Remember to measure your ingredients accurately. Always follow the recommended pan size for best results. Be sure to pre-heat your oven to the correct temperature before mixing your cake. Do not open the oven door while the cake is baking. Check for doneness after the shortest recommended baking time. If your cake/cupcake is not yet fully cooked, re-check every 2 minutes.
If your cake/cupcake is pale, perhaps you didn't bake it long enough to brown. Remember to use the toothpick-in-the-middle test.
The main reason cakes/cupcakes become dry is they are over-baked. As a rule, check the cake at the shorter end of the baking time range. If your cake doesn't test done with a toothpick, return it to the oven for the full baking time.
Remember to always preheat your oven to the correct temperature before you mix your cake/cupcake.
Cakes/cupcakes that peak in the center may mean your oven temperature is too high, causing your cake to rise too quickly. Try using an oven thermometer to check for accuracy.
If your cake/cupcake has a coarse texture, your oven may be too cool. Try using an oven thermometer to check the setting and adjust if necessary. And remember to accurately measure the ingredients.
Before you remove your cake/cupcake from the pan you should cool it for 15 minutes, or as the recipe recommends. Then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
Before you frost your cake/cupcake, you may wrap it tightly in heavy foil or an airtight container and freeze it for up to six weeks before eating. It's best to thaw it unwrapped at room temperature. Then you may add frosting.
For best results, you should bake your cake/cupcake immediately after you mix the batter because it doesn't store well.
To check if your cake/cupcake is ready, you can do the “toothpick in the middle test.” Once the cake has baked for the shortest recommended time, insert a toothpick into the center. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. (For cupcakes, you only have to check one.)