Baked Pistachio Cake with Honey Buttercream
Photo: Sang An
1. Let the batter sit for a few minutes before pouring it into the pan. This allows the flour and other dry ingredients to fully combine with the moist ingredients. It really does make a difference in the way the cake bakes and the texture of the crumb. — Gina de Palma

2. You can melt chocolate in the microwave (no need for fancy contraptions). Just watch the chocolate carefully to make sure it doesn't burn. — Bill Yosses

3. If I'm doing a lot of baking, instead of coating a bunch of cake pans with butter and then dusting each of them with flour, I'll premix a batch of butter and flour. Add one stick of softened, unsalted butter to about 2 tablespoons flour, whisk them together until mixture is thoroughly combined, and then use a brush to coat lots of cake pans. — David Guas

4. Use an ice-cream scoop to portion batter evenly among multiple cake pans (e.g., if one pan gets 5 scoops, they all get 5 scoops). The layers will be the same size and bake in the same amount of time. — Matt Lewis

5. The cake layers, filling, and icing need to be nice and cold when you are assembling the cake. But let the finished cake stand at room temperature for about an hour before serving it. That way, you'll get the best flavor. — Liz Prueitt

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