Unlike cooking, baking is an exact science. Even small errors when it comes to measuring or ingredients can cause your cookie, cake, and more fail to come out the way you want. Here are the most common mistakes bakers make:
Forgetting to preheat the oven
In well-written recipes, preheating the oven will always be the first step. This gives it plenty of time to reach the right temperature, so when you’ve mixed up your batter or dough, you can put it right in. If you put the stuff in before the oven has preheated, it will mess with the baking chemistry and bake time.
Using cold ingredients instead of room temperature
Recipes will frequently say to use room-temperature eggs or softened butter. If you don’t, it affects how the batter or dough mixes up. The texture will be off, and it stays off even once baking is done. Unless the recipe specifically says to use cold butter or eggs, assume they should be at room temperature.
Using a different pan size than what the recipe calls for
The bake time of a recipe is determined by a number of factors, including the thickness of your batter and dough. This doesn’t matter if you’re just using a flat cookie sheet, but for cakes and brownies, you use pans with specific dimensions. Using a different one than what’s listed in the recipe changes the bake time. If you use one that’s too big, you risk overcooking, while ones that are too small will result in a cake or brownie that’s undercooked.
Trying to remove cakes or cut brownies before they’re cooled enough
We know it’s hard to wait for delicious cakes and brownies; it’s tempting to just dig in. However, that cooling time allows the cake or brownie to fully set. If you try removing the cake or cutting your brownies too soon, they will fall apart. You want to wait until they are fully-cooled and the pan they’re in is no longer warm.
Frosting too soon
Another problem with impatience applies to frosting bars, brownies, and cupcakes. If you don’t wait until they are cooled completely, any frosting you do will melt right off. Your baked good should be cool, even cold, for the frosting to really hold its shape.