World Baking Day: Baking tips every beginner needs to know

Never bake when you are short on time. Picture: Pexels/Suzy Hazelwood

Never bake when you are short on time. Picture: Pexels/Suzy Hazelwood

Published May 17, 2024


May 17 is World Baking Day and whether your preferred baking treat is cake, cookies, brownies or biscuits, just make sure you get your fix on the day.

The day was created to spread the joy of baking across the world. It is the perfect time for first-time bakers to whip out that rolling pin, bake a cake and celebrate.

To get started, here are some baking tips that every beginner needs to know:

Measure properly. Picture: Pexels/Pavel Danilyuk

Measure properly

Of all the baking tips, this is the most important rule in baking. Ideally, you should weigh your ingredients on a digital scale but if you do not have one, the proper way to measure dry ingredients is using the spoon and level method: spoon the ingredients into a dry measuring cup and level or “sweep” the top with a straight edge.

This might seem nit-picky but it is important. Liquid ingredients should always be measured in clear measuring cups that have gradations on the side of the cup.

Always read the recipe before beginning

This will help you know the how, why, where and when or what you are about to do. It will take only a few minutes but could save you from wasting ingredients on a disastrous result.

Never bake when you are short on time. Picture: Pexels/Suzy Hazelwood

Do not rush baking

Never bake when you are short on time. Baking a new recipe in a rush will end in disaster, especially if you are new to this.

Be patient with yourself and with the process: read the recipe, double-check that you have your ingredients, prepare them, preheat the oven and grease your pans. The better prepared you are, the better your baked goods will be.

Always sift dry ingredients

Dry ingredients like flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and cocoa powder should always be sifted. Even if the recipe does not ask for it. Sifting allows your ingredients to get lighter as it aerates the ingredients.

Sifted dry ingredients, which are lighter than unsifted dry ingredients, are easier to mix in the batter or dough.

Not only this, sifting ensures that all the individual dry ingredients come together to give a uniform mixture before you start with the batter or dough.

Keep the oven door closed. Picture: Pexels/Felicity Tai

Keep the oven door closed

Baking relies on consistent environments. Even excessive humidity can impact the results. There is nothing worse for a baked good than obsessively opening and closing the oven door.

Opening the door before the right time causes the heat trapped inside to escape.

Do not make substitutions

As you become a more experienced baker, you will better understand how ingredients work and how to make substitutions. Until you feel more comfortable, you will have better success if you do not make any changes.

Of course, some swops are fine. If you are making chocolate chip cookies with pecans and you want to use walnuts instead, that is not going to make a difference beyond taste.

Making changes to ingredient quantities and substituting ingredients will probably give you a less-than-stellar outcome.

Let your treats cool. Picture: Pexels/Anete Lusina

Let your treats cool

When you have finished baking do not rush to celebrate. First, you need to get your baked goods on a wire rack to cool, or the heat from the pan could cause your delicious treats to become overdone.

Then, wait until your cakes, cookies or pies have cooled before frosting. Note: Even a little warmth can melt the icing.