Complete Beginner :-)

Baking By cuppacupcake Updated 12 Feb 2011 , 2:29pm by Cupcations

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cuppacupcake Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 7:12pm
post #1 of 18

Hi all, I'm new!! icon_smile.gif
I used to bake cookies etc when i was a little girl but haven't baked much in years!

lately I'm really interested in learning how to bake the perfect Cupcake icon_smile.gif There is soooooooooo much to learn. Once i get a bit of practice, hopefully i'll progress to cakes icon_biggrin.gif

I've found lots of recipes online, but then when I read the comments from other bakers it's usually split half and half regarding whether the recipes are any good or not! icon_cry.gif

So where is a good place to start? I don't want to use any cake mixes, want to do everything from scratch.

Can you guys recommend and good books/blogs on the basics of baking?
What piece of equipment could you not do without?

17 replies
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Cindy619 Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 10:57pm
post #2 of 18

Welcome!!! Spend some time looking through/searching the forums for recipe ideas and suggestions. You'll find a wealth of knowledge from expert bakers! If you're looking for some good chocolate cakes, here's a great thread that's going on right now -

Good luck and have fun!

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kansaslaura Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 11:25pm
post #3 of 18

My best advise is to jump in here with both feet. Do a lot of reading, search the forums. There is a wealth of information at your fingertips when you type your question into the search bar. Be prepared to make this your second home!

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stacey71 Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 12:01am
post #4 of 18

Im in the same boat you are Cuppacupcake. The only advice I can give you is to take advantage of your best recourse, the internet! Keep reading and researching and learning all you can. Its ALOT of testing and trial and error.

I've been baking up a storm for months and I've only now have gotten my go to vanilla, go to chocolate and go to buttercream recipes down. Its taken alot of time (and quite a bit of expense) to just get those 3 recipes. My next challenge is Red Velvet.

Im so happy I found this board, everyone here is super nice and knowledgeable.

Good luck. I wish you the best and have fun icon_smile.gif
Its super rewarding when you finally stumble upon the perfect recipe.

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Rose_N_Crantz Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 1:47am
post #5 of 18

About the equipment, I have just recently started considering buying a doughnut batter dispenser to fill the cupcake tins. It seems no matter how carefully I fill them, I always get a few drips on the sides. Normally I wouldn't care, but I just tried cupcakes in ice cream cones for my nephew's birthday and I really wished those drips weren't there! Then I saw a dispenser in the store and the wheels started turning!

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Rose_N_Crantz Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 1:48am
post #6 of 18

Oh, I almost forgot to include this little article too. Good info!

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JanJess Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 2:00am
post #7 of 18

Trial and error is the best teacher and I can't survive without my Kitchen Aid heavy duty mixer. It's the best tool I have.

Good Luck icon_smile.gif

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tastyart Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 2:08am
post #8 of 18

You've found a great resource right here on CC! Welcome aboard!

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cuppacupcake Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 8:57am
post #9 of 18

oooh thanks so much everyone!

Stacy71, what recipes are you using for your vanilla chocolate and buttercream?

Janjess - am going to gift my self a kitchenaid next month icon_biggrin.gif

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cuppacupcake Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 9:03am
post #10 of 18
Originally Posted by Rose_N_Crantz

Oh, I almost forgot to include this little article too. Good info!

thanks, this is a great little blog!

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brincess_b Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 10:31am
post #11 of 18

I use a victoria sponge (use google) for cake and cupcakes, and it's many flavour variations.
Start ur equipment out small - a few tins, spatulas, piping tips.

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scp1127 Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 4:45am
post #12 of 18

My cupcake pans are the things I cannot do without. They are the goldtouch pans from Williams-Sonoma. They produce a superior cupcake to any other pan and I have experimented with many... baking the same batter at the same time in the same oven... with different pans. Also different sized scoops for putting the batter in the cups.

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bakescupcakes Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 9:38am
post #13 of 18

I agree with stacey71. The internet is fabulous! and finding recipes is through trial and error. I've been baking for about 18 months now, and I've only just found a chocolate cupcake recipe that I'm really happy with, and I think I've finally found a vanilla cupcake recipe I'll stick with. Still need to make it a few more times to check for consistancy.

I've found that trying to find vanilla and chocolate recipes are the most difficult because there are so many variables within those flavours. We all like something different within those flavours. Other flavours have been a lot easier. I have 'The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Book', and use quite a few of their recipes. HTH

Happy baking.

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cuppacupcake Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 9:49am
post #14 of 18

i've heard of that crabapple book a few times now. I'm going to go to the bookstore this morning to see if they have it in stock. I believe the magnolai bakery book is also meant to be good and the Hummingbird bakery book as well.

Well my first foray into baking cupcakes went pretty well. icon_smile.gif I used the double layer chocolate recipe from epicurious which was recommended on a thread above. only thing i didn't do was ratio the recipe down so after i had 40 cupcakes, i decided to not use the rest of the batter as we'll be eating cupcakes for a month as is! icon_biggrin.gif

For the frosting i used the recipe from magnolia bakery for creamy vanilla icing. video on youtube. Worked beautifully. quite delicious. Husband thought it was a little too buttery though and would prefer a cream chesse frosting so thats what i will attempt next.

The cupcakes themselves turned out great. the 2nd batch was the best, very moist and soft. enjoyed baking them alot! i got no overspill, and they were all fairly uniform in size.

I'm going to the store now to pick up a 1M wilton tip for icing. I don't think cupcakes look as impressive without the big swirly top! I only had small tips so they didn't look impressive!

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bakescupcakes Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 10:12am
post #15 of 18

Yep! the 1M is a must! It makes life soooo much easier! I also have the 2D, which is nice if you want to pipe rose swirls. Start from the middle and pipe around to the outer edge instead of the other way around. Lol if that makes sense.

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butterlove Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 11:14am
post #16 of 18

I have to say that I was a complete non-baker until I discovered
Stephanie has all the basic cake and cookie recipes down to pat and I've tried quite a few of them and ALL of them work. She really got me started. She references her recipes from some of the best bakers and recipe books in history. Her site is a library of classic and retro baking recipes and great for beginners as she always has a foreword to each recipe. It's my 'go to' site for anything from cupcakes to tortes to ice cream and pudding recipes.

I would also try some recipes from Maida Heatter who is just one of the most fantastic cookbook writer's ever.
I also love these great titles -:
Heavenly Cakes - by Rose Levy Beranbaum
Baking From My Home to Yours - Dorie Greenspan
Baking Illustrated - by Cook's Illustrated
Bakewise - Shirley Corriher (for a more technical/ scientific look at Baking)

I found that my baking really improved when I realised that it was a science.

I am now thinking of moving onto the decorating part of cake and cookie making and have found a few books helpful.
Decorating Cakes - by The Wilton School
Planet Cake - by Paris Cutler
Whimsical Bakehouse
Cake Chic, Romantic Cakes, Pretty Party Cakes - all by Peggy Porschen (Great use of colours!)

Websites I found useful for decorating-: (there's a link to The University of Cookie)
Cake Central (of course!)

Hope this helps.
X butterlove

P.S. Isn't baking just the best thing ever!

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bobwonderbuns Posted 12 Feb 2011 , 12:54am
post #17 of 18

That's great advice butterlove!! icon_biggrin.gif

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Cupcations Posted 12 Feb 2011 , 2:29pm
post #18 of 18

Welcome to CC!
CC alone is an encyclopaedia for cakes & caking I learned a lot here, the best part of being here is knowing that all your questions will be answered by pro cake decorators thumbs_up.gif
"Warning this website is highly addictive" its so true icon_biggrin.gif
The blogs Butterlove stated are the best blogs ever, like CC they teach you a lot of techniques
Good luck with your journey! thumbs_up.gif

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