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How to Prepare the Best Homemade Cake From Scratch?

To bake a delicious cake, you need to know the best homemade recipe for cakes. Unlike boxed mixes, these recipes are not as time-consuming as you think, and you can easily double or triple the recipe to meet your needs. Listed below are some tips on baking a cake. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully. This will ensure that your cake turns out just like you want it. You can also make your cake mix if you’re feeling creative.

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The cake is one of life’s simple pleasures. Baking your cake is just as much fun as eating it. To prepare a delicious cake, start by preparing the ingredients. For instance, you’ll need all-purpose flour. Then, you can substitute it with cake flour if you prefer a lighter cake. Besides, line your baking pan with parchment paper before baking the cake. You’ll want to let the cake cool completely before frosting it. The frosting should be room temperature, too. It’s best to use a pan that can accommodate three layers.

What Is a Scratch Cake?

Baking from scratch indicates that instead of utilizing boxed mixes or other pre-made ingredients, the cook uses only fresh, essential components to make a cake, cookies, or another delight. Scratch cakes and baked products are frequently the exceptions to the rule, given the prevalence of baking from a box. With phrases like these, it’s easy to tell who’s baking the old-fashioned way and who’s cheating a little. Sweet is one of the most well-known uses of this phrase.

Various treats can be purchased ready-made or cooked from a boxed mix that takes a few additional ingredients. Making a scratch cake or cookies, on the other hand, implies starting from scratch using essential components like flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Many dessert connoisseurs prefer homemade baked items over store-bought or boxed desserts.

How to Prepare the Best Homemade Cake From Scratch?

An irresistible homemade dessert is a freshly baked cake coated in frosting. Intimidated? Begin here. Whether you need a special birthday cake or an extravagant holiday cake, we’ll show you how to make a moist and delectable cake every time. We’ll even show you how to frost a cake to make it seem flawless.

Step 1: Prepare Baking Pans

Nobody wants their cake to stick to the pan, so make sure your pans are ready before pouring the mixture in. Most recipes call for greasing and flouring the pan or lining the pan with waxed or parchment paper, except for angel food and chiffon cakes.

Our Test Kitchen loves glossy pans for a golden appearance when choosing a baking pan. Reduce the oven temperature by 25°F and check doneness 3 to 5 minutes early if using a dark or dull-finish pan to avoid over-browning.

Step 2: Allow Ingredients to Reach Room Temperature

Many cake recipes call for eggs and butter to be at room temperature before being used. This allows the butter to easily combine with the other ingredients, resulting in a larger cake volume. (Do not leave the eggs at room temperature for longer than the recipe specifies for food safety reasons.)

Step 3: Preheat the Oven

A cake that bakes too rapidly might develop tunnels and cracks, whereas one that bakes slowly can become gritty. Allow your oven to warm for at least 10 minutes, then check the temperature using an oven thermometer. If you’re using black cake pans, you’ll need to lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 4: Stir Together Dry Ingredients

Flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt are common dry ingredients. Rather than adding each dry ingredient to the batter one time, mix them in a basin first ($6, Walmart). This ensures that the components are dispersed evenly throughout the batter.

Step 5: Combine the Butter and Sugar

Wondering how to make a cake with a light, airy crumb? Creaming butter and sugar is the essential step. Here’s how:

  • For 30 seconds, whip the butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed. A stand mixer should be set to a medium speed for this step, while a hand mixer should be set to a faster speed.
  • On medium speed, beat in the sugar (and vanilla extract if the recipe calls for it) until the mixture is well blended and has a light, fluffy texture. It will take 3 to 5 minutes to complete this task. (DO NOT slash this.) While beating, scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. As the butter and sugar are blended, tiny bubbles will form, giving your cake a beautiful, light, fluffy feel.

Step 6: Add Eggs One at a Time

One at a time, add the eggs (or egg whites), beating well after each addition. To retain texture, their protein develops structure around air bubbles.

Step 7: Alternate Adding Dry and Wet Ingredients

Alternate adding some of the flour mixture and some of the milk (or other liquid specified in the recipe) to the butter, egg, and sugar combination, beating on low speed until incorporated after each addition. The flour mixture should be used to begin and end the process. This is because when liquid is mixed with flour, gluten forms. A cake with too much gluten will be difficult, so start and finish with flour and don’t overmix after adding the liquid.

Step 8: Pour Batter into Pans and Bake

Using a spatula, evenly distribute the batter across the baking pans. Spread the batter in a uniform layer with an offset spatula, and spread it to the pan’s edge. Bake your cake according to the directions on the package.

Step 9: Check Cake for Doneness

Overbaked cake is dry cake, which no one wants. Start testing the cake for doneness after the minimum baking time specified in the recipe, but don’t open the oven door until it’s time to prevent heat loss. Insert a wooden toothpick near the center of the cake for creamed cakes. The cake is made when the pick comes out clean (with only a few crumbs). If the cake has any wet batter on it, bake it for a few minutes longer and test it with a new toothpick in a different area.

Step 10: Cool the Cake

Allow 10 minutes for the cakes to cool in the pans on a wire rack. Run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the sides and remove it from the pans. Flip the pan over and place a wire rack on the cake. Carefully lift the pan away from the cake, careful not to damage the sides. If you use waxed or parchment paper, gently pull it away from the cake.

Allow the cake to cool completely before serving (about 1 hour). This is essential in allowing the cake to firm up and become less likely to break apart while being frosted. (Plus, it prevents the frosting from melting as soon as it’s applied!)

Step 11: Assemble the Cake

Brush the cake layers with a pastry brush before assembling to avoid crumbs in your icing. Apply about 12 cups of frosting to the first layer, then gently place the second layer on top. Continue until all of the layers are piled.

Step 12: Add the First Coat of Frosting

A crumb coat is a key to knowing how to frost a layer of cake. Spread a fragile layer of frosting over the sides and top of the cake. This first coat doesn’t have to be perfect; it’s another way to protect crumbs from getting into the icing. Allow the cake to rest for 30 minutes to allow the icing to set.

Step 13: Frost and Decorate

Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake with an offset spatula or a table knife, swirling. Please return to the cake and add more swirls as desired once it is entirely coated. Serve the cake right away or preserve it in the refrigerator.

What Makes Cake Moist and Fluffy?

Here are some essential tips to make a cake moist and fluffy:

  • The temperature of each component plays a vital part in making the cake spongy. The butter should be warm, while the flour and eggs should be at room temperature.
  • Make a figure 8 motion while folding the mixture. Don’t over-mix it if you want a highly spongy cake, as this will kill the bubbles and make the cake hard.
  • The cake becomes softer as the buttermilk breaks down gluten in the flour due to its high acidic content. If you’re using buttermilk in a recipe that doesn’t call for baking soda, it’s good to mix a pinch of baking soda with the buttermilk.
  • Cake flour is much lighter and fluffier than all-purpose flour, resulting in lighter and fluffier cakes. Cake flour contains corn starch, which makes the cake spongy.
  • Sifting adds air to the mixture, making it lighter. If you want your cake to be spongy and fluffy, sift the flour and baking soda before adding them to the mixture.
  • If you beat the eggs incorrectly, the cake will be heavier. The proper method is to beat 1/3 of an egg into the butter-sugar mixture with an electronic mixer. Repeat with the remaining ingredients until it resembles slime.

What Does Milk Do in a Cake?

This is self-evident, but liquid (in this example, milk) will provide moisture to cake batter. Double-check your measurements to ensure that the ratios are not thrown off. Adding too much milk in the pursuit of a moist cake can quickly backfire, resulting in a cake that is either excessively dense or fails to rise correctly.
The amount of moisture imparted will also be determined by the type of milk utilized. Because whole milk and buttermilk have more fat, they will contribute more moisture to your dish than low-fat milk. Because fat keeps a cake moist, it’s better to use whole milk if the cake recipe only calls for milk. The texture of a cake is also affected by milk. As previously stated, the amount of texture added affects the type of texture.

Milk makes the texture lighter and more robust (thanks to the protein and lactic acid). The appropriate amount of flour prevents the cake from becoming dense. Other elements in the cake mix, such as learners, are activated by milk (and other liquids) (baking soda, baking powder). It also helps everything mix nicely and produces steam to help the cake rise, just like any other liquid in a cake recipe. It also triggers the production of gluten, which is what gives a cake its structure. On the other hand, over-mixing the cake batter might cause the gluten to develop excessively, resulting in a dense and compact cake.

Conclusion

After you’ve gathered all of your ingredients, start creaming the butter, sugar, and eggs together. Combine the egg whites and vanilla essence in a mixing bowl. You can also season to taste with salt. After all of the ingredients have been thoroughly blended, you can begin icing your cake. Make sure the cake stand is completely covered in icing.

If desired, cover the top of the cake stand with parchment paper. Sprinkles can be used to add a festive touch if desired. Patience is also required for the most incredible homemade cake recipes from scratch. The reverse creaming method, for example, calls for mixing the dry ingredients with the butter until they approximate a sandy texture. After that, add the wet components one at a time, alternating with the dry ingredients. The end product is a moist, light, and adequately shaped cake. You’ll be happy with the finished outcome regardless of the occasion.