6 Tips for Making the Best One-Bowl Cake

published May 18, 2017
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

One-bowl cake is something of a miracle dessert for cake-lovers. This fast and fancy dessert transforms pantry items into a sweet cake batter, in a single bowl, before the oven even has a chance to preheat. And its versatility can’t be beat.

Get out your biggest mixing bowl and your cake pan of choice, and put these tips to work to make an even better one-bowl cake.

1. Swap in cake flour.

All-purpose flour will certainly make a delicious cake, but for cake with a really fine crumb and tender texture, swap in cake flour instead.

2. Always whisk the dry ingredients together first.

Think of starting off a one-bowl cake just like you would a basic batch of muffins. After adding all the dry ingredients to the bowl, always whisk them together before adding the wet ingredients. Not only will it evenly distribute the ingredients, but it will also work out any clumps and make for a more tender crumb.

3. Butter makes the most flavorful cake.

A basic one-bowl cake can be made with your choice of melted butter or canola oil. The difference? One delivers with flavor, while the other delivers with convenience. Melting butter will take a few extra minutes of prep and dirty some extra dishes, but it delivers with that irresistible classic yellow cake flavor.

4. Use any milk you have on hand.

While most one-bowl cake stick with whole milk, this one can be made with just about any variety you have on hand. We’ve had a delicious results with almond milk, 2%, and even half-and-half.

5. Mix the batter just until the ingredients are smooth.

If there is any step that has the potential to cause a hang-up, it’s mixing the wet and dry ingredients together. One-bowl cakes are prone to over-mixing, so you want to bring it together quickly, and mix just until the batter is smooth.

6. Mix by hand instead of using a mixer.

Want a surefire way to be certain you don’t overmix the batter? Stick with mixing by hand rather than using a hand mixer. It’s easy and takes just about a minute to mix the batter together to a smooth consistency.

Try These Easy One-Bowl Cake Recipes