How to Make ANY Cake/Cupcake Recipe Gluten Free

How to Make ANY Cake/Cupcake Recipe Gluten Free

Make ANY Cake/Cupcake Recipe Gluten Free

Gluten Free Baking was such a challenging fete a few years ago, but today it’s a totally different story! There are so many gluten free flours available in most grocery stores nowadays.

And with the research of some amazing food bloggers like Art of Gluten Free Baking, Gluten Free on a Shoestring and more, gluten free ANYTHING is possible!

In my own Home Bakery, all my cakes and cupcakes are available in gluten free. This is not because I “saw a gap in the market” or anything, it’s rather because my husband, Adriaan, is highly intolerant to gluten.

I firmly believe that no home baker should try and sell anything they don’t believe in. Not so much because it’s inconsistent, but honestly, it just doesn’t work.

You can market products till you pass out, but if you don’t LOVE your products and really believe in the motivation behind baking them, you will literally not be able to sell them. Not nearly enough of them anyway.

There I go again, throwing in baking business advice. Back to the gluten free chat!

 

Gluten Free, But Also Lazy

The biggest problem I found with gluten free baking when I started exploring it, was that I needed to use a whole new recipe every time I wanted to bake something gluten free.

In other words, I couldn’t just use my favourite Carrot Cupcake Recipe, I had to go search for a gluten free carrot cupcake recipe – and even then there was no guarantee that the recipe would be up to scratch.

Having a Home Bakery is quite a high paced job, so I mostly memorize my recipes so that my baking process is much faster. The idea of memorizing DOUBLE the recipes because of a whole gluten free repertoire was just WAY too exhausting to even consider!!

I’ve quoted my wise (and unconventional) dad on this before in my How to Freeze Crème Pat post, but he always said:

“If you want to be lazy, you have to be clever!”

There simply had to be a gluten free flour blend you can sub into ANY regular cake or cupcake recipes.

On top of that, MANY gluten free cake recipes are severely annoying. They ask for these crazy ingredients which I’ve never seen before in my life and still have not found in any supermarket or health food store in my area.

Things like Ultratex, Expandex and Whey Protein Isolate… What?! Or should I say “Gezuntheid”?

I’ve been on a mission to find something that could be made with ingredients that are available to me and can easily be mixed with no special equipment or effort.

So I came up with my own gluten free cake flour blend that has changed everything for my husband! I also started using this gluten free cake flour in my own bakery for all gluten free cakes and cupcakes. The POY gluten free flour blend yields such a soft and tender crumb!

And I love that I can find ALL of these ingredients in my closest health store/supermarket!

This gluten free flour can be substituted gram for gram in ANY cake and cupcake recipe!

I mix 1 kg of flour in a little sealed bucket and keep it in my cupboard to whip out whenever I need it. You are welcome to halve or quarter the recipe if you need to. I go by grams because the accuracy is just better when it comes to dry ingredients.

 

Not All Cake Recipes Are Created Equal

The worst mistake we can make as bakers is to assume that all cake and cupcake recipes should be treated the same way. I did a thorough post on Baking Perfect Cupcakes a while back where I also stress this fact.

Butter based recipes respond completely different to mixing than oil based recipes. Butter based cake/cupcake recipes can be overmixed so much faster than oil based recipes and this is amplified severely when you use gluten free flour.

 

Subbing With POY Gluten Free Flour Blend

I love to use my own gluten free flour blend that works PERFECTLY in all cake and cupcake recipes.

And here’s a super important tip for the subbing process: Go By Weight and Not Volume!

I never, ever, EEEEVERRRR use cup measurements for dry ingredients. EVER. Wet ingredients, absolutely, but not dry ingredients. The reason why is because cup measurements leave way too much room for error. A loosely poured cup of flour weighs about 150 g, but a scooped cup of flour can weigh up to 190 g!

If a recipe does not provide weight measurements, I like to assume I should use 170 g per cup which is in the middle. This has always worked for me 🙂

 

Mixing Technique for Butter Based Recipes

Cream your butter and sugar as you normally would. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract as you normally would.

When you add the gluten free flour (remember to use exactly the same weight as regular cake flour the recipe calls for) and milk/buttermilk, be careful how you stir and how much you stir.

Gluten free flour in butter based batters, gets overmixed really quickly. Overmixed gluten free cake batter will feel very stiff when you stir it and will result in small and tough cupcakes once baked.

For this reason, I incorporate my gluten free flour and milk/buttermilk on the slowest stir speed with my hand mixer – not with a stand mixer – for about 10 seconds which gives me more control and eliminates the danger of overmixing. If your hand mixer does not have a super slow stir speed, stir super gently, by hand, with a balloon whisk.

When I can’t see any more flour, I then go in with my rubber spatula. Use the spatula to scrape and fold all the eggy butter at the bottom of the bowl into the thicker batter on top. Keep folding gently and scraping the bowl till the batter looks uniform in texture.

Then you may proceed to fill your cupcake liners or cake pans. You can read more about perfect batter distributing techniques in my post Baking Perfect Cupcakes – Advanced Tips 🙂

Just remember to NEVER stir a butter based gluten free batter vigorously.

There are some butter based recipes out there that instruct you to beat the batter after the flour has been added. This is often done to give the cake’s texture a little bit more density and some chewiness. BUT, ignore this is you sub gluten free flour into the recipe. It just flops entirely and you end up with gluten free bricks that no one wants to eat.

Mixing Technique for Oil Based Recipes

Great news is that oil based batters are WAY more forgiving! Score! Whether you are mixing carrot cake, chocolate cake or red velvet cake, you don’t need to be as careful as you are with butter based gluten free batters.

This being said, I still wouldn’t mix it a lot unless the recipe states that you should do so. My Chocolate Cupcake Recipe, for example, requires you to mix the batter on medium speed for 2 minutes before adding boiling water. Since this is an oil based recipe, I do beat the batter for the required time even when I sub gluten free flour and they turn out great!

 

Baking Technique

When you sub POY Gluten Free Flour blend in a regular recipe, please note that your goods will bake a lot faster than when you use regular flour. It's hard to say how much faster because it all depends on your oven. For me it's usually about 10%-15% faster. Rather start testing your cake or cupcakes sooner to avoid overbaking.

 

Subbing Beyond Cakes & Cupcakes

In our home we like to use this gluten free flour blend in Shortcrust Pastry, Cheesecake Pastry and Fresh Pasta too! It produces a gluten free pasta we can even roll out in our pasta machine – so rad!

Important note: This flour recipe is not ideal for making bread or brownies, but I do have an Ultimate Gluten Free Brownie Recipe 🙂

If you have any more questions on substituting gluten free flour in regular cake/cupcake recipes, please comment below and I’ll be happy to answer them 🙂

Chat soon!

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught Artisan Home Baker empowering HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential 
&
MAKE A LIVING
from Home Baking!

Learn more about Philosophy of Yum




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Piping Frosting 101 – The Frosting Piping Manual!

Piping Frosting 101 – The Frosting Piping Manual!

Piping Frosting – My Own Journey

Piping frosting was something I overthought for about a year. I must have watched 50 videos on Youtube before I actually picked up a piping bag for the first time. But even after watching ALL those videos I still felt like I had NO IDEA what I was doing! During my first year of more serious baking, I resorted to rather spooning frosting onto cupcakes just to be safe.

* All photos by Alice Swan *

Since my last post was on my ultimate Vanilla Frosting Recipe and I have shared my ultimate Chocolate Frosting Recipe with you before, I thought I should complete the circle and write this post on PIPING Frosting.

Over the last 5 years I’ve become, thankfully, super comfortable with piping frosting. But I’ve also realized that there are some practical tips and methods that can help a beginner understand more clearly what they need to do.

Most of those 50 videos didn’t help me at all. The bakers just said: “Pipe the frosting around… Like that!” That doesn’t do it for me. I need WORDS to explain to me what I need to do. Just watching someone isn’t enough. And no one can really afford to frost 1000 guinea pig cupcakes before being able to pipe frosting well enough to sell them!

Finding the Words to Explain HOW

A dear friend of ours joined me in the kitchen one day so we could bake some cupcakes together. She’s 16 and has a great passion for baking! When the time came for piping frosting onto the cupcakes, I saw her doing it the exact same way I had done it 5 years ago.

Piping frosting | piping tips | piping frosting on cupcakes

So I will start by explaining all the natural MISTAKES beginners tend to make:

Piping Nozzle is too Small

Tiny star tips are so 1990’s. Stay away from them. The finish looks so bad and it’s also much harder to get the frosting to come out with a consistent thickness all the way through. So use a larger nozzle – it makes the frosting look way more generous and voluptuous!

Open Star Nozzle

Open star nozzles (except for the French tip) do not create a finish as beautiful as CLOSED star nozzles. Closed star nozzles make DEEPER grooves in the frosting, making the finished effect way more dramatic and shapely.

Definitely go for a large, closed star nozzle. If you can only find open star ones, then bend the spikes into the open center to create a closed star shape. I did this 5 years ago with my first ever stainless steel nozzle – it’s still my favourite one for piping frosting onto cupcakes 🙂 Make sure that the spikes are long enough to bend in all the way to the center. Do leave about 1 mm open in the center though.

Another perk of closed star nozzles is that they SAVE FROSTING! The frosting is more defined when it comes out, but the deeper grooves also mean that less frosting comes out overall. Win-win my friend!

Plastic Nozzles

Whaaaat?! NO! Throw that thing away or give it to your kids to play with. The biggest problem with plastic nozzles is that they fray and decay over time. This fraying creates jagged edges on your frosting – not cool.

Stainless steel nozzles basically have a lifetime warranty. As I’ve said, I’ve used 1 piping nozzle for 5 years and for THOUSANDS of cupcakes.

The finish on my frosting is defined and beautifully smooth every time.

Frosting is too Stiff

Frosting needs a form of “elasticity” to be piped beautifully. If your frosting is too stiff, it will behave as if it’s “brittle”. This means it will break off before you get to pipe around the cupcake.

What you want is ONE, long frosting sausage from beginning to end with no breakage whatsoever.

If you only realise that your frosting is too stiff when you are busy piping, remove all the frosting from the piping bag and fix the consistency first. Yes, it is more effort, but a shabby finish on your cupcakes is way more exhausting on an emotional level.

Frosting is too Runny/Slack

If your frosting is too runny/slack, the grooves in your piped frosting will totally disappear and ruin the cupcake’s aesthetics completely.

If you only realise that your frosting is too runny when you are busy piping, remove all the frosting from the piping bag and fix the consistency first. Yes, it is more effort, but a shabby finish on your cupcakes is way more exhausting on an emotional level.

Holding Nozzle too Close to Cupcake

I’ve realized that piping frosting beautifully onto cupcakes is rather about GUIDING the frosting to gracefully rest in the right position than “putting it on” the cupcakes.

When you have the approach of “putting frosting on” cupcakes, then you tend to hold the nozzle way too close to the cupcake while piping. Any sudden movement then causes you to push the nozzle into the frosting on the cupcake, ruining the finish and clean groove lines.

Piping frosting | piping tips | piping frosting on cupcakes

Wrong Angle When Piping Frosting

When you are piping frosting, don’t hold the piping bag diagonal to the cupcake. If you do this then every side of the finished cupcake will look different.

Hold the piping bag perfectly perpendicular to the cupcake’s surface. This ensures a consistent frosting pattern all the way around.

So now that we know the DON’TS of piping frosting, what are the DO’S?

Perfect Piping Consistency

This is quite a sensitive one. We already know that the frosting shouldn’t be too stiff because it will break off when piping. We also know that it shouldn’t be too runny because then our beautifully defined grooves will disappear.

Piping consistency is different from spreading consistency – which is used for layering cakes. To test whether your frosting is piping consistency, you will need a large spoon.

The spoon is handy for 2 reasons. First of all, use it to stir your frosting vigorously for 15 seconds to break any large air pockets and get your frosting smooth.

Secondly you need the spoon for the “plop test”. Yes, this is a term I totally made up just now.

Piping frosting | piping tips | piping frosting on cupcakes

Scoop up a generous spoonful of frosting and hold it up. Now turn your wrist 90 degrees so that the frosting is exposed to gravity, heading towards dropping back into the bowl. Ideally, you want the frosting to linger on the spoon for 3 – 5 seconds before it drops off, back into the bowl.

Another test is the “peak test”. Yet another term I made up just now 🙂

Tap a spoon on top of the frosting and push down gently. Next, lift the spoon up vertically to create a perky peak on the frosting. If the peak bends over and flops down, your frosting is too runny.

If this test doesn’t create one, tall peak but rather a few shorter peaks in an oval arrangemet, then your frosting is too stiff.

Perfect Cupcakes

A “do” that we can't ignore is that piping frosting perfectly becomes SO much easier when you've got perfect cupcakes

Cupcakes with pointy tops are very difficult to pipe onto because the angle brings gravity into the mix as well, causing your frosting to sag down and ruining your beautiful frosting grooves.

Cupcakes with perfectly smooth and level tops make a world of difference! Fortunately I've written a super thorough post on How to Bake Perfect Cupcakes 🙂

Holding the Piping Bag

When you've filled your piping bag with frosting, twist the end a few times to prevent the frosting from escaping.

Wrap your dominant hand around the filled piping bag. Hold the twisted end securely in the gap between your thumb and index finger.

Piping frosting | piping tips | piping frosting on cupcakes

The frosting will be squeezed out with your dominant hand ONLY! Your other hand is merely there to guide the tip in the right direction. Never apply pressure with both hands.

When piping frosting, apply pressure using the outer part of your palm along with your pinky, ring finger and middle finger. You can also use your thumb's palm to assist in applying pressure. Let your thumb and index finger focus on keeping the piping bag's twist from unraveling.

Piping Frosting – Basic Swirl

The biggest mistake I made as a beginner was to keep my eye on the frosting while I was piping. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE CUPCAKE while piping frosting. The aim is to follow the shape of the cupcake – that is your constant reference/guide.

Before you start piping frosting, keep in mind that you are merely GUIDING the frosting into place and not “putting it on”.

Decide beforehand how big your border of exposed cupcake will be (more or less). Your frosting’s first contact point should be another 5 mm inside that border so that the frosting’s blunt starting point will be hidden at the end.

Hold the piping bag as perpendicular as possible to the cupcake’s surface.

Hold the piping nozzle’s end point a good half inch away from the surface of the cupcake. Apply careful, even pressure and make your first contact point.

While still applying consistent pressure, squeeze the frosting so that it gracefully leaves the piping bag and guide it into place. Keep your eye on the outer edge of the cupcake all the time!! That is your guide.

Go all the way around till you reach your starting point. Just before your starting point, curve in slightly, allow your second circle to overlap slightly with your first circle of frosting.

Piping frosting | piping tips | piping frosting on cupcakes

When you have spiralled to the center, push down slightly and then release. This last, slight push secures your last spiral of frosting in place so that it doesn’t lift off into a slim, awkward, angled peak when you remove your piping nozzle.

Also, when you lift off the nozzle at the end, don't do it 100% straightly upwards. Try to incorporate a bit of the swirl's direction as you end off. 

Piping Frosting in a “Rose”

Before you start, keep in mind that you are GUIDING the frosting into place and not “putting it on”.

Decide beforehand how big your border of exposed cupcake will be (more or less).

Hold the piping bag as perpendicular as possible to the cupcake’s surface.

Start in the center of the cupcake.

Hold the piping nozzle’s end point a good half inch away from the surface of the cupcake. Apply careful, even pressure and make your first contact point. Hold your position for another second so that more frosting comes out. (The center of a rose always has more petals)

After this you can proceed to start piping frosting in a spiral, around the contact point.

While still applying consistent pressure, squeeze the frosting so that it gracefully leaves the piping bag and guide it into place. Keep your eye on the outer edge of the cupcake all the time so that you get a symmetrical rose.

Piping frosting | piping tips | piping frosting on cupcakes

As you approach the end of your cupcake’s outer surface, gradually apply less pressure, till you seamlessly stop (while guiding the last bit of frosting to adhere to the frosting on the cupcake).

Piping Frosting – Tall Swirl

If you want your frosting a mile high on top of your cupcakes, I'm going to recommend something quite controversial.

Rather start with the rose technique and then go over directly into the basic swirl ON TOP of the rose. Doing this creates more frosting structure below your high swirl as well as some additional frosting support in the center.

That's it my friend! Easy peasy frosting squeezy! 😉

The frosting in all my pics is my Ultimate Vanilla Frosting and Ultimate Chocolate Frosting. They are both SENSATIONALLY delicious!! They’ll turn you into a frosting snob… Seriously… you’ll sneer at buttercream forever after tasting them.

I sincerely hope that I’ve explained my piping frosting process thoroughly enough! Please let me know in the comments section below if you have any other frosting piping questions because I would love to help!

Chat soon

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught Artisan Home Baker empowering HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential 
&
MAKE A LIVING
from Home Baking!

Learn more about Philosophy of Yum




POPULAR BAKING TIPS

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POPULAR RECIPES

Top secret recipe for CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES! Super moist, creamy, soft and chocolaty! Absolutely divine...
Yummiest Frosting on the planet! It is so flipping DELICIOUS!!! So delicious in fact that it makes you giggle, squirm and dance from the deliciousness.
chocolate swirl cheesecake | chocolate cheesecake recipe | baked cheesecake recipe
The Yummiest Frosting on the Planet! (Coincidentally Low Sugar too)

The Yummiest Frosting on the Planet! (Coincidentally Low Sugar too)

Philosophy of Yum's Signature Vanilla Frosting

Don’t panic over the “low sugar” you see in my post title. As soon as a recipe has “low this” or “that free” in the title, many bakers tend to be turned off by it. One’s mind immediately pictures a mountain of artificial sweetener – ugh. NOT TODAY FOLKS!

* Photos by Alice Swan

The flipside of the coin is this: sugar on its own actually doesn’t have ANY flavour. It’s just sweet. So here’ my angle…

IF THERE’S LESS SUGAR IN THE FROSTING, THERE’S AN OPPORTUNITY TO ADD MORE INGREDIENTS WITH ACTUAL FLAVOUR.

So, please be open-minded. I know buttercream is the “standard frosting” out there, but it does not deserve to be. Its overwhelming sweetness actually DAMAGES the beautiful flavour of a GOOD cake.

I know there are some yummy buttercream recipes out there – like Magnolia Bakery’s famous frosting – but once you’ve tried this Philosophy of Yum frosting recipe, there will be a whole new standard of yum for you.

low sugar frosting | low sugar frosting vanilla | most delicious frosting | alternative to buttercream frosting

This recipe is my Home Bakery's SIGNATURE Frosting. It's my GO-TO recipe I use every single day. I use this vanilla version or the chocolate frosting version on ALL my cakes & cupcakes. It goes with EVERY CAKE FLAVOUR known to man. And not only does it “go with it”, it elevates it to a whole new dimension of bliss!

ALL my Home Bakery clients go gaga over this low sugar frosting, because it has so much flavour and it’s gloriously luxurious and smooth.

Please note that Philosophy of Yum frosting has a higher water content than buttercream or ganache, so if you place a high sugar item on top of it, it will melt into this frosting. This means fondant and sugar candies. But chocolate is A-OK 🙂

For classic cakes, cupcakes, naked frosting, semi-naked frosting, layered cakes, covering cakes etc. this frosting is absolutely perfect! It’s an honest frosting and it is honestly ridiculously delicious!!

Low Sugar Frosting Development

I explain the whole journey in detail on my low sugar chocolate frosting post if you want to check it out. In a nutshell it goes like this:

As a child I could not stand frosting. I always scraped it off the cake because it was just TOO sweet. My mother is a dietician and developed a lower sugar frosting for her carrot cake recipe. Now that frosting was DELICIOUS! It was, however, a bit too runny to pipe.

When the time came for me to start up my own Home Baking Business, I knew that I would need to come up with my own frosting recipe… And that the frosting would need to be SUPER YUM and lower in sugar so that it’s not too sweet.

I made a drastic decision to omit butter altogether from my recipe! *GASP!!* Since you need to add HEAPS of icing sugar to butter to get it to the right consistency, it's just so not worth it. I opted to use whipped cream instead because cream is just SO delicious! The whipped cream also makes the frosting so much lighter.

Because cream cheese and cream are already quite soft, there’s no need to add kilos and kilos of sugar to achieve the right consistency.

The result was just stunning… So smooth, so luxurious, SO YUMMY!!

low sugar frosting | low sugar frosting vanilla | most delicious frosting | alternative to buttercream frosting

Reasons to make Philosophy of Yum Low Sugar Frosting

* It is so flipping DELICIOUS!!! So delicious in fact that it makes you giggle, squirm and dance from the deliciousness.

* Philosophy of Yum Frosting contains a staggering 75% – 80% LESS SUGAR than any other frosting, but it's completely sufficiently sweet enough. 

* It is actually a whole lot quicker and easier to make than buttercream or traditional cream cheese frosting.

* You don’t need a stand mixer to make this frosting! A simple electric hand mixer is ideal.

* Because there is no butter in this frosting, it is also 55% lower in fat than any other conventional frosting. What a bargain!!

* Extra perk: you can freeze this frosting! Say what?? Yes indeed. Let it thaw again in the fridge for about 2 hours and proceed to whip it GOOD. You are basically re-whipping the cream inside the frosting. After a minute or so it will be beautifully thick once more 🙂

Let’s get started! My instructions are going to be quite thorough so that there’s little room for error. I really want you to experience the awesomeness of this low sugar frosting.

5.0 from 1 reviews
The YUMMIEST Frosting on the Planet! (Happens to be low sugar too)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 80 g Whipping Cream (about 30% fat), cold
  • 200 g Medium Fat (about 25% fat) Cream Cheese, cold
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 70 g Pure Icing Sugar (no added corn starch)
  • Cold Water
Instructions
  1. Whip cold cream to stiff peaks with an electric hand mixer in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Beat in cold Cream Cheese till smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat again till smooth and thickened. About 1 minute in total.
  3. Beat in Vanilla and icing sugar. Leave to stand for 1 minute so that sugar can melt into the cream cheese thoroughly.
  4. Beat again till smooth and thick – about 1 minute.
  5. The longer you beat the frosting, the thicker it becomes. If it gets a bit runny once the sugar has fully dissolved, just keep beating it in one spot and it will thicken up. After this the “thickness” spreads to the rest of the mixture when you incorporate it.
  6. The frosting will be quite thick at this stage. If I’m using the frosting for layer cakes, I use it as it is. Just stir it a bit with a metal spoon to smooth out the biggest air bubbles.
  7. If I’m piping the frosting onto cupcakes, I like to thin it out a little. Add 1 Tbsp of water at a time till you reach the desired consistency.
  8. Signs of my perfect consistency: when you tap the side of the bowl, the frosting jiggles. When you scoop up a spoon, it takes about 2,5 - 3 seconds to drop off the spoon, back into the bowl.

Important Notes:

* THIS RECIPE ONLY WORKS WHEN THE INGREDIENTS ARE SUPER COLD. Both the cream and cream cheese should have been in the fridge, on the lowest shelf, overnight. Make sure your kithen isn't hot when you mix the frosting.

* If you live in a super hot climate, you may need to take extra precausions. If your frosting isn't whipping up, let it chill in your FREEZER for 15 minutes. Hold your mixing bowl at an angle and hold beaters in the lowest spot on top speed for 1-2 minutes (don't move beaters around initially). Once the frosting gets really thick around the beaters, gradually start moving the beaters around in smaller circles to incorporate the runnier frosting with the thick frosting. Continue beating till you see the frosting is as thick as it's possibly going to get.

* Another precausion for super hot climates: Once you've piped the frosting onto cupcakes, let the frosted cupcakes chill in the fridge for at least 30 – 40 minutes so that the piped frosting chills and dries out a bit. After this, you can leave the cupcakes at room temperature and the frosting will keep its shape.

* A smaller, deeper mixing bowl makes this frosting much easier to whip up.

*This recipe produces enough frosting for about 12 cupcakes.

* If using in a layer cake: Allow the frosting on each layer to chill in the fridge for at least 1h30 before placing the next layer of cake on top.

* This is not a hard-setting frosting. It remains moist. I love this because it keeps my cakes moist as well, so you never need to do the simple syrup soaking again!

 

If you give this recipe a go, tag me on facebook, twitter or instagram #philosophyofyum because I would LOVE to see!

Chat soon!

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught Artisan Home Baker empowering HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential 
&
MAKE A LIVING
from Home Baking!

Learn more about Philosophy of Yum




POPULAR RECIPES

Top secret recipe for CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES! Super moist, creamy, soft and chocolaty! Absolutely divine...
Yummiest Frosting on the planet! It is so flipping DELICIOUS!!! So delicious in fact that it makes you giggle, squirm and dance from the deliciousness.
chocolate swirl cheesecake | chocolate cheesecake recipe | baked cheesecake recipe

All my BEST Home Baking Resources to Help You Grow Your Baking Skills and Home Bakery Business

home bakery | home bakery business | home baking business

Hi there fellow Home Baker!

Thought that you might REALLY like to hear about this rad new thing on my blog… It’s a free resource library with my absolute BEST resources in the fields of Home Baking and growing a successful Home Baking Business.

Now, I share many resources, baking tips and LEGIT recipes from my own Home Bakery Business, but there are some documents I don’t want to share with just anyone… I’d rather share them with a fellow Home Baker, like you, who will benefit MOST from these documents. So yes, these documents are very exclusive – all the BEST secrets behind my successful Home Bakery!

These amazing resources are available to my “Cake Snobs” only. You cannot find it anywhere else.

In my Free Library You Can Expect to Find:

* Philosophy of Yum (my Home Bakery)’s TOP secret recipes. Typically recipes that were baked literally 1000 times over and have generated thousands of dollars in sales over the last 5 years. I have not shared these recipes with ANYONE before now.

* Home Baking Business Tips that have TRANSFORMED my Home Bakery into such a success. This includes guides and tips to make your Home Bakery Stand out from the crowd, sustainable approaches to sales without needing to pay for advertising. Because, as all home bakers know, we don’t have masses of capital to invest in advertising campaigns or expensive websites.

* Lastly I also share tools and tips to help you become THE BEST HOME BAKER YOU CAN POSSIBLY BE. If you engage in these, I guarantee that you will grow as a baker like you never have before. It’s how I have grown into the baker I am today without ever paying to study desserts/pastry/baking/chef etc.

home baking tips | home baking recipes | home baking to sell

I then also have resources to push you further as a Home Baker – like learning HOW to develop your own recipes. The aim is to equip you and give you tools so that you can explore and create your own UNIQUE bakes 

As I’ve said earlier, these resources are exclusively ONLY available to my “cake snobs”. I would absolutely LOVE to have you on board so that you can benefit from these amazing resources!

So… Are you ready to reach your full potential as a Home Baker?

I look forward to chatting with you soon!

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught Artisan Home Baker empowering HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential 
&
MAKE A LIVING
from Home Baking!

Learn more about Philosophy of Yum

Hand Mixer Shopping Guide – 6 Things to Consider

Hand Mixer Shopping Guide – 6 Things to Consider

Hand Mixers – Comprehensive Shopping Guide

A few years back I considered Standing Mixers to be the superior mixing appliance in the baking world. To me, hand mixers felt like the poor unfortunate cousins of Standing Mixers that are constantly longing for the day they might evolve into standing mixers. I thought “if I could just get a Standing Mixer, I will never need a Hand Mixer ever again!”.

Wrong.

Hand Mixers are legit. There are some jobs that a Hand Mixer can do 10 times better than a standing mixer. They provide so much control! Another perk is that the tedious “scrape down the paddle & bowl” sessions are so much less with a hand mixer! I insist on making my Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting with a hand mixer. In a standing mixer it turns out lumpy and takes 3 times as long.

I’ve gone through my share of hand mixers as a full time baker. Some were amazing and some of them frustrated me a lot.

PLEASE NOTE THAT I’M NOT PAID BY ANY COMPANY TO SAY ANYTHING. THIS POST IS NOT SPONSORED IN ANY WAY.

I’ve also decided to flex my I-actually-have-an-architecture-degree-and-can-draw muscles this week! Yay! The sketches should help you understand what I mean. I hope you enjoy my little, super technical, super beautiful sketches. I've even framed them like  the pro doodlers do these days.

*HINT* There's a bonus tip #7 at the end of the post 😉

Here are 6 key things to consider when you're buying a Hand Mixer

baking tips | baking tips and tricks | hand mixer | kitchen equipment

1. The Base of the Hand Mixer

By this I mean the side of the Hand Mixer you put down on the counter when you’re not using it. If the base is too small, the Hand Mixer will keep toppling over time and time again! It can become blindingly frustrating.

Be sure to buy one that doesn’t have crazy curves or roundings toward the base. It’s best when the body shape of the mixer goes straight down into a completely flat surface.

Some designers often try to be cute and add a creative little arch below the base of the mixer. It’s so impractical. A slight variation from a completely flat surface might not have too drastic implications. The best way is to test it.

Put the mixer on a flat surface and test its stability by pushing it with varied amounts of force. This is a technical way of saying “poke the mixer”! Lol! If it falls over easily, I would recommend that you keep shopping.

The stability of the base also includes the angle at which the power cord comes out of the hand mixer. Might seem futile, but if the angle is too steep it compromises the stability of the mixer in a standing position. Make sure that the cord doesn’t interfere with the stability.

2. The Shape of the Beaters

Beater attachments are just beater attachments, right? I’ve come to see otherwise. My dear husband bought us a new fridge last year. He knew I was in dire need of a new hand mixer. I’m super particular about the appliances I buy and he knows this. The sales lady at the appliance store highly recommended a Bosch Hand Mixer and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

I was so skeptical about his impulsive buy, but it’s turned out to be one of the best hand mixers I’ve ever had. It meets a lot of other criteria, but the main reason I love this hand mixer so much is because of the unique little twist in the beater attachments.

These boys whip things up in at least 30% less time! It’s amazing! I assume that the slight twist agitates the ingredients just that much more during beating, speeding up the creaming/whipping process.

This little edge has saved me so much time over the past year! It's not essential, it's just super handy.

3. The Weight of the Hand Mixer

Have you ever made 7 minute frosting? Or a batter that needs to be beaten for 5 minutes? Even the lightest hand mixer can feel like lead after about 2 minutes.

On the flip side, it also doesn’t help if you get a super light Hand Mixer that falls over when you just look at it. I know I’m exaggerating, but we’ve all had an el-cheapo that falls over like 5-10 times a day. Not fun. Especially when there’s batter on the beaters and now it’s all over the counter. Sigh of note.

To me, the ideal weight of a hand mixer should be about 680 g (1,5 lbs) without any attachments. You can still go down to 650 g, but anything lighter than that becomes a bit too flimsy.

The weight of a hand mixer is not necessarily on the box, so be sure to take your scale with so that you can weigh it in the store. It may be nerdy, but it’s also kind of hard core when you think about it. Oh yeah. You know it.

4. Watts of the Hand Mixer

You get some powerful hand mixers on the market, but we’re not planning to use it to propel us across the ocean. On the flipside, you do want a rather powerful mixer that will get the job done, and get it done well.

350 Watts is my ideal. It’s really not necessary to go higher. You may go lower, it’s your decision. 350 Watts has just worked the best for me so far.

5. Speed Settings of the Hand Mixer

A turbo speed option is not essential. My current hand mixer doesn’t have one and I honestly haven’t missed it for a second.

In fact it’s actually more important that the slow speeds on your mixer are in fact SLOW. I’ve had 2 hand mixers where the so called “slowest speed” was actually really fast! Try to test this in store if they allow you to.

6. Price of the Hand Mixer

Have you watched “Midnight in Paris”? Rachel McAdams’s mother says on a few occasions “You get what you pay for. Cheap is cheap!”. I really don’t feel that’s true. Some famous brands have these stunning hand mixers, but they are so heavy and have a low wattage. Very strange, but true.

Price does not equal quality when it comes to buying a hand mixer. Specs equal the quality of the hand mixer.

7. Spinning Direction of the Beaters

This point is super important. Generally, we beat things with a hand mixer to incorporate air. Thus it is KEY for the ingredients to be forced to work against gravity i.e. starting at the bottom and ending at the top x 1,000,000.

For this to be accomplished, the spinning direction should spin from the inside out, forcing ingredients UP. If the spinning direction is from the outside in, then the ingredients are being forced DOWN resulting in less air in the mixture.

Summary

Check the standing stability of the hand mixer you are considering. Do not compromise on this. Seriously. You can compromise on any of the other points, but not this one.

Try to get a mixer with twisted beater attachments to save you whipping time.

Get something that has enough power, but don’t go overboard.

Get a hand mixer that isn't too heavy. 680 g (1,5 lbs) is perfect.

Don’t go for pretty, go for practical. You will use this hand mixer almost every day. Pretty is a bonus. Pretty will also cost you a whole lot more.

Always read the specs of the appliance and decide according to that. Base your decision on the facts, not the brand name!

Check the spinning direction of the beaters – it should be from the inside out.

Don’t be too idealistic. Sometimes you’ll have to settle. What’s the best value you can get for your money? As long as your mixer has great standing stability, you should be fine.

And that’s it! I hope this post has shed some light on the process of buying a hand mixer. Have fun when you whip out your digital scale in the store to weigh the prospective hand mixer. Make sure you are wearing shades at the time and playing “Bad to the Bone” in the background 😀

 

Chat soon!

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught Artisan Home Baker empowering HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential 
&
MAKE A LIVING
from Home Baking!

Learn more about Philosophy of Yum




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Cheesecake Pastry Recipe – With 2 Flavour Variations!

Cheesecake Pastry Recipe – With 2 Flavour Variations!

Cheesecake Pastry

Cheesecake Pastry was not something I grew up with at all! Come on, we all mostly eat cookie crust cheesecakes – and they truly are fantastic! Who can ever manage to figure out if they like cheesecake’s crust or filling more?? BOTH are super delicious.

The slightly crunchy texture of the crust along with the flawlessly smooth cheesecake filling is the highlight of Dessert World.

BUT, did you know that Cheesecake Pastry was actually the original crust used by the clever Greeks and Romans? (Read more about the history of cheesecake).

Since they are generally considered as geniuses, I always knew deep down that cheesecake pastry might be something to look into.

Honestly, my decision to start making cheesecake with a cheesecake pastry base was due to the nature of my Home Bakery. I had to figure out how to make a crust sturdy enough to handle being moved over to a disposable cake board.

perfect cheesecake | cheesecake pastry | chocolate swirl cheesecake

Crushed cookie bases are quick to prepare, but super difficult to transfer to a different dish, serving platter, cake board etc. Typically, you leave the cheesecake on the bottom of your springform cake tin and use it as a “cake board”.

Problem with this idea is that I can’t exactly expect my clients to return my cake tin’s bottom. Too tedious for them and me. Cheesecake Pastry is much sturdier and still contains gorgeous butter, so you aren’t missing anything!

What Makes Cheesecake Pastry Different?

There are a few differences between cheesecake pastry and regular shortcrust pastry. Cheesecake pastry typically contains more egg, because egg is a great binding agent. It provides extra strength and stability to the pastry.

I would even go so far as to say it provides a small amount of elasticity. Shortcrust pastry, in my opinion, needs to pretty much have the texture of shortbread. I did a very thorough post on Shortcrust Pastry earlier this year.

It might be a bit unorthodox, but I like to add vanilla extract to my cheesecake pastry instead of water. It really bumps up the flavour and compliments the cheesecake so beautifully!

cheesecake pastry recipe plain or chocolate

Perks of Using Cheesecake Pastry

  • The biggest perk for me is that it protects the cheesecake during baking. It COMPLETELY eliminates the risk for over-cooked/browned/curdled edges around the cheesecake.
  • It keeps the cheesecake moister during baking since the delicate cheesecake filling never touches the hot and dehydrating aluminium sides of the tin.
  • As I mentioned before, it makes the finished cheesecake a BREEZE to transfer onto a cake board or cake stand without lending out your tin’s bottom.
  • It really is super delicious! Since I’ve switched to cheesecake pastry, I’ve never had the desire to go back to crushed cookie bases.
  • It is really not difficult at all! In a food processor, it really takes like 5 minutes. I’m going to give you step by step instructions so that you can also make your own cheesecake pastry!

cheesecake pastry recipe | pastry recipe | cheesecake chocolate pastry | cheesecake pastry

*SUPER IMPORTANT!! Before you make this Cheesecake Pastry and proceed with making a Baked Cheesecake, I strongly urge you to read my 6 TOP TIPS FOR PERFECT CHEESECAKE.

Cheesecake Pastry - Plain or Chocolate
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 9 inch base
Ingredients
  • 210 g All-purpose Flour (sub 40 g cocoa if making chocolate pastry)
  • 60 g Pure Icing Sugar (use 70 g if making chocolate pastry)
  • 130 g Salted Butter, cold and cubed
  • 50 g Free-range Egg Yolks (about 2 ½ egg yolks)
  • ½ Tbsp Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Place flour (and cocoa powder if making choc pastry) in a food processor. Cut the butter into a 1 cm dice and add to the food processor. Try to distribute the cubes of butter evenly in the flour so that they don’t stick together.
  2. Process on high speed until resembling even bread crumbs.
  3. Add icing sugar and process for about 10 seconds on high speed.
  4. Add the egg yolks and vanilla. Process on high speed for about 15 seconds. The pastry will not form a ball inside the processor.
  5. cheesecake pastry process
  6. Pour the crumbly mixture onto a work surface – do not add any extra liquid! Press all the crumbs together and press the pastry together till more or less smooth. This should take only about 3 minutes. Form the pastry into a ball and squash it flat to a 2 cm thickness.
  7. Wrap the pastry in cling wrap and refrigerate it for 15 minutes.
  8. Cut a 30 cm x 30 cm square of non-stick parchment paper. Place the chilled pastry on the paper and roll out to an EVEN 3mm thickness, roughly in a circular shape. The parchment paper makes it super easy to turn the pastry when rolling!
  9. Spray/butter the inside of your 9 inch (22,5 cm) tin. Place the loose bottom face side down onto the pastry. Cut around the sides of the tin’s bottom and also at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock to divide the excess pastry into 4 strips.
  10. Remove the strips one by one and place to one side. Press down on the tin’s bottom so that the pastry squishes out slightly underneath. I find this little lip of pastry helps to combine the pastry on the sides with the pastry on the bottom.
  11. Flip the parchment paper and tin’s bottom. Peel away the paper.
  12. Drop your tin’s bottom back into your tin and fill in the sides of the tin with your pastry strips using your fingers. Do not worry about a smooth finish just yet.
  13. Preheat your oven to 180ᵒC/350ᵒF.
  14. Place your tin in the freezer for 5 minutes. Remove from freezer and smooth the edges and bottom with a metal spoon. Return to freezer for a further 10 minutes or until frozen solid.
  15. Line the entire tin with heavy weight foil (enough to go up over the sides. Leave no pastry exposed) and smooth it onto the pastry). Be sure to press the foil down very snugly into the corners of the cheesecake pastry. Run your finger over the top edge as well to maintain the shape of the pastry during baking.
  16. Fill the cavity with dry baking beans (I prefer rice).
  17. Bake one notch below the center of your oven for 35 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.
  18. Remove from the oven and leave to stand (with foil and rice still inside) for 10 minutes.
  19. Remove the foil and rice and proceed to fill with cheesecake filling. Bake again for as long as your cheesecake recipe states.

I trust that these simple an thorough steps will enable you to make your own amazing cheesecake pastry! Please let me know how you get on by using #philosophyofyum or even tagging me @philosophyofyum.

In my next post we’ll be making Vanilla Cheesecake with a fresh fruit compote 😀

Chat soon!

Aurelia 😊

Hi! I'm Aurelia 🙂

I'm a Self Taught Artisan Home Baker empowering HOME BAKERS to
unlock their FULL potential 
&
MAKE A LIVING
from Home Baking!

Learn more about Philosophy of Yum




POPULAR BAKING TIPS

Grainy Ganache | Broken Ganache | Split Ganache
shiny brownies | brownies shiny | brownies shiny crust
cupcakes troubleshooting | perfect cupcakes | cupcakes tips | cupcakes baking tips | pointy cupcakes | cupcakes sink | cupcakes with flat tops | cupcakes overflow

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