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The Big Bake Theory | Bakestarters

Water Bath —The Secret To Moist, Creamy, Crack-Free Bakes

Don't you just hate it when you handle your batter so delicately, but still end up with a cracked surface? Read on to find out why and how a water bath works!
Water Bath —The Secret To Moist, Creamy, Crack-Free Bakes

If you’re new to baking or have never tried it before, baking with a water bath may seem like an unnecessary hassle.

Perhaps, the words “water bath” may have made you refrain from trying a recipe right away. 

The truth is, all you need is some boiling water and a separate, larger pan. This extra step takes no more than a few additional minutes, but it does wonders for your resultant bakes.

Why Do We Need a Water Bath?

There are two major benefits of using a water bath in your bakes.

1. It provides moisture.

The steam from the water bath creates a moist environment inside the oven. This is important for delicate bakes like cheesecakes, souffles, terrines, and chiffon cakes. Without added moisture, the surface tends to dry out while the inside is still expanding, which leads to unsightly cracks.

Utilising a water bath helps you ensure a smooth, crack-free top.

Belgian Dark Chocolate Espresso Terrine Baking Kit

2. It maintains an even, gentle heat.

Compared to the direct dry heat of your oven, heat is transferred to your baked goods more gently. The water surrounding your cake pan will never get hotter than 100°C no matter how hot the oven is, which helps in regulating the heat.

How To Bake With A Water Bath

  1. Prepare a sheet pan that’s larger than your baking pan. Any kind of high-sided pan would work, too.
  2. If you’re using a springform pan, wrap the bottom completely with aluminium foil to prevent leakage. You may skip this step if you’re baking in ramekins or a pie dish.
  3. Place your baking pan inside the larger pan.
  4. Bring some water to a boil.
  5. Pour the boiling water into the larger pan. Fill it halfway or two-thirds up the baking pan to make sure the water doesn’t completely evaporate as you bake.
  6. Bake as per your recipe’s instructions and voilà—you should come out with perfectly baked treats!


1. Hot water, please.

Using room-temperature or cold water will affect the oven temperature and baking time, even leading to underbaked cakes and desserts.

2. Don’t overfill the pan.

Halfway to two-thirds up the baking pan should be enough.

3. Prevent splashes.

Be very careful as you fill your pan with hot water. You don’t want it to splash into your batter and ruin it. This is also why you should not fill the larger pan to the brim.

When To Use A Water Bath

This method is advantageous for custard-based bakes like crème brûlée, quiche, soufflés, and terrines. They contain a lot of eggs, which makes them very prone to curdling and turning rubbery if directly exposed to high heat!

Here are some baked goods that will benefit greatly from the use of a water bath. Even if your recipe doesn’t tell you so, try to apply this method and see the difference!

In a pinch but want to bake? Try a baking kit from our latest collection: Fresh Out The Oven


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