6 Baking Tips for Flawless Cakes

We can't emphasize #2 enough.

Eggs and butter
Photo: James Baigrie/Getty Images

Try these foolproof techniques, brought to you from the Real Simple test kitchen.

01 of 06

Avoid Using Cold Eggs

Eggs and butter
James Baigrie/Getty Images

Sure, you know to bring the butter to room temperature, but it's just as important for eggs—otherwise the mixture won't emulsify properly. If you're short on time, microwave cut-up butter on low in 5-second intervals, checking in between, and place eggs in a bowl of warm water for 10 to 15 minutes.

Want to make a cake that looks as good as it tastes? It's easy with Real Simple's cake decorating techniques.

02 of 06

Measure the Flour Properly

Hands measuring out flour with measuring jug
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Spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, then sweep off the excess with a knife. Don't scoop it directly from the bag with a measuring cup. The flour will become compacted, and you'll get more than you need for the recipe.

03 of 06

Use a Pastry Brush to Butter the Pans

Pastry brush with butter on baking tin
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You'll get better coverage than with a piece of butter in paper—plus, it makes buttering parchment a breeze. Simply swipe the brush over a tablespoon of very soft butter, then onto the pan or paper.

Want to learn more? Watch a video on how to prepare cake pans.

04 of 06

Position the Pans as Close to the Center of the Oven as Possible

Hands taking baked cupcakes in cupcake tin off oven rack
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They shouldn't touch each other or the oven walls. If your oven isn't wide enough to put pans side by side, place them on different racks and slightly offset, to allow for air circulation.

05 of 06

Rotate the Pans During Baking

Woman takes cakes out of oven
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This will ensure even baking. But wait until the cake is set—about two-thirds of the way through the baking time—to prevent collapse. If you're using more than one rack, this is also the time to swap the pans.

06 of 06

Cool Cakes Upside Down

Hands holding wire rack against baked cake in cake tin, upside down
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This will flatten out the tops, creating easy-to-stack disks for layer cakes. If the top of a cake is still too rounded, slice it off with a serrated knife.

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