Baking Shortcuts

May 4, 2015

Hey, all. So my friend Alyssa wrote a super sweet blog post about baking that I think everyone here definitely needs. These are all the those tiny little baking shortcuts I’ve always thought should be compiled, and now…here they are! Enjoy this list of 19 sweet baking shortcuts 🙂 Take it away, Alyssa!

Let’s be honest—who doesn’t enjoy a delicious home baked treat?! While you have mastered the art of being a taste tester for your friends and family, your own baking skills may be lacking. While baking can seem intimidating if you do not have much experience, there are little tricks and tips you can try as you encounter different situations in your baking adventures. Keep these in mind and you are bound to wow your friends…or at least avoid some baking disasters!

Egg Shell Pieces. Have you ever cracked and egg and accidentally broken pieces of shell into the bowl? No sweat—just wet your fingers first and the egg shell pieces will gravitate toward the water.

Keep Brown Sugar Soft. If you don’t bake often, you may not use your brown sugar often. Place a piece of bread in the container to keep it soft.

Soften Brown Sugar. If your brown sugar has already hardened, simply put it in a microwave safe dish, place a moistened paper towel on top and microwave for 20 second intervals until soft. Be careful of heating it too long, as it can melt.

Room Temperature Eggs. Place your eggs in a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes as they will mix into batter better if warm.

Ripen Bananas. If you suddenly need to make banana bread, you don’t have time to wait for the bananas to ripen over days. Just place them on a cookie sheet and bake them at 300 degrees for 40 minutes. Voila!

Burned Cookies. Accidentally left the cookies in the oven for too long? Scrape off the burned bottom with a grater or zester. Nobody has to know!

Self-Frosting Cupcakes. If you want to save some time on frosting your cupcakes, put a marshmallow on top of each cupcake five minutes before they are done. It will melt on top, removing the need to frost them.

Designs with Sprinkles. Do you need to decorate a cake, but lack artistic ability? No problem! Use a cookie cutter to create shapes and numbers with sprinkles on the top of the cake.

Raise Dough without an Oven. If your oven is already in use, you will need another way to help your dough rise quickly. With the dough in a bowl, covered with a towel, set bowl on a medicinal heating pad. It should raise in an hour.

Whipped Cream by Hand. Put cream into a mason jar and shake. Your whipped cream should form in about three minutes! Plus you will get a great workout.

Quickly Soften Butter. Here are three ways to soften butter more easily: cut it up and lay the pieces out on a plate (softens easier when not a large block), put in a plastic bag and pound it, or place it in a plastic bag and then into a warm bowl of water.

Flaky Pie Crust. For a flaky pie crust always use cold ingredients! Simple as that.

Mixing Thick Batter. Use a wooden spoon as mentioned here. It will not bend like a metal spoon can and give you the leverage to mix properly.

Rolling Pin Substitute. If you don’t want to buy a rolling pin in favor of saving on drawer space, use a wine bottle or another long glass bottle instead.

Berries and Nuts. Toss nuts and berries in flour before mixing them into a recipe to keep them from sinking to the bottom.

Use Applesauce. Replace butter with applesauce at a 1:1 ratio for a healthier option.

Cupcake Sizes. Use an ice cream scoop to put the batter into the cupcake tins. This will ensure the cupcakes are all the same size.

Sticky Foods. If you are working with sticky foods like fudge or granola bars, get your hands wet first and you will be able to handle it without it sticking to you.

Store Cake. Cake and cupcakes (unfrosted) will store in the freezer for a month. If you find you have time to do some baking, get a jumpstart on your baking needs and have them ready to go!

As you implement these tricks, your baking skills will improve and your creations will look and taste amazing.

Alyssa Craig is a Salt Lake City native who loves hiking in the mountains, running, frozen yogurt, and quick wit. She is a professional writer and loves perusing the many posts in the blogosphere. In her free time, you can find her escaping the world on her hammock or watching reruns of Friends.

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