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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 December 9, 2019

                                                                                  5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                                                                                  5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                                                                                  Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

                                                                                  Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

                                                                                  Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

                                                                                  1. Get Rationally Optimistic

                                                                                  Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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                                                                                  This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

                                                                                  In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

                                                                                  The result: no more mental stress.

                                                                                  2. Unplug

                                                                                  Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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                                                                                  How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

                                                                                  It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

                                                                                  Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

                                                                                  3. Easy on the Caffeine

                                                                                  Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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                                                                                  Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

                                                                                  4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

                                                                                  That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

                                                                                  How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

                                                                                  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
                                                                                  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
                                                                                  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

                                                                                  While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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                                                                                  5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

                                                                                  This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

                                                                                  The result: mental stress will be gone!

                                                                                  So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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                                                                                  Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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