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23 Easy Baking Tips That'll Make Your Dessert Dreams Come True

Life should always be this sweet.

Jenny Chang / Buzzfeed

1. Swap water out for Bailey's when you make brownies from a mix.

isinginthekitchen.com

Everything can be improved with a little Bailey's. Heck, just put it in your coffee to go along with these spiked, chocolaty puffs. Recipe here.

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2. Add mayo to make your cakes scrumptiously moist.

http://bakehappy.net/2011/05/how-to-bake-a-perfectly-moist-chocolate-cake.html#.Vyt94xUrLdQ
http://spicysouthernkitchen.com/dukes-chocolate-mayonnaise-cake/

Seems weird, right? Well, mayonnaise is mostly eggs and oil, so you're just adding more of the good stuff. Full recipe for a mayo-chocolate cake here.

3. Get a crunchier brownie top by whipping together eggs and sugar.

Christina Wojcik / Via whipthisup.com

The middle still remains fudgy! Just add the dry mixture after you whip up the eggs and sugar. Not convinced? Check out the magic here.

Or if you're lazy, spread a small amount of vegetable oil or milk over the brownie batter before baking.

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4. Add espresso and vanilla to chocolate cake mix to enhance the chocolate flavor.

Add A Pinch / Via addapinch.com

Espresso is said to bring out the darker elements in chocolate and vanilla enhances basically every flavor. Whatever the reason, how can anyone say no to stronger chocolate?

5. Make super-easy cookies with a box of cake mix.

Somewhat Simple / Via somewhatsimple.com

You can use any mix you want. Try it with funfetti, German chocolate, red velvet, strawberry, or whatever else excites your taste buds. Full instructions here.

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6. If you don't have unsweetened baking chocolate, you can substitute using cocoa powder and oil or butter.

Marg / Via food.com

Combine one tablespoon of butter/oil with three tablespoons of cocoa powder to replace each ounce of baking chocolate. Full instructions here.

7. Measure by weight instead of cups because it's more accurate and less messy.

The Tough Cookie / Via seriouseats.com / thetoughcookie.com

Think about it: There's way less you need to clean if you just measure everything in the same container! You can get a good kitchen scale here. Before measuring, always make sure to zero out the weight of the cup.

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8. Add instant pudding mix to cake mix to make it extra moist.

food.com

Recipe here.

9. Don't poke holes to see if your cake's done; instead, press the cake lightly and it should spring back if it's ready.

Alvin Zhou/Sarah Kobos / Via buzzfeed.com

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10. Add simple syrup to revive dry cakes or to keep layers moist while you assemble and decorate.

http://www.howtocakeit.com/blogs/cakes/39756609-yos-simple-syrup
http://www.howtocakeit.com/blogs/cakes/39756609-yos-simple-syrup

Mix together and heat 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar. If you want to get fancy, you can store it in a simple syrup soaker bottle. Or you can brush it on. See more here.

11. Frost your cakes smoothly by dipping your spatula in hot water as you go.

http://www.ctpost.com/default/photo/Run-your-spatula-through-boiling-water-before-205528.php

The heat will help melt the frosting enough to easily frost the entire cake, and it'll also prevent it from sticking to the spatula.

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12. For pastry-making, get some hella cheap marble slabs from Home Depot.

thekitchn.com

Used for making cheese, pastries, and candy, these slabs run from $80-$120, whereas slabs from Home Depot are about $15.

13. If you can, wait a day or at least a few hours to serve fruit pie, since this will allow the filling to completely set (no runny juices).

medium.com

Other tips for baking the perfect pie are cutting your fruits correctly (the flatter the better) and venting properly. Check out more pie science here.

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14. Effortlessly slide a cheesecake out of a springform pan using a hot knife or, if you have one, a blowtorch.

Using a hot knife to cut and serve slices works wonders as well. See how to make a lemon almond cheesecake here.

15. If you're a fan of incredibly yummy frosting, try this small-batch version of Swiss meringue buttercream.

Cake Spy / Via cakespy.com

Often used to frost wedding cakes, most recipes post massive amounts for each ingredient. But no fear! This delicious one does not.

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16. Make two versions of ~royal~ icing: one thick for outlining and the other thin for "flooding."

The ingredients for royal icing are meringue powder (or egg whites), milk, confectioner's sugar, and food coloring. The first batch should be relatively thick (be careful with adding milk). Once you're done outlining the cookies, thin the icing with milk and use a piping bag to flood the inner portions of the cookies. Swirl some designs if you'd like! See more here.

17. Make super buttery, soft, and chewy cookies by adding half shortening and half butter to your recipe.

Marg / Via food.com

Elevate yourself to cookie heaven here.

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18. Check your oven's temperature to get the best results.

food.com

Sometimes ovens lie! The best way to calibrate your oven is to use an oven thermometer. However, if you don't have one, you can try this sugar trick.

19. Keep butter in the freezer and then use a grater to shred it when you bake.

thekitchn.com

Freezing helps the butter last even longer than keeping it in the fridge. If you need soft butter, it will thaw quickly once it's grated.

If you're using a recipe that needs cold butter, like pie dough, streusel topping, or biscuits, you can grate the butter straight into the dough and it will incorporate more evenly and quickly than big chunks.

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20. Perfect the art of bread with a crunchy crust by creating your own steam oven.

There are a number of tools you can add to your oven to ensure optimal crispiness. If you don't want to invest in a bunch of fancy stuff, you can pre-heat an empty pan and pour in a cup of hot water to create steam right before you put the loaves in the oven.

21. Prevent "cookie cutter" cookies from spreading when baking by chilling the dough beforehand.

sweetopia.net

Other things that'll help are not putting them on a hot pan, reducing baking powder, not incorporating too much air when mixing, and keeping the ingredients cold.

22. Soak your raisins in rum before turning them into oatmeal raisin cookies for extra deliciousness.

http://www.simplyscratch.com/2012/02/toasted-pecan-rum-raisin-oatmeal-cookies.html
http://www.simplyscratch.com/2012/02/toasted-pecan-rum-raisin-oatmeal-cookies.html

Oh, chocolate chip cookies are your favorite? Think again.

23. Be mindful of how long you're mixing batter after you add dry ingredients: The longer you mix, the flatter the cake.

Via cupcakeproject.com

If you over-mix batter once you add flour, it can overdevelop the formation of gluten strands, which will make the cake heavy and dense. Make sure to only mix until "just combined" (so that you can't see any dry flour) if you want a fluffy cake that's still easy to manage.

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