When the flour package says “all-purpose”, that’s not literally what it means. If you want to ace your cakes, cake-flour is your best friend. This kind of flour is finer and has less gluten than its all-purpose counterpart. Your cake will absorb more moisture and have a softer texture. While cake-flour is pretty easy to get, you can also mix 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour with 2 tbsps of cornstarch to replace each cup of cake flour.
The Cake Isn’t Elsa. The Cold Bothers It
When mixing your batter, make sure the products you use (butter, milk, and eggs) and the batter itself are at room temp. You can always microwave your milk and butter if they’re too cold, but you can’t do that with your eggs because you don’t want to end up with a hardboiled egg. To make sure your eggs are at room temp, just take them out of the fridge the night before you start baking. If you had no time to plan ahead, you can jest place your eggs in a bowl of room-temp tap water and replace the water when the egg cools it. A room temperature batter is a lot softer and smoother.
The Beat Down
Most of the time, people will warn you about gluten formation, which occurs when you beat any kind of pastry batter. However, cake flour doesn’t have that problem. So, by all means, beat away. A short beating of your cake batter will help it become smoother. A five-second beating should do the trick, and you should be able to see the difference pretty easily.
Something that may harm the sheer perfection of your fabulous cake is an air bubble in the batter. In order to stop such a thing from happening, you can just bang the pan or bowl which currently houses your batter on the counter (not too hard, you don’t want anything to break). This only works for batters that contain baking powder or baking soda. If your batter has egg foam, don’t do it — the air bubbles are actually essential for such cakes to rise.