daisyblue Posted 5 Nov 2006 , 3:20am
post #1 of

Hi CC friends!! I just read a recent post where someone asked if there were any secrets you had that you wouldn't share. Well, I thought I'd ask if anyone has any secrets that they would LIKE to share! I know there are lots of 'tricks of the trade' out there & I thought it would be nice if anyone would be willing to share a few. They can be anything from a 'never fail' recipe to a convienient way to transport a cake. I'll start us off with one of mine. This isn't really a secret, but more of a helpful hint. (those will work too if you'd like to share!) When I'm doing a cake & I'm not really sure how much icing it's going to take, I always make about 1 & 1/2 to 2 times what I think it's going to take. I learned to do this the hard way when I mixed a couple of different colors together to get the right shade & then I ran out about 3/4 of the way through. I tried to duplicate the color but I couldn't get it right & when the cake was finished you could tell I used 2 different colors. So, that's one from me---now, what's your secret????

634 replies
patticakesnc Posted 5 Nov 2006 , 3:26am
post #2 of

My tip is that I have found rolling out fondant on the slick side of freezer paper is great. It doesn't stick and I don't have to grease my rolling area.

I only have a small silicone mat so this was an alternative for me when rolling a larger piece of fondant.

It works great to wrap it in for fresh keeping as well, no stick. I then wrap that in glad press and seal and I can make sure I get it air tight unlike in storage bags, or with non cling wrap.

JulieBugg2000 Posted 5 Nov 2006 , 3:33am
post #3 of

This is not a secret either, and it probably should fall more under the "DUH" common sense category, but it's the first thing that came to mind and is something I learned as a newbie that's proven invaluable!

When I was first starting out, I would always see cakes in the gallery that had perfectly straight sides. I posted a question about it, asking whether the sides actually WERE as straight as they looked of if the icing just made them appear that way,.

This is how I found out you should always trim the sides of the cake so they're straight up and down. It makes the icing job SO much easier and with TONS better results! icon_wink.gif

Like I said, it's one of those DUH moments, but now I know and it's helped a LOT! icon_biggrin.gif

kathik Posted 5 Nov 2006 , 3:48am
post #4 of

I have two....

1. This one is really just a sanity saver, but I thought it might help someone else, too. I always call the first attempt at any recipe an "experiment". This way if it's really good I get unbiased opinions, and if it's really bad I don't feel like I screwed up!

2. Always keep your baking soda in an airtight container in your pantry. I learned this when I sold tupperware. We use a box of baking soda to ABSORB odors in the fridge, so obviously it does the same in the pantry, although that doesn't occur to many of us. This has made a noticeable difference in my baking.

Kathi

Zmama Posted 5 Nov 2006 , 3:51pm
post #5 of

Do not pour flavorings right over the mixing bowl. Almond flavoring can get really strong if spilled!

kjgjam22 Posted 5 Nov 2006 , 4:43pm
post #6 of

my tip is for thawing butter...i put the butter in a bowl of tap water....it softens quickly but id doesnt melt and get oily...changing the results of the cake. i find that when i leave it out on the counter it gets too soft.

georgies_girl Posted 5 Nov 2006 , 5:13pm
post #7 of

I always crack my eggs into a small bowl before adding them to the batter mixture. That way if any shell piece falls...it's easy to fish out. Also, if you DO drop a piece of shell, use a larger piece of shell to "grab" it with. Unlike chasing it around and around the bowl with your finger, the other shell will attract it making it easy to catch.

Another thing...I always start my mixing with the wet ingredients in the bottom of the bowl. This way there's no dry spot in the bottom of the bowl when it's time to pour it over in to the pans.

Zmama Posted 5 Nov 2006 , 6:49pm
post #8 of

Ooh, that's a good one! I'm tired of the dry mix left in the bowl.

dolfin Posted 5 Nov 2006 , 6:57pm
post #9 of

I do all my measuring in the sink so if I spill anything I just wass down drain instead of having to wipe off counters.

Someone here gave me the idea of lining measuring cup with plastic wrap when measuring shortening makes for easy clean up and easier to get out of cup.

Kitagrl Posted 5 Nov 2006 , 7:11pm

I use a putty knife/spackle tool to smooth the sides of my cakes. Just spin the turntable as you run the tool around the cake 4-5 times. Quick and easy!

When I crack eggs I fold a paper towel first and then crack them on that... then just wrap the shells and throw them all away, mess and all.

icantcook Posted 5 Nov 2006 , 7:27pm

As a newbie, I have no pearls of wisdom to pass on yet. But I am reading each one of these, and appreciate anything you all have to offer! Thanks and keep them coming! I need all the help I can get.

CakesUnleashed Posted 5 Nov 2006 , 9:37pm

This one is probably a no brainer to all of you gals and guys - but for some odd reason, it came to me later in life:

I always put all the wet ingredients into my KA, before I add the dry ingredients, that way you won't have the dry gunky stuff stuck to the bottom.

sugarlaced Posted 5 Nov 2006 , 9:52pm

Ditto on the wet ingredients first into the KA.

When I first started out, I was to cheap to try fondant(Wilton kind) because if you didn't use it all, there was no saving it (dry out). Now that I have discovered MMF this is not so bad, but I cured that when my mother bought me a FoodSaver for Christmas. I just wrap my fondant in plastic wrap (to keep it from sticking to the bag) and I have MMF anytime I need it.
FYI: I did this to some colored Wilton Fondant and opened the bag almost a year later and it was just like new!!!

jessireb Posted 5 Nov 2006 , 10:03pm

sugarlaced, that is a good one. I have a food saver and I will have to do that!

NEWTODECORATING Posted 5 Nov 2006 , 10:06pm

foodsaver--cakeballs made freeze and put in foodsaver. When I need cakeballs I just -DIP!

jwong9664 Posted 5 Nov 2006 , 10:06pm

me being a newbie also, i don't yet have any words of wisdom, just a couple of mistakes along the way lol! i just wanted to say thanks to all of you for sharing your wisdom, you have no idea how much of a difference the little things make... then again i guess you do! so, thanks again icon_biggrin.gif

finnox Posted 5 Nov 2006 , 11:58pm

I am also pretty new at this thing and would like to say thanks for all the help and I also learned the hard way with the icing and to always make more rather than less. But here is one I really enjoy with having a mixer I also like to have an extra wisk by me just in case I need to get the sides or bottom of the bowl or would like to whip it up again right before I put it in to bake.

indydebi Posted 6 Nov 2006 , 12:08am

This one is also the "DUH!" column, but having multiples of the same tip, like the rose tip and the writing tip.

And accidently discovering "grease only - do not flour" the cake pans. Cakes are beautiful, they come out of the pans easy, no "flour film" to mess up my icing, and the cakes rise higher when the pans are only greased, not floured.

dhing Posted 6 Nov 2006 , 12:22am

Hi im newbie also here and i want to know some ideas how to decorate a cake .

daisyblue Posted 6 Nov 2006 , 12:42am

WOW!! I knew there were lots of secrets out there & all of these so far have been great!! Thanks for sharing!! We can all learn things from each other wether someone's a 'newbie' or has been a cc'er for years because if you're like me, you learn something new from every cake. I've already learned a lot from all of you & it looks like others have as well. Keep the ideas coming! Dhing, is there anything in particular that you were wanting to know about decorating a cake? I'm sure there are lots of 'secrets' that others could share with you. I have another secret I can give you now. When you bake your cakes, try the Wilton bake-even strips. They're fantastic! Since I've used them, about 8 times out of 10 I don't have to level my cake & if I do have to level one, it's usually not more that a sliver from the top.

TRisser Posted 6 Nov 2006 , 12:50am

I love love love cake release for getting the cakes out of pans quick and easy. I got the recipe from here on CC. Equal parts Crisco, oil and flour. Use a mixer for about 5 minutes then keep it in a closed container in the pantry. And also my just learned new trick of adding liquid coffee flavourings to the mix and the icing and cake balls of course. What a flavour boost.

dl5crew Posted 6 Nov 2006 , 12:58am

My idea is not really a "secret". I was making brownies yesterday with my 7 & 8 yr old girls. I didn't want to give them my hand mixer to use. I looked in my utensil drawer, and handed them the server that goes with my rice cooker. Everything mixed up very quickly with no dry stuff on the bottom of the bowl. My girls said "Alton Brown would be proud of you Mommy. You made it a multi user."

ptain Posted 6 Nov 2006 , 1:04am

WOW.. I don't have any tricks of the trade either, But I am learning alot by everyone else...LOVE the food saver thing, I have one of those,no more trashed mmf.. YEA

dldbrou Posted 6 Nov 2006 , 1:10am

Instead of buying a egg separator, I just cup my hand and let the white slip through my fingers. All that's left in my hand is the yolk. I then put the yolks in a ice cube tray, cover and freeze until later use.

dhing Posted 6 Nov 2006 , 1:27am

Hello daisy thank you for your sharing ideas and im happy to know some secret and some design how to decorate a cake .Anyone here knows where i can subcribe a cake decorating book and some design and ideas? pls. I need help here.

debbie2881 Posted 6 Nov 2006 , 1:38am
Quote:
Originally Posted by patticakesnc

My tip is that I have found rolling out fondant on the slick side of freezer paper is great. It doesn't stick and I don't have to grease my rolling area.

I only have a small silicone mat so this was an alternative for me when rolling a larger piece of fondant.

It works great to wrap it in for fresh keeping as well, no stick. I then wrap that in glad press and seal and I can make sure I get it air tight unlike in storage bags, or with non cling wrap.




icon_confused.gif whats freezer paper?? icon_redface.gificon_confused.gif

dldbrou Posted 6 Nov 2006 , 1:38am

I just bought a book "The Essential Guide to Cake Decorating". It's loaded with information. Hope this helps.

indydebi Posted 6 Nov 2006 , 2:05am
Quote:
Originally Posted by daisyblue

wether someone's a 'newbie' or has been a cc'er for years because if you're like me, you learn something new from every cake.




Couldn't agree more!!!!!!!!!!! I've been doing this for over 2 decades and just learned from a CC'er about sifting cake mixes before you mix them. OH MY GOSH AND DOUBLE WOW what a difference it makes in the batter and the cake texture!!!!!

This is a great thread! Thanks for starting it!

Rambo Posted 6 Nov 2006 , 2:20am

Okay my big tip is sifting thru a mesh strainer. I never used my hand one because it always made a huge mess but now I just set my mesh strainer in the mixing bowl, it has little feet that keep it on the rim, and dump in my PS, Cake mixes, flour, etc. I am now an avid sifter and there is a huge difference in my cakes, cookies, and frostings. Oh and if you have to measure out Peanut Butter, spray your spatula and the measuring cup with a little cooking spray and it drops right out with minimal mess.

mammaquinn Posted 6 Nov 2006 , 2:36am

HI all, I am new here too and I love all the tips...A quick question....when you say sift the cake mix are you referring to boxed mixes as well? Thanks to all the nice people on this site!! icon_smile.gif

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