Baking a cake from scratch can seem like a daunting task, but with the right instructions and a little bit of patience, it can be a fun and rewarding process. In this guide, we’ll take you through all the steps necessary to make a delicious cake that will impress your friends and family.
Before we dive into the steps, let’s gather all the necessary ingredients you’ll need:- 2 cups all-purpose flour- 2 teaspoons baking powder- 1/2 teaspoon salt- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar- 2 eggs- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
Tools and Equipment
In addition to the ingredients, you’ll need a few essential tools and equipment:- Mixing bowl- Measuring cups and spoons- Rubber spatula- Whisk or hand mixer- 9-inch round cake pan- Parchment paper- Cooling rack
Now that we’ve got everything we need, let’s get started!1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).2. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan with butter. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and place it inside.3. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.4. In another mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar using a hand mixer or a whisk until light and fluffy (this should take around 3 minutes).5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.6. Add the vanilla extract and mix again.7. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk (beginning and ending with the flour mixture). Stir with a rubber spatula until everything is well combined.8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and use a spatula to smooth out the top.9. Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.10. Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes.11. Run a knife around the edge of the cake pan to loosen the cake, then carefully remove it from the pan and let it cool completely on the rack.
Decorating the Cake
Now that your cake has cooled down, it’s time to get creative and decorate it. Here are a few ideas to get you started:- Frosting: Use your favorite frosting recipe to cover the top and sides of the cake. You can use a buttercream frosting, cream cheese frosting, or even a chocolate ganache.- Fresh fruit: Top your cake with your favorite fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries.- Powdered sugar: Dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar for a simple and elegant look.
Tips and Tricks
- Make sure you have all the ingredients and equipment ready to go before you start mixing.
- Don’t overmix the batter or your cake will be tough and dry.
- To test if the cake is done, insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, you’re good to go!
- Let the cake cool completely before decorating. A warm cake will melt the frosting and ruin your decorations.
Now that you’ve completed your first cake, you can experiment with different recipes, flavors, and decorations. Remember to have fun and enjoy the process!
Q: Can I substitute ingredients like whole milk or butter?A: While you can make substitutions, be aware that it can affect the texture and taste of the cake.
Q: Can I use a different size pan?A: Yes, but remember that it will affect the baking time and may result in a thinner or thicker cake.
Q: Can I make the batter ahead of time?A: It’s not recommended, as the leavening agents may lose their effectiveness over time.
Q: How do I know if I’ve overmixed the batter?A: Overmixed batter will result in a dense and rubbery cake. Stop mixing once everything is well combined.
Q: Do I need to refrigerate the cake?A: It depends on the type of frosting you used. If it’s a buttercream frosting, it’s best to store the cake in the fridge.