Solutions for Everyday Kitchen Mistakes

You can learn from your mistakes, but it may result in ugly cakes, calorie overloads, and even singed arm hair (ouch!).  Learn from our cooking, nutrition, grilling, and baking mistakes instead!

Common Baking Mistakes

Don’t let crater cakes, soggy muffins, or lifeless loaves get you down. We have a fix for all of your baking fails!

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You microwave butter to soften it
Photo: Oxmoor House

You microwave butter to soften it

The Result: Cookies spread too much or cakes are too dense.

The Fix: We’ve done it: forgotten to soften the butter and zapped it in the microwave to do the job quickly. Better to let it stand at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes to get the right consistency. You can speed the process significantly by cutting butter into tablespoon-sized portions and letting it stand at room temperature.

Properly softened butter should yield slightly to gentle pressure. Too-soft butter means your cookie dough will be more like batter, and it will spread too much as it bakes and lose shape. Butter that’s too soft also won’t cream properly with sugar, and creaming is essential to creating fluffy, tender cakes with a delicate crumb.

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