For each question, imagine you made one of these common baking mistakes. How would you recover from it? Pick the best answer to turn your baking blunder into a sweet success.
To fix over-whipped cream, fold in a few tablespoons of heavy cream.
But don't incorporate it with a mixer. Instead, gently fold it in to loosen up the cream. If your cream is starting to turn into butter, there is no going back. At that point, just continue whipping until you have fresh butter. See a step-by-step guide to fixing over-whipped cream here.
How to prevent it in the future: When whipping, look at the cream, not the clock. If you notice the cream starts to get clumpy, it's time to stop whipping. Whipped cream can turn into butter within seconds, so go slow and don't look away.
If your melted chocolate clumps up (also called seizing), add a small amount of vegetable oil and stir.
The oil will emulsify the chocolate and bring it back together.
How to prevent it in the future: Water and chocolate do not mix. Make sure any steam or boiling water is kept away from melted chocolate. One drop is all it takes to turn it into a gritty mess. Make sure to use a double boiler when melting chocolate on the stove top. If you are microwaving it, go low and slow and make sure to stir it every 15 seconds.
If your cake is stuck to the bottom of the pan, let the cake cool, then submerge the bottom in a warm water bath.
The warmth of the water should loosen up the bottom and pop it right out.
How to prevent it in the future: Always take the time to prep your pans with butter or nonstick spray (you can even make your own if you're feeling adventurous).
If your cake is undercooked, cover it with foil and pop it in a low oven (about 300°F) until it is cooked through.
The foil will prevent the outside from over browning while the low heat will gently cook it through.
How to prevent it in the future: Invest in an oven thermometer to make sure your oven isn't too cold, and resist the urge to open the oven door while your cake is baking.
If your pie dough is crumbly, add a few teaspoons of (very) cold water and gently work it in.
But be careful not to overwork the dough or warm it up too much.
How to prevent it in the future: When making pie dough, add just enough cold water for the dough to stick together. The amount of water pie dough takes depends on the day, so don't be nervous to add more if it feels dry. You can also try adding vodka instead of water, it will make the dough wet and easy to handle but will evaporate while cooking and make for a very flaky crust (we even tried it ourselves).
If you left your cookies in the oven a few minutes too long, quickly transfer them onto a cooling rack.
This will quickly end the cooking process and prevent them from getting any dryer.
How to prevent it in the future: Again, invest in an oven thermometer and remove the cookies as soon as they start browning.
If your muffins are burnt on the outside, use a cheese grater (or microplane) to remove any burnt bits.
This technique also works well for cookies and cakes. See it done here.
How to prevent it in the future: Turn down your oven temperature if necessary and keep an eye on them!
If your cream is not whipping, transfer the bowl into the fridge and let it cool.
Cold cream is much easier to whip than room temperature cream. Learn how to make perfect whipped cream here.
How to prevent it in the future: Refrigerate both your cream and bowl before whipping.
If your Italian buttercream breaks, microwave a small amount of the mixture and beat it back into the broken buttercream.
Italian buttercream is a frosting made with cooked meringue and butter. Although delicious, this style of buttercream has a tendency to break (meaning it curdles and becomes grainy). If this method doesn't bring it back, try one of these other ways of fixing it.
How to prevent it in the future: Always bring your ingredients to room temperature before making Italian buttercream. If one ingredient is much colder than the other, your buttercream will break.