You’ve gotta hand it to the contestants on So You Think You Can Dance. It takes chutzpah to lay your pride on the line, put on a pair of dancing shoes and hoof it before a live audience. Admittedly, they’re not all Fred Astaires or Twyla Tharps, but they give it all they’ve got, and that’s a win in and of itself.
The same can be said for baking. And we don’t mean the professional chefs who race to the finish line in those Food Network competitions. No, we mean the everyday bakerellas among us who long to make perfect triple-layer cakes, but lack the courage to try. It’s not always easy to turn away from the convenience and relatively assured success of a boxed mix and make a layer cake from scratch or painstakingly hand-pleat a pie crust. Cake layers stick in pans. Pie crusts burn. Dinner rolls don’t rise. Baking is a risk, and once you start, there’s no turning back. There’s no fixing a fallen cake layer.
But if you’re willing to test your mettle, you just may surprise yourself. And if you’re feeling a little wobbly in the knees, start small. Try cupcakes instead of the economy-size, or whip up a batch of our two-ingredient biscuits—they’re literally no-fail. But just in case, we’ve got a helpful how-to video as well, plus a handful of other baking projects to hone your skills.