Don’t use cold eggs, milk or butter
Get them to room temperature before you start baking. Pop eggs into a bowl of tepid (not hot) water for 15 minutes to speed things up.
Make sure your baking powder, yeast and flour are fresh
To check that baking powder is fresh, pour a little boiling water over a spoonful – if it bubbles, you’re good to go.
Measure the flour the right way
Don’t scoop it out of the bag with the measuring cup as it’ll become compacted, giving you more than you need. Rather spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level it out using a knife.
Grease the pans
Forget that crumpled piece of baking paper covered in butter (so messy). Rather use non-stick cooking spray or brush a pastry brush over soft butter, then brush it onto the pan or the baking paper lining the pan.
Give the pans enough oven space
Place them in the centre of the oven, away from the top, bottom and sides, and any other pans. If your oven isn’t wide enough to put pans side by side, put them on different racks and slightly off set them to allow air to circulate.
Ensure even baking
Do this by rotating pans, but only about two-thirds of the way through the baking time to prevent the cakes from collapsing.
Cool them upside down
If you’re layering your cakes, turn them out of the pans onto wire racks, which can help level out domed tops. If they still aren’t flat enough to stack, use a serrated knife to slice the top o each layer. A great way to ensure they bake with a flat top is to make a slight indentation in the centre of the batter using a spoon.