Baking tips

Best quality Chocolate chips

Try to use best quality chocolate chips. You can also use your favourite chocolate and chop it but keep it in fridge, until you mix. So it’s hard and doesn’t melt in batter.

Flour tips on baking cookies

  • DO NOT dig your cup in flour and fill it! You'll pack your flour tightly and add extra flour in recipe. Always spoon the flour in the measuring cup for correct measurement. A single extra spoon can make your cookie comparatively tough.
  • Another tips is always add ¼ cup less flour than called in recipe. Feel the dough and see if more flour is needed. If you are still not sure bake one cookie with less flour and see how it turn out. If it’s too flat than add remaining flour.

Avoid over beating

If you are using a stand mixer, this tip is for you. Avoid over beating of eggs in cookie dough. You will fill too much air in cookies and when they will cool after baking, they'll go flat. So annoying!

Chilling tips on baking cookies

  • All cookie doughs do not require chilling so you can skip it sometimes. But when your recipe calls for it or your cookie dough is soft and greasy, chilling is a must. Or you will end in flat crispy cookies. They won’t be as soft as you would want.
  • Another reason to suggest chilling is the cold centre of chilled cookies cooks slowly compared to outside. Giving you chewy outside and super soft inside.
  • This step is also important because it gives flour and other ingredients time to merge together, and hence provide heightened subtle flavor.
  • Chill dough overnight for best result. If you are in hurry, scoop cookie dough baking sheet and keep in fridge for 30 minutes. They'll chill quickly.
  • Lastly, if you chilled dough overnight and it is very cold, allow it to rest on counter for about 10 minutes so it is not very cold when it reaches the oven. If you don't the bottom of will be golden and center will be still undercooked.

Cooking time

8-10 minutes works best most of the time for me. But ovens behave differently. So, set your timer to 6 minutes and then look for visual sign of completion of baking. Visual signs win always. I keep staring at my cookies when they bake and it's so satisfying. You need light brown edges and centre will be under cooked for soft cookies. When you lift the cookies from baking sheet and transfer to wire rack, they’ll be very soft but they’ll firm up as they cool. For chewy cookies, you edges will be brown and center will be set.

Baking paper or baking mat

You can bake without baking paper but it really helps and doesn't allow cookie to spread too much. Flat cookie is crispy and chewy instead of being soft and gooey. Another reason is the extra layer between the metal tray and cookie allow them to get golden instead of getting too dark brown or burn.

Adding nuts

You can add your favourite nuts in cookies without altering anything in recipe. For around 3 cup flour batch of cookie you may add up to ¾ cup nuts of your choice.

Follow the Recipe

This sounds obvious, right? Following the recipe is the most important cake baking tip you’ll ever hear/read. It’s also the most ignored. We often substitute ingredients in recipes based on what we have. Subbing out eggs, reducing sugar, using liquid sweetener instead of dry, all-purpose instead of cake flour, baking soda for powder, egg whites instead of whole eggs, etc. I do not recommend doing this unless the recipe suggests alternatives. Don’t sabotage your time, effort, and money. I’m guilty of this, too! Sometimes I’m in a rush and just not paying attention or I’m making a substitution because I ran out of an ingredient. But ingredients are needed for a reason and, more often than not, a cake fail is because the recipe wasn’t properly followed. I always recommend following a recipe the first time you try it, then making changes as you see fit the next time. Likewise, make sure you’re using the appropriate size pan. Unless otherwise noted, don’t substitute a 6-inch cake pan for a 9-inch cake pan or a 9-inch round pan for a 9-inch square pan. You can usually get away with swapping 8-inch round cake pans for 9-inch round cake pans (and vice versa). 8-inch cakes will take longer since they’ll likely be thicker. But to prevent dense cakes, sunken cakes, overflowing cakes, and flimsy cakes, use the correct size pan.

Room Temperature

This tip could get a little long so let me direct you to my entire post on the subject. “Room temperature” isn’t listed next to ingredients for fun. There’s science and legitimate reason behind it. If a recipe calls for room temperature ingredients, use room temperature ingredients like eggs, sour cream, butter, and milk. To paint you a picture, let’s focus on room temperature butter in particular. Most cake recipes begin with creaming butter and sugar together. Butter is capable of holding air and the creaming process is when butter traps that air. While baking, that trapped air expands from the heat and produces a fluffy cake. Not only this, room temperature ingredients bond together easier and quicker since they’re warmer– thus reducing over-mixing. Simply put, cold ingredients do not emulsify together. Period. Room temperature butter is about 65°F (18°C), which might be colder than your kitchen. It’s cool to touch, not warm. If your cakes are dense, you’re probably softening the butter too much. Allow the butter to sit out on the counter for about 1-2 hours before beginning your recipe. To test it, poke the butter with your finger. Your finger should make an indent without sinking or sliding down into the butter. The butter should not be shiny or greasy. It will be cool to touch, not warm. Sometimes our schedules don’t allow 1-2 hours for softening butter prior to beginning a cake recipe. Don’t take a shortcut and microwave the butter because it will not heat evenly. But guess what? I have a foolproof trick for softening butter quickly. 🙂

Measure Properly

This tip also sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s where we most often make mistakes. The difference between a recipe success and a recipe failure could lie within 1 mis-measured tablespoon of sugar. Measuring ingredients properly is imperative. Flour is the most common mis-measured ingredient. When measuring flour, use the “spoon & level” method. Do not scoop the flour out of the container/bag with your measuring cup. In some cases, scooping the flour could give you 150% of the correct measurement. Disaster ensues. Rather, using a spoon, scoop the flour into the measuring cup. Do not pack the flour down and do not tap the measuring cup– both cause the flour to settle in the cup. After you’ve spooned the flour into the measuring cup, use the back of a knife to level off the top of the measuring cup. Now you have spoon & leveled flour. Baking is not very forgiving. Understanding the correct measuring technique for a particular ingredient will guarantee better baking results. See my post about how to properly measure baking ingredients for a deeper dive into proper measuring practices.