I am loving spring. The past week has been sunny and beautiful. The trees and flowers are blooming and the temperature has been perfect. I’m not used to living in a state with seasons. Las Vegas has a mild winter and an extremely hot summer. Texas goes from a mild winter to a week or two of spring, then straight into hot and humid summers.
Now that the long dreary winter has passed, all I want to do is sit in the sun. I now understand why my in-laws always wanted to sit in the sun when they came to visit us during late winters in Las Vegas and Texas.
With the longer days and the sun shining, I have been spending more time cooking and baking. Of course, I don’t like to spend all of my time in the kitchen, so I try to find ways to make cooking and baking less time-consuming. Here’s a list of a few tried and true baking/decorating hacks that will make you next project more convenient.
1. Quick pan release recipe. I use this recipe every time I bake a cake. I spread a light layer on the pan with a silicone pastry brush then fill the pan with batter. It’s the best and it works.
2. Replace water with strong coffee in a chocolate cake recipe. This results in a rich chocolate taste.
3. Don’t have any buttermilk? No worries, just mix 1 Tablespoon of vinegar in 1 cup of whole milk and you have instant buttermilk.
4. Use a measuring cup to measure the amount of batter you put in each cake pan to ensure an even cake height and bake time.
5. After you’ve filled the cake pan with batter, hold it few inches above the counter top and drop it a few times a few times to release the air bubbles.
6. Wrap a wet cloth strip around the cake pan to ensure even baking and flat tops. I’ve used strips of towels that I have cut and I have used Wilton Bake Even Strips.
7. My grandmother taught me how to test if baking powder and baking soda have expired. For baking powder, add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to a 1/3 cup of hot water. If there isn’t any bubbling then the baking powder has expired. To test baking soda, add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to a cup of 2 tablespoons of vinegar. If there isn’t any bubbling then the baking soda has expired.
8. Use cookie cutters as a stencil when decorating with sprinkles or candies.
9. Ran out of powder sugar? Not a problem. Blend granulated sugar in the blender or food processor until it reaches powder consistency.
10. Wanting to make your cake healthier? Replace the oil or butter with unsweetened applesauce in a 1:1 ratio.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.