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Gesine's Baking Do’s and Don’ts

The host of Baked in Vermont shares her best tips for improving your baking skills and making unforgettable desserts.

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Photo: Brent Harrewyn

First, Always Be Patient

“Be patient.” My mother gave me this advice and it took years to really follow it and realize how true it was. But it’s crucial in baking, and in life.

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Photo: irene_k

You Don’t Need to Sift Flour

You really don’t. What you DO need to do is whisk flour with leavening to make sure it’s distributed well. Flours like cake flour sometimes clump and may need sifting but an all-purpose flour doesn’t.

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Photo: Renee Comet ©

Don’t Swap Out Different Types of Flour

For example, if a recipe calls for all-purpose, you shouldn’t use cake flour because you’ll lose the structure the all-purpose flour brings. You can’t swap out whole wheat for white flours one to one because you have to adjust moisture levels for the pastry to come out properly. And most importantly, you can’t replace a traditional wheat flour for a nut flour. Just because it’s called flour doesn’t mean that it works like traditional wheat flour.

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Photo: Matt Armendariz ©

Do Master These Three Recipes

A Swiss meringue/buttercream, a pie, and a moist and tender crumbed layer cake.

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