My Insanely Simple Tip for Better Baked Goods

posted by Andrea | 03/2/2017
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Baking is one of my favorite pastimes — much to the delight of my husband and children 🙂

Although there are plenty of times I start with a boxed mix and “doctor it up” a bit, there are even more times when I bake completely from scratch — simply because I enjoy the baking process.

I try to let Nora and Simon help me a fair amount (usually while James is napping) but there are also plenty of times I wait to do my baking until everyone is in bed for the evening so I have the kitchen all to myself.

Then Dave and I get to enjoy fresh-from-the-oven cookies or warm brownie sundaes as our late-night snack!

I am definitely not an expert baker, but I’ve done enough baking that I DO have a few little tricks up my sleeve… and about a month ago, I realized that I have never shared one of my simplest tips for better baked goods here on my blog.

This tip requires no skill, no special ingredients, no monetary cost, and really no extra effort on your part…

So what’s my ingenious tip?

Preheat the oven 25 degrees hotter than you need it and turn it down immediately after you put the item in the oven.

For example:

If a cookie recipe says to bake them for 10 minutes at 350ºF, I preheat my oven for 375ºF. When the oven beeps to let me know it’s preheated, I put the cookies in the oven and then immediately turn the temperature down to 350º.

By doing this, I don’t have a huge temperature dip right at the beginning of the baking process thanks to the fact that I just had the over door open for several seconds. The cookies start out baking at 350º instead of 325º with scalding heat as the oven tried to heat back up to 350º again.

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This tips is especially helpful for baked goods with shorter cooking times (rolls, muffins, cookies, etc.) because a large drop in the oven temperature could easily affect the first 5-10 minutes of baking time and result in undercooked bars and cookies, flat muffins, and sunken-in rolls or cakes.

So like I said before — this tip requires nothing but a few extra minutes to preheat your oven to a hotter temperature, and you will enjoy more evenly-baked goodies!

Oh, and if any of the foods in this post look yummy, you can find all my dessert recipes here!

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18 comments

  1. Leatha

    03/20/2017

    Hi Andrea! I’ve looked through your cookie recipes but I can’t seem to find the recipe for the cookie that you have featured in this post that has frosting on it. The picture wasn’t labeled but it looks to be like a carrot cake cookie with frosting? I may have overlooked it in your recipe collection but they looked yummy and I’d like to try and make them. Is it featured in your recipe collection?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Leatha — that recipe actually isn’t on my blog. Sorry!
    They are pumpkin cookies with brown sugar buttercream frosting (and they aren’t simple — which is why they aren’t on my blog).
    They are yummy though 🙂

    [Reply]

  2. Sandy

    03/02/2017

    Great tip! Thank you.

    [Reply]

  3. JJ

    03/02/2017

    Love that tip!!! I will try it next time I bake.

    [Reply]

  4. Angela

    03/02/2017

    First let me wipe the drool off my keyboard so I can type. : ) Wow, everything looks amazing!!! This post has given me renewed motivation to bake! I tend to go in streaks where I’ll bake quite a bit, and then not at all for awhile. It’s a very satisfying feeling though, to provide your family a treat that they really enjoy and appreciate! And that bowl cake caught my eye too! ; )

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I used to go in streaks too — now I try to bake something every 2-3 days so we always have a couple options and never run totally “dry” 🙂

    [Reply]

    Jane Reply:

    HAHA….I agree, I spent more time looking at the pictures than reading the post 🙂

    [Reply]

  5. Debbie

    03/02/2017

    Wow! I will have to try this. Although, I’ve used some of your dessert and muffin recipes and they still turned out great! Baking in the evening when the kids are in bed and it’s just you and Dave to enjoy the warm goodies sound amazing! I don’t know how you and Dave stay so slim. I love sweets and I wish I can eat dessert every night.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    We’re still in our 30’s — we might not stay so slim in a few more years 🙂

    [Reply]

  6. Janice

    03/02/2017

    What is the name of the round chocolate cake that appears to have a peanut butter filling pictured in today’s blog? It’s not the bundt cake. I have looked all through your dessert recipes and can’t find anything that might be it. It looks delicious!

    [Reply]

    Melissa D. Reply:

    I was wondering the same thing!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    that’s the only recipe not on my website 🙂 It’s some sort of chocolate peanut butter bowl cake. I found a set of Betty Crocker nesting cake pans at a thrift store a few years ago and it came with a little recipe book. The cake is delicious!

    [Reply]

    Bettie Reply:

    Could you pretty please share the recipe with us? THANKS so much!

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    I was wondering the same thing! Please share the recipe!

    [Reply]

    Karen Sunstein Reply:

    Yes, we need the recipe! I’ve been drooling over the picture

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I’ll see what I can do. Maybe I’ll post it in a couple week (I have to find it first!)

    [Reply]

  7. Mara Yager

    03/02/2017

    This is really clever thank you!!!

    [Reply]

  8. Kelley

    03/02/2017

    That’s a great tip!! Thanks for the idea!

    [Reply]