7 tips, tricks and kitchen hacks from the bakers of The Great Canadian Baking Show

Did you know a drywall knife can double as a baking tool?

Did you know a drywall knife can double as a baking tool?

Best Baking Hacks

4 years ago
Duration 1:54
These are THE best baking hacks, according to Canada's best amateur bakers.

Baking is fun, but it's also tough. Creating the cake of your dreams requires the creativity of an artist, the precision of a chemist and the cool head of a polar bear.

There will always be problems: how do you manage too-hard buttercream? How do you keep sugar from crystalizing when you're making caramel? How do you keep your counters clean?

The bakers of the Great Canadian Baking Show have encountered all of these problems — and more.

Here are their top tips, tricks and hacks for becoming a better baker:

Keep cakes flat with a strip of wet towel

When you're making a layer cake in a round pan, wrap the outside with a strip of wet towel before putting it in the oven. That prevents the top from making a dome, if you want to stack up a bunch of layers for icing.

The towel prevents the cake near the outside of the pan from cooking first. It keeps the sides of the pan cool, so the centre and the sides rise together, so you get a nice, flat cake instead of one with a big dome in the middle. — Andrei

Andrei suggests wrapping cake pans with a strip of wet towel before baking to help cakes bake evenly and without a dome. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Smooth buttercream with a metal drywall knife

To smooth my buttercream, I always have a metal drywall knife. I run it under hot water, dry it off, and then it heats up the buttercream, just that little bit, so I can get a nice ombré or smear effect. — Megan

Megan loves using a metal drywall knife to smooth icing. Just run it under hot water and you'll have a new tool for working with buttercream. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Use a potato peeler to create chocolate curls

Use your vegetable peeler to create chocolate curls. It's nice and sharp and it fits in your hand well. If your chocolate is at room temperature, you can create really beautiful peels to put on your cakes. — Sachin​

Stop stand mixer splatter with a tea towel

One of my best tricks it to place a clean tea towel over my mixer. If I have a cake batter that's very liquidy, that will make sure everything stays in the bowl. Or if you have the dreaded confectioners sugar, it'll keep it from going all over the kitchen in a big cloud. — Ann Marie​

A tea towel wrapped around your stand mixer helps contain the mess in the kitchen, says Ann Marie. (The Great Canadian Baking Show)

Corn syrup: the trick to perfect caramel

I love making caramel, but it's pretty tricky because the sugar can crystalize so easily. So I always add a big dollop of clear corn syrup to my sugar and water. That keeps it from crystalizing. — Mengling​

Have all your ingredients at room temperature

Have all your ingredients ready. Have them measured, on your counter and at room temperature so stuff doesn't get stuck to the bowl or fly out. — Sadiya

Sadiya recommends having all your ingredients measured, prepared and at room temperature (unless the recipe says otherwise). (Getty Images)

The oven: think outside the box

Sometimes I warm up my oven a bit and put my yeasted dough in there. It speeds up the fermenting a little bit. — Timothy

Timothy uses a low-heat oven to help yeasted doughs rise a little bit faster. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)