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40 Delightful And Mind-Blowing Baking Hacks You Can’t Miss

40 Delightful And Mind-Blowing Baking Hacks You Can’t Miss

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.

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                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.

                              SCAN0001 (3)

                                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!

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                                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.

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                                                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?

                                                      pie-50407_1280

                                                        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.

                                                              s3.amazonaws.com_photography.prod.demandstudios.com_58f4c766-9f3f-4230-86ad-b2bb85e2023a

                                                                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.

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                                                                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!

                                                                            670px-Cut-a-Cake-Layer-in-Half-Step-3

                                                                              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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                                                                                  Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                                                                                  7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                                                                  7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                                                                  Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                                                                                  Video Summary

                                                                                  Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                                                                                  There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                                                                                  This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                                                                                  Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                                                                                  In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                                                                                  One Exercise, multiple benefits

                                                                                  There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                                                                                  By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                                                                                  When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                                                                                  Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                                                                                  In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                                                                                  What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                                                                                  What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                                                                                    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                                                                                    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                                                                                    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                                                                                    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                                                                                    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                                                                                    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                                                                                    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                                                                                      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                                                                                      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                                                                                      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                                                                                        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                                                                                        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                                                                                          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                                                                                          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                                                                                          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                                                                                          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                                                                                          5. You’ll improve overall balance

                                                                                            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                                                                                            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                                                                                              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                                                                                              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                                                                                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                                                                                How to hold a plank position

                                                                                                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                                                                                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                                                                                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                                                                                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                                                                                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                                                                                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                                                                                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                                                                                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                                                                                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                                                                                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                                                                                                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                                                                                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                                                                                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                                                                                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                                                                                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                                                                                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                                                                                  • Prolapse
                                                                                                  • After prolapse surgery
                                                                                                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                                                                                                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                                                                                  • Previous childbirth
                                                                                                  • Overweight

                                                                                                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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