You probably have noticed that many recipes require you to cool baked goods on a cooling wire rack. Can you skip that step because you cannot find any cooling rack? Or maybe you have only one cooling rack and far too many cookies you made.
If you need to follow the cooling step, what cooling rack substitute can you go for?
Let’s dive into the article because we will provide you with detailed information about the cooling rack and its top alternatives!
Is A Cooling Rack Necessary For Baking a Cake?
Do we really need a cooling rack for removing baked pastries from the oven? Isn’t it more convenient to leave the pastries still in their trays?
Yes, this item is necessary! If you leave the cakes or cookies on the hot surface instead, they will continue baking despite being taken out of the oven.
As such, their downsides might become overbaked or even slightly burnt sometimes. For this reason, it would be best to place the pastries on a cooling rack (also known as a wire rack or a resting rack) right after baking.
So, what is a wire rack?
It is made of stainless steel wires, often arranged in a grid pattern. The air can easily circulate around whatever is on it, making the pastries cool down completely in a shorter period.
Moreover, cooling your cakes or cookies on a wire rack will keep away accumulating steam and condensation. This helps freshly baked treats avoid being too soggy.
Top 4 Best Ideas For Cooling Rack Substitute
Now you know why it is a must to leave the cakes or cookies to cool on a wire rack after baking, right?
But, what if you cannot find any extra racks or do not have enough resting racks for your cakes? So, how do you cool a cake without a cooling rack?
Let us show you the best, easy-to-follow ideas for replacing a wire rack. Consider these ideas, and use one of these cooking rack substitutes next time you bake.
1. Find Similar Items To Cooling Rack
The first and easiest-to-find wire rack alternative is the rack from your toaster oven. You can also use bamboo sushi mats, the oven rack, or even the grill from a barbecue to cool your cakes.
A metal roasting rack can also be a good substitute for wire rack. However, as the space between the lines is quite huge compared to a wire rack, you should only use a roasting rack to cool baked large items, such as bread.
A note is that you need to cover the surface of the wire rack substitute with brown paper or paper towel to avoid food residue sticking to your baked treats.
2. Improvise An Elevated Surface For Better Airflow
How to cool cookies without wire rack and other similar items above?
In case you cannot find items similar to wire cooling racks, improvising an elevated surface also works well in improving air flow and cooling down your cheesecakes much faster.
Use crumpled-foil rack
If you have foil in your kitchen, let’s roll up some pieces and make tight cylinders! These rolls need to be strong enough to lift either the baking sheet or the baked goods.
To be more specific, set as many foil cylinders as you need on the kitchen counter to distribute the weight of whatever you plan to cool down. The only note is to set the space about 2 inches among the cylinders.
Then, place the baking sheet or the baked goods on top of the crumpled-foil rack and let them cool off.
Use metal open-style cookie cutters to make a grid
Another way to improvise an elevated surface is to use metal open-style cookie cutters.
Place several metal open-style cookie cutters made of whatever shape next to each other, leaving a tiny space between them.
This allows air to move around more effectively. Following that, set parchment paper on the top of them and your baked treats above.
The downside of this baking rack substitute is it only works for large goods. The smaller baked treats, such as muffins or cookies, cannot stay balanced when sitting on the metal cookie cutters.
Place baked treats on top of a cool burner on your electric stove
What else can you do to cool the baked items without a proper cooling rack?
Let’s make use of a cool burner on your electric stove. All you need to do is place the baking sheet on the cool burner so that the air circulating underneath helps cool cakes faster.
You can also set parchment paper on the burner and transfer baked treats with medium-to-big sizes directly to it, as long as you sanitize the burner beforehand.
3. Transferring Freshly-baked Cakes To A Cool, Flat Surface
Is there any other method for cooling cookies without a wire rack? Well, you can transfer the freshly-baked cakes from the hot baking sheet or a hot cake pan to a cool, flat, non-stick surface.
For instance, you can transfer hot cookies from a warm baking sheet to a cold one. This way, the undersides of the baked goods will cool down faster.
Granite chopping boards also make good flat surfaces to cool down baked items as it stays cool all the time. Besides, you can use a clean pizza stone or a cool plate that is large enough to set the cooked pastries inside.
You need to lay paper towels on the top of the cutting board or the cool plate and then move the baked goods onto it. The paper towels help to absorb extra butter or cooking oil from the bottom of the pastries.
Also, remember to leave the space between individuals to enhance air circulation, speed up the cooling process, and prevent condensation.
4. Create A DIY Cooling Rack
How to make a homemade wire rack? Is it easy for newbie cooks to do it at home? Yes, here, let us show you some makeshift cooling rack ideas!
The first way to make a diy cooking rack is to use muffin pans and (cardboard) egg trays. All you have to do is turn them upside down, set brown paper or parchment paper on, and leave the baked item on this homemade rack.
A small note here is that the diy baking rack made from egg trays can only handle the small treats. Thus, never set large baked goods on it, or else it may fall.
Asides from muffin pans and egg trays, you can make a diy wire rack using a group of canning rings, such as the lids of the jars.
Above is the list of the top alternatives for a cooling rack to consider when you do not have one in the kitchen.
What do you think about these replacements? Which cooling rack substitute do you like best? Let me know in the comments!