Martha Stewart’s golden rules for baking may seem a bit overwhelming — there’s seven of them, according to TODAY! However, the most important ones are prep before beginning, which entails setting out all necessary ingredients, preheating the oven, mind the mixing, and allowing cakes to cool. If you nail these, you’ll be off to a great start.
While those rules are highly important, there are two more that take the cake (see what we did there?). Stewart advises that you always “want to make sure the oven temperature is correct,” and the easiest way to do so is by using a thermometer. Likewise, where you position the cake in the oven is just as vital. “You want very much to always bake your cake in the center of the oven or wherever the recipe tells you,” she said on TODAY.
She stressed that cookbook authors don’t note to bake a cake in the middle of the rack for fun. There’s a reason and a science behind it, so you must follow their directions step-by-step. After all, they’re called directions for a reason. “Baking is an exact science,” she continued, adding, “You can’t kind of fudge here or there, [and go] ‘oh I’m going to leave out the milk,’ you can’t do it!”