How to Get Better at Baking

Spoiler alert: You’re already better at it than you think

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  • Flour (all-purpose): 2 c (10 oz)
  • Sugar: 1 c (7.5 oz)
  • Baking powder: 2 t
  • Salt: 1 t
  • Buttermilk (or milk): 3/4 c (6 oz)
  • Sour cream (or buttermilk or milk or whole yogurt): 1/2 c (4 oz)
  • Egg: 1
  • Vanilla extract: 1 t
  • Frozen blueberries: 1 1/2 c (7.5 oz)
  • Optional: Coarse sugar, such as turbinado, demerara, “raw”
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, BP, and salt. Just use your hand.
  2. In a second mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk (or milk), sour cream (or substitute), egg, and vanilla. Whisk in the butter.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and use a spatula to toss until the dry ingredients are just combined. Try to avoid any “stirring” or “mashing” action.
  4. Add the blueberries, still frozen, and fold in with the spatula. You may get some streaks of purple in your batter. (I personally love this.)
  5. Portion your batter into each of the 12 cavities in your pan — you’ll use about 4 tablespoons in each one and they’ll be 2/3 or so full. Gently pat them down (a damp spoon works well here) but do not obsess about making them level and even; it will not matter.
  6. If you’d like, sprinkle a little coarse sugar (or regular sugar, if that’s what you’ve got) over each one.
  7. Bake in your fully preheated oven for 30–35 minutes, until… baked. (See article, above.)
  • Also, if using fresh berries, fold VERY gently at step 5.
  • For some real jazz on top, try zesting a lemon and rubbing this zest with a small pile of your topping sugar. Yum.
  • For some real jazz inside, try zesting a lemon and adding this zest somewhere in the recipe.
  • Certainly vary this recipe with whatever makes sense for you — cranberry orange (zest an orange and add that somewhere in the recipe), peach bourbon (make a crumb topping and drizzle bourbon-confectioner’s sugar glaze on top after baking), apple cinnamon (use apples and, well, cinnamon), etc.

Pastry Chef, Author, Consultant, Founder of Melt Bakery, Level 6 Food Nerd

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