Do you ever feel the wish to bake cakes all by yourself by referring to a recipe? If you are a pro at it, there is nothing to worry, but if you are an amateur and are still learning to gain perfection, you need to keep trying until you master it. Every time you bake, you get to learn something new. The experiments that you perform may or may not hit the bull's eye, but it teaches you to improve your skills or makes you realise the fact that you are slowly gaining perfection.

The recipes that you refer to may come down from generations or have obtained from a magazine or a friend's notebook. Whatever the recipe it is, whenever you gather the ingredients to bake a cake, you need to keep in mind certain dos and don'ts that would make your baking experience a successful one.

• Mix the batter well - The recipe may contain all possible instructions on how to mix the ingredients one after the other, but it is you who have to put in the effort to mix the batter well. There are times when there are lumps in the batter which would harden when it is finally baked. You would get a rough textured cake that would be pleasant to eat.

• Incorrect handling - While you pour the batter in the baking dish, it is vital to grease it with butter or edible oil. The fat prevents the mixture from sticking to the baking dish and thus letting it come off well when it is finally baked. If it is a large cake that you are baking, you need to make sure that the cooked version comes out intact and not break while you are removing it from the dish.

• Do not under bake - Even if you put in the right ingredients in perfect proportions to bake, you may notice it being moist and soggy. It may not have risen or caved in according to what you had expected. To set these issues right, you need to make sure that the temperature in the oven its set accordingly. The oven should have the right amount of heat to bake it correctly.

• Check the texture of the icing - While you have perfectly cooked a block, it needs necessary toppings and icing. The icing that you prepare should be of the right texture to sit well when applied. Having runny icing can make a mess and make it distasteful.

The author Cathy Smith has had experiences with experimenting with baking cakes herself. Despite that she adores professionally baked cakes and has relevant information on wedding cakes in Shellharbour and cake suppliers in Wollongong, who have the best recipes.

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