10 Secret Cake Baking Tips We Learned From Grandma

Bake impressive cakes every time, just like grandma.

Grandma and grandchildren (3 yrs+2yrs) baking
Photo: Getty Images

Baking a cake is equal parts science and creativity. There are certainly key measurements to follow for ingredients, along with incorporating those ingredients in the right order. The creativity comes in when you're choosing cake and frosting flavor combos, tasty cake fillings, how to decorate the cake, and more.

For many home bakers, grandma has always known best when it comes to cake baking tips. She may be known for her award-winning hummingbird cake or the most impressive coconut cake. And chances are, she put her own spin on it thanks to clever baking tips like these that she learned along the way.

1. Check Your Ingredients List

While this may seem obvious, many young bakers have learned it the hard way: It's important to run through your ingredients list first before you dive in on baking. That way, you can check to be sure you have everything on hand to produce a tasty cake.

2. Always Crack Your Eggs Separately

Southern Living reader Susan says her grandmother swore by this tip. Instead of cracking your eggs straight into the creamed butter and sugar, use a separate bowl first. You definitely don't want to worry about having to fish broken eggshells out of your batter.

3. Swap Milk for Water in a Boxed Mix

Using a cake mix? Instead of using the amount of water the box calls for, switch it out for milk. Southern Living reader Lynn says her grandmother would always use this trick.

4. Eggs Should Be at Room Temperature

There is certainly a reason recipes include this note. Room temperature eggs provide better texture for a rising cake. Always take them out of the fridge at least one hour before mixing them into a batter.

5. Use Mayo

To produce an ultra-moist cake, consider using this secret ingredient. Beating mayonnaise into the wet ingredients can completely transform a cake to make it that much richer.

6. Make Buttermilk

Out of buttermilk for that favorite red velvet cake recipe or pound cake? Make your own in a pinch. Mix together one cup of regular milk with one tablespoon of vinegar and let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Then, use it in your batter as a simple swap.

7. Whisk Your Dry Ingredients

No sifter? No problem. Pour all of your dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and use a whisk instead. The whisk will help to combine the dry ingredients while getting rid of any clumps along the way.

8. Tap Your Pans

The secret to getting rid of any little bubbles in a baked cake? Get rid of those air bubbles in the batter before baking. Gently tap the bottom of your cake pans on the counter right before putting them in the oven.

9. Keep an Eye on It

A great tip from Southern Living reader Robin's grandmother? Keep an eye on it so the cake doesn't dry out or isn't under baked. Of course, a timer is helpful, but it's always best to confirm by taking a look at the cake or using a tester.

10. Freeze the Rest

Leftover cake? Don't let it go to waste! Wrap the cake in plastic wrap or put it in a zip-top bag before placing it in the freezer. Plus, then you'll be able to pull it out to thaw for dessert at a later date. This is especially helpful if you have unexpected company on the way.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles