These baking tips come from a booklet published in 1937 that provides quick tips for baking success (for a variety of baked goods).
Secrets of Success for White Cakes
- Don’t beat flour in hard. Too much working of mixture after flour is added is inclined to toughen cake.
- Don’t beat egg whites until dry–only until stiff. The extra moisture is needed in the batter.
- Be careful to bake white cake at a low temperature. Too much heat toughens egg white.
- Also see 43 Cake Baking Tips & Tricks .
For Cakes Containing Nuts & Raisins
- These cakes are often made with brown sugar. Always sift or roll brown sugar to remove lumps.
- Dry raisins after washing by spreading out on a flat pan in a warm oven or in the sun.
- Dredge raisins and chopped nuts together with flour–using part of flour from the recipe.
- Also see Fruitcake Baking Tips  for more tips.
For Whole Egg Cakes
- Use finely granulated sugar. Sift it several times, if necessary, to remove lumps.
- Add a little flour before putting in any milk, then add flour and milk alternately. This keeps the first mixture from breaking down or “curdling” as it does when milk is added first.
- Bake whole egg cake in a hotter oven (375°F.) than chocolate and white cake.
For Chocolate Cakes
- Do not substitute cocoa for chocolate or vice versa without adjusting liquid and flour to give batter right consistency. Three tablespoons of cocoa are about equal to 1 square (1 ounce) of unsweetened chocolate.
- Soda with chocolate gives a reddish color. When mahogany red cake is desired, increase soda in recipe.
- Buttermilk can always be substituted for sour milk–or sweet milk soured by adding vinegar–2 tablespoons to a cup. Also see Substitute Recipes For Baking .
- Melt chocolate over hot water or on top of oven. Do not overheat it.
- Bake chocolate cake in a moderate–not hot–oven.
For Custard Pie
To prevent soaking of the bottom crust–
- Brush with melted Crisco or beaten egg white.
- Use scalding milk and pour warm filling into crust.
- Start baking in a hot oven. Reduce temperature to cook filling.
To prevent separation of the filling–
- Bake slowly. After the first 10 minutes of high temperature needed to set the crust, reduce temperature.
- Remove as soon as the filling is done. Test by slipping in a silver knife. If it comes out clean, the filling is throughly cooked.
- Evaporated milk (diluted with water, of course) makes filling more velvety than bottled milk.
For Meringue Pie
To keep filling smooth and thick–
- Blend thickening agent (cornstarch or flour) with sugar.
- Stir filling constantly while cooking. Be sure to let mixture come to a boil before adding eggs.
- Never put lemon juice in at beginning. It is likely to react with the cornstarch or flour and cause the filling to become thin.
To keep meringue from shrinking–
- Use correct proportion of sugar and egg whites–2 tablespoons to each white.
- Add sugar gradually. Beat until mixture is very smooth.
- Bake meringue slowly. Allow 10 to 20 minutes.
For Fruit Pies
To prevent soaking of the crust in berry pies–
- Sprinkle bottom with flour.
- Bake quickly.
- Also see Vintage Pie Making Tips .
To keep juice from boiling over–
- Mix flour or tapioca with berries.
- Drain off excess juice before putting berries in crust.
- Seal edges of top and bottom crust together.
- Also see Fresh Fruit Pies: Kitchen Cheat Sheet .
- Add the liquid all at once to the dry mixture. Stir in quickly. Don’t try to smooth out the batter.
- Dredge nuts and raisins with flour before adding to batter.
- Don’t sift bran or corn meal or whole wheat flour.
- See also 10 Tips For Baking Muffins