20 baking tips from our grandmothers

Grannies are great. They knit us brightly coloured scarves to keep warm, shower us with gifts when we really don’t need anything more and feed us cakes and biscuits for the sheer joy of it. Because grandmothers are givers, they can’t help it. They also share another vital thing – their knowledge. The baking wisdoms, tips and skills, genius insight and marvellous techniques they’ve handed down to us cannot be dug up anywhere other than in the kitchen, baking side by side. We reached out to our internal and external community for the baking wisdoms of real grandmothers. Know these and you can never go wrong.


1. When flapjacks have bubbles, it means they are ready to be turned over in order to cook the other side. – Ashley Wilkonson

2. My gran taught me that nothing should ever go to waste. Stale bread? Make bread pudding. – Aneesa Vawda

3.  When making jam making – to make sure it has enough pectin, scoop the foam off while cooking jam, or it can cause it to mold quickly when bottled. Many successful jams made while talking with her on the phone – Hildi Coetzee

4. When baking my biscutes in a conventinal oven (with a fan) I should lower the temp compared to a traditinal oven – Halima Shaik

5. Save the wrapping paper of the butter block and use this to grease a baking tray or muffin pans, because butter is always best. – Andrea Fedder

6. When doubling up the recipe, don’t double up the sugar, because sweet is sweet. – Renee Nesbitt (Ouma Comine)

7. For baking cakes in a square tin was to double-line the tin and then fold the extra paper for the corners so that they would cook more slowly – Justine Miller

8. Always flour your fork before pushing down on the cookie dough! – Tamryn Peters

9. For any baking, always sift the flour twice. – Fran Peacock

10. A pinch of salt in everything – even sweet, enhances the flavour – Susan Cameron

11. Never over mix your scone dough or crumpet batter –  it needs to be light and fluffy! – Beth Durham

12. Always add a 50ml of brandy to your pancake mix.  – Rina van Velden

13. Add just a drop or two of lemon juice to cream if whipping it by hand, it’ll be much easier to whip up. – Granny Berryl

14. Rinse measuring cup in hot water before using syrup, oil, etc. Your ingredients will pour out clean and not stick to the cup, reducing the actual quantity.

15. To prevent pastry shells from going soggy, add a little melted chocolate to the base of your shells. No more soggy bottoms. – Renuka

16. Use an whisk through your cake flour instead of a sieve. It will remove any lumps and aerate it – Renuka

17. Pat, don’t roll your scone dough – Tayla Calcott

18. Butter and tennis biscuits make for a great crust. – Mineze

19. Place a damp dishcloth below your mixing bowl, so that it doesn’t slip around when you’re stirring. – Ouma Maureen

20. Rule 1 to 100 is always to follow the recipe – baking is science. – Joanne Cussen

A sincere thanks to everyone for sharing your granny’s baking wisdoms. We hope these live on in your apron pocket to be passed on one day to your aspiring bakers.