Category Archives: How-To’s and Tips

How to make your own colored sugars

red sugar

While I enjoy icing cookies by hand, drawing little designs and other decorations (especially for gingerbread cookies), I always use a fair amount of colored sanding sugar around the holidays. Colored sugars are perfect for finishing off sugar cookies and butter cookies, giving them a fun and festive look for the holidays. In fact, it has always been a bit of a tradition for my ... Read More »

How to use pie weights

blind baked crust

Pie weights are used to weight down pie or tart pastry when you are baking. They’re typically used when a crust has to be partially baked – blind baked – before filling to ensure that the crust keeps its shape. If they’re not used, the pastry will often pull away from the sides of your pie plate and shrink or distort its shape. To use ... Read More »

How to Toast Pumpkin Seeds

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

The first time that I had toasted pumpkin seeds was in elementary school. I specifically remember my 1st grade teacher having us bring in seeds and toasting them – by which I mean watching her toast them – in the school’s kitchen. I don’t remember how they turned out, but it sure was fun. These days, I’m not even sure if you’re allowed to celebrated Halloween ... Read More »

How to make filled cupcakes, step-by-step

cupcake, filled

“Filling in the cupcake” should be an expression in the same vein as “icing on the cake.” Both are added bonuses that you don’t need, but can take a treat to the next level. Icing is a bit more common than filling and since it may not be something you do every time you bake, I put together this photo tutorial to give you an ... Read More »

What is overmixing?

cookies, baked

When you’re reading through recipe instructions, particularly for baked goods, you probably come across the phrase “do not overmix” fairly often. The notion of “overmixing” can be confusing if you’re just getting into baking – after all, cookie dough is either mixed, or it isn’t, right? The final stage of making a cookie dough or cake batter often involves stirring flour, or a flour mixture, ... Read More »

How to prevent a cake from sticking

foil wrapped cake

A common problem that bakers encounter is having a cake, or other baked good, stick to the bottom of the pan when they try to remove it. Even greasing the pan isn’t guaranteed to work 100% of the time. Sometimes, the high sugar content of the food you’re baking, such as brownies, leads to a high amount of caramelization – and therefore stickiness – along ... Read More »

Make your own cake stand

homemade cake stand

I almost always use a cake stand for presentation, or rely on a cake carrier if I am traveling with my cakes. Even though I have a few ways to showcase cakes already, I love the idea that I could create a stand for any size or shape of cake that I might need – not to mention that I could dress it up in a ... Read More »

How to keep brown sugar soft

sugar discs

Brown sugar can be a bit problematic because, when left unattended, the moist sugar can quickly transform into a rock-like state. This happens because the sugar dries out and the molasses used to keep it brown (most brown sugars are white sugars, with molasses added back) hardens and sticks it together like glue. There are several ways to avoid this problem. The easiest is by storing the ... Read More »

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