adven68 Posted 25 Apr 2006 , 4:56pm
post #1 of

I just baked a trial cake using colette's white cake recipe. I halved the recipe since it was only for a test cake. (Could this have been the problem?)

Anyhow....I did everything according to the instructions and for starters, the batter had a strange texture to it. It did taste great, however...(I know, I know...raw eggs....) It looked grainy (for lack of a perfect word)

But I baked it at 325 as directed....I think it was for about 30-40 minutes. I checked it....it was nowhere near done....

It baked for about an hour until the toothpick finally came out clean. after cooling it for 5 minutes, the top became crunchy and it was very sweet. Then I tried to remove the cake and it all stuck to the pan. I greased and floured it before I poured the batter in.

What in the world did I do wrong? I'm sure I measured everything correctly....my oven cooks all other cakes just fine. Could it be that I beat the batter too long? Is it possible to curdle?

Thanks..

23 replies
dparrish Posted 25 Apr 2006 , 5:08pm
post #2 of

I had pretty much the same results. I have been looking for a from scratch recipe and I thought for sure this would be the one since she is such a great decorator. I can't tell you what's wrong, but hopefully someone can. Needless to say, I am back to mixes.

adven68 Posted 25 Apr 2006 , 5:28pm
post #3 of

Oh...I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I have been trying recipe after recipe...including Magnolia's cupcake recipe......

I have yet to find a light-tasting one. Everything seems too moist and dense to me. Perhaps I need to experiment on my own!

If anyone out there has a light-tasting scratch recipe for white cake...please let us know!!!

Thanks!

adven68 Posted 25 Apr 2006 , 6:11pm
post #4 of

Oh...I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I have been trying recipe after recipe...including Magnolia's cupcake recipe......

I have yet to find a light-tasting one. Everything seems too moist and dense to me. Perhaps I need to experiment on my own!

If anyone out there has a light-tasting scratch recipe for white cake...please let us know!!!

Thanks!

Susecita Posted 3 May 2006 , 4:34pm
post #5 of

Collette is an artist. Her cakes taste horrible. Now, my fave white cake recipes come from the Cake Bible. These are all from scratch. I find the Velvet Cake very good and light. I haven't tried the downy cake but some people swear by it. Another very light white cake recipe is the one from baking 911. Great and soft.


Hope this helps!


-S

adven68 Posted 3 May 2006 , 4:38pm
post #6 of

Cake Bible, huh.....ok...I'm going to try them....thanks!!!

Rodneyck Posted 3 May 2006 , 4:54pm
post #7 of

Oh I hate Rose's Cake Bible White Velvet Cake, very, very dry. I have tried it a couple of times because I thought I did something wrong, like over beating, etc. There is a discussion about it on baking911 and Sarah admitted it was very dry white cake. Sarah lists her version on the site (free) of a low-fat white cake that is surprisingly moist according to her. She is also working on an ultimate butter white cake, but has not released it yet.

Best...

SquirrellyCakes Posted 3 May 2006 , 6:02pm
post #8 of

Well, her Ultimate Yellow Butter Cake Recipe, when the ingredients and method instructions are followed well, is wonderful and many people use it instead of a white cake recipe. It is actually an easy recipe to follow because the instructions are given in-depth and pictures are provided. I think that is the one thing folks need when they are not familar with from-scratch baking, detailed instructions and picture of what a creamed mixture looks like etc. Can't wait for the white version but honestly, many white cakes do include the yolks and the taste is that of vanilla so generally they are all lumped together in the same category nowadays, as vanilla cakes. You will always get a more dense cake when using butter as your fat but that is the price you pay for the additional flavour that butter imparts. I would highly recommend that recipe! Actually, haha, have been for quite some time here and on the Wilton site. It is a great cake for stacked cakes and also for 3-D cakes, from all accounts.
As important as it is not to fool around with making ingredients substitutions or adding extras to a recipe that are not called for in that recipe, following the method is the one thing that can make a difference between a great cake and a terrible cake. You really need to follow the method to insure that the required chemistry process takes place to insure a good cake result.
I think the unfortunate by-product of folks only ever using cake mixes to bake is, that they don't learn the concepts of baking and chemistry and proper mixing. With a cake mix there isn't too much you can do to ruin it unless you overbeat it and cause leavening and structural issues, but still you will get for the most part, at least a passable result. But baking from scratch is a combination of the right recipe/formula that is produced to give desired results and messing with the formula or the method will effect the final product. Some recipes/formulas leave no room for error at all. Some recipes are not quite as exacting and will still turn out a good product but provide a bit of leeway for beginner bakers and this is how that recipe was designed.
I don't get into discussions comparing the virtues of the final cake product whether you bake from-scratch or from mixes. But one thing I do find that people don't quite understand until they research and practice from-scratch baking is this. When you are using mixes, you don't have to consider the formula or how the fat to sugar ratio will effect the product, the flour will affect the structure, the eggs will effect both the structure and the leavening as will the creaming method in addition to the actual chemical leaveners. You don't have to consider the proper mixing methods, the time element you have with the effective limit on the leaveners etc. You open a box, dump the ingredients in a bowl and follow the usual 30 seconds on low and 2 minutes on low to medium speed. You may add a few extra ingredients but you don't have to consider the fact that if you increase say the fat ratio, you need to change another ingredient. Most doctoring of cake mixes is based on old Duncan Hines recipes of the 1970's and some adjustments for the addition of other products, are already built in to the doctored versions. But this is not the same thing as baking from scratch. And it is not the same thing as understanding the baking process.
And you cannot expect, like you get with a cake mix, to always get that same spongey squishy texture from every type of cake recipe because baking from scratch with specific types of cake recipes is meant to produce different textures and results.
If you have followed a from-scratch recipe exactly and followed the proper mixing proceedures and have good pans to bake those cakes in and your oven is reliable, if the recipe turns out dry or flat or has any other unfavourable results, it isn't because all from-scratch recipes are like that, it is because you need a better recipe. I will try any new recipe twice. Once to get the hang of it and a second time to confirm the results. After two tries if I am not happy, it gets pitched. Don't waste your time on it, it is the recipe. Why bother fiddling around with switching this, changing that unless you plan to write a cookbook. There are other good reliable recipes out there, try them.
If you really want to learn the art of baking, use recipes from baking experts. Not all cake decorators are baking specialists, their cake decorating reputation sells their cookbooks. Sometimes the recipes haven't been tested at all or are scaled down versions of commercial recipes or have typos or editing issues.
Hugs Squirrelly

adven68 Posted 3 May 2006 , 8:34pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquirrellyCakes

Not all cake decorators are baking specialists,
Hugs Squirrelly




Yep....that's me....
although people say my cakes are delicious....I think they're pretty good.....I have yet to find one that I think is outstanding.

Thanks for all your input!

fearlessbaker Posted 3 May 2006 , 8:43pm

See Squirrelly, You did it a gain! Just responded to you in the Soup Cake Post. I feel I am in great company now. Although, I can't articulate all the nuances, I did express today in another post that if you learn from scratch your mix cakes turn out better. I guess it is something like watching you mom bake but not letting you do it. After so many years of doing that a light bulb goes off and you just know something that is unexplainable that only people like you can explain. Knowledge is power.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 3 May 2006 , 9:07pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by adven68

Quote:
Originally Posted by SquirrellyCakes

Not all cake decorators are baking specialists,
Hugs Squirrelly



Yep....that's me....
although people say my cakes are delicious....I think they're pretty good.....I have yet to find one that I think is outstanding.

Thanks for all your input!



Well kiddo, I didn't mean that for you at all. I just meant that it seems sometimes like everyone and their uncle, haha or aunt is putting out cookbooks and they are not all created equal.
I remember the good old days when the cookbooks were all by experts in baking.
Hugs Squirrelly

SquirrellyCakes Posted 3 May 2006 , 10:57pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by fearlessbaker

See Squirrelly, You did it a gain! Just responded to you in the Soup Cake Post. I feel I am in great company now. Although, I can't articulate all the nuances, I did express today in another post that if you learn from scratch your mix cakes turn out better. I guess it is something like watching you mom bake but not letting you do it. After so many years of doing that a light bulb goes off and you just know something that is unexplainable that only people like you can explain. Knowledge is power.



You articulate just fine kiddo! It is true, sometimes too, I think we do things because that is what we have seen but we don't stop to think or understand why. And with some things, we don't really care to know why either, haha!
Hugs Squirrelly

flourgrl Posted 3 May 2006 , 11:03pm

I use Rose's white velvet all the time...it's not dry at all...really makes a difference if you use Cake flour - really nice and light...plus you need to follow her mixing method as well.
I didn't like Colette's cake either.
Plus I always add a splash of sugar syrup to my cakes as well.
Give it a try, it's not expensive to make at all.
I wouldn't mind trying the other recipe mentioned from baking 911

Ironbaker Posted 4 May 2006 , 1:06am

I've used Rose's cake recipe quite a few times. Half the times, it's wonderful and light, especially if eaten soon. Others it's been dry or borderline dry. However, it's much better/accurate if you use her weighted measurements - if you haven't already, invest in a good Baker's scale. A lifesaver! That's what I do like about the Cake Bible, she gives the weights of the ingredients.

The recipe I love to use for white cakes I actually got from this site. It's similar to Rose's but better, to me. You should try it and see what you think. I've used it for a base for lemon and orange cakes too.

It's the Classic White Cake II

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-1967-21-Classic-White-Cake-II.html

SquirrellyCakes Posted 4 May 2006 , 2:40am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironbaker

I've used Rose's cake recipe quite a few times. Half the times, it's wonderful and light, especially if eaten soon. Others it's been dry or borderline dry. However, it's much better/accurate if you use her weighted measurements - if you haven't already, invest in a good Baker's scale. A lifesaver! That's what I do like about the Cake Bible, she gives the weights of the ingredients.

The recipe I love to use for white cakes I actually got from this site. It's similar to Rose's but better, to me. You should try it and see what you think. I've used it for a base for lemon and orange cakes too.

It's the Classic White Cake II

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-1967-21-Classic-White-Cake-II.html



That is a pretty standard white cake recipe. And I don't mean any offense by it, it is good, but not great. Personally I find it ok but not what I am looking for in a white cake but I guess I am pretty picky. But I have been looking for a perfect white cake for 42 years. I still believe that the perfect white cake will have cake flour, buttermilk and likely shortening not butter, because the shortening will create a better crumb but unfortunately, it will be sacrificing some taste. What sort of floors me with that recipe is in the method they say to use 1 tbsp. of shortening to grease each pan, now that is one whole lotta shortening and I wouldn't follow that at all, I would just grease as you normally would and flour the pan. Also, I find that in any cake recipe calling for millk, there is a huge difference in the outcome if you use whole milk instead of 2 % which most people tend to make. I really think it is worth the difference in fat.
With the White Velvet Cake, I believe it calls for 3 cups of sifted cake flour as opposed to 3 cups of cake flour, sifted. This is very often the case with cakes calling for cake flour. Cake flour tends to settle down so most often you are to sift it before you measure to aerate it. Which means that you will actually be using less flour than if you don't sift it before measuring. The difference in the amount of flour can really contribute to the dryness. So sift first and then measure with your dry cups. Of course if you weigh the flour, it doesn't matter if you sift first and weigh or weigh first and sift.
Also, try testing this cake for doneness by instead of expecting your toothpick to come out dry, test it as done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs but no wet batter on it.
If I remember the thread on Baking911.com, Sarah mentioned that several people had said that the White Velvet Cake comes out dry, I thought she had mentioned it was on the dry side of moist or something to that effect.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

flourgrl Posted 4 May 2006 , 3:19am

Well I make all my recipes by weight, so perhaps why I find it comes out well. I also use whole milk, when I used to make it with milk I had on hand - 1%, it tasted different.
I wonder what buttermilk would do to it???? Curious.....
I too am looking for the PERFECT white cake, and if I like it, it would be perfect because I dont care for white cake!

Rodneyck Posted 4 May 2006 , 3:39am

"I too am looking for the PERFECT white cake, and if I like it, it would be perfect because I dont care for white cake!"

You can count me in on the search. It is more like an obsession now. The one I made today was exceptionally good, but as SquirrellyCakes mentioned above, it contained a high ratio of butter and consequently was a pale-white, not a traditional pearly white like in the box mixes (not that I am comparing them to box mixes. Well maybe...)

The Velvet White Cake was a big embarrassment for me. I had to watch as my friends ran for the milk carton because the cake was like eating dry cornmeal (I am a good baker too.) I did everything according to the book and I used cake flour.

Then again, there are probably very few recipes that everyone agrees on 100%, it is all a matter of personal taste. My taste is telling me there are far better white cake recipes out there, somewhere...

P/S Flourgrl, I just wanted you to know that I have a picture of your Russian Romance cake pinned up as something for myself to strive for. Great job!!!

bostonterrierlady Posted 4 May 2006 , 3:57am

I made a white cake I found at cooks.com
It is called white buttermilk cake. It was pretty good.

flourgrl Posted 4 May 2006 , 4:10am

P/S Flourgrl, I just wanted you to know that I have a picture of your Russian Romance cake pinned up as something for myself to strive for. Great job!!![/quote]

aww that's so nice! Thank you!

SquirrellyCakes Posted 4 May 2006 , 7:03pm

Haha, you know I have noticed a lot of people complaining lately that the white cakes were not white enough. I don't know why that strikes me as funny but it does. I guess because we are always striving for perfection in the appearance of things. And maybe too, because I use half butter and cream and real brown vanilla and know my white is actually pale ivory, it doesn't matter. But I honestly could care less if the white cake turned out green as long as it tastes and has that perfect white cake texture I have in mind. I generally use unbleached flour anyway, so there is no way I will get white and the outside of the cake is always going to be golden regardless although now I keep hearing of folks cutting off the exterior of their cakes because it bothers them when they see that golden line where the icing meets the cake. Again that makes me laugh. I am not laughing at people, I am laughing with them. How picky can we be when looks matter more than taste?
And no I am not completely off my rocker searching for a perfect white cake for 42 years because I do have a cake in mind that is my comparison. When I was a little girl, for all special days like First Communion and birthdays and such, we had a bakery where Mom would order these fabulous white cakes. The texture of the cake was a dream, It was almost like when you cut fresh, never been frozen grain fed turkey meat, that creamy, crumb. I cannot explain it better than that. It was moist but not cake mix spongey and it had texture but delicate texture. Haha and I hope to meet up with that texture again before I get croakdified!
I will look for that buttermilk cake online, thanks!
Hugs Squirrelly

Rodneyck Posted 4 May 2006 , 10:09pm

SquirrellyCakes, I know exactly what you mean. I too have a childhood reference which I think sits at the heart of my obsession for the perfect "white" cake, if it does really exist. Every birthday my mom would order a cake from a woman who made and sold cakes out of her home. They were the whitest of white with the taste of almond (my favorite) and piped stars outlining some cartoon character (also tasting of almond.) I could not wait for my birthday and for the cake.

Today I much prefer my white cakes off white because I know they will be 10 times better, moist. Still though, the obsession kicks in and I think back, knowing that I once tasted a pearly white cake in my lifetime and it was the best. *sigh* I know I will find the perfect recipe right before I take my last breath. lol. Irony to the last.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 4 May 2006 , 11:16pm

Haha, we had better not be off to our graves without finding it!
Hugs Squirrelly

Ironbaker Posted 6 May 2006 , 6:23am
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquirrellyCakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironbaker

I've used Rose's cake recipe quite a few times. Half the times, it's wonderful and light, especially if eaten soon. Others it's been dry or borderline dry. However, it's much better/accurate if you use her weighted measurements - if you haven't already, invest in a good Baker's scale. A lifesaver! That's what I do like about the Cake Bible, she gives the weights of the ingredients.

The recipe I love to use for white cakes I actually got from this site. It's similar to Rose's but better, to me. You should try it and see what you think. I've used it for a base for lemon and orange cakes too.

It's the Classic White Cake II

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-1967-21-Classic-White-Cake-II.html


That is a pretty standard white cake recipe. And I don't mean any offense by it, it is good, but not great. Personally I find it ok but not what I am looking for in a white cake but I guess I am pretty picky. But I have been looking for a perfect white cake for 42 years. I still believe that the perfect white cake will have cake flour, buttermilk and likely shortening not butter, because the shortening will create a better crumb but unfortunately, it will be sacrificing some taste. What sort of floors me with that recipe is in the method they say to use 1 tbsp. of shortening to grease each pan, now that is one whole lotta shortening and I wouldn't follow that at all, I would just grease as you normally would and flour the pan. Also, I find that in any cake recipe calling for millk, there is a huge difference in the outcome if you use whole milk instead of 2 % which most people tend to make. I really think it is worth the difference in fat.
With the White Velvet Cake, I believe it calls for 3 cups of sifted cake flour as opposed to 3 cups of cake flour, sifted. This is very often the case with cakes calling for cake flour. Cake flour tends to settle down so most often you are to sift it before you measure to aerate it. Which means that you will actually be using less flour than if you don't sift it before measuring. The difference in the amount of flour can really contribute to the dryness. So sift first and then measure with your dry cups. Of course if you weigh the flour, it doesn't matter if you sift first and weigh or weigh first and sift.
Also, try testing this cake for doneness by instead of expecting your toothpick to come out dry, test it as done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs but no wet batter on it.
If I remember the thread on Baking911.com, Sarah mentioned that several people had said that the White Velvet Cake comes out dry, I thought she had mentioned it was on the dry side of moist or something to that effect.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes




Oh I definitely do my own thing when it comes to greasing/flouring the pans with that Classic white cake recipe. I didn't even notice that. I just go with the recipe....and I always use cake flour regardless of what any recipe calls for. lol I'll just add the 2 extra tbsp/per cup. It's come out great for me each time, if there's something better, I'd love to try it. And I usually use cream. icon_biggrin.gif Shhh lol

The "sifted cake flour" thing was something I realized after makign her recipe a couple of times. It did make a difference but I haven't used it in awhile since I use the other.

What if there is no perfect white cake recipe? icon_cry.gif

kdhoffert Posted 9 May 2006 , 7:01pm

Have any of you tried this for a cake bigger than a 9x13? I was wondering how the recipe would be doubled or tripled even.

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