With Christmastime fast approaching, it's never been more tempting to grab your rolling pin and scales to get creative with some cake mix. But with so many ingredients and equipment needed, baking can come at a hefty price. With this in mind, we’ve put together 10 simple ways of saving money when you’re baking and experimenting. Some of them may sound a little strange, but trust us, they work!
1. Use lace as a topping pattern.
Looking for some easy and cheap inspiration to decorate the top of your cake? Simply take an old piece of lace and slowly sift your frosting or icing sugar through it. This will create an intricate pattern that will surely wow your guests.
2. No rolling pin? Try a wine bottle.
Don't panic if you suddenly realize you don’t actually own a rolling pin — just use an empty wine bottle instead. The shape makes the perfect roller that will be flattening out your mixture in no time.
3. Crimp your crust with a necklace.
Instead of daintily pinching the sides of your pre-cooked pie before it goes in the oven, use a pearl necklace. Simply undo the clasp and roll the necklace around the edge to make neat indentations. You can also use a corkscrew tip or measuring spoon, but it's way less stylish.
4. Keep brown sugar soft.
There's nothing worse than your brown sugar turning hard, but you can keep it soft and fresh by simply placing a slice of bread in the container. The bread won't go moldy and the sugar won't go hard. It couldn't be easier!
5. Make double and freeze.
By making double the mixture and putting half in the freezer, you not only cut down on food waste, you also make your next baking session a lot easier and quicker. Just place your unused mixture in a freezable bag or container and microwave before use the second time around.
6. Ripen bananas in the oven.
Sometimes you're just craving a banana-based recipe, but you don’t always have a bunch of overripe bananas on hand. Don't worry if your fruit isn't ready just yet; place them in the oven for around 40 minutes on low heat. This will make them go completely black and very soft — the perfect texture for baking.
7. Make your own sprinkles.
They're sweet, crunchy, and colorful — the perfect topping for your cake. And it's easy to make your own rather than heading to the shop to buy a pack. All you need is sugar, egg whites, warm water, flavoring, and food coloring. Whip together and let the icing dry before cutting into your desired shapes.
8. Don't cry over cracked eggshells.
Cracking eggs into a bowl before baking may look easy, but it can prove tricky when you spot a shard of eggshell or two along with your yolk. There's no need to waste the egg by trying again, though: Wet your fingers and you'll be able to scoop up the unwanted crunch.
9. Keep cookies moist longer.
It might sound slightly odd, but placing a small apple wedge into your container of freshly baked cookies will help keep them from drying out. This is because the cookies will slowly absorb the moisture from the apple, keeping them delicious and edible for longer.
10. Salvage burned goods with a grater.
Don’t panic or cry if your baked cookies are looking a little scorched after a date in the oven — they can be salvaged. Simply shave off the bottoms with a cheese grater and you'll be good to go. No one will ever know!
This article was originally written by Yours editors. For more, check out our sister site, Yours.