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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 March 13, 2019

                                                                                  How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                                                                  How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                                                                  Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                                                                                  You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                                                                                  Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                                                                                  1. Work on the small tasks.

                                                                                  When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                                                                                  Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                                                                                  2. Take a break from your work desk.

                                                                                  Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                                                                                  Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                                                                                  3. Upgrade yourself

                                                                                  Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                                                                                  The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                                                                                  4. Talk to a friend.

                                                                                  Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                                                                                  Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                                                                                  5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                                                                                  If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                                                                                  Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                                                                                  Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                                                                                  6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                                                                                  If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                                                                                  Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                                                                                  Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                                                                                  7. Read a book (or blog).

                                                                                  The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                                                                                  Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                                                                                  Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                                                                                  8. Have a quick nap.

                                                                                  If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                                                                                  9. Remember why you are doing this.

                                                                                  Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                                                                                  What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                                                                                  10. Find some competition.

                                                                                  Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                                                                                  Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                                                                                  11. Go exercise.

                                                                                  Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                                                                                  Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                                                                                  As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                                                                                  Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                                                                                  12. Take a good break.

                                                                                  Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                                                                                  Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                                                                                  Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                                                                                  Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                                                                                  More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                                                                                  Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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