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Help, how to bake a cake?

(15 Posts)
twinniesmum2013 Sun 02-Feb-14 23:06:41

I am a keen cook and do ok but for some reason I just cannot bake a cake. I follow the recipe to the letter (well at least I think I do) but it never works out. My twins are turning 1 at the end of the month and I desperately would love to make their 1st birthday cake. Any help would be really appreciated!

I'm a confident baker but wanted to knock something up quickly today so I tried Paul Hollywood's Victoria sponge recipe and it honestly couldn't bread easier. You just chuck all of the ingredients in together and whisk.

If you don't already have one buy an electric hand whisk, mine was a fiver from comet over 10 years ago and its still going strong.

*be easier

Cindy34 Sun 02-Feb-14 23:13:20

Weigh the eggs in their shells. Then use that weight as the weight of the sugar, butter, flour.

Add an extra tea spoon of baking powder to the self raising flour.

Try doing little cup cakes / fairy cakes rather than a big cake if you find things do not rise correctly. fairy cakes grouped together can make for a good birthday cake and no need to slice!

Cindy34 Sun 02-Feb-14 23:16:44

Agree, cheap electric hand whisk. Though do not use butter straight from the fridge, broke a whisk that way. Butter needs to be soft.

Ovens can be temperamental, the temp gauge may not be accurate. Experiment a bit with your oven, try putting cake on lowest rack if you find it burns before it sets.

twinniesmum2013 Mon 03-Feb-14 09:02:55

Thank you so much I'm going to use both your suggestions and get practicing! You've been a big help smile

nannycook Tue 04-Feb-14 19:42:16

Twinkies, have a go it really is simple, I always chuck everything in and beat for 2 mins, always turns out great and have many comments on how nice my cakes are, I make loads of cakes for people, got 6 this month and I use the same recipe changing the quantities for different size tins.

nannycook Tue 04-Feb-14 19:43:06

Sorry I meant twinnies.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Tue 04-Feb-14 19:48:28

Use good quality ingredients, not supermarket own flour. It does make a difference. And make sure the tin you use is the right size for your mixture - is use the size the recipe states. A too big or too small tin will affect how the cake turns out.

breatheslowly Tue 04-Feb-14 20:29:00

I love baking, and I think part of the reason is that I have the right kit. Middleagedmotheroftwo is right about the tin size. I think 8 inch is the most commonly used one in recipes, so if you don't have any then start with a couple of them. I'd start with an easy Victoria sponge recipe - like the ones suggested above. Or even buy a tub of stork (Mary Berry uses stork) and make the recipe on the size of the tub.

Having an electric hand whisk or something to do the creaming stage for you or just beating everything together is very useful.

When I want to try out and perfect a recipe, I tend to take my attempts into work (provided they aren't complete disasters).

JassyRadlett Tue 04-Feb-14 20:31:14

And make sure your eggs and milk aren't fridge-cold.

Baking is basically chemistry, so it's quite sensitive so temperature etc.?

twinniesmum2013 Wed 12-Feb-14 21:46:22

Hi all thought I'd give you an update- well I bought new 8 inch tins and have had a go at the Paul Hollywood recipe as recommended and it worked! Thank you so much everyone for all of your help :-) I am certain now that the boys birthday cake will be not only edible but enjoyable YAY!!!!

grin that recipe is great isn't it? You know you need to do something fancy with the decorating for the birthday cake now don't you?

twinniesmum2013 Wed 12-Feb-14 22:08:22

Yep the pressure's on! I'm going to decorate it with fondant stars and stripes (I think) - I've spent a small fortune on the proper tools so hopefully it'll turn out ok hmm

trufflehunterthebadger Tue 18-Feb-14 01:15:40

soft margarine - I always use it and my sponges are always perfect

when you think the sugar and butter is creamed enough, beat it some more.

Don't overmix once the flour is in

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