Get baked

Love to bake? I asked Kristy DeVaney—who writes the blog Cakegrrl’s Cakery ( and is special events chef at R.H. Phillips Winery and art director and assistant editor at Senior Magazine—for home-baking tips:

“Bake cake layers a day before you plan to decorate them. This gives the cake ample time to cool and rest, and the finished product will be more stable.

“When decorating or icing a cake, brush fruit juices, flavored syrups or liqueurs between the layers to boost flavor and prevent the cake from drying out.

“Canned pumpkin is an excellent, healthful ingredient (packed with vitamins and beta carotene!) that can be used to make lower-calorie brownies, cakes, fudge and pancakes.

“Never underestimate the importance of salt. Salt is such a simple ingredient, but one cannot taste the true richness of a baked good without it.”