Candice Brown Reveals Her Best Baking Hacks - Exclusive

Candice Brown has been baking since she was four years old, when she happily served as her grandmother's kitchen helper. You may not have Brown's Nan on hand to teach you ("She was an incredible cook, she was an incredible baker, made everything from scratch," Brown says), but the baker still has plenty of brilliant tips to take your pastry prep, cake craft, and bread baking up a notch.

During a recent interview with Mashed, the winner of Season 7 of "The Great British Baking Show" shared a few of her best hacks for bakers to keep in mind. "So making sure your butter is really, really, really soft, not melted, but make sure your butter is at room temperature," Brown said. "[Make sure] it's left out, so it's at room temperature, so it really, really incorporates, because if you've got lumps of butter in the batter, it's going to spread in your cake mix." What happens if you forget to set your butter out to warm up before your bake? "If you heat up a glass of water, or a cup of water, or put boiling water in a mug, or something like that, or in a bowl, leave that in there for a little while, put the butter on a plate, and tip out the water, then put the hot bowl [down] over the butter," Brown advised. "That should help bring on that room temp and warm it up enough, not to melt it, but to get it to a good consistency that you can mix it in."

Another trick is to heat that cup of water to a boil in the microwave, then pull out the cup of hot water and pop in the butter on an uncovered plate and let it sit in the warmed microwave for a minute — that too should soften it to room temperature.

Candice Brown shares her trick for mixing cake batter

"Another one," Candice Brown added, recalling another of her favorite baking hacks, "is if you're adding things to cake mix, so whether it's fruit, or chocolate chips, or chunks, or dried fruit, if you toss it in a little bit of flour, it should stop it sinking. I say 'should' because sometimes it doesn't. Cakes are all different. It depends on the heat and your mix and the oven and things like that, but it should hold its position. If you just toss them in a tiny little bit of flour, it holds the position in the cake mix."

And that can mean more even distribution of your ingredients throughout your cakes, your muffins, your cookies, and anything else made with batter and tasty little additions.

Brown's ultimate tip for home bakers who want to improve their baking? Just bake a lot. Try new recipes, try twists on the ones you already know. Bake more bread than you know what to do with and just enjoy all of it. And when possible, share the baking experience with people dear to you.

For even more baking and cooking advice from the mind of Candice Brown, follow her on Instagram or pick up a copy of her book "Happy Cooking."