11 Common Baking Mistakes (and What to Do Instead)

TipHero may be known as one of the greatest sites to find delectable recipes, but we’d be lying if we didn’t mention that it took us YEARS to fine-tune our skills, especially when it comes to baking. Sure, anyone can whip up a cake from a box, but it takes some real skill to make a cake from scratch that looks and tastes good!

Because we’ve dedicated so much time to our culinary trials and errors, we thought it would only be right to offer up some solutions for the baking mistakes we see most often. Here are 11 ways you can mess up–and fix!–your favorite baked goods. Be sure to follow the links below for complete tutorials!

  1. You don’t take your elevation into account

    Mistake: Your home’s elevation could be messing with the consistencies of your beloved baked goods.

    Solution: If you reside in an area that’s above 3,000 feet, alter your baking methods by decreasing the sugar and increasing the liquids, including butter, in the recipe. You also may need to keep your goodies in the oven for a bit longer than your sea level-dwelling counterparts.

  2. You mistake baking soda for baking powder

    Mistake: You’re using baking soda and baking powder interchangeably. This rookie mistake is compromising both the tastes AND textures of your sweet creations.

    Solution: Get to know the difference between the soda and the powder, and always have both on-hand and ready to go. While there are some ways you can substitute the ingredients in a pinch, nothing will ever be as good as the real thing!

  3. You are using old baking soda

    Mistake: Your box of baking soda is the same age as your oldest son— and he’s off to college in the fall!

    Solution: Check to see if your baking soda is still usable by dropping a bit of the white substance into a mixture of a half a cup of hot water and a 1/4 teaspoon of vinegar. If it bubbles, it’s still good to use. If not, don’t you dare let it ruin your baked goods!

  4. You are using the wrong tools

    Mistake: You don’t make a distinction between your metal and glass cookware, which sometimes results in awkwardly-formed or undercooked sweets.

    Solution: If your recipe calls for fruit, go with the glass dish, but in most other circumstances, metal is your best bet!

  5. Your measurements aren’t as accurate as they should be

    Mistake: Your cups of flour end up being much heavier than these should be.

    Solution: Instead of simply dipping your measuring device into a bag of flour before leveling it off with a knife, spoon the white stuff in, then level. Because flour condenses rather easily, this will ensure that it weighs out at an accurate 4.25 ounces per cup.

  6. Your oven is not heating evenly

    browned toast

    Mistake: When you set your oven to 350-degrees, you aren’t sure that every part of it is really getting to 350-degrees!

    Solution: Simply heat your oven to 350-degrees and throw in several slices of bread on two cookie sheets— one for the top rack and one for the bottom. If all are toasted to the same level, then your oven is cooking evenly, but if the pieces of toast are all different shades of brown—or black!—it’s time you get your appliance serviced.

  7. You’re going overboard with the ingredients

    Mistake: You use 20 mixing bowls, 5 different types of flour, and your whole seasoning cabinet to bake a loaf of bread.

    Solution: Some of the most delicious recipes on the planet only call for a handful of components! Don’t believe us? Just try this 2-ingredient bread recipe on for size…

  8. You don’t grease your cupcake papers

    Mistake: Your muffins and cupcakes are delish, but when you remove their papers, the tops become crumbling messes.

    Solution: Sure, most cupcake papers say that they are non-stick, but from our experience, this is rarely true. Simply spray a fine mist of your favorite cooking spray (vegetable oil works best!) onto the inside and outside edges of the papers before you spoon in the batter. Your dessert experience will instantly transform!

  9. But you grease your bundt pans

    Mistake: You compromise your cake’s fluffiness by greasing the pan.

    Solution: Instead of greasing, remove your bundt cake by carefully cutting around the inner and outer rounded parts of the circular pan. Once loosened, top with a plate and turn over to release it. Voila!

  10. You spend valuable time scrubbing your cookie sheets clean

    Mistake: You avoid baking altogether because the mere thought of enduring a lengthy cleanup makes you exhausted!

    Solution: Use the power of dryer sheets to remove the stickiest, dried-on crud from your pots, pans, and cookie sheets. Simply soak your soiled pan with water and soap and lightly swipe clean with this laundry staple. Easy as pie!

  11. You ignore the no-bake route

    Mistake: You rely on your beloved oven just a little too much.

    Solution: Some of the best “baked” goods are the ones that require no baking at all! Here’s a great place to get started.

We’d love to hear your take on these common baking mistakes! Have you ever made any of these flubs before? Can you think of any others? Do you have any cardinal rules when it comes to baking?