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Your 5 Biggest Baking Problems. Solved.

Your 5 Biggest Baking Problems. Solved.

    1. Consider the chemistry of an ingredient before making substitutions.
    2. Overmixing batter makes baked goods chewy.
    3. Avoid overcrowding your baking sheets and pans to ensure even baking.

Whether it’s apple pie or maple cookies, cool fall weather means baking season is a go! To keep this time in the kitchen sweet and successful, here are 5 quick fixes for the most common baking blunders.


Approximate measurements can work when cooking, but baking requires precision. Even small changes in ingredient amounts can dramatically effect baked treats.

  • What to do: Ensure measuring cups and spoons are in good condition. Take the time to accurately measure each ingredient before you begin. When measuring liquids, use a clear glass or plastic cup marked with easy-to-read measurements, like the BAKER’S SECRET® ESSENTIALS 4 CUP MEASURING CUP. For dry ingredients, like flour, avoid scooping directly from the bag or container. Doing so can pack the ingredient too firmly, adding more than the recipe calls for. Instead, use a dry measuring cup with a flat rim, like the BAKER’S SECRET® ESSENTIALS 4-PC WHITE MEASURING CUP. Spoon the ingredient into the cup until it’s heaping above the rim, then use the back of a knife to level off before adding to the bowl.

Though there are many potential baking substitutions, swapped ingredients can effect the chemistry—and therefore the final flavor or texture—of your treat. For example, applesauce can replace butter in a recipe, but it won’t produce the flaky texture and richness that butter would.

  • What to do: Before deciding on a replacement, take time to understand the role that ingredient plays in the recipe (i.e. binder, leavening, etc.). It’s also a good idea to make sure you have ample opportunity for trial and error. Avoid experimenting with substitutions before a big holiday or event. If you’re planning multiple substitutions, it’s best to find a new recipe that aligns better with your needs.

Eggs, butter and milk typically bake best when used at room temperature. Warm ingredients disperse into batter more consistently, which helps goodies bake evenly and gives them a lighter texture.

  • What to do: When recipes call for room temperature ingredients, remove eggs, milk and/or butter from the fridge 30 minutes to 1 hour before baking. If you forget, place cold eggs in a bowl of slightly warm water for about 15 minutes to gently bring to temp. To soften butter stat, try grating the cold bar with a cheese grater and let the flakes sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.

To avoid rubbery desserts, gently mix your batter once dry ingredients are added. Once combined, mixing wet ingredients with dry will activate glutens. A little, and you’ll give your baked good nice structure, but overdo it and you’ll lose the delicate texture.

  • What to do: When using the mixer, use the lowest speed setting while adding dry ingredients. Or for more control, gently stir by hand with a BAKER’S SECRET® ESSENTIALS 10″ STAINLESS STEEL WHISK. Resist the urge to keep stirring once everything is combined—even if there are a few lumps in the batter.

Batch baking is time consuming, so it may be tempting to speed things up by adding a few extra cookies to a sheet. But crowd or overfill a pan and batter won’t have room to grow, which means treats will bake unevenly.

  • What to do: For evenly baked cookies, place only 9 to 12 on a standard cookie sheet. If you want to make larger batch, upgrade to a BAKER’S SECRET® PREMIUM™ LARGE COOKIE SHEET, which can fit 16. For cakes and cupcakes, fill muffin cups just two-thirds full. This will allow plenty of room for rising.

Just a few simple tips, but they’ll take your baking to new heights—literally! Cookies, cakes, cupcakes, quick breads, batters and doughs will all rise high, benefitting big-time from these tricks.


YOUR TURN: What’s your favorite baking tip for pro results #bakerssecret