Baking ratios

Master the foundations of baking with our essential guide. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

The starbake cake

For the perfect Victoria sponge or loaf cake, weigh 3 eggs in their shells and make a note of the weight. Measure out the same amount of butter, sugar and self-raising flour. This also works for cupcakes; use 2 eggs instead of 3 to fill 12 cupcake cases

Did you know…?

A medium egg is classed as weighing between 53g and 63g; a large is between 63g and 73g

The smoothest buttercream

Beat 2 parts icing sugar and 1 part softened butter with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. You can then stir in a few tablespoons of liquid (such as milk or cordial), 1 tablespoon at a time, to add flavour and give a softer finish

TRY IT

To cover an 18cm round cake, use 400g icing sugar to 200g butter, plus 2 tablespoons of liquid

The perfect scones

Rub 4 parts self-raising flour into 1 part cold diced butter, to resemble breadcrumbs, then stir in 2 parts liquid (milk, or a mix of beaten egg and milk made up to the same amount) to make a soft dough. Egg gives a richer, more moist scone but it will be less crumbly. As with pastry, the most important things are to keep the butter cold, and not to overmix

TRY IT

To make 6 scones, use 200g flour to 100ml milk (or milk and egg) and 50g butter

The shortest shortcrust

Rub 2 parts plain flour into 1 part cold diced butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add just enough cold water to bring the mixture to a dough (usually only a few tablespoons). Avoid overmixing, as this will lead to a tougher, less ‘short’ pastry

TRY IT

To make a base for a 23cm tart, use 200g flour to 100g butter, and 2–3 tablespoons of water

The best bread

Mix 5 parts strong bread flour with yeast and salt (use 2 teaspoons of dried yeast and 1 teaspoon of fine salt per 500g flour), then add 3 parts tepid water to bring to a dough. Don’t add lots of flour when kneading, as this can lead to a dry loaf with a tight crumb

TRY IT

Use 500g flour to 300ml water for a standard-sized loaf

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