Baking is not always easy work. From prepping food to mixing to cutting and serving, everyone could use a little help in the kitchen from time to time. These baking hacks are intended to make your life easier by streamlining the baking process.
From slicing cheesecake with an unexpected household item to quickly ripening bananas on command and even making DIY buttermilk to order, these tips will help assist you in creating recipes in sometimes unexpected, but always delightful ways.
1. CUT CHEESECAKE WITH DENTAL FLOSS.
For perfect cheesecake slices, every time, just reach into your…medicine cabinet? Yep! Unflavored dental floss, held tautly and drawn back and forth in a gentle sawing motion, will yield clean cheesecake slices and doubles as a droll conversation starter.
2. TURN GRANULATED SUGAR INTO CONFECTIONERS’ SUGAR.
If you’ve run out of confectioner’s sugar, you can make more easily by putting granulated sugar in a blender, blending until it has reached a powdery consistency, and then use as specified in your recipe.
3. SOFTEN BROWN SUGAR WITH AN APPLE SLICE.
If your brown sugar has turned hard as a rock, there’s still hope. Place a slice of apple with the brown sugar for several hours in an airtight container, and it will soften the sugar. For more methods, of softening brown sugar, check out this post on how to soften brown sugar.
4. HEAT CITRUS TO RELEASE THE MOST JUICE.
Warm citrus releases more juice than its chilly counterparts. Heat citrus fruits for 5-10 seconds in the microwave before juicing for best results.
5. USE NON-STICK SPRAY TO RELEASE HARD-TO-MEASURE INGREDIENTS.
When measuring sticky ingredients such as honey or molasses, make sure you get all of the ingredient out of the measuring cup by spraying it with non-stick spray before measuring. You’ll release every bit of the sticky stuff, making for a happy recipe and less cleanup.
6. COMBINE VINEGAR AND MILK FOR INSTANT BUTTERMILK.
Who has buttermilk around when you need it? A trip to the store is not necessary–all you have to do is combine milk with a little vinegar. This method and more can be found in our guide on on how to make DIY pantry staples.
7. STORE YOUR CAKE IN THE MICROWAVE.
Looking for a spot to stow your cake at room temperature? Use the microwave. It’s sealed, it’s free of dust, and it will keep your cake fresher longer. It’s an easy way to store your cake for optimal freshness.
8. REMOVE EGGSHELL EASILY
Got a bit of excess eggshell in the bowl when you cracked an egg? Simply wet your finger and reach it in, and the eggshell bit will magnetically be attracted. Seriously amazing!
9. MAKE YOUR OWN BROWN SUGAR
All you need to make DIY brown sugar is granulated sugar and a little molasses. Here’s our simple recipe.
10. EASILY REMOVE THE SKINS FROM HAZELNUTS
Once heated in the oven, roll the hazelnuts between a folded over kitchen towel. You’ll effectively remove the majority of the skins. A little bit of skin may still hang on, but rest assured, this is the grunt work. This is a perfect way to prep your nuts for homemade Nutella.
11. SHAVE OFF THE BURNT PORTION OF CAKES OR MUFFINS
Using a vegetable peeler, shave off the burnt part of cakes or muffins that baked a little too long. This way you can shave away only the burnt bits but preserve as much cake as you can! This method works for toast, too.
12. STABILIZE WHIPPED CREAM WITH MARSHMALLOW FLUFF
Make your whipped cream last and hold its shape longer by adding a little fluff to the mix. It will give your whipped cream the structure it needs to avoid wilting. This and other helpful methods of stabilizing whipped cream are detailed in this post on stabilizing whipped cream.
13. MAKE A PAPER PLATE A DIY SPATTER GUARD ON YOUR STAND MIXER
Here’s a nifty tip: Remove the blade or beaters from your mixture, and perforate a paper plate on the top portion of the beater. Secure it back in place, and you’ve got yourself an instant spatter guard for your next recipe.
14. WARM EGGS IN WATER TO MAKE THEM BAKING-READY
Do you have a recipe which calls for room temperature eggs? Place eggs from the fridge in warm water for a few minutes to bring them to room temperature, and fast.
15. USE COOKIE CUTTERS AS A SPRINKLE STENCIL
Use a cookie cutter as an impromptu stencil: gently pour sprinkles inside of its lines directly on top of a cake. Lift the cutter and you’ll have a clear outline. This works best with recognizable shapes, such as hearts or stars, and numbers or letters.
16. RIPEN YOUR BANANAS, FAST
Want to make banana bread but only have green bananas? Make ’em soft by roasting the whole bananas in a 300 F oven until soft and dark brown. It’s as if you’ve got old bananas! Perfect for cakes and breads.
17. SAVE STALE CAKE BY PUTTING IT IN A STEAM BATH
Got stale cake? Bring it back to life with a steam bath. Placing a slice or entire cake over simmering water will reduce dryness directly before serving, ensuring a moist cake eating experience.
18. USE LEFTOVER YOGURT…TO MAKE MORE YOGURT
Using the dregs of your yogurt container, you can create a starter to make your own homemade yogurt, which is cheaper and far tastier than store bought varieties. Here’s an easy 4 step method for making yogurt at home.
19. USE BUBBLE WRAP FOR AN INSTANT CHOCOLATE GARNISH
Here’s an easy idea for an impressive chocolate garnish: spread melted chocolate on top of impeccably clean bubble wrap. Let it set, peel off the bubble wrap, and you have a very cool-looking piece of chocolate, ideal for decorating the top of a cake.