Baking Blog

Seriously Amazing: 20 Awesome Baking Hacks You Must Know!

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.

Discover secrets to easy and efficient baking with these top hacks!

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.

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1. Cut cheesecake with dental floss.

Layered Cheesecake

From Show-Stopping Cheesecakes with Zoë François

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.

Sifting Powdered Sugar

From Startup Library: Baking & Pastry with Zoë François

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.

Get a step-by-step tutorial for how to make your own confectioners’ sugar here.

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.

Lemons ready to peel

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. Heat the knife for perfect brownies, bars, and cakes every time.

Curious about how to get picture-perfect presentation for cake slices or bars? Run the knife under hot water for several seconds, dry off, then slice. The residual heat on the knife will make for clean, easy slices. Repeat the process for each slice.

7. Combine vinegar and milk for instant buttermilk.

Low Fat 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.

8. 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.

9. 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!

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. Stabilize whipped cream with marshmallow fluff

Stabilized Whipped Cream

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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

16. Use cookie cutters as a sprinkle stencil

Cookie Cutters

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.

17. 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.   

18. 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.

19. 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.

20. 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.

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Become a better baker!

Join expert Zoë François in this comprehensive beginner’s class, where she’ll teach you the basics of making delicious baked goods at home.
Watch in Craftsy Unlimited
FREE for 7 Days
Get the Class

31 Comments

Lydia Read

I would like to know who to remove the bottom of the pan off the cheesecake.

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Carly

You need a Springform Pan. The side completely detaches from the bottom of the pan and you slide it to your serving dish 🙂

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Virginia

Or you can use foil or parchment paper and it will lift right out.

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Elaine

Cut a circle of parchment paper the same size as the pan bottom and put it under your crust. After baking, remove the springform pan sides, slide a spatula above the parchment paper and transfer it to a plate – your crust shouldn’t stick to the paper. If it does, keep it on the paper (slide the spatula under the parchment)… it’ll still be off the pan bottom!

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Colette Soucy

I’m looking for a recipe for non melting icing sugar to put on top of shortbread cookies with strawberry jam.

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Bella

What baker’s use is BIANCA powder.

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Crys

They sell larger decorative granules for just this! Check your speacialty stores!

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Mary Owens

i would like to subscribe and cannot do it. Can you help me?

Reply
Winny

If you go to the top right of the page, you can subscribe to the blog. You will receive the blog each day via email, if you sign up for it. If you have problems, you can email Craftsy help, they are prompt with a reply, & will answer any questions you may have about becoming a member.
Good luck!

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The Ninja Baker

Great reminders, Jessie. And thank you for the intro to bubble wrap chocolate and marshmallow fluff and whipped cream!

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Coco in the Kitchen

These tips are crazy cool!
But, I want to know how I can eat my cake and not wear it. 😉

Reply
Melissa

“Hacks” does not mean “tips,” “tricks,” or “short-cuts.” “Hack” is a short chop with a cutting tool (usually an ax), someone who is a novice at something, the action of a “hacker,” or the driver of a taxi.

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Lara

Actually, Melissa, that is exactly what hack means.

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Dawn

#5 Another suggestion for cutting brownies is to use a plastic knife. Works great and the brownie doesn’t stick to the knife.

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shireen

Those are great tips

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Jackie lee

Share it to your timeline. just click the FB icon at the top of the page

Reply
ray

Instead of getting it sent to e=mail, just print it out, file it in a cookbook, and have it whenever you need it.

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Zoe

I worry about people making there own yogurt by reusing old yogurt. Yogurt is made by growing a certain type of “good” bacteria but if your using a spoon and putting it in ur mouth then putting it back in to the yogurt ur potentially add harmful bacteria, it maybe harmless in small amounts but once ur grow the bacteria cultures into large numbers it might not be harmless anymore

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Barb

Hadn’t thought of that. Just take a spoon or two out of the container first with a clean spoon and shouldn’t that take care of it.

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kathy

I’ve found the microwave is also an excellent place to hide cake from other family members. As long as you don’t forget it’s there.

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shelley

Do NOT put eggs in water! the water makes the shell act like a sponge and let all the germs that are on the shell to penetrate into the egg. If you must warm the eggs fast then break them into a bowl and put that bowl in a bowl of warm water…

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Barb

Thanks for this hint….makes good sense

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Victrix

If you are cooking the eggs afterward, in a cake or something, putting them in water would probably be fine.

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Calvin J. Fintor

So what happens to all the germs and bacteria when you hard boil eggs?

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Lisa

You are not putting the eggs in the warm water very long. 1 minute at most will not hurt the egg.

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faryal siddique

I am big time foody and mad for cakes.I was going through the blogs and suddenly I saw this blog such a beautiful blog and yummy too.I have seen it again and again. This blog and sweetfrost is very helpful for me they provide the best facilities.

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Lara

Reg.# o tip .If you want to always have “egg” buy a bag of EGG REPLACEMENT , it works the same as eggs do without the unhealthy crap& cruelty free !

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Winne Peterson

Mixing milk and vinegar makes sour milk – an adequate substitute for buttermilk, but it does not make buttermilk nor will it impart the delicious flavor of buttermilk. Buttermilk is obtained by churning cream and removing the resulting butter. What remains is buttermilk. Yum!!

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Berta

That’s how what is now known as “traditional” buttermilk is made, but it’s very different than the cultured buttermilk we buy in the store—at least it was every time I’ve made butter. I’m not sure how cultured is made, but I suspect the process is more like making yogurt, maybe removing part of the butterfat ( not the same as butter) before adding a culture to the milk? Or maybe it’s just magic…

Reply
Helen

Mix a tablespoon of lemon juice with enough milk to make one cup. Let stand five minutes and you will have buttermilk.

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Shirley

I dislike these forums where people contribute good ideas that have worked for them and then “know-it-alls) have to try and dismiss the tip. Sometimes it just the way it is said (very critical) rather than a (I have done it this way). Why are people so nasty on line?

Reply

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