Emma’s editors learned these tricks of the trade when hanging out with Cupcake Wars champions, Urban Cookies.
Eggs need to be added one at a time. This helps keep the batter emulsified, which translates to light and airy cake.
If a recipe calls for oil, always mix the dry ingredients separately. This prevents the formation of gluten, which leaves you with a very tender cake.
A cake sinks if it isn’t cooked all the way or if it’s over-leavened (adding too much baking powder or soda). For most recipes, 1 teaspoon of baking powder per cup of flour or 1/4 teaspoon baking soda per cup of flour is ideal.
Flour compacts as it stands, so aerate your flour first by straining or sifting before measuring. Then, level off with a table knife. Measuring compacted flour will leave you with more flour than a recipe truly needs.
A tough cake has likely been over mixed. Mixing too much or too vigorously destroys the air bubbles in the batter. Stop mixing when you can see that the flour is mixed in, but there is still some unblended powder. Finish mixing by hand with a spatula.
Let butter sit for 20 to 30 minutes before mixing. This translates to a lighter airy batter.
For moist cake, your batter should be soupy not thick. Oil rather than butter yields a moister cake.
Photo by Talk Studios.