How to Make the Perfect Cake

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Have you ever wondered how to make the perfect cake? Today I’m sharing some simple tips and tricks that will help you achieve success each and every time you bake a cake. The days of dry, tasteless, failed cake recipes will be no more if you follow each of the tips I have laid out for you.

Angled view of a cake covered in chocolate frosting on a marble cake stand.

Make the Perfect Cake

Always read the entire recipe before you begin. Make sure you have all the ingredients and tools needed to bake the cake.

Make sure the ingredients are room temperature. Ingredients that are room temperature are easier to combine. Butter must be softened in order to cream it with sugar. Cold milk will turn perfectly softened butter into a clumpy mess. And cold eggs are almost impossible to thoroughly mix into cake batter.

High angled view of vanilla cake slices with chocolate frosting on bamboo plates.

Cream the butter and sugar together for a full 5 minutes. When creaming the butter and sugar, aim for a light pale color and fluffy texture. If creamed properly, the butter and sugar will be almost double in volume. This process alone will ensure a moist, tender cake.

Measure the ingredients properly. If weight measurements are included in the recipe, be sure to use a scale and weigh the ingredients correctly. If no weight measurements are given, always measure the dry ingredients by spooning them into a dry measuring cup and level it off with the back of a knife.

Overhead view of two slices of yellow cake with chocolate frosting on bamboo plates.

Sift or whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl before adding them to the wet ingredients. Doing this ensures the leavening agent is evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Take care not to over mix the batter. Over mixing causes the top of the cake to dome or crack and creates tunnels throughout the inside. Gently mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Close up overhead view of a slice of vanilla cake with chocolate frosting.

Prepare the cake pans with nonstick spray and a piece of parchment paper cut to fit in the bottom of the pan.

Wrap the cake pans with a wet tea towel or use bake even strips to make sure the cakes bake evenly across the top and do not rise higher in the middle.

Use an oven thermometer. Your oven calibration may be slightly off which can affect the way the cake turns out.

Three layer yellow cake with chocolate frosting on bamboo plates.

Take care not to overbake the cake. The cake is ready once a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few dry crumbs on it. If the toothpick comes out completely clean, the cake is overbaked.

Cool the cakes in the pan on wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Make sure the cake is completely cool before frosting.

I used my basic vanilla cake recipe for this post.

I have some delicious cake recipes that turn out perfect when utilizing these baking tips to make the perfect cake. Enjoy!


  1. jena naber says:

    I am wondering if the cake will continue to bake when taken out of the oven. I ask because you noted that if you test the cake and there are a few crumbs on the toothpick/knife it is done. But if it comes out clean, it is over cooked. Everywhere I look online says the opposite. It makes sense if the cake keeps cooking when taken out of the oven. Please help me understand.

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      When you bake a cake to the where a toothpick comes out clean, it’s going to taste drier than if you bake it to the point of having a few moist crumbs on the toothpick. This is why I always suggest testing it this way.

  2. Thanks so much for your tips!

  3. I tried using another method in making my vanilla cake, I know a lot of people think making vanilla cakes are really easy but the slightest mistake with spoil everything. so I wanted my batter to look runny like in all these cooking shows I added cold milk to it and now my cake texture feels somehow and no one wants to eat it my whole family was like “Jennifer you have just went with your usual method and recipe” and I still find it hard to make chocolate cake

  4. Nydia Solis says:

    Hello,I didn’t understand the “bake even strips” part… what are those? The rest is basic,understood it all?

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      They’re cloth strips that you soak in water and wrap around the cake pan. It evens out the heat distribution and promotes even baking so the cakes bake level. There’s a for them in the post.

  5. Thank you Jen.
    Even though I know all these basics it was great to read them again. To the new baker it’s great information.
    You have given us some great recipes to practice while we are in this current situation. Let’s just hope we all don’t gain a lot of weight!
    Everyone keep your mind and body active.
    Stay well and stay safe. ❤️

  6. Rose Rogers Shetui says:

    Thanks so much for these tips, i really like your page, the page is so informative and educative

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Thanx Jen, I used to defrost butter now I know how to make a perfect cake.

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