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Want your cakes light as air | Six essential baking tips from a Cordon Blue chef for that perfect pound cake

Why is it that so many of us are intimidated at the idea of baking a cake? And those of you who think they’re pros because you don’t need to measure the ingredients, you’re doing it all wrong!

We asked Delhi-based Cordon Bleu chef, Maya Patnaik Sibia, owner of Feliz Papilles, what makes her cakes light and airy. Known for her wholesome baked products, her cakes remind you of how Granny must have made them, with the freshest and purest ingredients. We decided to pay her a visit and find out what her secret is. Her reply—no shortcuts and good ingredients. Sponge cakes can be prepared in a jiffy, so have patience and do it right.

soft peaks vs stiff peaks – whipping – egg whites

Maya’s Essential baking tips | AIR THE EGGS | Don’t use eggs straight out of the fridge if you want your cake to rise like a dream. They must always be at room temperature. The original sponge and bundt don’t need baking powder, but beating them alone creates air that helps the sponge cakes rise.

MEASURE, MEASURE, MEASURE | And we mean everything! It only takes an extra minute. Invest in a scale and you’ll be surprised at how perfect the end result is, if you avoid doing “andaaza”.

Measurement – ingredients measure – baking tips

Sift and sift again. Flour must be aired and lump-free

SOFT VS MELTED | Use softened butter, not melted. If your fingers leave an imprint when you touch it, it’s soft enough.

Icing – cupcakes icing – cup cake baking tips

PRE-HEAT | Something as basic as preheating the oven is, in fact, the single most important thing. Do this for 10-15 minutes using both bars, depending on the size of the cake.

NO LUMPS | Sift and sift again. It takes a few seconds to do this. Flour must be aired and lump-free.


GO PURE | Flavourings and essences can never give you the real taste. Use pure vanilla bean instead of essence; it grows in India. Use pure lemon rind instead of lemon flavouring.

Quick and easy, here is a delicious recipe to start with.

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