We’ve all been there. You’re in the middle of baking a cake and you run out of a key ingredient. You’re mixing ingredients and end up with more on you and on your counter than in the mixing bowl. Baking can be a headache, but it really doesn’t have to be. To ease your baking-induced stress, you can turn to these backing hacks .

1. Want A Flawless Cake? Measure Your Flour Properly.

Measuring Flour
Spoon your flour into a dry measuring cup, then scrape the excess off with a knife. Scooping from a bag causes the flour to become compressed, often giving you more flour than your recipe calls for.

2. Prevent The Whisker Splatter Blues With A Paper Plate.

Paper Plate On Mixer
Cut holes into a paper plate for the beaters, then place it above them. The paper plate catches the back splash and eases post-baking cleanup.

3. Struggling To Decorate That Cake? Grab A Cookie Cutter.

Cookie Cutter Cake Decoration
Place the decorative cookie cutter gently on top of the frosted cake. Fill the cookie cutter with enough sprinkles to cover the icing on the cake, gently pressing them in to prevent spilling when the cookie cutter is removed. The result? A perfectly shaped sprinkle decoration on your cake. Check it out here.

4. Print This Common Measurement Cheat Sheet For A Quick Reference.

Kitchen Measurements Cheat Sheet
Whether you’re doubling a recipe or simply like conversions, this cheat sheet is handy to have when baking. Find it here.

5. Broken Whisker? Grab A Mason Jar And Whip That Cream.

Whipped Cream in a Jar
Mason jars have been taking over the Pinterest world – and for good reason. If you can’t find your whisk, pour your cream in a mason jar and shake away. Found here.

6. Tired Of Post-Brownie Pan Clean Up? Reach For The Parchment Paper.

parchmentpaperbrownie
Line your baking dish with foil or parchment paper and then lightly butter it. You’re welcome.

7. So You Dropped An Eggshell Into Your Dish…

Egg Shells
Wet your finger and place it near the shell. It will gravitate towards your finger, making it easier to remove it. If you can’t find them, don’t fret. Eggshells sink when baked, so finding them after will be a breeze.

8. You Can Also Use The Half Empty Shell.

eggshellscoop
That’s right. Instead of sticking your finger into the eggs, you can use the half empty shell to scoop the eggshell piece up.

9. Out Of Brown Sugar? Use White Sugar And Molasses.

Make Your Own Brown Sugar
Brown sugar is essentially white sugar before the molasses is removed through processing. Follow the recipe here when you’re in a pinch.

10. Or Refer To This Handy Substitutions List.

13-handy-cooking-and-baking-substitutions-for-missing-ingredients.w654
Pull up this image whenever you’ve realize too late in the baking game that you’re out of something. Found here.

11. Test Your Baking Soda Before Baking.

Baking Soda In Water
Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a 1/2 cup of hot water. If it doesn’t bubble, it’s time to throw it away.

12. Keep Baking, Even When You’ve Run Out Of Muffin Tins.

Mason Lids
Like a tray with mason jar bands, place the liners inside and fill with batter, then bake. Perfect solution to a bit of leftover batter.

13. No Frosting? Use Powdered Sugar And Lace.

Lace Cake Decoration
Find the full instructions here to have beautiful masterpieces in mere minutes.

14. Keep Your Cookies Moist Longer.

storecookies
Store cookies with an apple slice or an orange peel. The cookie will absorb the moisture, keeping them softer, longer.

15. Make Frosting Any Color With This Color Chart.

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A basic box of primary colors is all you’ll need to achieve these beautiful results. More colors can be found here.

16. Or Use Jell-O!

jello frosting
Add a bit to frosting to your favorite Jell-O color or follow this recipe. Added flavor and fun colors?! A must try.

17. Use A Wine Bottle As A Rolling Pin.

winebottle
Can’t find your rolling pin? Reach for the wine. Sure, a glass will help your baking-induced nerves, but the bottle also doubles as a great rolling pin when you don’t have one of your own.

18. Quickly Bring Your Eggs To Room Temperature.

eggsinwater
Did you forget to leave your eggs sitting for an hour before baking? Of course you did – everyone does. Don’t fret. Simply fill a bowl with luke-warm water and place your eggs in. Let them sit for 10-30 minutes to achieve room-temp eggs.

19. Working With Something Sticky? Wet Your Hands.

hand gingerbread dough
Wetting your hands before working with something sticky, like fudge, will help you handle it without getting it stuck to you.

20. Use Saran Wrap To Make Your Decorating Bags Last Longer.

Frosting4
Wrap your icing like a tootsie roll in the saran wrap and then place it in your decorating bag. Pull one twisted side through the decorating bag and cut off the twisted part. Add the decorating tip to the bag and frost away. Follow the step-by-step instructions here.

21. Make A Box Cake Tastes Homemade.

eggs
Use one more egg than the recipe calls for and replace the vegetable oil with butter. Viola – homemade cake from a box.

22. Rid Yourself Of Pesky Air Pockets In Your Cake.

dropcake
After you’ve filled your cake pan with batter and before you place it in the oven, drop it onto the counter a few times. This will release the bubbles, helping the cake to bake more evenly in the oven. And it’s not a bad stress-reliever, when you’ve got an apron covered in flour and streaks of batter lining your creased forehead.

23. Keep Your Brown Sugar Soft.

brown sugar marshmallow
Store your brown sugar with a slice of bread or a large marshmallow for like-new softness, no matter when you use it.

24. No Butter? Reach For An Avocado.

avocado-vs-buttercakeletter
Whether you’re watching your cholesterol or you just want a healthier alternative, replace the butter in your recipes with avocados.

25. Cool Down Whipping Cream Or Meringues With Freezer Pops.

mixerfreezerpops
Place a pack of freezer pops underneath your mixing bowl too keep your whipping cream or meringues cool.

26. Prevent Sticky Ingredients From Sticking Around The Measuring Cup.

spraying measuring cup
Honey, syrup, molasses…whatever sticky substance you measure will slide right out of the measuring cup when you spray the measuring cup with a non-stick spray first. It’s so obvious, it almost hurts.

27. Want The Perfect Pie Crust?

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Use both butter and shortening in your crust recipe. The butter adds flavor, while the shortening adds flakiness.

28. Get Professional Cake Decorations Using Wax Paper.

cakeletter
Cut a piece of wax paper the size of your cake. Decorate the wax paper as you would the cake (mistakes are easily wiped away) and then freeze. When it comes time to decorate the cake, all you will have to do is gently peel the frozen letters off of the paper and place them onto the cake.

29. Tired Of Crumbling Cookies?

coolingcookies
Let your cookie rest on the sheet pan for 20 – 30 seconds before moving them to a cooling rack. Leaving them sit for that brief time allows the heat to escape and helps prevent your cookies from crumbling.

30. No Frosting Pipette? Grab A Syringe.

syringe
Fill a syringe with frosting, then use it for precise decorating on cookies, cupcakes or whatever your frosted heart desires.

31. Or A Sandwich Baggie.

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Simply fill the baggie with icing and cut off a corner. It could be a big piece or a little piece, depending on your desired piping size. Or go wild and create many sizes to fit your baking needs.

32. Use Tinfoil To Create A Smaller Baking Dish.

tartpanhack
Follow the instructions here to create a smaller baking pan using tinfoil.

33. Get Even Cookies By Wrapping, Rolling, And Slicing.

cookieroll
Roll your cookie dough onto a sheet of parchment and then carefully roll it into a log. Refrigerate the dough until it’s firm. Once it’s firm, cut the dough crosswise into even sections, place on a tray and bake.

34. Turn Gluten-Free Oats Into Flour.

oatflour
Gluten-free doesn’t have to mean baked treats-free. Simply blend your gluten-free oats until they achieve a powdered consistency and then get to baking.

35. Experiment With Cake Textures.

caketexture
Sour cream and yogurt can be used in place of milk to achieve different densities and textures.

36. Soften Brown Sugar In Seconds.

brown sugar
Place your brown sugar in the microwave, cover with a wet paper towel and microwave for around 20 seconds. Boom. Soft brown sugar.

37. Check Your Eggs’ Freshness With Water.

eggsfloat
Place an egg in a dish of water. If it sinks, it’s fresh; if it floats, it’s not. If it stands on one end, it’s best to use soon.

38. Create Cake Layers With Dental Floss… Seriously!

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Need to cut your cake in half to create two cake layers? Wrap dental floss around the middle of the cake, pulling each end out and away from it, then move the floss slightly from side to side. Just, maybe think about skipping the mint-flavored variety. Illustrated instructions can be found here.

39. Give Your Frosted Cake A Glossy Finish.

blow dry cake
Right before serving, use a hair dryer on medium heat on the cake until the frosting starts to melt. The melted frosting solidifies, presenting you with a beautifully glossed cake.

40. Cut The Cake Fat… Use Applesauce.

applesauce
Replace oil in cake recipes with unsweetened applesauce. The ratio is simple: 1:1.

Featured photo credit: birthday cupcake!/Ginny via flickr.com

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