1. Unless specificed, ingredients for baking are best used at room temperature. This is particularly important for eggs.
2. Unless specified, when recipes call for sugar I use white or caster sugar. Raw sugar is too granulated for my liking
3. Always read through the full recipe before commencing to ensure you have all the ingredients and know whether you have to prepare or reserve certain ingredients for later in the recipe
4. Always test your cakes with a skewer to ensure its cooked properly all the way through
5. For a lighter cake, seperate your eggs. Add the yolks to your butter mixture and then fold the egg whites into the batter (when there's flour)
6. Toss your nuts or dried fruit lightly in flour before putting them into your batter. This will help them not to sink to the bottom when cooking
7. When cooking cakes or pies with fruit on the top, sprinkle some lemon on the top to prevent burnt fruit topping.
8. Never use a cheap cocoa (like hot chocolate), the richer your cocoa the better your cake (eg. belguim cocoa is great)
9. I always like to add an extra 1/2 tsp to my recipes if they call for vanilla. The more vanilla, the better (perhaps this is due to my love for French desserts?)
10. You'll know the cake will turn out moist if your recipe has oil in it. When baking fruity cakes, such as a carrot cake or zucchini loaf, look for recipes that incorporate vegetable oil. They'll always be nicer this way.