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Baking With Donna: 6 Tips For Making the Best Cupcakes

Christmas Cupcakes

 As an Amazon Associate, if you should click on any of my links, I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

You may be asking yourself, “What is the secret to delicious cupcakes?” The simple answer to this question is, moistness, of course! I have come up with 6 tips that I think will help you with your cupcakes and hopefully, you will enjoy this simple recipe. Read on and enjoy!😉

1. Start with a moist delicious cake recipe!

Yellow Cake With Chocolate Buttercream Icing
Yellow Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing

I used my favorite Yellow Butter Cake Recipe for this particular batch of cupcakes. And since they were butter flavored, I decided to use some chocolate buttercream icing. It was awesome and my sister and our guest loved it! You can find that recipe here My Favorite Yellow Butter Cake


2. Follow the recipe!

Follow the Recipe

I know you have probably read this in some of my other posts before and I know what you are thinking, “Well duh.” But I promise you out of all the tips I can give you, this is the most important one of all! Always, always follow your recipe step by step. Don’t try and cut corners or you will end up with a not-so-great experience with whatever dessert or dish you are making. So, remember this if you remember nothing else, ok?😳

3. Get your ingredients ready!

Gather the Ingredients

To save yourself a lot of time, after reading the recipe and knowing what you need, go ahead and get your ingredients together. Then you can begin the measuring out and mix of your ingredients. Oh, and if your recipe calls for butter at room temperature, go ahead and lay it out for about 30 minutes or so. It is also a good idea to lay your eggs when you do the butter for the same amount of time. This will help the eggs and butter mix up nicely with your other ingredients. You can do this while you are gathering your other ingredients, measuring, and so forth. 👩‍🍳

4. Don’t overmix or undermix!

Don't Do It
Don’t Do It!

This is a mistake that a lot of bakers make. If you overmix your cupcake batter it will make them tough and crumbly. Undermixing will make them sink in the middle. Mix just until all of the ingredients are incorporated and your batter is not lumpy.😉


5. Choose the right pan!

Choose The Right Pan
Choose the Right Pan

Always use the right baking pan size. If you use a pan that is too big, the batter will spread out too far, creating a dense cupcake with little or no filling. If you use a pan that is too small, your cupcake batter will overflow while baking, and it will be flat on top. When using cupcakes pans, always fill each cavity no more than 2/3 full, otherwise, your baked batter will spill over the edges.😖


6. Don’t overbake!

Overbaked Cupcakes
Overbaked Cupcakes

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. or whatever the recipe calls for. If the recipe states to cook 15-20 minutes, start off with the lower time and increase it in 5-minute intervals. Overcooking will dry your cupcakes out and make them crumbly. Undercooking them will cause them to sink in the middle.😝



I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did sharing “Baking With Donna: 6 Tips For Making the Best Cupcakes.” If you follow my tips, you will be baking delicious moist cupcakes in no time.

Happy Baking,

Donna Kennedy🧁

donna@bakingwithdonna.com

bakingwithdonna.com

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Baking With Donna: 10 Ways to Save Money and Time

Save Time and Money
Save Time and Money

Should you click on any of my links below, they are to my recipes which I will be compensated for if you decide to purchase them. Thank you! Enjoy!

These days we “All” need to find ways to save money and time. With the prices of groceries, gas, and everything else skyrocketing, we need ways to save our money and get more bang for our buck. And ways to save our time.

So, I have put together a list of 10 things that I do to save money and time. Maybe, some of these will inspire you to save money too and your time.


Are you ready to get started? Let’s get to it…

Grocery Sale
Grocery Sale

1. Shop sales always–  You never know when there are going to be mega sales at your favorite store until you check out their site on a regular basis.


Shop Big Sale
Shop Big Sale

2. Do not buy things at full price-  If there is something you are thinking of purchasing, wait for it to go on sale before you buy it. This includes clothing, shoes, accessories, furniture, appliances, or even food.  I always wait for sale times before I make my purchases-I save tons of money this way.



Clip Coupons
Clip Coupons to Save

3. Always look for coupons online– If you are looking for coupons online, do not limit yourself to the sites that offer the coupons that you want. There are many other sites that can provide you with great coupons that can save you money on things that you were planning to buy anyway.


Weekly Meal Planner
Weekly Meal Planner

4. Create a meal plan for the week– Do this before you do your shopping. My goodness, you have no idea how much time this will save you! You can print a meal planner off the internet for free.


Grocery List
Grocery List

5. Make a detailed grocery list from your meal plan– This way when you get to the grocery store you want be trying to figure out what you need for the week. Such a big time saver and this will help you to save money because you want be buying unnecessary items you really didn’t need. You can print these off the internet for free.


Freezer Meals
Freezer Meals

6. Another time saver- Make freezer meals ahead of time . This is a big time saver especially if you are a busy mom taking kids to and from school, taking them to play in sports, to practice, etc. You just set the frozen meal out for 20-30 minutes and pop it in the oven to cook for the time your recipe specifys.


Fruits And Veggies
Shop Fruits and Veggies First

7. Shop the perimeter of the store first-  Fruits, Vegetables, Dairy, Frozen Foods, and Meat sections, as these sections have fewer processed foods, preservatives, and more natural ingredients.


Weekly Savings
Shop Once a Week

8. Shop only once a week-  On the same day each week. By shopping regularly you will have a feel for how much you need to buy that week and you will also see how prices change on a weekly basis which is helpful when you are watching your spending.


Lady Buying Toilet Paper
Buying in Bulk

9. Buy in bulk- When it makes sense or buy generic when possible. My husband and I share vegetables, soups, bread, toilet paper, paper towels, etc. when we buy in bulk with family members which helps us all save money. And they do the same for us.


Onions And Garlic
Onions and Garlic

10. Use a mix for part of the recipe-Oftentimes a mix will be cheaper than buying all of the ingredients separately. While you can use a mix for half of a recipe, adjust the other ingredients accordingly. You can also substitute alternative ingredients for featured ones. If a recipe calls for onions or garlic that are out of season, or if you just don’t have any on hand, try using shallots or garlic powder instead.


There you have it. I hope you enjoyed Baking With Donna: 10 Ways to Save Money and Time as much as I enjoyed sharing this with you. Maybe this will help you as much it has me.

I would love to know if you tried this and how much it helped you. Do you have anything to contribute to my 10 ways to save money and time? If you do please share below.

Happy Baking,

Donna Kennedy👩‍🍳

donna@bakingwithdonna.com

bakingwithdonna.com

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7 Delicious Tips for Baking with Your Kids

How to Increase Your Productivity in the Kitchen

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10 Tips-How to Survive the Holidays

Family Gathering for the Holidays
Family Gathering for the Holidays

Should you click on any of my links below, they are to my recipes which I will be compensated for if you decide to purchase them. Thank you! Enjoy!

Wow! Can you believe it’s that time of the year again, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve? Do you find yourself getting overwhelmed during the holidays? No, worries, I got you covered!

Below I want to talk to you about how you can survive the holiday season with my 10 Tips-How to Survive the Holidays. It can seem like a harrowing time of year that is even more so for those who find themselves alone, and for the ones of us doing the entertaining. It’s important not to let overwhelm seep in and keep you from enjoying the many gifts and blessings we receive during this time of year.

I love this time of the year even though it can get Harry Caray, so grab a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage and let me help you ease through the holidays.


Here are some tips I have for you:

Woman Making Grocery Lists
Woman Making Grocery Lists

1. Make a list and check it twice. If you do not have a list already made up, it is time to get started! This is crucial during the holidays. The last thing you need to be thinking about is if you have everything you need for your big night.


Family Time
Family Time

2. Prioritize. Spend time with those who matter most to you. Family and friends. Make sure you do not overwhelm yourself trying to fulfill everyone else’s expectations of you.


Store-bought cookies
Store-Bought Cookies

3. Simplify. There is no need to arrive at every party or gathering with a plate of cookies to eat, or a dish to pass around. Arrive with a smile and be present with those who cross your path. If you don’t like to cook, go with a store-bought dish instead of making something from scratch.


Holiday Meal Planning
Holiday Meal Planning

4. Plan. Planning your menu ahead of time can save you a lot of time and heartache. Don’t wait until the day before or the day of to try and figure out what you want to cook and serve. Do this at least a week in advance, I promise you will be glad that you did! A big-time saver!


Preparing Veggies
Preparing Veggies

5. Prepare ahead of time. If you are like me and love to bake from scratch, make foods ahead of time that you can freeze or just pop in the oven the next day. Doing simple things like chopping vegetables up, chopping up nuts, etc. the day before will save you valuable time.


Family Cooking Together
Family Cooking Together

6. Ask for help. This is one of the hardest things for me to do! I know, right? There is no shame in asking for help! I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, so I can’t do the things I use to do and that has been hard for me. Thankfully my youngest daughter has taken over a lot of the cooking I use to do for the holidays. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still bake my cakes and cookies, cause I am not willing to give that up yet! Lol! Oh, and my hubby cleans up what I mess up. Bless his heart!


Take a Deep Breath

7. Breathe. Yes, breathe and try to get in a little exercise. I know, I know. Who has the time you are probably saying to me as you are reading this? It doesn’t have to be a long process, just do some stretching, breathing exercises, etc. The reason for this is when we get stressed out or anxious, we tend to hold our breath or breathe very shallowly.


Laughing with Family
Laughing with Family

8. Laughing is the best medicine. Yep, you read this one right. Laughing reduces your stress levels, soothes tension, helps you breath deeper, improves your immune system, improves your mood, relieves pain, plus more! Who would ever think laughing could do so much good?🤔


Gratitude

9. Be grateful. Stop and think about all of the things you should be grateful for. Be thankful to God for your good health, your family, and your friends. Not to mention all of the things that you should be grateful for throughout the year. Try writing down 6-8 things you are grateful for in your life. Try it, you will be surprised how much better you will feel.


Relaxing Back Massage
Relaxing Back Massage

10. Spend some time relaxing. Yeessss, honey, be good to yourself. All the cooking and cleaning, hosting, etc. It’s time to do something good and kind just for YOU! Put on your list to get a gift card for a massage if someone asks what you would like for Christmas. You can always put that little bug in your hubby’s ear.😉


We all know it! Christmas time is a stressful time for a lot of us. It’s a time of the year that seems to drain us of our energy and motivation. It’s a time when we feel the need to prove ourselves as great wives, moms, daughters, or whatnot.

So, it is very important that you be good to yourself and others during this time of stress. Make sure to take time for yourself to decompress to keep from getting too stressed out. Please don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help if things are getting to be too much for you. It’s ok to ask for help and your family will be glad to pitch in, I promise!

Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Happy Baking,

Donna Kennedy🦃🎄

donna@bakingwithdonna.com

bakingwithdonna.com

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5 Tips to Baking with Your Grandkids


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6 Best Brownie Pans

Brownies
Brownies

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Are you in the market for a really good brownie pan? Look no further I have got you covered. There is nothing like stirring up a batch of homemade warm gooey brownies. Topped with vanilla ice cream or how about the homemade cool whip? Yep, you read that right homemade cool whip!

Ok, now that I am drooling, let’s get back to the task at hand so you can get the perfect brownie pan.

There are four important categories to consider when choosing a brownie pan.

They are as follows:

  1. Square or rectangular brownie pan
  2. Non-stick pans
  3. Specialty brownie pans, square with dividers (pan can be made of either metal or silicone)
  4. Cast Iron Skillet (this should be self explanatory)

The features you should look for in a brownie pan:

  1. Flat bottom – All of the pans we looked at need to have a flat bottom for even baking.
  2. Efficient and even heating – The best and most nonstick pans for brownies will also be the ones with the best and most even heating.
  3.  Proper capacity – It is important to know that all of these pans will work for baking a 9×13-inch brownie.

6 best brownie pans

Wilton Brownie Bar Pan
Wilton Brownie Bar Pan

#1. Wilton Brownie Bar Pan (Amazon’s Choice) If you want to bake your favorite brownie recipe to perfection, then you need to start with Wilton’s premium non-stick bake ware. This pan is heavier than most other brands so that you can be assured that this premium non-stick pan will heat evenly resulting in brownies baked to perfection. This pan is not just for brownies, you can also create beautiful single desserts like miniature cakes, fruit bars, and much more. 4.8/5 STARS

Features:

  • made of Alloy Steel that is built to last
  • Heats evenly for perfect results every time
  • 12 individual serving cavities, no slicing needed
  • Non-Stick coating
  • Last for years of perfect baking
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 1.81 x 10.56 x 15.12 inches

Have all 3 of the features I’m looking for: Flat bottom, Efficient and even heating, Proper capacity.


Brooklyn Brownie Copper by GOTHAM STEEL

#2. Brooklyn Brownie Copper by GOTHAM STEEL- This brownie pan allows you to mix your batter right in the pan with a mixer! This keeps you from messing up an extra bowl. You can quickly mix up 18 brownies, cakes, or whatever your heart desires to serve to your family or friends. Want pizza appetizers? No problem, you can easily mix your batter right in the pan. Next, insert the brownie grid, and stick it in the oven. This brownie pan promises to deliver crispy edges while keeping the centers gooey. This is achieved by the even distribution of the heat by the pan’s bottom, sides, and grid. 4.4/5 STARS

Features:

  • Made from premium heavy-weight aluminized steel
  • Non-stick coating allows for easy food removal
  • Pre-cut divider, no dividing of food needed
  • Made from premium heavy-weight aluminized steel
  • Non-stick coating allows for easy food removal
  • Pre-cut divider, no dividing of food needed
  • Cooks more than just brownies
  • Fast clean-up and dishwasher safe
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 14.09 x 9.19 x 2.59 inches

Have all 3 of the features I’m looking for: Flat bottom, Efficient and even heating, Proper capacity.


Chicago Metallic Professional Slice Solutions Brownie Pan

#3. Chicago Metallic Professional Slice Solutions Brownie Pan(Amazon’s Choice) Create perfect brownies every time with this non-stick brownie pan. Because of the divider, it allows you to customize each brownie with nut toppings, sprinkles, candies, or whatever you like. This unique brownie pan is not just for brownies, you can make cornbread, cakes, and many other baked treats. 4.5/5 STARS

Features:

  • Removable divider
  • Perfect 3 inch by 2 inch treats
  • No knife needed to cut every piece
  • Customize each brownie with different toppings
  • Premium quality durable stainless steel for superior
  • Item Dimensions LxWxH: 16 x 10 x 2.5 inches

Have all 3 of the features I’m looking for: Flat bottom, Efficient and even heating, Proper capacity.


Silicone Brownie Pan with Dividers

#4. Silicone Brownie Pan with Dividers- (#1Best Seller) If you love silicone or have never tried it, you need to. The silicone brownie pan is very flexible with a non-stick function making for quick and easy release of your baked good. It is made to sit directly on your oven racks, but I highly recommend placing it on a cookie sheet so you can avoid it folding in on you. It is silicone, so when it gets hot it is going to be very flexible. 4.4/5 STARS

Features:

  • Flexible silicone and non-stick finish allows for easy release of your baked goods
  • Made of 100% food grade silicone
  • Easy clean up: dishwasher safe and cleans up well with warm soapy water
  • Oven and microwave safe: -20 degrees F. to 450 degrees F.
  • Set of two: 12 + 24 Cavity. Very good deal!.
  • Dimensions LxWxH: 13 x 8 x 0.6 inches

Have all 3 of the features I’m looking for: Flat bottom, Efficient and even heating, Proper capacity.


Wilton Recipe Right Non-Stick 8-Inch Square Baking Pan

#5. Wilton Perfect Results Premium Non-Stick 8-Inch Square Cake Pans (Amazon’s Choice) Don’t need to make 12-24 brownies? Then these cake pans are for you. If you do a lot of baking and cooking, this set will work wonders for your busy kitchen. These pans are made with heavy-duty rolled steel construction that is meant to last you for years to come. And of course, this pan can be used for cakes, bars, or anything you want to bake. With its durable non-stick coating, clean-up is a breeze. 4.8/5 STARS

Features:

  • Comes in a set of two 8-inch non-stick square pans
  • Made with heavy-gauge construction for long-lasting durability
  • Even heating allows for food to cook thoroughly and prevents warping
  • Durable non-stick coating so food slides out easily
  • Scratch-resistant coating
  • Dishwasher safe for quick clean up or wash in warm soapy water
  • Dimensions LxWxH: 2.3 x 12.3 x 9.4 inches

Have all 3 of the features I’m looking for: Flat bottom, Efficient and even heating, Proper capacity.


Wilton Recipe Right Non-Stick 9-Inch Square Baking Pan With Lid

#6. Wilton Recipe Right Non-Stick 9-Inch Square Baking Pan with Lid- (Amazon’s Choice) This is the perfect gift set for that special just starting out baking, or a nice gift for yourself. This comes with a set of 2 non-stick baking pans with lids to keep all of your cakes, brownies, lemon bars, etc. fresher longer. 4.8/5 STARS

Features:

  • Heavy gauge construction spreads heat evenly and prevents warping
  • Non-stick coating so treats release easy
  • Easy cleanup with warm, soapy water
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Comes in a set of two 9-inch square pans w/lids
  • Dimensions LxWxH: 2 x 9 x 9 inches

Have all 3 of the features I’m looking for: Flat bottom, Efficient and even heating, Proper capacity.


These are some really awesome pans with fantastic prices. I know you will find one to your liking and baking needs. Check them out and get baking!

Happy Baking,

Donna Kennedy🍽

donna@bakingwithdonna.com

bakingwithdonna.com

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My Top 6 Picks for Non-Stick Pans

Non-Stick Pans

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

One of the questions I get asked the most is “What is the best non-stick cake pan?” and that’s why I am giving you my top 6 picks for non-stick cake pans.

I am going to be reviewing my top 6 picks based on the following criteria: Ease of Cleaning, Functionality, Durability, and Price.

The 6 brands of cake pans that I am going to be reviewing are:

  1. Wilton Non-Stick Round Cake Pans
  2. Nordic Ware Anniversary Collection
  3. Chicago Metallic Non-Stick Cake Pans
  4. Fat Daddio’s 9″ Wilton-Style Nonstick Springform Pan
  5. Wilton Perfect Results Premium Non-Stick 8-Inch Square Cake Pans
  6. Elbee Home 8-Piece Nonstick Aluminized Steel

If you love baking like I do, then a good durable, long-lasting cake pan(s) is a must-have. This is very important to have and is rated at the top of my list.

Having cake pans that are easy to clean, durable, and function well is essential for getting perfect results every time.

Nothing is worse than spending all of your time, effort, and money on creating a beautiful masterpiece to have it stick, burn, or just flop! Without further delay, what do you say we get down to the reviews?

Wilton Perfect Results Non-stick Round Cake-Best Price

Wilton Perfect Results Nonstick Round Cake Pan, 9 by 1.5-Inch, Silver

Bakers all around recognize the Wilton Perfect Results Non-Stick 9×1.5 inch Round Cake Pan as being one of the best high-quality made cake pans around. With its non-stick surface and reinforced coating, no wonder bakers are raving about its durability, functionality, price, and of course how easy the cake releases making clean-up a breeze. (3 sizes to choose from) For durability, functionality, cleaning, and price I give them an A-plus.


NORDIC WARE ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION-Best Bundt Pan

Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Anniversary Bundt Pan

This beautiful Bundt pan is part of Nordic Ware’s Anniversary Collection. Not only does it make a beautiful and stunning cake design, you can do this in one easy step and then decorate it as you wish. This Bundt cake pan is made of lightweight aluminum with a non-stick finish making clean up and release easy. This pan is not just for cakes, you can also make festive bread or mold gelatins and frozen desserts. Yield: 10-15 cup capacity. (2 Colors to choose from)


Chicago Metallic Non-Stick Cake Pans-Best Round cake pans

Chicago Metallic Professional Non-Stick 3-Piece Round Cake Pan Bakeware Set, Gray

The Chicago Metallic Non-Stick Cake Pans comes in a set of 3 that includes 6-inch, 8-inch, and 10-inch round cake pans. Get your creative juices flowing and make a multi-layer cake for someone’s anniversary or perhaps a birthday cake. With this 3 pieces, non-stick cake pan set the possibilities are endless. The non-stick coating is made with a food-safe non-stick coating making food release easy and clean up fast and dishwasher safe. This set is made with durable carbon steel that evenly distributes the heat and weight for consistent baking and perfect results every time. For durability, functionality, cleaning, and price I give them an A-plus.


Fat Daddio’s 9″ Nonstick Spring foam Pan-Best Spring foam Pan


Fat Daddio's 9" Nonstick Spring foam Pan-Best Spring foam Pan

This pan is a must-have for making cakes, cheesecakes, tarts, or even ice cream cakes and much much more. Fat Daddio’s Spring foam pan is made out of Anodized Aluminum which heats faster for even cooking and cools off faster thus preventing over baking. The finish on this pan resists rusting, flaking, chipping, and peeling. The wide pedestal base can be used for a cake stand. Included with the 6×3 inch pan is a Lumintrail Measuring Spoon Set. I give Fat Daddio’s Spring Foam Cake Pan an A plus for Ease of Cleaning, Functionality, Durability, and Price.


Wilton Perfect Results Premium Non-Stick 8-Inch Square Cake Pans-Best Square pan set

Wilton Perfect Results Premium Non-Stick 8-Inch Square Cake Pans, Set of 2, Steel Bakeware Set

Having square pans in your cooking arsenal is a must have. Not only are they great for making a layered cake, but great for making brownies as well. Wilton Perfect Results Premium Non-Stick Square Cake Pans are made of durable steel that spreads heat evenly to prevent your cake layers from coming out warped. They have a non-stick coating for fast food release. You get 2 in a set. These pans are sure to last for many years. The ease of Cleaning, Functionality, Durability, and Price are amazing. This one also gets an A-plus rating.


Elbee Home 8-Piece Nonstick Aluminized SteeL-Best bakeware set

Elbee Home 8-Piece Nonstick Aluminized SteeL-Best bakeware set

I saved this one for last. This is truly an amazing set of bakeware to have. It comes with 8 different pans that stack neatly within one another to save space. These pans are made out of Aluminized Steel and are 100% dishwasher safe. This neat set will fit in your kitchen cabinets or under your oven. This would be a great starter kit for someone who just got married or for someone moving out on their own. Durable and heat resistant and can withstand heat up to 450 degrees F. Made from 100% non-stick carbon steel. The Elbee set comes with one large roasting pan, one 8 in. square cake tin, one small oven tray, two muffin pans, two 8 in. round cake tins, and one large oven tray. I have to give this one an A-plus for Ease of Cleaning, Functionality, Durability, and Price.


Ok, my bakers go and check out these 6 pans and pick out the one(s) that suit your baking needs. And get your baking on!

Happy Baking,

Donna Kennedy🍰

donna@bakingwithdonna.com

bakingwithdonna.com

Related Post:

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My 5 Tips to Moist Delicious Cakes

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Donna’s Baking Tray Liners

Baking Tray Liner
Baking Tray Liner

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

These baking tray liners are the best invention since the wheel!

I have always struggled with making sure that my baked goods don’t stick to the baking tray (Cookie Sheet). Crisco was the best I could do, but this new product takes things to a whole new level. I still remember being so mad after spending ages carefully rolling out my latest cookie recipe, putting it in the oven, and finding that it had stuck to the baking tray.

It was so frustrating. Ever since I got the baking tray liners, none of that has happened. This little invention has made my life so much easier, and means that I can even bake when I’m in a hurry.

When I’m working with the flexible silicone baking tray liner, I find that it goes in really easily, and is really easy to clean up afterwards. I love the way that it makes your baking experience much more efficient. It also reduces wastage because you don’t need to grease the baking trays ahead of time anymore.

I’ll bet you’ve even tried to buy a ready made liner, but they either fall apart halfway through baking, or they’re too small for your particular tray.

Well, worry no more, my friends. I have found the answer to all your problems.

Donna’s Top 6 Silicone Mats

My top silicone mats are going to make your baking life so much easier. I know it’s hard to believe that your food will not stick to these silicone mats. And just think, less of a mess to have to clean up! They are worth it just for that one reason alone. Not to mention they are great for the environment because they are re-useable which will save you money and time in the long run.😉

#6. GUANCI 6-Piece Silicone Baking Mat Set (Amazon’s Choice)

6-Piece Silicone Baking Mat Set
6-Piece Silicone Baking Mat Set

I have a mat very similar to this one and I love it! It works great for rolling out cookie dough, pie dough, pizza dough, or any type of pastry dough you can think of. It also has diagrams to guide you as you roll out your dough and this is super helpful.

Features:

  • Made of 100% Platinum Food-Grade Silicone
  • Holds up under 540 degrees Celsius which is equal to  1,004 Degrees Fahrenheit-Now that’s hot!
  • Easy clean-up and food does not stick to mat
  • Anti-Slip-stays in place
  • The Silicone baking is 0.7mm thickness or 0.028″ and is thicker than most pastry mats
  • And it’s dishwasher/oven/microwave oven/freezer safe
  • 4 different sets for your baking needs

#5. Aurrako Silicone Baking Mats for Cookie Baking Sheets Pan

Aurrako Silicone Baking Mats
Aurrako Silicone Baking Mats

You can cook healthier meals with these mats. No need to add butter, oil, fats, or sprays. With the Aurrako Silicone Baking mats, you never have to worry about any of your foods sticking. Roll out your favorite cookie doughs, pizza dough, or any kind of pastry dough you can think of.

Features:

  • Made with non-toxic silicone, BPA free, with no plastic fillers
  • Easy to clean and dishwasher safe
  • No more parchment paper or aluminum foil (save money)
  • Will not fold or crease and cooks food evenly
  • Comes with 6 piece pipping tips
  • Makes a perfect gift for birthdays, Christmas, mother’s day or for your self
  • 3 different size sets to meet your needs

#4. MMmat Silicone Baking Mats (Amazon’s Choice)

MMmat Silicone Mats
MMmat Silicone Mats

You will get 3 non-stick silicone baking mats to make your baking easier and convenient. The size of these are made for half sheet baking pans in size “13×18”.

Features:

  • You get 2 non-stick silicone baking mats & 1 macaron silicone mat
  • You don’t have use oils, sprays, or parchment paper
  • Can with stand oven up to 500 degrees F
  • PBA free and PFOA free
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Easy to clean and dishwasher safe
  • 6 different sets to choose from

#3. Happy Homes Market, Silicone Baking Mat (Amazon’s Choice)

Happy Homes Market, Silicone Baking Mat
Happy Homes Market, Silicone Baking Mat

With these cute silicone baking mats, you can turn any baking sheet or roasting pan into a non-stick easy to clean surface. By using silicone mats, you will not have to worry about parchment paper, waxed paper, aluminum foil, or baking sprays. These adorable mats are safe for all of your food plus they are BPA and PFOA FREE. 

Features:

  • Fits most standard size half sheet baking pans
  • Even heat distribution for perfect results every time
  • Can handle oven temps. from -40 degrees F to 450 degrees F
  • No need for added fats like cooking oil, butter, or cooking sprays
  • Non-stick silicone mats make clean-up a snap and they are dishwasher safe
  • Can handle your messiest doughs to your stickiest treats
  • And how adorable are these mats
  • You can choose all 3 styles or just 1 style

#2. Kitzini Silicone Baking Mat Set (Amazon’s Choice)

Kitzini Silicone Baking Mat
Kitzini Silicone Baking Mat

Want perfect results every time you bake? Then get the Kitzini Silicone Baking Mat Set. Designed for evenly distributed heat for perfect results every time. Make beautiful cookies, get crispy roasted veggies or pretty macarons that will slide off the mat with ease. And these mats can handle your toughest jobs. Now you can make healthy meals like a pro.

Features:

  • Can withstand freezing temps and oven temps. up to 450 degrees F
  • Designed to fit all standard half baking sheets
  • Easy clean-up without all the mess and dishwasher safe
  • No more parchment paper, aluminum foil, wax paper or cooking sprays
  • Cook healthier meals without added fats, butter, or oil
  • 5 different sets to choose from

#1. Non-slip Silicone Pastry Mat Extra Large with Measurements (#1 Seller on Amazon)

Extra Large Non-Slip Silicone Mat
Extra Large Non-Slip Silicone Mat

This silicone mat is made with premium-grade silicone to protect the health of you and your family. No worries about your food sticking. Not even your stickiest dough will stick to this non-stick mat. This baby is 28″ by 20″ so you will have plenty of room to roll out your cookie dough, pie dough, pastry dough with ease.

I picked this to be number 1 because it is much bigger than most and thicker. Made with good quality material that will lasts for years to come.

Features:

  • Non-stick surface so even your stickiest pastry dough want stick
  • Non-slip backing so it grips to your table without sliding around or rolling up
  • Easy clean-up, just rinse off with warm soapy water, no scrubbing
  • Can use for baking in the oven up to 470 degrees F
  • Bigger than other silicone mats and thicker
  • Has measurements to help you with the size of the pastry you need
  • Comes in 3 different sizes to fit your needs

Now that you have the information I encourage you to check out each one of the silicone mats on Amazon along with their videos to make the right choice for your baking needs.

You will be well on your way to baking like a pro and serving up healthier foods for you and your family without all the added fats that you don’t need. And clean-up will be a breeze. Just think, you will be done and out of the kitchen in no time for family time!

Happy Baking,

Donna Kennedy,🍰🍪

donna@bakingwithdonna.com

bakingwithdonna.com

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How to Make a Cake: A Step-by-Step Guide 

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

While baking cakes is usually easier than cooking, sometimes things can get quite tricky. This is why you need to know the basics of cake baking.

It doesn’t matter if you are new to baking or have been baking for years, this guide will help you.


How to Make a Cake: A Step-by-Step Guide

Making any cake is not rocket science. However, it is always good to follow the basic rules. By following these 12 easy steps, you will be able to create a beautiful and tasty cake every time. This guide will teach you how to make a cake.

Before you get started, you will need to decide on the cake recipe you would like. You can get a cake recipe here and then click on the Recipe tab. Now that you have your recipe, follow the steps below for a delicious moist made from scratch cake.

KitchenAid
KitchenAid

Step 1: Get Your Kitchen Aid Mixer Ready or Your Mixer of Choice

Get your mixer plugged in, your bowl set on your mixer, and your edge beater (flat paddle if you have a Kitchen Aid) ready to attach to your mixer. Doing this will save you some much-needed time.


Step 2: Prepare Your Baking Pans

Cake Pan
Cake Pan

This is a very important step to do before you pour the batter into the cake pans. Because you do not want your cake layers to stick. I love to use Pam Baking Spray or Bakers Joy Spray. These sprays already have the oil and flour mixed together making greasing and flouring your pans a breeze. One step and you’re done.

You can use two 9-inch pans, two 8-inch pans, or a 13x9x2 inch pan. The choice is yours. The recipe may specify which size pan to use as well. I use non-stick pans, but still, use the spray for assurance my cake layers will not stick and slide out of the pans with ease.


Step 3: Gather Your Ingredients

Gathering Your Ingredients
Gather Your Ingredients

Now that you have all of the ingredients for your recipe, allow them to reach room temperature. This usually only takes about 15-20 minutes. Doing this will allow for butter to mix up easier (you just want the butter to be soft) and allow the eggs to yield a higher cake volume. For food safety reasons, be sure not to leave the eggs out longer than about 20 minutes.


Step 4: Pre-Heat the Oven

Pre-Heat Oven
Pre-Heat Oven

Pre-heat your oven while mixing up your cake. For most cakes it is 350 degrees F. But there again, go by what the recipe says. You don’t want to put your cake into a cold oven and it has to sit there while the oven heats up. This can cause your cake to be dry and not as moist and can decrease the thickness of the layers. (want rise up as pretty).


Step-By-Step Recipe
Step-By-Step Recipe

Step 5: Follow the Recipe Step by Step

Make sure you follow the recipe exactly in order. Don’t try to skip ahead with steps to get it mixed up faster. If you do, you are going to be messing up big time! For example, if you are adding your eggs and the recipe wants you to add them one at a time and mix well before you add another one, you add them one at a time.


Step 6: Mixing the Dry Ingredients

Mix Dry Ingredients
Mix Dry Ingredients

Mix together the dry ingredients first, ie: flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, whatever the recipe calls for. You can mix these together in your mixing bowl using a wire whisk.



Step 7: Cream Together Sugar and Butter or Sugar and Shortening

Cream Butter, Sugar, And Shortening
Cream Butter, Sugar, and Shortening

Now you will want cream together either the sugar and butter or sugar and shortening depending on what your recipe calls for. Make sure that your butter is at room temperature. This will take about 15-20 minutes. You just want the butter soft enough to mix up smooth with the sugar. Beat on medium to high speed for about 30 seconds to get a smooth creamy texture. This is the secret to light and fluffy cakes.


Adding The Eggs
Adding the Eggs

Step 8: Let’s Add the Eggs

Typically you add the eggs one at a time mixing well before adding another one. Doing this causes the cake to maintain its structure better. And again go by the recipe. Not all recipes require the eggs to be added one at a time.


Step 9: Combining Dry and Wet Ingredients

Combing Wet and Dry Ingredients
Combing Wet and Dry Ingredients

When it comes to dry and wet ingredients, typically you alternate between the two. You will add a little of the dry mixture followed by the wet (milk, juice) and mix. You alternate like this until they both are added and incorporated into the batter. Make sure you start with the flour and end with the flour. Mix well, but do not over mix.


Step 10: Pour Batter into Prepared Cake Pans

Pour Batter Into Pans
Pour Batter Into Pans

Pour the cake batter evenly into prepared cake pans using a silicone spatula and bake at temperature according to the recipe. Most of the time it is 30-40 minutes. Start out with the lowest time first, you can always increase the time if needed. You can check doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it toothpick comes out clean, they are done. If there is any wetness on the toothpick, cook in increments of 5 minutes until done. This will keep you from overcooking the cake and drying it out.


Step 11: Cool the Cake Layers Before Frosting

Cool the Cakes
Cool the Cakes

Place cakes on a cooling rack(s) for 5 minutes, and then turn out on cake rack(s) to finish cooling. (About 60 minutes). To loosen the cakes from the side of the pan you bump the cake pan on the sides or run a knife around the edges. If you have a non-stick pan use a plastic knife so you won’t damage the pans.

Always frost or ice a cool cake! You don’t want your frosting to melt and run off of the cake!


Step 12: Frost a Cool Cake

Frost A Cool Cake
Frost A Cool Cake

Now comes the fun part! Make frosting or icing of your choice and frost the cake. Start by placing the top layer face down on your cake plate where the smoother side is facing up. Then you can place the cake plate on a rotating cake stand for easy frosting and decorating. Next, you want to put about 1/2 cup of the frosting on the first layer, then place the second layer with a smooth layer down (you are putting the smooth bottoms together).

Next, you want to put a thin layer of frosting on the top and sides of the cake. Don’t worry about how this looks right now. This is called a “crumb coat.” Then place the cake in your fridge or freezer for about 20-30 minutes. This will seal the crumbs in so they want get all in the frosting as you finish frosting the cake.

After the 30 minutes is up, finish frosting the cake. Start with a generous amount on top of the cake working down the sides all around the cake using an offset spatula. You can use circular motions to make a lovely design as you are going around the cake.

If you like you can add sprinkles to the top of your cake for decoration or whatever you like. You can also just leave it like it is with the beautiful swirls.

Follow this guide and you will not go wrong on making a cake. What are you waiting for? Get baking!🎂

FYI: Find all your baking items at bakingwithdonna.com click on The Bakers Shop.

Happy Baking,

Donna Kennedy🍰

donna@bakingwithdonna.com

bakingwithdonna.com

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5 cake pans YOU NEED for BAKING CAKES

Different Sized Pans

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Christmas and other holidays are just around the corner and I’m sure you’ll need to bake plenty of baked goodies to share with the people you love.

This is why I’m sharing with you my top 5 favorite cake pans for baking cakes.

There’s something about making a delicious cake from scratch that makes me feel so accomplished. It’s such a great feeling to be able to provide for yourself and your loved ones. And one of the ways you can make your loved ones feel extra special is by making them a delicious cake.

I believe in making it special for them, instead of trying to make the most expensive cake ever. What’s more special than giving someone a homemade cake made with love?

So here are my top 5 cake pans for baking that you will find in my kitchen.

  1. Round Cake Pan– My #1 baking pan I prefer to use is the basic 9 inch round cake pan. Everyone needs a round cake pan. Baking cakes in a round cake pan is so much easier than a square, rectangular or other shaped pans. The most common size for this type of pan is 9 inches in diameter. However, there is a size for everybody. A larger, 14 inch round cake pan is a great choice for a standard layered birthday cake, and smaller 6 inch round pans are great for cupcakes and mini-cakes. Remember that round cake pans are not just for making cakes. They also work well with other baked desserts like cheesecakes and other deserts.
  2. Spring Form Pan – Spring Form Pans are an essential piece of equipment for the baker at home. These types of cake pans first became popular during the 1950’s because they were viewed as more convenient than traditional layer pans. They also happen to be perfect for making all types of cheesecakes.
  3. Bundt Cake Pan– The standard size for Bundt Cake is a 10-inch pan. This pan is great for making Pound Cakes and regular cakes if you just want one thick layer. They come in beautiful designs so you can create a spectacular cake for your events or just for fun.
  4. Angel Food Cake Pan Bakes a classic angel food cake with ease. It is a standard 10 inch-pan. I have one of these that I love and bake my pound cakes in it. Turns out beautiful every time.
  5. Square Cake Pan This is another pan that I love to have in my kitchen as part of my baking ensemble. Some people don’t like baking cakes in them, but I do just for something different. You almost always see round cakes, so occasionally I like to make square ones. They are a little harder to frost, but not that bad. I have 8-inch, 9.5 x 5-inch (this one is a loaf pan), and 9 x 13-inch.

So, there you have it my top 5 cake pans that I love to bake cakes and other sweets in. Of course, you don’t have to go out and buy them all at once. Start with my favorite, the 9-inch round cake pan. I use this one more than the others. You can get these in a set most of the time and that will save you some money.

Then you can gradually add the other pans as needed. Perhaps you could casually mention that you would like to have some cake pans for your birthday or perhaps Christmas.😊

Not busy this weekend? No? Girl, go buy yourself some cake pans and surprise your family or friends with one of my tasty cakes. Go ahead, you can do it!

Happy Baking,

Donna Kennedy🍰

donna@bakingwithdonna.com

bakingwithdonna.com

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