Chicago Metallic Baking tin

With parties and picnics, summer is the perfect time for baking a sweet treat. Here are five of our top tips on achieving the perfect cake:

• Coconut works well in fruity muffins and as well as being healthy, lends a lovely fragrance to a cake. Talented cook, Lucy Parissi, shares her recipe for banana muffins using coconut oil on our blog.

• When baking cakes, the tin is everything. For a smooth, even rise on cupcakes invest in a tray that gives even heat distribution. US baking product expert, Chicago Metallic, offers a great range of heavy-duty commercial-grade bakeware to achieve professional results –we’re pleased to be the UK’s official supplier of the range.

• Vanilla extract is a ubiquitous ingredient in cakes and a staple in any baker’s kitchen. Why not make your own – it is really easy to do and can be easily customised too. Find out how to here.

• Accurate measurements of ingredients can reap perfect results and a digital scale helps take the pressure off even the most complicated cake recipes.

• Most cake recipes can be easily converted to cupcakes. The average recipe that would produce two 9-inch cakes should, generally speaking, make enough batter for 24 – 36 cupcakes. If you bake a batch this summer (and manage to take a photo before devouring them), make sure you share it on our gallery page or via Facebook.