If the thought of pulling out the beaters, caramelising sugar or whipping eggwhites leaves your hands clammy and your throat dry, you may suffer from baker's anxiety. But fear not, the prognosis is good with this 8-step program of easy cakes to rebuild your confidence.
18 Jan 2022 - 12:05 PM  UPDATED 21 Jan 2022 - 7:52 AM

1. The first step is the hardest

This little mulberry tea cake is a great first step onto the road to recovery. Perhaps your nervous-baker condition began following the trauma of a sinkhole appearing in your chocolate cake or a crack the size of the San Andreas Fault running across your cheesecake, but no matter how you got here, the important thing to remember is you can make it back. 

2. Bake by numbers

The classic melt-and-mix cake is the baking equivalent of painting by numbers. It's easy to grasp the concepts here, you have your binding agents and your raising agents and their powers combined in this chocolate and coconut version result in a soft, sweet cake with a lovely moist crumb.

Melt and mix chocolate coconut cake

3. You're ready to progress to the next stage

It's time to advance in the program and make a sugar syrup. Of course, you could enjoy this flourless orange and poppy seed loaf without the syrup, but this three-ingredient elixir is so simple even the most disturbed of the baking-challenged can pull it off.

4. Do you have guests coming over for tea?

If the answer is yes, then you can have this carrot and cardamom cake and eat it, too. There is not much to say other than this cake will become a favourite and is perfect with that tea or coffee cup! Sweet and savoury work so well together in this Scandi-style slice that is all kinds of creamy and will make your cake look like a pro.

5. Don't let baking be torte-ure

If you've suffered the torture of cracked meringue in the past, this recipe may have your heart pounding just a little bit faster. It's time to take back the whites and whip up this easy flourless almond and chocolate torte. As a Jewish Passover treat, there's no need to worry about anything rising here, just be sure to leave it to cool down in the oven.

6. Impossibly perfect

So-named because it is supposedly impossible to mess up, this impossible passionfruit and coconut pie is going to become a firm favourite for the angst-ridden baker. But, a word of advice, just because it's impossible to fail, one shouldn't tempt fate, so follow the recipe.

7. Like a sponge

Remember that with every failed cooking endeavour comes a lesson we'll (hopefully) never forget. So channel the properties of a sponge and absorb all that new-found knowledge, just like this Japanese kasutera cake is going to soak up that sweet, sweet honey glaze.

8. Double or nothing

Congratulations, you've made it to the final step in our eight-cake program to baking confidence. For this last recipe, we're building up to another level. All dressed up with pretty icing and a jammy centre, this summer fruits Madeira cake may look impressive but it's still very down-to-earth. So grab that icing spatula, you're ready.

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