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Updated on Feb 22, 2020. Posted on Jul 25, 2019

23 Baking Hacks That Actually Work (And 3 That Don’t)

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1. To make extra fluffy whipped cream, chill your mixing bowl first.

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If you pop the bowl into the fridge before starting, you'll end up with whipped cream that's more stable and peak-prone.

Read more: I Tried Internet-Famous Baking Hacks To See Which Ones Actually Work

2. Bake the easiest mini cakes ever with just three ingredients.

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Cookie butter cakes are about as easy (and inexpensive!) as it gets: They bake quickly in a muffin tin — then are glazed with even more cookie butter.

Recipe: 3-Ingredient Cookie Butter Cakes

3. Use a soup can to convert a regular cake pan into a bundt pan.

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Just use uncooked rice or dry beans to weigh the can down and keep it in place.

4. And shrink a sheet pan with a simple strip of foil.

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This is great for any time you want to downsize surface area — like if you're making pizza or an egg bake, but don't have enough ingredients to cover the whole thing.

Read more: How To Hack A Sheet Pan

5. When making chocolate-flavored dough or batter, use cocoa powder — instead of regular flour — to prep countertops and pans.

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This will keep things from sticking — *without* the white cast that regular flour can give off on darker baked goods.

6. Save this frosting cheat sheet for just about any color combo you could want.

7. Add mayo to boxed cake batter to make it even better.

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Mayo — which is mostly eggs and oil — makes the end product even more moist. (And don't worry, mayo haters: You can't taste the stuff.) We used this recipe, which calls for a cup.

Read more: We Tested Pinterest Cooking Hacks And Here's Which Ones Worked

8. If your cookies call for softened butter, make sure your eggs are at room temperature, too.

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"It'll ensure that the butter doesn't get too cold and firm up when you add [the eggs]," says pro pastry chef Kyle Bartone. He explains: Cold eggs could shock the creamed butter and cause your batter to split.

Read more: 12 Tips And Hacks For Making Better Cookies From A Pastry Chef

9. For the fudgiest brownies you've ever tasted, split the baking time.

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That's according to Alton Brown — who swears by letting his brownies bake in the oven for 15 minutes, letting them rest on the counter for another 15 minutes, then putting them *back* in to finish off.

Read more: Alton Brown's Hack For Making Gooey Brownies Is So Smart

10. Add a bit of pudding mix to your dough for softer, chewier cookies.

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They'll be airier and chewier than their non-pudding counterparts. (And they'll have that little extra ~something~ that people will love, but not quite know what it is.)

Read more: Here Are Before-And-Afters Of 7 Famous Cookie Hacks

11. Avoid batter splatter by attaching a paper plate to your hand mixer.

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Just pop two holes in and slide the plate onto the mixer.

Watch the video: 5 Simple Baking Hacks You Should Know About

(And remember: It's often easier to rotate the bowl, instead of the mixer.)

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It takes less energy (and saves your wrist!) if you spin the bowl, rather than the mixer.

12. If you're out of buttermilk, swap in milk + a bit of vinegar.

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A few minutes after you add a splash of vinegar, the milk will curdle and be ready for use. Here's the ratio we used.

Read more: How To Make Buttermilk With Milk + Vinegar

13. Use unflavored dental floss to slice delicate baked goods without squishing them down.

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The string will cleanly slice through everything from soft cheesecakes to cinnamon roll dough.

14. If you overbaked your cake and now it's too dry, turn things around with DIY simple syrup.

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Just boil and cool equal parts water + sugar, then use a pastry brush or squirt bottle to apply it to your cake. It'll add moisture without changing the overall flavor, according to cake pro Lyndsey Sung.

Read more: Here's How To Make Your Cakes Look (And Taste) More Professional

15. And transform crumbly, over-baked cookies into a pie crust with a bit of butter.

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Use a food processor to grind the cookies into crumbs — then drizzle in melted butter until its sticky. Press the mixture into a pan, then chill it. Instant crust!

Read more: 22 Smart Baking Tips That Will Make Dessert Even Better

16. When finishing pie crusts, use kitchen staples — like forks — as easy decor tools:

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Spoons and tongs work too:

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Find even more pie decor tricks here.

Read more: Here's What Happens When You Ask Pro Pie Bakers To Show Off

17. When making a layer cake, flip the top layer upside-down to get a bakery-worthy square edge.

18. Make impossibly easy no-knead bread ever with just four ingredients.

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Just combine flour, water, salt, and self-rising yeast — and let it sit overnight. Bake it the next day and you'll end up with a golden brown (and foolproof!) loaf. Here's the recipe.

Read more: I Tried 8 "Miracle" Pinterest Recipes And Here's How They Actually Turned Out

19. When using non-stick spray, coat pans over an open dishwasher door.

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This way, rogue spray doesn't get all over your countertops.

Read more: The Best Way to Use Cooking Spray Without Making a Mess

20. To prevent cookies from spreading too much in the oven, pop them into the freezer for 15 minutes before baking.

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The quick trip to the freezer will solidify the butter — and ensure less spread.

21. The secret to top-notch apple pie? Caramelizing the apples before the filling goes in.

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That's according to Gordon Ramsay — and we can vouch for the results. In our taste test of four famous apple pie recipes, Gordon's pie (with his crucial extra step!) won the whole thing.

Read more: Gordon Ramsay's Trick For Making Better Apple Pie Is Legit Genius

22. Keep cakes from sticking to pans with a magical DIY paste.

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The paste is equal parts flour, vegetable oil, and vegetable shortening — and for us, it worked like a charm.

Read more: I Tried Internet-Famous Baking Hacks To See Which Ones Actually Work

23. And to boost flavor, always sprinkle chocolate chip cookies with a bit of flaky sea salt before baking.

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The salt will counterbalance the sweetness perfectly. 🍪

Read more: Here's How To Make The World's Greatest Chocolate Chip Cookies

ALSO! Here are a few baking hacks that aren't worth your time:

1. Placing cold butter under a warm bowl or glass *won't* perfectly soften it ASAP.

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Instead, it'll most likely soften (or completely melt) the edges, while still leaving the middle cold. Read more here.

2. You technically *can* make cake with boxed mix + soda. (But that doesn't mean you should!)

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The end result is sometimes really gummy and not worth it. (TBH, if you've already got the boxed mix? Take the extra step and make it the right way. 🙏)

Read more: We Tested Pinterest Cooking Hacks And Here's Which Ones Worked

3. A box grater won't save burnt cookies.

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Depending on how burnt they are, you'll likely have better luck turning them into a crust. (See #15!)

What's the best (or worst) baking hack you know? Share in the comments!

Update: The externally-sourced infographic in #6 has been modified to remove an exclusionary descriptor that BuzzFeed does not agree with.