The Creamy Cake Soaking Technique Ina Garten Can't Resist

When she's not hosting Food Network's "Barefoot Contessa," Ina Garten enjoys having friends and family over to share a meal. The celebrity chef has authored numerous cookbooks, some of which focus primarily on hosting the perfect get-together.

Garten knows how to bake up the sweetest of treats, too. Her party-perfect recipes are ideal for serving a crowd, and she knows that ending each dinner party on a sweet note is sure to be a hit. Her website features a section packed full of desserts, from chocolate mousse to blueberry pie and even a festive flag cake, ideal for a summer cookout.

However, not even the Barefoot Contessa is free from kitchen mistakes. Over-baking a cake can happen to the best of us, and it can make for a pretty unappealing dessert experience. Fortunately, there's an easy way to save your sweets — and Garten learned the trick from another pro baker.

One of Garten's friends taught her about cake-soaking

One of Ina Garten's favorite baking tricks comes from another famous chef. Milk Bar CEO Christina Tosi taught Garten to soak her cakes with milk and flavoring after baking them to add some extra moisture and flavor. As Tosi explains, if a cake is overbaked, soaking it can revive it and prevent your guests from eating a too-dry cake.

Garten shared on the "Today" show that she uses the method consistently when baking cakes, and it makes the cake "so much better." Garten learned about the trick when she was making a Boston Cream Pie, and Tosi suggested using an orange and Grand Marnier soak to add some citrus flavor. "I always do it now," Garten said to Tosi on the show. "It's incredible."

While Garten and Tosi prefer a milk soak, there are a few different things you can use.

How to soak a cake

Soaking a cake is a great way to bring an overly-dry cake back to life, according to Bon Appétit. The site states that dry cakes can be the result of overmixing, incorrectly measured ingredients, over-baking, or just a poorly written recipe. Though it can be frustrating to find your hard work still needing a little more effort once it's out of the oven, soaking your cake can be an easy way to save your sweet treat.

First, you'll need to decide what you want to soak the cake with. Simple syrup is a common option, but adding some additional flavor can be a great way to elevate your cake. Bon Appétit suggests adding coconut milk, apple cider, citrus juice, or even soda to complement the cake's flavors.

To soak the cake, start by either trimming the top layer of the cake or by poking holes in it. Then, pour the liquid over the cake, and allow it to settle into the cake. Make sure not to oversaturate it so it doesn't fall apart. Once your cake has been hydrated, you can assemble and frost as normal.