Essentials you can't live without

Getting a bake just right comes down to the little details and it’s our mission to make every bake you make brilliant, here are some baking essentials.

Image credit: Dough recipe ingredients on wood kitchen table.

Getting a bake just right comes down to the little details and it’s our mission to make every bake you make brilliant, with these essential tips, ideas and tools.

Time saving tip!

Buttering up Forgotten to leave your butter out of the fridge to soften? Save time by placing the required amount between two pieces of greaseproof paper and bashing with a rolling pin until soft.

Get this gadget

Every serious baker should invest in an oven thermometer. The temperature of your oven can vary by up to 20°C from what you’re setting on the dial, so if you know what temperature your oven is actually working at, you can vary accordingly to achieve perfect bakes every time.

Baking essentials you can't live without

Waste not!

Have your vanilla pods been left in the cupboard for too long and dried out? Pop them in a bowl with some milk and microwave until warm. This will revive the vanilla pod and give you some deliciously flavoured milk as an added bonus!

Baking essentials you can't live without

Better bread

Having trouble getting your bread to rise properly? You may be using the wrong temperature water. Too hot, it may kill the yeast, too cold it may not activate the yeast properly. Hand hot is the perfect temperature.

Baking essentials you can't live without

Make your own…

Buttermilk... Can’t find buttermilk in the supermarket or forgotten to buy it? Make it at home! Simply stir a tablespoon or two of lemon juice or white vinegar into a cup of milk and mix well. Problem solved!

Baking essentials you can't live without

All that glitters

Confused about the difference between edible glitter and food contact glitter? Edible glitter is safe for consumption, so can be sprinkled liberally on buttercream. Food contact glitter should be removed before the bakes are consumed. This is ideal for adding a little sparkle to sugarpaste decorations that don’t need to be eaten.

Bake like a pro

Ever get in a mess trying to fill a piping bag with choux pastry or buttercream? Place the piping bag in a tall glass and fold the top third of the bag over the rim of the glass. You’ll then be left with both hands free to fill the bag with mixture!

two chocolate macaroon on a dark background, shot with natural light

Soft peak

Recipes often call for egg whites or cream to be beaten to ‘soft peak’. This simply means beat the mixture until it forms soft, rounded peaks on the surface when the whisk is lifted. If the peaks stand up high on their own you’ve gone too far and it’s reached ‘stiff peak’ level.

A lot of cream meringue for pastry



The top trend of the moment seems to revolve around matcha – the finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea. Reportedly bursting with health benefits, it can be used not only to flavour your bakes, but to colour them a delicate shade of green too. Try it out in cakes, biscuits, ice cream, brownies and macarons.

Matcha tea isolated on white

How do I stop my cakes from burning on top?

We’ve all been there – you have the perfect colour on the top of your cake, but the middle still isn’t cooked. There’s a simple solution – cover the cake with foil when you have the right colour! The middle will continue cooking, but the top won’t brown any further.

Waiting for the apple pie

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