finished rising and is partially browned, or your cake may sink.

Your cake is done if it’s “springy” – when your cake is done, the top will spring back when pressed lightly in the centre and slightly shrink away from the sides of the pan. Try inserting a skewer or wooden toothpick in the centre. If it comes out clean, it’s done.

If your oven is too hot:
  • Your cake may have tunnels and cracks
  • Your cake may set before it fully rises and may be uneven
  • Your crust may be too dark
  • Your crust may burst or crack
If your oven is too cool:
  • Your cake may have coarse, dense or heavy texture
  • Your cake wont set fast enough and will fall
  • Your crust may be too light
If your oven temperature is uneven, your cake may be uneven.

Lining Cake Tins

  • Lining square cake tins – (If the cake tin has round corners follow the instructions for lining a round). If the cake tin has sharp corners, line cake tins by cutting strips of paper the width of the tin and long enough to go over two sides and the base, hanging out about 5cm from both the sides. Do the same for the opposite direction.
  • Lining round cake tins – Cut strips of brown paper or greaseproof paper about 10cm wider than the depth of the cake tin. Fold over the long edge of the paper about 2.5cm. Cut this 2.5cm strip up to the fold line about every 2.5cm. This will enable the paper to fit around the curve of the cake tin. Use the base of the cake tin draw out circles of paper, place inside the tin on the base.
  • Remove the lining from the cake before it goes cold.

When creaming butter and sugar add a TBSP of hot water to the mix, it gives you a fluffier mix faster.

Before putting a fruit cake in the oven, wet the back of your hand under the cold tap and pat gently over the cake surface.

When baking cakes, cupcakes or muffins always check them with a skewer in the middle at the minimum baking time to avoid overcooking or burning. (The skewer should come out clean if the cake is cooked in the middle).

Create brown/ripe bananas quickly, put them in the freezer until brown.

When adding sutanas, nuts or other fruit to a mix, always drop them in the flour first and shake around. Coating these items in flour will ensure an even spread through the batter instead of clumping or sinking.

Always make sure you have dried off your fruit or roll in castor sugar or flour before you place the sponge cake on top of them, as this will help the fruit to attached to the mixture.

Add coffee granules to date loaf – it gives a lovely flavour to the loaf.

When baking cakes put ice in the oven to keep the crust of the cake moist and to stop it from cooking faster then the middle of the cake.