If your dreams include Paul Hollywood shaking your hand for an excellent bake, then you probably spend most of your spare time in the kitchen whipping up treats for friends and families. But creating a showstopper worthy of the queen of cakes, Mary Berry, is a lot harder than it looks. If you’re more likely to deal with soggy bottoms than the alternative, it’s time to look beyond your cookbooks and YouTube tutorials for help. Your iPhone could be the helping hand that you need, especially when you deck it out with the following apps and accessories.
BBC Good Food Cake Recipes
This goes beyond the typical recipe e-book trap that many foodie apps fall into, which explains its $1.99 price tag. The BBC has combined an impressive catalogue of recipes with convenient features that make baking a whole lot easier. Equipped with shopping lists, built-in timers, measurement conversions, nutritional information, tips, tutorial videos, and troubleshooting, the BBC app makes sure you’re properly prepared to take on any cake regardless of your skill level. You can also favorite and share any recipe that passes the custard.
Though not strictly only a baking app, Timer+ has been co-opted by many chefs and bakers for its helpfulness in the kitchen. This app lets you set and save multiple timers that run simultaneously, so you can multitask proving your dough as your bake a batch of muffins without burning one or over-proving the other. It gives you the option of labelling these timers, so you’ll always know how long you ended up baking that tart even if you can’t exactly recall it on your own. It’s also incredibly easy to use and doesn’t take a lot of space or CPU as it runs in the background, making it the perfect alternative to taking over every microwave, oven, and alarm clock in your house.
If you’re tired of scrolling through an entire essay about the food blogger’s childhood before you actually get to the recipe, then Kitchen Stories is for you. It’s streamlined the baking experience by eliminating the fine print and getting right to the point. Recipes are shown in a gallery of beautiful photographs, and once you click on the one you want, you’re taken through step-by-step instructions featuring their highly stylized pics. There are also video tutorials if there’s ever a step you aren’t quite sure about, so you’re never left guessing. Like the minimalist photos that accompany these recipes, these videos are clean and sophisticated and — better yet — easy to follow.
There’s a downside to watching individual videos for every step of your recipe. You’ll be touching your iPhone far more often — and usually with dough encrusted hands. Baking can get messy; it’s part of the fun of making your own Victorian sponge, but it’s not all fun and games for your smartphone. You don’t want gooey caramel, melted chocolate, and dusty flour dirtying or clogging up your precious device. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts to keep it clean, these ingredients have a way of getting everywhere. Luckily, the tech protection experts (and novice bakers) at dbrand have developed an iPhone skin that saves your phone from your kitchen’s biggest messes. They’ve made it possible to protect your new iPhone with custom wraps that are grime-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about your phone at any step of your bake — which means you can focus all of your energy on whipping those eggs to stiff peaks.
Once you start flexing your baking muscles, you’ll start to try out traditional recipes hailing from far-off places — which means you’ll be dealing with unusual measurements. If you rather not use mental arithmetic to find out how many teaspoons are in a jigger or what Celsius is to Fahrenheit, it’s time to download Kitchen Calculator to your iPhone. It does all of the hard math for you, converting volume, weight, distance, and temperature quickly and accurately. It also takes over when you need to cut a recipe in half or triple your yield. Save time and your patience, and let your phone do the work.
Download these apps and see what they can do for your next bake. With only a few swipes of your thumb, you can download or order everything we’ve outlined in the list above. You may never meet Paul Hollywood or shake his hand, but at least you’ll be a competent baker who doesn’t suffer any soggy bottoms.