Here's a quick post on my basic cake baking method; it's a general tutorial for how to make any cake or cupcake batter. This is the process I go by for nearly all of my cake making adventures, and I've found it really useful to use this whenever I'm creating a cake recipe of my very own. So you should just memorize it. Right now.
Enjoy! And be sure to check out my list of baking tips as well!
A GENERAL METHOD FOR MAKING ANY TYPE OF CAKE
- In a medium-sized bowl, sift and whisk together the dry ingredients, except for the sugar(s). Your dry ingredients will typically be flour, baking powder or soda, and salt. Plus cocoa powder if it's chocolatey.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter (you don't have to "cream" if using oil) and gradually beat in the sugar(s). Then beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat for quite a bit at this step. The sugar is working to incorporate air bubbles in the fats and proteins of the butter and eggs here.
- Slowly add the dry mixture to the butter-sugar-egg mixture, alternating with the milk (or whatever liquid it is.) Don't over-mix at this point because the goal in making cake batter is
to keep gluten production (flour + water = gluten) at a minimum. More
gluten equals more chewiness, which you don't want. You want fluffiness.
- Finish by incorporating the vanilla and any other final mix-ins.
- Fill your cake pan(s) or cupcake wells 2/3 full. (Unless you've added fruit such as raspberries to your batter, in which case you should go 3/4 full since the cake won't rise as much.)
- Bake at 350°F. (Lower this slightly if you are using a glass pan.) Cakes: 30 to 40 minutes. Cupcakes: 17 to 22 minutes. Obviously this varies when using different amounts of batter and different sized pans; use the good ol' toothpick test to ensure perfect doneness.
Thanks for reading!