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Baking Cakes

Whether you plan to make a cake from scratch or from a boxed mix, start by reading the ingredient list and directions. Make sure you have every ingredient on hand before you begin. Cakes can fail miserably if key ingredients are left out and you won’t have time to run for missing items once you begin.

Get out the proper sized pan(s) and prepare them to keep the cake from sticking. Rub the inside of the pan with butter or vegetable shortening (Crisco) using a paper towel, then add a tablespoon or two of flour and shake it around to lightly coat the inside. Dump out any excess flour and set the pan aside.

Preheat your oven to the required temperature from the recipe.

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Permalink Chapter: One  

Follow your recipe step by step, measuring ingredients as accurately as possible and adding them in the order specified. Most cake recipes begin by combining dry ingredients like flour, cocoa and baking powder, then adding wet ingredients like eggs, milk and oil.

Mix the cake batter as specified on the recipe, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Once all ingredients are added and the batter is fully mixed, pour it evenly into your prepared pans and set them in the preheated oven to bake. Only fill pans 2/3 of the way full as the cake will rise during baking.

Close the oven door, set your timer to the time specified in the recipe and wait. Resist the urge to open the oven door – heat will escape and may cause the cake to fall.

Once the timer goes off, check for doneness by inserting a toothpick, wooden skewer or cake tester into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean or with only a few small crumbs on it, the cake is done. If not, put it back in the oven for another 4-5 minutes.

Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 15-30 minutes.

When the cake has cooled, run a butter knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the sides, place the wire rack over the top of the pan, invert it and tap lightly to remove the cake. Let it cool completely before decorating.

Frost and decorate as desired and enjoy.

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