You don’t have to work in a professional kitchen to bake like a pro. In fact, all you really need to produce delicious and beautiful baked goods at home is a little good old-fashioned ingenuity. There are all kinds of creative ways to get the job done that don’t involve fancy tools or expensive ingredients. Yet, the end results still turn out just as good as ever.
From how to make intricate designs with frosting to other more basic stuff like how to warm up eggs faster, these 30 Baking Hacks are things that everyone should know. Once you learn these tips and tricks, you’ll likely never bake the same way ever again.
1. Ripen bananas faster
If you are in a time crunch and need your bananas to ripen faster, put them on a baking sheet and throw them in the oven for 40 minutes at 300°F. They will come out perfectly ripe and ready to be made into a delicious banana bread right away instead of having to wait for days on end for them to ripen on their own.
2. Eggshell problems
Everyone knows how annoying it can be when you crack an egg and a little piece of the shell accidentally falls into the bowl. The tiny pieces are so hard to get out! Next time this happens, just wet your finger and place it next to the shell. It will be drawn to your finger and stick to it.
3. Cookie cutting
If you dip your cookie cutter in flour before using it, it will slice right through the dough much easier. There will be next to no sticking. You may have to add a little more flour occasionally depending on how many cookies you are cutting. The idea is to keep it nice and coated.
4. Boxed cake secrets
Next time you are using pre-made cake mix in a box, try replacing the vegetable oil in the recipe with butter. It will taste much better that way. For an even richer cake, you can also use milk, coconut milk, buttermilk, or juice instead of water.
5. Warming up eggs
A lot of recipes state that you should use room temperature eggs. If you’ve just taken the eggs out of the fridge, that could take a while. One way to warm them up faster is to place the uncracked eggs into a bowl of warm water. After a few minutes, they will be ready for use.
6. Applying frosting
Ever wonder how the professionals get the frosting on their cakes and cookies looking so perfect? The trick is to use a syringe. Fill a syringe with the frosting and then squeeze it out in whatever design you would like.
7. Softening butter
Ever pull a stick of butter out of the fridge or the freezer and it is hard as a rock? Soften it up faster by placing the butter in a plastic baggie, then going over it with a rolling pin. Use a rubber spatula to scrape it back out the bag.
8. Keeping cookies moist
If not stored properly, cookies can get stale and hard rather quick. In order to keep them moist, try placing an apple wedge in the container with them. The apple wedge will keep the cookies from drying out as quickly.
9. Grate your butter
When making biscuits and pie crusts, you want your butter to be as evenly distributed throughout the dough as possible. An easy way to accomplish this is to grate your butter before mixing it in. Any regular cheese grater will work just fine.
10. Powdered sugar designs using lace
If you are out of frosting, make cool designs on the top of your cupcakes or cookies by sprinkling some powdered sugar through a piece of lace. Simply place the lace on the baked good. Then pour a small coating of powdered sugar over it.
11. Make powdered sugar
If a recipe calls for powdered sugar, but all you have is regular sugar, don’t fret! You can make your own. Add one cup of sugar to a food processor or blender along with one tablespoon of corn starch. Then lightly pulse a few times until it reaches the desired consistency.
12. Color frosting with Jello
If you don’t have food coloring on hand, one alternative way to color frosting is to use Jello mix. It also adds a delicious fruity flavor to the frosting. Follow this recipe so you get the perfect balance of color and flavor. You don’t want to accidentally use too much.
13. Mixer splash guard
Make your own mixer splash guard by using a paper plate. Punch a hole in the middle of the plate and fit it around your mixer. The plate will prevent any of your ingredients from splattering out of the bowl as you mix away. This hack works for both hand and stand mixers.
14. Hardened brown sugar
If your brown sugar is hard as a brick and stuck in a bunch of clumps, try microwaving it. Place the brown sugar in a baking dish and cover it with a wet paper towel. Then microwave for around 20 seconds. It should come out much softer.
15. Sticky measuring
One of the big problems with measuring out sticky substances like honey or molasses is that they always get stuck in the measuring cup. Next time, try coating your measuring cups with cooking spray first. It will make whatever you are measuring slide back out much easier.
16. Keeping brown sugar soft
Prevent brown sugar from hardening by keeping a slice of bread in the container with it. You can also use a few large marshmallows. Don’t worry about the bread becoming moldy either. It normally isn’t an issue and you should rarely have to change it out.
17. Slicing baked goods
Dental floss works great for slicing through things like cinnamon rolls or cheesecakes. It will cut right through perfectly without any sticking like when using a knife. This hack works for pretty much any soft baked good.
18. Create your own brown sugar
If you find yourself fresh out of brown sugar, create your own by mixing together white sugar and molasses. Combine one cup of sugar with 2 tablespoons of molasses and mix. It’s easiest if you have a small food processor, but it can also be mixed with a spoon.
19. Fluffier whipped cream
When making your own whip cream from scratch, chilling the bowl and mixer beaters in the freezer beforehand will result in a much fluffier end product. Everyone loves a light and airy whipped cream. The cold will help to create stiffer peaks.
20. Making gluten-free flour
Want to try baking some gluten-free cookies? Make your own gluten-free flour by running oats through a food processor. Not only will it work just as good as regular flour, but it is also healthy and delicious.
21. Getting rid of air bubbles
Air bubbles can be so annoying when making cakes. They can ruin an otherwise smooth cake or cheesecake. Next time, try hitting your pan full of batter on the counter top a few times before baking. It will force the air bubbles out of the batter.
22. Replace butter with avocado
If you are looking for a slightly healthier alternative to butter when baking, try replacing it with avocado. It’s not exactly the same but is a decent option. It’s probably best to try it out first with an avocado specific recipe like this chocolate avocado cake.
23. Measuring cupcake batter
For perfectly uniform cupcakes, try measuring the batter using an ice cream scoop. It makes it so much easier to get an even amount in each of the liners. It also helps to spray the ice cream scoop with cooking spray first to prevent sticking.
24. Wine bottle rolling pin
If you are ever in a crunch and find yourself without a rolling pin, try using a big glass bottle like a wine bottle. They work great. The long skinny neck of the bottle makes them very easy to hang onto and roll across your dough.
25. Prevent a cooking spray mess
It’s easy to end up with cooking oil everywhere when spraying it onto your baking pans and trays. Spraying your pan over top of an open dishwasher is a good way to catch all of that stray oil. Next time you do a load of dishes, it will all be washed away.
27. Keep cake moist
Cake has a nasty habit of drying out super quickly if you let it sit too long before icing it. Putting a slice of bread on top of it while it is cooling will help to keep it moist until you are ready to apply the frosting.
27. Making boxed-cake moister
The secret to making boxed-cake mix moister? Add a spoonful of mayonnaise into the batter. It sounds gross, but it actually shouldn’t affect the flavor at all. Really, if you think about it, mayo is basically just eggs and oil.
28. Make your own sanding sugar
Sanding sugar can be really expensive for the amount that comes in the little containers. Luckily, it’s actually super easy to make your own sanding sugar sprinkles at home. All you need is regular sugar, some food coloring, and a rolling pin. More instructions can be found in this video tutorial.
29. Pie crusts
You don’t need a whole bunch of special tools to make fancy designs on the edges of your pie crusts. Forks, spoons, and even tongs all work great for creating cool little designs. For starters, try taking a fork and using it to make a crisscross pattern or take a spoon and simply work it around the edges making little indentations.
30. DIY icing bags
Make your own icing bag by using a zip-lock baggie or even just normal plastic wrap. Fill the bag up with icing. Cut a small hole in the corner of it. Then decorate away! It won’t have the little metal nozzle like the professional bags, but it will still definitely get the job done.