Hi there! I'm Marie — and I love baking.
But the thing about baking is that it can also be super time-consuming and tricky. So I set out to find tips, tricks, and hacks to make my life a little easier.
And to make *your* life easier, I tried some of the most popular ones to see which ones actually worked. Here's what I found out:
HACK #1: To make sure your cakes don't stick, coat your pans in an all-purpose "magic" paste.
DID IT WORK?: Absolutely 🙌
THE RESULTS: To make sure I was giving this a proper trial, I baked two cakes: one using the pan-release paste and another one coated in oil and flour, as instructed on the cake mix box.
The pan-release paste worked much better than the oil-and-flour mix. It was super easy to get the cake out of the pan (I didn't even have to tap) and it all came out perfectly smooth. The other advantage of the paste is that it doesn't leave any floury residue on the edges of the cake like the oil-and-flour version does.
Oh, and you can make this paste in advance and store it in a tupperware in your fridge for up to three months, so you don't even have to go through this whole process each time you bake.
HACK #2: Refrigerate your mixing bowl before you make whipped cream to make the cream extra fluffy.
HACK #3: Soften hard brown sugar with an apple slice.
DID IT WORK?: Yup!
THE RESULTS: I think I overdid it a little with the apple slices and placed too many in the container (which was also probably too small, TBH). Because of that, the box was a bit crowded and the sugar got wet in some places. But still, it went from rock hard to perfectly soft in about two hours, and you can't argue with that.
HACK #4: Use a hair dryer to get a glossy finish on your frosting.
HACK #5: Bring cold butter to room temperature ASAP by covering it with a warm bowl/glass.
HACK #6: Make an easy and healthy-ish dough with just flour and Greek yogurt.
DID IT WORK?: Pretty much.
THE RESULTS: They looked legit. Taste-wise? They didn't really taste like traditional bagels and had a tangy flavor because of the Greek yogurt. They also didn't have the chewy bite I look for in a good bagel. But they were still pretty tasty and had many things going for them:
• They were pretty much foolproof. Even if you don't have any baking skills, you'd have a hard time messing them up.
• Flour + yogurt = cost barely anything.
• They're only 3 SmartPoints on Weight Watchers.
• And they didn't take more than 45 minutes to make from start to finish.
Read more about them here.