We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what baking tips they wish they knew about sooner. Here are the suggestions they whipped up:
1. Use silicone baking mats to prevent those stuck-on messes.
2. Make sure your cookie dough is nice and cold before you start baking.
3. Get a plunger-style measuring cup to get the perfect quantity of those harder-to-measure ingredients.
4. Don't over-mix your dough when baking cookies!
5. Measuring cups vary. Get a digital scale for the precise quantities your recipe requires.
6. Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature before you start.
7. "Heavy gauge cake rounds! They really make cakes bake more evenly."
8. Make sure your eggs and sugar are actually beaten until they're pale and thick, if the recipe requires it.
9. "Get an oven thermometer, especially if your oven doesn’t have one or you suspect it’s broken."
10. "Melted butter is NOT the same as softened butter!"
11. Use powdered sugar — instead of flour — to roll out your dough.
12. Follow every step of the recipe. Every. Single. Step.
13. "Cookie dough scoops save time and make your cookies a consistent size for even baking."
14. Set up all your ingredients before you start mixing and baking for a smoother process.
15. Use parchment paper to prep your batches while others bake.
16. Separate your egg yolks in the palm of your hand.
17. Silicone spatulas are easier to use and clean.
18. Baking takes time, so set plenty aside before you even get started.
19. Get some high-quality, non-stick bakeware to get you started.
20. "A pinch means at least 3 fingers."
21. A standing mixer will save you time and a workout.
22. Make sure to use high-quality ingredients, like vanilla, to get the best results. (Maybe even get a second if you like to taste-test along the way.)
23. Get yourself a sifter because at some point a recipe is going to ask you to sift something.
24. Flour your pans with the same dry mixture you're baking with.
25. Baker's. Joy. Learn it, love it, live it.
26. Stop with the Pinterest Fails! Master the art of the crumb layering your cakes and get a perfectly frosted cake every time.
27. Grate your cold butter to make baking with it smooth like buttah.
28. "A dash of cinnamon to anything chocolate is a must! It adds this note of warmth that balances well with the already delicious chocolate."
29. Step up your zesting game and invest in a microplane zester.
30. Don't just start! Read your recipe thoroughly before you put on your baker's hat.
31. Forget chocolate chips. Go balls to the wall and use a chocolate bar.
32. Get yourself a cooling rack to make sure your treats are the perfect temperature.
33. And, don't get demotivated! You'll make mistakes, but just channel your inner Martha Stewart and keep on trying.
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Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.