The Secrets of Perfect Baking

With the retro baking revival in full swing, we’ve teamed up with cake experts, Stork to pull together our best recipes and secrets for great bakes. Since its launch in 1920, Stork has established itself as one of the most trusted names in home baking, offering advice and recipes for over 90 years. And let’s be honest, we’re no strangers to baking (and eating) cakes, pies and cookies either.

Whether you’re baking cupcakes for afternoon tea or a warming tart for the family, Stork blocks and tubs contain just the right amount of fat to ensure your dish turns out perfectly. We hope these delicious recipes, tips and tricks will give you the knowledge you need to whip up flawless cakes and bakes every time.

12 Tips for Baking Great Cakes

1. Cream Stork Until Pale and Fluffy

We love using Stork tubs for whipping up light and fluffy sponges that stay moist. The best bit is that it creams up perfectly straight from the fridge so no more waiting around for your butter to reach room temperature. All you need to do is beat Stork with sugar until very pale, then whisk in your eggs and finally, fold in the flour with a spatula or metal spoon.

2. Achieve a Light Sponge

For a light and airy cake, sieve your flour to help air get into the mixture and remove any lumps.

3. Always Measure

Baking is scientific, so measure ingredients and follow recipes exactly. Invest in some digital scales so you can be really precise.

4. Be Conservative with Raising Agents

Droops and dips can be caused by using too much baking powder or baking soda. If in doubt, always use less.

5. Grease Your Tins

Always grease your tins with Stork and line them with baking paper. When you remove the cakes from the oven leave them for about 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. They should slide out easily.

6. Check Your Oven is at the Right Temperature

If your oven tends to be hotter than the temperature you’ve set it to, use an oven thermometer to ensure it is accurate.

7. Get an Even Bake

Make sure cake tins don’t touch each other or the sides of the oven or they may become overcooked in some places.

8. Don't Keep Opening the Oven Door

Allow at least three quarters of the cooking time to pass before opening the oven door or your cake is likely to sink in the middle. It's important to keep a consistent temperature.

9. Test with a Metal Skewer

Cakes are ready when an inserted skewer comes out clean. We prefer using metal skewers over bamboo as they’re much sharper and uncooked batter is easier to see.

10. A Note on Fan-assisted Ovens

If your cakes rise into volcano-like peaks, your oven temperature is too high. This is common with fan-assisted ovens. Next time, try turning your oven 10 degrees lower to see if it makes a difference.

11. Bake Even Cupcakes

Make equal-sized cupcakes by using an ice cream scoop to divide the batter between the cases.

12. Cover Up Imperfections

Don’t worry if you accidently burn your cake. Just cut off the burnt edges and smother in icing to cover up the imperfections. Nobody will ever know the difference!

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