The Basics of Baking

Produced in Partnership With The Culinary Institute of America

Many people are interested in learning how to bake, but they’re intimidated because they think it’s is too complicated. Once you learn the science behind baking, you’ll find that you get much better results!

Baking Ingredients

bakingThe Everyday Gourmet: Baking Pastries and Desserts
Learn the secrets of baking like a professional with this course taught by a master pastry chef from the world’s premiere culinary college, The Culinary Institute of America


Pound Cake


  • 8 oz butter
  • 8 1/2 oz sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 7 oz cake flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Use the creaming method to blend the butter and sugar, then add the eggs, egg yolks, salt, and vanilla. Once those are blended, add the flour and baking powder. Notice that this dough, or batter, is much softer than the cookie dough.

Pound Cake

Again, be careful in mixing. An overmixed cake will be full of holes once it’s baked, while one that’s undermixed will have very little structure; it may stick to the bottom of the pan or be gummy.

Transfer the batter to a loaf pan or a decorative ring pan. To get a nice crack in the center, wet your finger and run it down the center of the batter in the pan. That creates a weak spot in the center of the cake so that as it rises, it will develop a decorative crack.

Bake at 325° for about 1 hour, until golden.

From The Lecture SeriesThe Everyday Gourmet: Baking Pastries and Desserts
Taught by Professor Stephen L. Durfee