Whenever I’m thinking of recipes to share here on Patchwork, I always go to my recipe notebook first, it’s missing a cover, the writing in it is illegible to anyone but me and the pages are decorated with butter stains and crumbs. Not just any recipe gets to join its pages, they are tested and tweaked and tasted and tinkered with. They are rock solid family favourites.
The first two pages are full of little baking tips that I have picked up along the way and yesterday, when I grabbed my book to see what I would share with you guys this week, I realised that the first two pages were the most important. So here they are, I hope they help in your baking journeys.
Enjoy, and please feel free to share any of your tips below in the comments section.
- If your butter is in the fridge and the recipe calls for it to be soft, just grate it like cheese.
- Always preheat your oven to 20 degrees above what the recipe says then turn it down after you pop your stuff in, this way it allows for the heat that escapes when you open it.
- When you’re making biscuits, double the recipe then freeze half of it in a zip lock bag. Dough freezes perfectly and it means there is no mess the next time you want to make a batch.
- Everything looks pretty with sprinkles or shaved chocolate on it.
- When you’re piping a butter cream swirl (like a soft serve) always start with a dollup in the middle then do a spiral starting from the outside. Like in this video.
- Biscuits will harden after they cool so never think that they are too soft to come out of the oven.
- When you put cupcake batter in the pans, always tap them on the counter to get the air out.
- If you don’t have enough batter to fill each cupcake pan, half fill the empty ones with water so the rest cook evenly.
- Just use a cheap packet mix if you’re cooking cupcakes for toddlers, they are only going to eat the icing anyway.
- Always add some good quality vanilla extract to said packet mixes.
- Nothing can go wrong when you combine cream cheese, butter, icing sugar and lemon rind.
- For cakes, totally ignore cooking times and go by smell and sight. If in doubt, always pull it out, you can put it back in but you can’t un-cook it.
- You can inject chocolate sauce, lemon curd or strawberry topping into a cooked cupcake with a medicine syringe.
- You can make the world’s best lemon curd in the microwave. This recipe is my favourite.
- When you are baking for an event, un-iced cakes and cupcakes can be cooked up to three weeks early and frozen (so long as they are wrapped well to avoid freezer burn) they actually taste better after being frozen a lot of the time.
- You can put the icing on cakes while they are defrosting, especially in Summer, that way the icing won’t melt off.
- This is the best buttercream icing recipe ever.
- You can make donut holes in a cake pop maker.
- Butter can be substituted directly for coconut oil, gram for gram.
- Before you start every recipe, unload the dishwasher.
Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
Cracking cake tips – the grated butter is my favourite!
Laura - Paper & Pin
WOA. These are amazing tips! Holy mac!
Fleur | Our Urban Box
Awesome! How good is the tip about grating your butter?? Mind blown! x
Shannon @ Oh Creative Day
This is amazing!
#20 brings me unstuck. Every. Time!
And #8- but of course! I had never thought of it.
Jessica @ Sweetest Menu
Great baking tips! I especially like the piping trick!
wow, i’ve been coming up with tricks for 30 years but some of these will certainly change things for me! Can i add one of my top 5? whenever the prep work starts, pop a medium sized bowl on the bench for all the waste… saves about 50 trips to the bin and contains all the leakage!
Wow. These are life changing! Thanks Babs! Printing these out and popping into my baking book! Xx
Jenni from Styling Curvy
Great tips, your book sounds like mine. I always do double budcuit recipes and freeze half, my boys eat whatever is there so keeping some for a fresh (warm) batch is aleays appreciated.
I only just learned this one and it is a total game changer! So glad you liked them!
Oh thanks luv! xox
That one has been super popular, so good to be able to share it!
If only I could take my own advice. Lol.
It makes so much sense once you know right?!
YES! You can give me as many tips as you want! That is a cracker, I will be adding that to my next one! Thanks xoxo
Oh I think I could make a coffee table book all about baking books. I would love to paw through EVERYONES! You’re so so welcome.
I am so looking forward to having teenage eaters, right now I have two toddlers on a hunger strike!