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Cakes 101: Baking a perfect NOMU MiniMakes cake
This is everything you need to know to bake flawless NOMU MiniMakes cakes. Once you've mastered the basics, you can add your own creative twist to the three base cake recipes to create many variations with consistently delicious results.

Cakes 101: Baking a perfect NOMU MiniMakes cake

Moist and tender, with a light fluffy crumb and a beautifully risen centre – these are the defining characteristics of a perfect cake.

Baking delicious cakes with NOMU MiniMakes Small Batch Baking is super easy, and once you understand the basic ingredients and method, you can adapt the base recipe to create a whole lot of your own variations with consistently delicious results. Ready to become a master? Let’s go!

The Ingredients

All three MiniMakes Cake Batter Mixes require a similar set of ingredients to make: eggs, oil (either in the form of melted butter or vegetable oil) and dairy. While the measurements vary slightly between the Vanilla, Chocolate and Spiced Cake mixes, they all follow the same overall process to make.

  • Eggs: We use large free-range eggs for all our MiniMakes recipes. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature for baking to help with proper emulsion and even mixing.
  • Oil: Which form of oil you use depends on the MiniMakes mix. The Vanilla and Chocolate cakes use melted butter for its delicious flavour, while the Spiced cake uses vegetable oil for the long-lasting moisture it gives to the final bake. If you’re on a budget, melted butter can easily be substituted with an equal quantity of vegetable oil. If you’re using butter for cakes, make sure to melt it gently in the microwave – do not let it boil and bubble excessively – and then set it aside until cool to the touch. Melted butter that is too hot can partially cook the eggs when they’re mixed together.
  • Dairy: All the MiniMakes cake base recipes use milk, which can be substituted with buttermilk, Amasi, sour cream or yoghurt for different applications. The use of yoghurt or sour cream makes a thicker batter which is ideal to prevent fruit from sinking during baking. Buttermilk or Amasi can increase the moisture level of cakes while also adding extra flavour.

Tip: Find the base recipe for classic cakes on your MiniMakes box, or have a look at our Vegan Vanilla, Chocolate and Spiced Cake recipes for plant-based alternatives!

The Method

There are two main methods for making a basic cake. For MiniMakes, we’ll focus on the wet-into-dry method. Pretty self-explanatory, this method simply involves combining a mixture of wet ingredients with a dry one.

1. Prepare: Make sure to preheat the oven and prepare your chosen baking tin with baking paper before starting the recipe. Cakes depend on raising agents for their light and fluffy crumb, and these start to work their magic as soon as the wet and dry mixtures are combined. For this reason, cake batters should be placed in the oven as soon as possible after they’re mixed. We recommend using conventional mode for cakes at 160˚ C for an even rise. (Read more about How Oven Setting Affect Your Bakes here).

2. Combine the wet ingredients: Whisk the eggs first until nicely broken up to help them combine well with the other ingredients. Then mix in the cooled melted butter/oil and milk and whisk until everything is well combined and emulsified.

3. Add the cake mix: Add your MiniMakes cake mix (no need to sieve it) and gently whisk or fold it into the wet ingredients until just combined. The secret to a perfect cake is to not overmix the batter as this can result in an undesirable dense and rubbery texture. (Learn about the effect of overmixing and other Golden Rules of Baking here).

4. Transfer to your tin: Transfer the batter to your prepared tin, spreading it into an even layer if the batter is thick. If baking cupcakes or muffins, use two spoons to scoop the mixture into paper liners, or use an ice-cream scoop with a trigger release for even portioning.

5. Bake: Place the baking tin in the centre of your oven and follow the recommended baking time. The exact baking time may vary due to oven temperature fluctuations, so we suggest setting your timer 5-10 minutes less than what the recipe states. Do not open the oven door too early or frequently during cooking as the sudden change in temperature may cause the cake to collapse.

To know when your cake is perfectly baked, it should pull away from the sides of the tin, spring back when lightly pressed and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out completely clean.

Bakeware

The MiniMakes cake mixes can be baked in different shapes and sizes for different variation recipes. Make sure to consider the change in baking time when chopping and changing your bakeware.

MakesBakewareBake timeRecipe inspiration
1 x single layer cake20cm round tin25-30 minUpside-down chocolate almond cake
1 x two-layer cake16 or 18cm round tin30-35 minTiramisu layer cake
1 x tray bake20cm square tin25-30 minLemon blueberry tray bake
1 x loaf 21 x 11cm loaf tin40-45 minSpiced banana loaf
8 x muffinsMuffin tray25-30 minRaspberry & orange muffins
12 x cupcakesMuffin tray20-25 minCarrot cake cupcakes
1 x skillet cake17cm skillet pan30-40 minSpiced pear & almond skillet cake

Cake Troubleshooting Guide

DRY CAKE: Bake the cake for less time, as overbaking can cause it to dry out. For added moisture, consider using oil instead of melted butter in the batter, or swap out the milk for buttermilk.

OVERBROWN CRUST OR BURNT EDGES: Bake the cake for less time or use a slightly lower oven temperature. Use an oven thermometer if you have one to double-check the accuracy of your oven temperature settings.

SUNKEN CENTER: Make sure your oven is properly preheated before placing the cake in the oven and avoid opening the oven door too early during baking. Don’t take the cake out of the oven before it is cooked all the way through – use a skewer to test for doneness if you’re unsure.

LOPSIDED CAKE: Make sure the batter is evenly spread into your cake tin and swiftly rotate the pans halfway through cooking to help achieve an even rise. If you used a fan mode on your oven, try switching to conventional instead to get a more even rise.

DENSE CAKE: Avoid overmixing the cake batter by whisking the wet and dry ingredients until just combined. We don’t recommend using an electric mixer for cake batters.

Follow NOMU MiniMakes on Instagram for delicious recipe inspiration, baking tips and more.

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