Cleaning up is the worst part of baking. Measuring, mixing, frosting- eating. That’s what I love about baking.
Cleaning up has never- not once- made my list.
But there are some easy things that you can do to minimize the amount of clean up that you’ll face at the end of a recipe. Just follow these 10 simple tricks and you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble in the clean up department. Do I have your attention?
Let’s check them out!
1 Parchment Paper
I can’t tout parchment paper enough. It keeps your pans from getting greasy and it keeps your desserts from sticking to the pan. You can cut them to fit any shaped pan. Reuse them for multiple trays of cookies. It’s cheap and can make a world of difference once it comes time to clean up.
Why would you ever not use it?!
2 Make A One Bowl Recipe
There are lots of recipes that don’t require a whole host of nesting bowls to make. And One Bowl Recipes are the most obvious of them all! Super clean up friendly- and incredibly tasty- this is a fantastic no compromise option!
3 Reuse Dishes & Measuring Cups
If you can make less dishes dirty, you’ll have less dishes to wash. So I’m a huge fan of reusing tools and utensils- where it’s appropriate. If it doesn’t make sense, respect your recipe. But otherwise, go ahead and get strategic! If you had to add a half cup of sugar and now need a cup of flour, consider reusing the half cup measure twice. Wipe out any lingering sugar granules, but otherwise, go crazy and save yourself the trouble of washing two different measuring cups.
4 Grease & Flour
If for some tragic reason you don’t use parchment paper, the last thing that you want is for your dessert to stick to the pan. Not only does it foil your dessert- it’s a monstrous pain to clean up. So, if you’re at all worried that your dessert will stick to the pan, before you pour the batter into the pan, spray it with nonstick spray.
Then, add a tablespoon or so of flour and shake it around the pan until every nook and cranny are both greased and dusted in flour. If need be, add more flour until the entire pan is evenly coated. This should save you the heartache of a ruined dessert and a lot of trouble cleaning up the pan.
5 Sweat the Small Stuff
Stay on top of your messes. Don’t ignore them until they turn into a colossal, all day cleaning project. It’s a lot easier to clean your stovetop after every use, rather than once a week. Wait too long and all of the grease will get cooked onto the surface and it’ll take a lot more elbow grease to get the same job done. Keep your countertops clean, dishes put away, and don’t procrastinate- well, not too much.
6 The Double Pan Trick
If you’re worried that your cake will overflow it’s pan while in the oven, slide a cookie sheet that’s wider than the cake pan onto the rack underneath the cake. Or, if you notice the batter is at the brim of the pan before you reach your oven, you can rest your cake directly on the cookie sheet. The point of the cookie sheet is to catch any drips that overflow the pan and help keep your oven clean. Which means one less icky, oven-cleaning mess for you.
7 Keep Your Countertops Clear
Whenever I bake, I find that I always run out of countertop space. To avoid this, try and put your dirty dishes in the sink as you make them. This way they’re not cluttering up precious countertop space. Additionally, if you drip brownie batter all over the counter, wipe it up in order to keep that space open for the next step in your recipe. Or, if you’re done mixing, you can put your cooling rack there.
8 Cooling Rack Hack
Remember the parchment paper from Trick Number One? Well, this is kind of a two-for-one special, but it’s still a good trick. Once your cookies come out of the oven, you should put them on a cooling rack to come to room temperature. To do this, you can simply grab the edges of the parchment paper and- very carefully- move all of your cookies directly onto the cooling rack in one motion. This keeps your cooling rack from getting greasy and also is a convenient way to transfer your cookies to the cooling rack. And it saves you the hassle of washing a spatula. It’s a win-win-win.
9 Invest in Good Cleaning Products
You’re time is precious. And you don’t have time to be cleaning up twice! In order to be sure you do the job right the first time, I recommend that you invest in good cleaning products. I am a huge fan of Dawn dish soap because it’s great at cutting through grease. But no matter what your favorite brand, make sure that your cleaning products are working for you. So you can clean your kitchen once and move on.
10 Use Dishwasher Safe Products
I love my dishwasher. And even though my specific machine is a little quirky, it makes my life so much easier! At the end of a long day, not having to hand wash every single dish is a dream come true. So if you have a dishwasher in your kitchen, I HIGHLY recommend that you use dishwasher friendly dishes whenever possible. Because if you are going to be a prolific baker, you’d better be prepared to make a lot of dirty dishes.