8 of Martha's All-Time Best Baking Tips, According to Our Readers

martha in kitchen holding cake surrounded by desserts
martha in kitchen holding cake surrounded by desserts

From debuting her first book, Entertaining, in 1982 to launching her premier cast-iron cookware line this year, Martha has established herself as the leading expert on all things cooking and baking. Our founder has taught us so much about the latter, sharing ingenious tricks that have made our pies, cookies, and cakes infinitely better. We know how much we value her baking wisdom and wanted to know which tips you, our readers, treasure, too.

So, we headed over to our Instagram and encouraged you to share some of Martha's best baking advice. We offered one of our favorite tips as a guide: She taught us to grate our butter when making pie—it results in the flakiest crust. When we asked you to reciprocate in the comments, dozens of genius pointers rolled in.

We gathered eight of Martha's fan-favorite baking tips that you'll use when making every type of dessert—now and forever.

Related: Martha Stewart's Cake Perfection: 6 Inspired Recipes from Our Founder's Book

Peach Lattice Pie
Peach Lattice Pie

Christopher Testani

1. Make Pie Crust Cold and Bake It Hot

A follower cited one of Martha's best pie crust-making tips in the comments: "Make it cold and bake it hot." Our founder gave and explained this piece of advice on an episode of Bakeaway Camp With Martha Stewart on the Food Network, while making the braided top of a lattice pie (like you would in our Peach Lattice Pie recipe). Working with chilled dough results in a perfectly constructed pie—and baking it at high temperatures seals the deal.

2. Use a Food Processor to Make Pie Crust

A different user also commented on the value of working with cold pie dough, but highlighted another Martha-approved way to speed up making your crust: "Use a food processor. Never fails. Thanks for 30 years of making the best pies." This tip is from Martha's Perfect Pie Crust recipe, which was originally published in her first book, Entertaining. The food processor hastens the crust-making process; it takes just about 20 to 30 seconds to blitz the ingredients together.

3. Spray Measuring Cups

"Spraying the inside of a measuring cup with cooking spray when you are measuring thick, sticky stuff, like molasses or honey" was another user's favorite Martha baking tip. In the YouTube video "How to Properly Measure Ingredients While Cooking," our founder explains that this prevents the ingredients from sticking and makes for much easier cleanup.

4. Use a Whisk Instead of a Sieve When Mixing Dry Ingredients

If you are mixing dry ingredients together, opt for a whisk instead of a sifter. One fan recommends using this Martha-approved method, which our founder explained in a "How to Bake With Martha" YouTube video. "It won't be quite as light as when sifting, but it will break up any clumps and fluff up the flour," she says.

5. Dust Pans With Cocoa Powder for Chocolate Cake

Back in 1999, Martha shared a tip on her television show (and in that year's September issue of Martha Stewart Living) that a fan still loves to this day: "Use cocoa instead of flour when buttering-dusting a cake pan for chocolate layer cake," the user wrote on Instagram. "[No more] white gobs of flour!" This is a perfect tip to follow if you're making Martha's Ultimate Chocolate Cake; our founder uses Valrhona cocoa powder for dusting.

6. Use an Ice-Cream Scoop for Cookie Dough

In an episode of Martha Stewart's Countdown to Christmas, our founder opened up about her love for baking cookies, one of her favorite holiday traditions. While making her daughter Alexis's Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies, the multi-hyphenate told fans about the handy tool she uses when placing dough on a baking sheet: a release ice-cream scoop. Martha said to use a 2-ounce scoop to make a 4-inch cookie in about 11 minutes for Alexis's recipe. One of our Instagram followers mentioned that they use a scoop for perfectly placed dough (and uniform cookies!) to this day.

7. Use Kosher Salt, Not Table Salt

Our founder taught another Instagram follower to use kosher salt while baking, rather than table salt—something Martha shared with her food editors, as well (they always turn to kosher salt when developing recipes).

The key difference between the two? Table salt is made up of tiny crystals that often clump together (an anti-clumping agent is typically required), while Kosher salt crystals are larger—and, therefore, less prone to caking (so, it's sold without additives). Even better? Kosher salt is typically less expensive.

8. Place Parchment Paper Under Cakes

One fan always heeds this baking tip from Martha: Place parchment or wax paper on the bottom of a cake pan before you pour in the batter. The reasoning behind this tip? As our founder mentioned in an episode of Martha Bakes, this extra layer makes it easier to remove the finished cake from the baking pan—and prevents sticking.