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The Chef-Approved Secret to Perfect Baking

Flour on a digital scale, surrounded by dry baking ingredients.

Look, not all of us are ever going to be great cooks, but there are some common mistakes we can all easily avoid. Apparently, one of these is to ditch the measuring cups when baking.

Huh? Okay, so that came off a bit dramatic, but that’s precisely what one chef recommends. While using measuring cups will result in a cake, pie, or batch of cupcakes that are just fine, the pros evidently measure their ingredients another way.

Shari Tanaka, a pastry sous chef at Gramercy Tavern, told Well + Good the biggest mistake home chefs make is not weighing their ingredients.

When it comes to liquids, Tanaka says measuring cups are fine. However, if you need an exact amount of flour or sugar, weighing it will be far more accurate.

Think about when you measuring flour in a cup: You can either really pack it in there or loosely fill it. With water and other liquids, though, a cup is a cup. There’s no way you can pack more in there.

If you’re determined to continue using your measuring cups, though, which way should you go when measuring dry ingredients? Packed or loose? Turns out, there’s lots of margin for error.

“The results can vary wildly,” Tanaka said. “For example, a cake that should be perfectly moist can come out dry as cardboard if you pack too much flour into a measuring cup instead of using a scale to measure the weight.”

So, if you really want to bake like a pro, it’s time to invest in a digital scale. While you’re at it, you might also want to pick up some new bakeware for all the goodies you plan to make.

[Via Well + Good]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Editor In Chief of LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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