Chef Joni Manes’ Top 5 Baking Tips & Tricks for Success

My name is Chef Joni Manes and I have been in the Culinary field for over 20 years. Chef Tia Evans and I started Honey Pot Pastry together years ago. Between the two of us we have worked in multiple avenues within the industry and have learned a lot of tricks along the way. Whether it was a restaurant opening, private dinner, bakery shift, hotel rotation or working the dish station. There was always something to learn and take away from each shift. We have jotted down a few things below that we feel can help any baker step up their game. I hope you find these tips to be as successful as they have been for us.

1. Ingredient temperature 

Making sure all baking ingredients are of a similar temperature can make the most wonderful treats. EX: room temperature eggs and room temperature liquid going into a cake, helps to emulsify the batter. Creating a wonderful crumb and texture

2. Mise en place

A Culinary French term that means “everything in its place”. At the beginning of every order our ingredients are measured out, the proper tools are in place and any baking vessels ready to rock. Being 100% ready will ultimately lead to a smooth execution. And can make the newest baker, seem like a seasoned pro.

3. Oven preheating & rotation

All ovens are different; it is important to really know your oven as best as you can. Always preheat your oven. Make sure the oven is full preheated as the first 10 mins with baking can really make or break the outcome. Also, rotate the items in your oven at least once, halfway through baking. This will lead to a more evenly baked product.

4. Cooling down properly

Most baked goods need to be cooled down properly before use. We use cooling racks every day. This helps to circulate the air around the product evenly. So that the result is as consistent and delicious as possible.

5. Following instructions 

Most baked goods have methods of mixing. It is very important to be patient, timely and thorough throughout the mixing process. Rushing through the process will result in a potentially unwanted outcome and not a very delicious treat.


Joni Manes is a Pastry Chef and Owner/Operator of Honey Pot Pastry. With her business partner Pastry Chef and Owner/Operator Tia Evans, the two women offer cakes, cookies, and pies on their website

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