When most people make their first attempts at baking, they do so with a cake. Whether it’s making one for a special occasion or because you’re craving something sweet, a steadfast cake recipe is something that everyone should have in their repertoire. But as Murphy states, things can and will go wrong sometimes. Even expert bakers end up with mishaps that result in a dry cake. Thankfully, this is one thing that can easily be fixed with a little sugar and water.

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Trust us, it’s that simple. Add equal parts water and sugar to a saucepan, and simmer on low till the sugar dissolves and the liquid turns to a syrup consistency.  This is your basic simple syrup, but you can take it up a notch (or a few) by changing or adding a few ingredients. Add a little more water, and some whole spices like cinnamon, cardamom, or cloves to infuse it with more flavour, or change the liquid from water to coconut milk, cream, liqueur, juice—honestly, the sky is your limit!

Don’t use the cake soak only as a way to salvage a dry cake; use it to enhance the flavours in your cake. Make sure your cake soak has flavours you want dominating in the cake, and you’re good to go.

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Is there a process I should follow?

Yes, absolutely. Keep your soak ready to go as soon as your cake comes out of the oven. Poke holes in your cake with a skewer or a toothpick, brush on a single layer of the soak with a pastry brush and set them aside to cool. Doing this on a still-hot cake ensures the soak has time to settle in and infuse the cake better with the flavours you need. It also allows the soak to better penetrate the crumbs, turning a dry cake to a moist and tender one with minimal effort and anxiety.