Our Test Kitchen’s Top Tips For Beautiful Cakes

tips for beautiful cakes

Our expert tips and tricks walk you through successful cake-baking from start to finish.

1. Choose the right color pan. Darker pans can cause a cake to bake faster and develop a darker and crispier exterior. Check the cake for doneness 5 to 10 minutes earlier and reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees when using dark pans. Out go-to cake pan in any size is Williams Sonoma‘s Goldtouch Nonstick Round Cake Pan. It’s made of commercial steel and coated in a ceramic finish, so cakes are less likely to burn.

2. Use room temperature ingredients. Bring eggs, butter, and milk to room temperature. The ingredients will combine fully into a smooth batter for a lighter and more tender cake.

3. Scale your batter. This will make every layer the same thickness for a more beautiful outcome. Place a clean bowl on top of your kitchen scale and tare it by pressing “zero.” Add your batter to the bowl to get a total weight, and divide that weight by the number of pans you’re using. Place each pan on the scale, tare it, and add the correct amount of batter.

4. Rotate your pans halfway through baking. To promote even baking, rotate your pans halfway through baking, after your cake has started to set.

5. Don’t cool your cake in a warm pan. It will continue to cook and become overbooked. Cool on a wire rack after about 10 minutes. This allows cakes to cool faster and prevents sogginess. Let angel food, chiffon, and sponge cakes cool upside down in the pan, though, or they will collapse.

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