20 Secret Cake Baking Tips We Learned From Grandma

Because grandma always knew the best tips and tricks to bake luscious layer cakes, bundt cakes and more.

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Mix in a Banana

Next time you have ripe bananas, bake a chocolate cake instead of banana bread. Reader Mildred Sherer of Bay City, Texas, says, “Adding a ripe banana to a chocolate cake not only keeps the cake moist, but it also gives it good flavour.” Read on for more handy cake baking tips that’ll take your treats to the next level.

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Use Parchment Paper

When baking a layer cake, Mrs. Henry Glieb of Lancaster Pennsylvania, says, “I take a double sheet of parchment paper, set the cake pan on it and cut to the right size. Then I put the paper in each pan. When it comes time to remove the layers, they slip out easily.”

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Add Some Crunch

If you want a quick topping for an applesauce or banana cake, Mrs. Randy Mohr of Breda, Iowa, says, “Sprinkle the batter generously with granulated sugar, coconut and chopped nuts before baking. The cake comes out with a crunchy topping.”

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Keep Frosting Soft

Mrs. Amos Hoover of Denver, Pennsylvania, says, “I add a teaspoonful of vinegar to my boiled frosting. This keeps it soft and it doesn’t crack when the cake is cut.”

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cake baking tips - Graham Crackers
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Add Flavour on the Bottom

Instead of a tasty topping, here’s a new twist. Ann Chernabaeff of Wasco, California, says, “Try coating the bottom of a cake pan with crushed graham crackers. They prevent sticking and add an interesting flavour.”

This banana bread recipe only takes five minutes—in your microwave!

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Use a Whisk

Instead of using a hand sifter to sift dry ingredients for baking recipes, Jane Neave of Zion, Illinois, says, “I blend them with a wire whisk. It works much faster than sifting, and there’s less to clean up.”

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Pour Even Layers

To obtain nice even layers when baking a layer cake, reader Margaret Thelen of Fowler, Michigan, says, “Spread the batter higher around the outside of the pan. The centre usually rises more.” Another great tip for level layers? Invest in a set of cake strips which wrap around the outside of your cake pan to prevent crowning.

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Spread Frosting Fast

When you bake a cake but have little time to make frosting, here is a simple way from Mrs. Alvin Martin of Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. “While the cake is still warm, spread it with molasses and sprinkle with coconut or nuts.”

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Bake a Better Bundt Cake

Melinda Widner of Waxahachie, Texas, says “I often baked bundt cakes but found the cakes always stuck when I used shortening and flour on the pan. Then one day I greased my pan with shortening and sprinkled it with sugar. I’ve never had a cake stuck since! Just let the cake cool 10 minutes and it’ll pop right out of the pan. With the sugar, most of the cakes don’t even need a glaze!”

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cake baking tips - Devil's food cake
Taste of Home

Give It a Devilishly Delicious Taste

Mrs. Clarence Huss of Hartington, Nebraska, says, “Try grating orange rind into your devil’s food cake batter. It will give it a deliciously different flavour.”

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Use a DIY Baking Powder

If you’re out of baking powder—make some! Mrs. Harry Holmes of Davenport, Nebraska, says “Combine 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar and a heaping teaspoon of cornstarch.”

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Pop Those Air Bubbles

Make sure your cakes come out of the oven perfectly. Mrs. Pat Yingst of Covington, Ohio, says, “When baking a cake, rap your pans sharply on the countertop before putting them in the oven. This will eliminate most of the air bubbles.”

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Dawn Ojan/Shutterstock

Don’t Let Cakes Dry Out

For a moist cake, Mrs. Pat Johannsen of Collins, Ohio, says, “I always put a pan of water in the oven while the cake is baking. The heat doesn’t rob the moisture this way.”

Find out the ways you’re using your kitchen appliances wrong.

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Prep It in Advance

Reader Susan Holtz of Ripon, Wisconsin, says, “Unfrosted cake layers can be frozen on a cookie sheet until firm, wrapped separately with plastic wrap and kept in the freezer. When they’re ready to use, just thaw, frost and serve.”

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Add a Secret Ingredient

Cindi Warren of Algona, Washington, says, “To ensure great moisture and texture in a chocolate cake, add a can of sauerkraut (well-drained) to your cake mix.”

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Keep the Cake Plate Clean

Before frosting a cake, Joy Lepak of St. Albert, Alberta, says, “Place strips of waxed paper under the bottom layer. After frosting, carefully remove the paper. You’ll have a clean plate.”

You’ll wish you knew these brilliant cooking shortcuts sooner.

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Use this Cleaning Secret

When a cake or cookie recipe calls for corn syrup or molasses, Nancy Goss of Pocahontas, Illinois, says, “First use nonstick cooking spray on your utensils and measuring cups. You’ll be surprised how easily everything comes off later.”

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Sprinkle on Some Sugar

Mrs. N. Dagerin of Levy County, Florida says, “I’ve found that sprinkling confectioners’ sugar on the cake plate will prevent the cake from sticking when you serve it later.”

Don’t miss this nostalgic roundup of nearly forgotten ingredients grandma always cooked with!

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Make It Better with Butter

To get cakes to pop out of the pan easily, reader Noalene Shows of Inverness, Mississippi, says, “Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine and pour it into the pan. Then turn the pan around and around until it’s coated evenly on the bottom and sides. Put the pan in the freezer and the butter or margarine hardens in a few minutes. Pour the batter into the pan and bake. The cake never sticks to the pan.”

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Create a Cake Flour Substitute

To substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour, Mrs. Henry Bechthold of Booker, Texas, says, “Use 1 cup of sifted all-purpose flour minus 2 level tablespoons for each cup of cake flour the recipe calls for.”

With these cake baking tips under your belt, you’re ready to whip up these easy cake recipes.

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Originally Published in Taste of Home

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