As you'll see, really good cake recipes aren't all that difficult to find on the Internet, but you do have to know where to look and what to look for and have some time to spend researching. Once you have a recipe with promise, be sure that you understand and follow it diligently. The rewards will be sweet, especially the "mmm's" and sighs emanating from those partaking of your scrumptious cakes.
Where do you find cake recipes on the Internet that are deserving of your time? A good place to start of course is at a quality site that offers cake recipes, such as the FoodNetwork.com or MarthaStewart.com.
When you come across a recipe posted by a fellow Website visitor, rather than say by Martha herself, be sure to check the reviews. Many of these types of sites have a review element that allows you to see what others who have tried the recipe have to say about it, or at the least how many stars they've given it. Until you've got enough experience to discern a great recipe from a poor one, look for the quantity of reviews, especially if it's just going by stars, so that you're not just taking one or two persons' word for it. Here's one thing that is a mark of a quality recipe: quality ingredients.
This may seem to go without saying, but by quality ingredients, we mean that the ingredients in the recipe will be the more natural and real forms. For example a quality cake recipe will have: Real butter instead of margarine Real whipping cream, in liquid form, not out of a can Extracts and/or zests instead of artificial flavors (with the exception of icings such as snow white buttercream that calls for clear vanilla and butter flavor) And when you make a cake from a great sounding recipe, be sure to do it justice and use fresh ingredients. You will notice the difference in taste! So in general, the best cake recipes use the freshest and more natural forms of ingredients. This doesn't of course guarantee the excellence of a recipe, so remember to read those reviews! Speaking of ingredients, if you can't find it in your local stores, shop online. Sites such as Candylandcrafts.com carry hard-to-find ingredients.
Once you've found a cake recipe you want to try, be sure to follow it diligently. If you're not familiar with a term, look it up, so you know you've got it right. Here are a few basic terms.
These are shortened excerpts from the "Cake Decorating Made Easy!" Video Books. Blend: Combine two or more ingredients until they are equally smooth. If blending by hand, 100 strokes generally equals one minute with the electric mixture. Beat: Similar to blending, except the goal of beating is to aerate as well. So beating calls for vigorous mixing, blending or circular stirring.
Cream: This very important step, often the first in a cake recipe, means to beat together ingredients, usually including a fat, such as butter with sugar until a fluffy mixture forms. Creaming incorporates air into the mixture (the sugar granules cut into the fat forming air bubbles), which makes it very important to a cake's tenderness and rising. Fold: To combine a light ingredient such as whisked eggs whites into a heavier mixture. Generally this is done by passing a rubber spatula very gently through the batter.
Butter and eggs are best used at about 65 to 67°F or about room temperature in cake recipes. So remove them from the fridge about 15 to 30 minutes ahead of time. And here's one more cake recipe tip: The unsalted butter (sweet cream butter) is the preferred choice of bakers, but salted butter is fine. However, never substitute with whipped butter in a cake recipe because the lower fat content can ruin your recipe.
Samantha Mitchell, Co-Author Cake Decorating Made Easy! Vol. 1 & 2 The Worlds First Cake Decorating Video Books Sign up for for fantastic cake decorating tips, tricks and secrets of the pros at Cake Decorating Made Easy