10 Baking Hacks You Can't Get Through the Holidays Without

Maressa Brown | Dec 1, 2014 Food & Party

mom and daughter baking

Whether you started as soon as your Thanksgiving feast was cleaned up, or you're the type to wait 'til the last minute, holiday baking is a time-honored tradition (or, alright, maybe obligation). You may be planning to bake up a batch of chocolate chip cookies to gift in pretty tins, or be expected to bring your special cupcakes to a family party. Either way, who couldn't use a few baking tricks, and tips to save your time, money, and sanity this holiday season?!

holiday baking

Hence why we rounded up 10 of the smartest baking hacks out there. Check them out, and then tell us: What's your go-to baking shortcut, especially during the holiday season?

Images via iStock.com/svetikd & Kati Molin/Shutterstock

  • A Smarter Way to Store Cookies


    Image via iStock.com/creacart

    If you're baking a lot ahead of the time you plan to eat or gift your cookies, you may be wary of your treats going stale. The solution: Store your cookies with an apple wedge. The cookies absorb some of the apple's moisture, which allows them to keep for longer!

  • A More Accurate Way to Frost


    Image via Walgreens.com

    Instead of getting all fancy with a frosting piper that you may feel awkward using, grab a plastic syringe (like this True Easy Oral syringe), which will give you more control over decorating cookies (think gingerbread men).

  • Make Powdered Sugar Extra Pretty


    Image via iStock.com/ingmarsan

    Sprinkle powdered sugar through a doily or actual lace instead of using frosting for a pretty design. For instance: Try on top of cupcakes or brownies!

  • Salvage Burned Bottoms


    Image via iStock.com/vgajic

    If just the bottoms of your cookies get burned, don't feel like you have to toss the whole batch! Instead, you can shave off the blackened parts with a box grater or microplane zester!

  • Let a Marshmallow Do All the Work


    Image via iStock.com/DebbiSmirnoff

    Don't feel like making or buying frosting? Bust out the marshmallows instead! About five minutes before your timer is set to go off, place a large marshmallow on top of each cupcake, and it'll create a toasted s'mores-like topping! Yum!

  • Get Creative with Cookie Cutters


    Image via iStock.com/gojak

    To create a design on a cake or a cupcake, you can use a cookie cutter and sprinkles or edible glitter. Just gently place the cookie cutter where you want the design, then fill it in with sprinkles or glitter. Voila!  

  • Use Bread to Keep Your Cake Moist


    Image via iStock.com/dszc

    If you're going to be waiting a little while between taking your cake out of the oven and frosting it, you can place a piece of bread on top of it until you're ready to decorate. The slice will keep it from drying out. Baked Bree swears by the trick!

  • Drop Your Cake -- on Purpose


    Image via iStock.com/ElenatheWise

    Sounds crazy, but carefully "dropping" your cake pan or cookie sheet on the counter as soon as it comes out of the oven will help eliminate air bubbles and promote faster settling!

  • Try a Dash of Sea Salt


    Image via iStock.com/bhofack2

    To bring out more intense chocolate and butter flavors in your chocolate chip cookies, sprinkle coarse sea salt over the tops before baking.

  • Try This 2-Ingredient 'Ice Cream' Cake


    Image via iStock.com/manyakotic

    Believe it or not, your favorite ice cream and self-rising flour are the only two ingredients you need to make a super-fast and easy cake.

    To do: Preheat oven to 350F. Let the ice cream soften at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. In the bowl of your mixer, combine ice cream with flour. Scoop the batter into a greased bundt pan, and bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Invert, and let cool. And boom -- you're done!

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