21 brilliant baking hacks (that every cook should know in 2018!)

21 brilliant baking hacks (that every cook should know in 2018!)

Baking hacks are one of those things you don't know you need, until you discover them.

Not only will cooking tips save you time and money, but they make baking easier than ever - even for amateur cooks!

With baking hacks, anything is possible. Discover 22 of our favourites now and wow even yourself with your edible creations.

1. The easiest cupcake decoration ever

lace cupcakes icing sugar
So pretty yet so easy! ©SweetVerbena

Cupcake decoration can get pretty complicated (and messy) if you allow it too.

Buttercreams may taste delicious, but they're a lot of work.

If you're looking for a quick fix, this baking hack could be just the thing. Lie a clean piece of lace over your cakes, and dust icing sugar over the top. It will make gorgeously pretty patterns that look anything but rushed!

2. Cut cookies without the stickiness

If you're working with a particularly sticky cookie or biscuit batter, we have a simple trick to make things easier.

Fill a bowl or plastic container with flour, and dip your cutter into it before cutting shapes.

3. A baking hack to make measuring easier

measuring spoons
Make measuring easy. ©Flickr

Whilst we're on the topic of sticky substances, cooking spray can be a great way to make measuring things like honey and treacle easier.

Spray onto your measuring spoons and all your ingredients will slide straight off into the mixing bowl.

4. How to make caster sugar

No caster sugar? No problem!

You can whip up your own in a matter of seconds using your food processor.

Just measure out your sugar, and blend on high until it reaches the desired consistency.

Want icing sugar? Keep whizzing for longer!

5. DIY bundt tin

Unless you plan on making Bundts regularly, there's no need to invest in a specific tin.

A great baking hack is to use an empty tin can, fill it with rice, and place in the middle of your cake tin before pouring your mixture in.

6. The easiest way to remove broken egg shells

eggs
A bit of broken shell isn't the end of the world.

There are many different methods for removing broken eggs shells.

Our favourite baking hack?

Using your fingers! Simply wet them, and it will be much easier to fish out small shards of shell.

7. A buttery baking hack

Forgot to take the butter out of the fridge?

No problem.

Fill a glass with boiling water, empty after a minute, and place over the top of your butter. You'll be surprised at how quickly it begins to melt.

8. Emergency rolling pin

If you've lived as a student during your time, no doubt you discovered this baking hack a long time ago.

A wine bottle is a perfect substitute for a rolling pin - just avoid getting too excited, it is glass after all!

9. Make frosting easier with this baking hack

fill piping bag over mug
That's better! ©WhippedBakeShop

How are you meant to fill a frosting bag without making a gigantic mess, anyway?

We think we finally have the answer...

...using a glass!

Place your bag inside the mug, and pull the plastic down around it. It will be much easier to fill without getting your fingers all sticky - you'll only wish you didn't discover this baking hack sooner!

10. Prevent hand-mixer mess

On the subject of baking mess, we have another great tip you'll never bake without from here on out!

Next time you're using your hand mixer, pop a paper plate between the mixing blades and the main device. It will prevent and splashback and keep your kitchen mess-free.

11. Soften brown sugar

soften brown sugar with bread
What a handy tip! ©KaryOsmond

Brown sugar has a tendency to go hard over time - this makes it nearly impossible to bake with.

Luckily, there's a quick fix for that. Pop your sugar in a plastic container and place a damp towel on top. Microwave on high for 20 minutes, and it will come out super soft.

TOP TIP: place a piece of sliced bread in with your brown sugar when storing, and it will prevent it from going hard.

12. Cut cake seamlessly

Some cakes can be hard to slice - especially the particularly delicious ones such as Tiffin and millionaire shortbread.

To get professional-looking pieces, fill a jug with hot water, and place your knife inside before attempting to slice.

Perfect pieces every time!

13. Has my egg gone off?

Do you know how to check if an egg's gone off?

If not, better learn this simple baking hack to avoid ruining your bakes, or worse, making someone ill!

Fill a bowl with water and gently place the egg inside. Now: 

  • If the egg stays at bottom, and lies on its side, its fresh.
  • If the egg remains at the bottom, but stands upright, it's OK, but should be consumed soon.
  • If the egg floats, it's past its best and no good for baking.

Like eggs? We have a whole article on fun uses for eggs I just know you'll love!

14. Prevent air bubbles in cakes with this baking hack

Air bubbles not only ruin the neat texture of cakes, but they can look untidy too.

To avoid them, take your cake tin before baking, and lightly drop it onto your kitchen surface. Repeat a few times, and it will force the air out of the batter.

15. Use an ice cream scoop

ice cream scoop cookies
Perfect cookies every time! ©FineCookin

The key to perfectly sized cookies and cakes is all in the measuring tool you use.

At Expert Home Tips, we like to use an ice cream scoop to measure out our mix. It gets perfect-sized cakes every time, and there's no need for sticky finger either.

16. DIY cupcake liners

baking hack diy cupcake liner
We LOVE this baking hack!

This has got to be one of our favourite baking hacks of all time - DIY cupcake liners.

The best part? They really couldn't be easier. All you need is some parchment paper and a small glass.

Tear off a square of parchment, and pop it inside your cupcake tray. Place the glass firmly on top, and swivel it from left to right until the shape has been formed.

We think these are so cute, that we barely ever use proper cupcake cases at all!

17. Slice cake using dental floss

cut cake with dental floss
Genius! ©Forkly

We've already disclosed our amazing baking hack for slicing perfect pieces of rocky road, but what about cake?

For large celebration cakes, the best thing to use is (unflavoured) dental floss).

It will slide through the entire diameter of your cake in one, neat, straight line.

18. Soften butter in seconds

Another novel way to speed up the softening of butter - perfect for things like crumbles - is to grate it.

A hard block of butter will be easy to grate straight into the mixing bowl, and the increased surface area will mean it's more exposed to the warm room temperature.

19. A baking hack that requires no effort

baking cupcakes
Don't make this messy baking mistake! ©Pixabay

We often see people making this baking mistake, and it drives us crazy!

When you're using the hand mixer, rotate the bowl, not the mixer.

This will reduce splattering and subsequent mess.

20. How to make brown sugar

Did you know you can make brown sugar at home?

It's so easy. Combine:

  • 225g sugar
  • 2 tbsp molasses

Mix in your food processor until fully combined - easy!

21. Heat citrus to get more juice

cutting lemon
Make the most of your citrus fruit! ©Pexels

Waste not, want not.

To get the most of out your citrus fruits, pop them in the microwave and zap on high for 15 seconds.

You'll get loads more juice out of them, and your lemon drizzle cakes will be more citrusy than ever!

22. Freezing cookie dough

cookie dough ice cubes baking hack
Save some for later! ©Popsugar

Last on our list of baking hacks is perfect for those of you who can't struggle with portion control (or those who just live alone).

Next time you're baking, there's no need to use all the dough. Bake what you're going to eat over the next few days, then set the rest aside.

Portion it up into an ice cube tray. Then, when you fancy a mid-week treat, simply pop a 'cookie-ice cube' out, wait to defrost and bake.

Portion control and it's best! (Plus deliciously, fresh cookies every time).

Do you have any cool baking hacks? If so, we'd love to hear them in the comments below!

Author

Stephanie C

Editor

Lover of all things fashion & foodie...I look to satisfy my tastes without obliterating my budget. Wannabe interior designer, I'm an avid cushion cover maker and charity shop hunter.

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  1. Author Diane on April 2, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Ready to roll icing and marzipan is hard and needs to be kneaded before use....Not any more. Just place in the microwave 10-15 seconds and it becomes perfectly pliable,easy to knead quickly and ready to use. No more aching hands

    1. Author Stephanie C on April 16, 2018 at 10:14 am

      Hi Diane, What a wonderful baking tip! This will definitely save me lots of time and effort next time I'm tasked with birthday-cake baking. Thanks a lot for sharing :)

    Reply
  2. Author Jacqueline Maraula on April 2, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    Hey these are so handy to know, keep up the good work and keep them coming.

    Reply
  3. Author Sandy on April 2, 2018 at 11:23 pm

    Hi Stephanie - Some great tips here again, some I knew, some I didn't. No.1 - you could use lacy paper doilies instead of real lace. No. 22 - there are lots of different shapes and sizes of silicon trays on the market if you need a larger portion for freezing. Sandy x

    1. Author Stephanie C on April 18, 2018 at 4:27 pm

      Hi Sandy, Thanks a lot for your comment and sharing your tips - some very useful ones there! :)

    Reply

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