Knowing how to make a cake can feel really intimidating when you’re not sure about the process. Separating eggs? Stiff peaks? Folding? Whipping? Beating? Whether you’re a beginner baker who just wants to make a simple birthday cake or a long-time baker looking for inspiration, I’ve compiled the ultimate list of everything you need to know from start to finish so you can learn how to make a cake that’s just right for your next special occasion.
There’s not a Southern woman around that can’t recognize the value of a homemade cake–three tiers of sugar, butter and flour wrapped up in a pound and a half of some heavenly frosting. But the truth is today, most people grab theirs from the local deli and call it good enough.
But don’t feel bad! If you know how to make a cake from scratch or really want to learn how to make a cake you can be proud of, this is the place to start.
Scroll down for every step you’ll need from start to finish including a boat load of my favorite southern cakes (they’re near the bottom), tools for the job and every flavorful addition I could think up so you can feel totally inspired and have all the knowledge to get yourself covered in flour and lick the spoon a hundred times.
Think of something I left out? Drop in a comment with your idea and (even better) a link to a recipe you love and I’ll include it in the list.
Get your cakes started off right with basics on measuring, mixing and prepping so every bite is light.
How to grease and flour a pan The Spruce
How to measure parchment paper The Kitchn
How to know if butter is soft The Pioneer Woman
How to cream butter Food Above Gold
How to measure flour My Baking Addiction
How to sift flour Joy the Baker
How to make cake flour The Kitchn
Wet or dry measuring cups? The Novice Chef Blog
How to use gelatin David Leibovitz
Easy tutorials (with pictures) so you can get every egg mixed in the way it was meant to be.
How to whip egg whites to stiff peaks Serious Eats
How to whip egg whites to soft peaks Better Homes and Gardens
How to fold egg whites into a batter All Recipes
How to temper eggs Cooking Channel TV
Over baking a cake means you’ll end up with a dry, crumbly final product. Follow these steps for bakery-level perfection in your own kitchen.
How to position pans in the oven Real Simple
How to get batter even in pans A Cozy Kitchen
How to know if your cake is done The Kitchn
How to remove cakes to cool Better Homes and Gardens
How to level a cake Craftsy
How to stabilize a cake for frosting Real Simple
How to freeze an unfrosted cake YouTube
If you’d like a little more va-voom inside your cake than just regular old frosting, try one of these homemade, easy options.
How to know if your filling is thick enough Baking Bites
How to chill a filling for use Crafty Baking
Custard Cream All Recipes
French Cream Eugenie Kitchen
Cannoli Cream Food Folks and Fun
Chocolate Mousse Tastes Better from Scratch
Vanilla Cream Country Living
Dulce de Leche Dominican Cooking
Lemon Cream Cheese Wicked Good Kitchen
Tangerine Marmalade Food and Wine
Fresh Fruit Oh So Delicioso
Whipped Cream All Recipes
Unusual Fillings Bake Space
Give your cake the perfect homemade finish with a frosting that compliments your cake.
How to frost a cake The Pioneer Woman
How to decorate a Cake Umami Girl
How to melt chocolate Real Simple
How to use a double boiler Youtube
Seven Minute Frosting Food Network
Buttercream Frosting Food Network
Chocolate Frosting Martha Stewart
Marshmallow Buttercream A Pretty Life in the Suburbs
Peanut Butter Frosting Sugar and Soul
Strawberry Frosting Sally’s Baking Addiction
Espresso Buttercream The Brown Eyed Baker
Caramel Frosting Paula Deen
Chocolate Chip Frosting Martha Stewart
Sour Cream Frosting Better Homes and Gardens
Cinnamon Frosting Sugar and Soul
Peppermint Buttercream Two Sisters Crafting
Banana Pudding Frosting The Cupcake Project
Cream Cheese Frosting Spend with Pennies
Italian Meringue The Tough Cookie
Swiss Meringue Martha Stewart
Royal Icing Joy of Baking
How to Store a Cake The Kitchn
How to Cut a Cake Southern Living
Cake Garnishes Country Living
There’s no doubt–we southern women know how to make a cake. And there are plenty of fabulous choices to get excited about.
Italian Cream Cake The Country Contessa
Whiskey Sour Bundt Cake Restless Chipotle
Hummingbird Cake Living Sweet Moments
Apple Stack Cake Splendid Table
Buttermilk Chocolate Cake The Country Contessa
Jam Cake Martha White
Chocolate Pound Cake Paula Deen
Coca Cola Cake The Seasoned Mom
Angel Food Cake Chef in Training
Cranberry Apple Cake The Country Contessa
Caramel Cake Grand Baby Cakes
Carrot Cake The Country Contessa
Lemon Cake Food Network
Southern Coconut Cake Restless Chipotle
German Chocolate Cake Pillsbury
Lane Cake Pillsbury
Pineapple Upside Down Cake The Country Contessa
Spice Cake Country Living
Red Velvet Bakerella
Chocolate Praline Southern Living
Snickers Poke Cake The Country Cook
Cake Pops Simply Home Cooked
Cream Cheese Pound Cake The Country Contessa
Need to make a change to a recipe? Try one of these options.
Altitude adjustments King Arthur Flour
Applesauce instead of oil Musselman’s
Swapping Sour Cream Epicurious
Swapping Butter My Recipes
Swapping Eggs She Knows
Swapping White Sugar Dish/All Recipes
Gluten Free Flours The King Arthur Blog
Every baker needs the basic cooking tools on hand for success. Invest in a quality tool and you’ll have it forever.
Double duty wet and dry measuring cups
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