Guidance Requested From Recipe Gurus!

Baking By DelightsByE Updated 23 Jul 2006 , 11:11pm by DelightsByE

DelightsByE Posted 19 Jul 2006 , 1:31am
post #1 of 31

OK I am in a predicament.

I have this special cake I make called Double Coconut with Key Lime Buttercream Filling. Some CC members have asked for this recipe and I am flattered folks want it. I love the recipe myself and I've had a lot of wedding cakes booked this year with this flavor combo.

I have been asked to enter this cake into the county fair, which is coming up this weekend. My submission has to be in on Friday. I accepted the opportunity and entered the cake before I had a copy of the rules.

My cake recipe involves a DH cake mix as one of the ingredients. I have never had any problem with this in the past, most people I deal with don't care and it makes a heckuva good cake. BUT here's the predicament part. The rules of the fair competition expressly forbid cake mixes or commercial preparations. And I have to submit my recipe along with the cake.

I desperately want to enter, and at this stage in the game I would hate to cancel, because my good friend pulled strings to get me a late entry.

So now I'm falling on the mercy of recipe gurus, I have found another coconut cake recipe that I can use and alter a bit, but what is it about a cake mix that makes it better (and by better I mean moister and richer) than a scratch cake? Is there anything in particular that can be recommended to add that would give it that extra bit of moistness? Can I add pudding mix to a scratch cake? This cake recipe uses a stick of butter but only 2 eggs. I plan to try it out tomorrow night and see what it's like. But I'm no good at recipe manipulation...except when starting with a mix as a base ingredient.


30 replies
playingwithsugar Posted 19 Jul 2006 , 1:43am
post #2 of 31

As you already know, I am a big fan of your coconut cake recipe. I have used this Epicurious recipe in the past, but I baked it at 325 instead of 350, and kept it in for about 10 more minutes. Maybe you can adapt it to your additions. Good luck, and let us know which recipe you use!

Theresa icon_smile.gif

Lenette Posted 19 Jul 2006 , 1:53am
post #3 of 31

Well, to be frank cake mixes have a lot of additives and preservatives in it that gives the cake that added moistness, etc. There is absolutely no reason why a scratch cake cannot be moist and highly flavored! I don't know why people think this way and I mean no offense to you in saying that. I only bake from scratch and my cakes are moist, delicious, and they come out fine every time. Now I will say that baking from scratch is a two part thing, one is the recipe the other is technique. All that being said, try the recipe you have and research others. If you can get it look at RLB's The Cake Bible or The Well Decorated Cake by Toba Garrett. If you can find a good yellow/white cake recipe maybe you can sub coconut milk for part or all of the liquid and add coconut to the batter. I can't speak to adding pudding because I have never tried it. I would imagine the recipe would have to be tweaked because of the added sugar etc.

IMO the issue is your time constraint. The only way to get the recipe the way you want it is to play around with it. Try researching a basic 1-2-3-4 recipe on the net and try some substitutions. I like to use buttermilk in my cakes I think it makes them more tender. If you can find one with buttermilk and I believe there are coconut extracts, you can add that. One very important point in scratch baking is not to overbake. With mixes one can fudge a little with that but not scratch cakes. It will dry out and be no good. Also, don't over mix once you add the flour or it may not be as tender as you would like. I like to use cake flour, I believe it gives a finer crumb. That's all I can think of at the moment. Sorry if I was long winded here and I hope you don't take offense to anything I stated. I wish you the best! icon_smile.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 19 Jul 2006 , 1:58am
post #4 of 31

All good points, but her recipe calls for finely chopped coconut in the batter, and the fat from that extra coconut, plus the extra egg, etc, is going to some moistness to the cake.

Bake a practice cake with whatever recipe you decide to use and add your extra ingredients to. You may also need to add a bit of coconut extract.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

DelightsByE Posted 19 Jul 2006 , 2:31am
post #5 of 31

You guys are sooooo good to me!

Lenette of course I take no offense dear! Everyone has their own "way", mine just happens to use DH because it's quick, easy, and inexpensive...3 things that are pretty important to me as a working mom with 1 kid, 1 hubby and 1 dog, and trying to get a cake business off the ground.

I did find a recipe that I can experiment with fairly confidently, that is a white scratch cake recipe provided here on this site by edencakes. I've seen her post before and she seems to know her stuff. I have to submit my entry on Friday morning, I already have my filling and icing made, and I have a day off on Thursday so I can spend it manipulating. Best case scenario - I hit it out of the park on first bake and I can spend the rest of my day at the pool icon_lol.gif Worst case scenario is I bake all day and give my rejects to my waiting family (they love rejects!).

By the way - where in the world can I find coconut extract?? Wal-Mart??

daltonam Posted 19 Jul 2006 , 3:31am
post #6 of 31

yes walmart has it McCormick's makes the one i got


DelightsByE Posted 19 Jul 2006 , 3:35am
post #7 of 31

hey daltonam babe - been wondering where you've been! Nice to see you!

I will check Wal-Mart for sure, it's on my list and I'm getting excited!!

I've said it before and I'll say it again - you all are just the absolute BEST!

Lenette Posted 19 Jul 2006 , 3:40am
post #8 of 31

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you to have success on your first try! Here's to a first place ribbon thumbs_up.gif

daltonam Posted 19 Jul 2006 , 4:50pm
post #9 of 31

DELIGHTS--just gonna let you know that my grandmother said your coconut cake was great (i didn't get any icon_sad.gif ) thanks again!

dailey Posted 21 Jul 2006 , 5:51am
post #10 of 31

here is a coconut cake made from scratch that is very moist and flavorful, i love it. i've tried the coconut cake from the mix and there is no comparison, good luck!

edit-just realized theresa posted the same recipe, i would advice against adding extra coconut to this cake (not including the extract) as it is very moist as is. as a matter of fact, after 1 week in the fridge, it was still just as moist as the first day. don't forget to let us know when you win that ribbon.

DelightsByE Posted 21 Jul 2006 , 1:22pm
post #11 of 31

Thanks for all your help and advice. The cake is parked in my fridge waiting to be taken to the Expo. Here's a photo.

I used the edencakes recipe

and adapted it by subbing 1/2 cup coconut milk for 1/2 cup of the regular milk, also added 1 tsp coconut extract and 2 c finely shredded coconut.

The results were OK, it was a little too meringue-y (foamy?) for my liking, kind of reminded me of angel food. It was definitely a white-white cake, it tasted good, but nothing really like my other recipe.

I am wondering, anyone with experience in recipe manipulation, what would happen if I used whole eggs instead of just the whites. Would I use the same quantity? Might this make the crumb more heavy and tender instead of light? That's what I'm going after.

I'm submitting cake as is but am thinking ahead to State Fair, any additional advice would be appreciated!!!

playingwithsugar Posted 21 Jul 2006 , 1:31pm
post #12 of 31

Yes, it is possible that the extra protein and fat in the egg yolk will tighten up the crumb. I also noticed that you did not mention using the coconut pudding. I have found that this also serves to tighten the crumb on a recipe.

Remember also that using whole eggs means more moisture from the yolks (you may want to consider changing the number of eggs to suit), and that the color of the cake be more yellow, closer to the color of the original recipe you shared.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

dailey Posted 21 Jul 2006 , 2:22pm
post #13 of 31

i just ruined 3 cakes last week by manipulating the ingredients, of course, that wasn't the *first* time i've done that! LOL i love to bake and always think i'm gonna *tweak* the recipe a bit but usually end up with poor results. i think the best thing is to start with a tried and true recipe and follow it to a tee, then you know you are most likely gonna get great results. if what you are looking for is a heavier, tender crumb, then save yourself the headache (and ingredients) and make the recipe from Shubox Cafe. its much more flavorful then any other coconut cake i've tried and its the one that i offer to my customers.

playingwithsugar Posted 21 Jul 2006 , 2:26pm
post #14 of 31

Hi, Dailey, just an FYI, Shubox Cafe has closed it's doors, so if you can post the recipe for her, that would be great.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

DelightsByE Posted 22 Jul 2006 , 3:39am
post #15 of 31

You guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just received an e-mail from the Open Class coordinator, my cake won - not only the Champion Cake Entry, but also the Grand Champion Baked Goods overall!!!

I AM SO PUMPED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you all for your input, love and support and especially to edencakes who helped so much by creating the base recipe!!!

I feel like I've won an Oscar or something! This is the most unbelievable feeling. STATE FAIR HERE I COME!!!

Somebody PLEASE create a smooching emoticon!!!!!!

Charb31 Posted 22 Jul 2006 , 3:51am
post #16 of 31

thumbs_up.gif WTG delights!!! THat is soooo awesome! I can only in my dreams imagine how high you are flying right now! You SOOOOO deserve it! icon_biggrin.gif Is that sliced coconut that you used? Where did you get that? I am making a coconut cake tomorrow for a friend's birthday. I can assure you it will look NOTHING like yours!!

CONGRATS once again!! thumbs_up.gificon_biggrin.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 22 Jul 2006 , 3:54am
post #17 of 31

Congratulations!! I knew you were going to win! If cake could be sent by mail we would wait by the door, fork in one hand, cup of coffee in the other, for our tastes. But we shall settle for a posting of the full recipe, and a photo of the ribbon, trophy, whatever you won!

Congrats again!

Theresa icon_smile.gif

DelightsByE Posted 22 Jul 2006 , 3:56am
post #18 of 31

Yeah it's pretty crazy here right now...of course it's almost midnight so I can't whoop it up too much, will wake my 4 year old....but I have perma-grin and even though I'm exhausted, I'll never get to sleep!

The coconut I use is chipped coconut, I get it at this little Mennonite store in my area, I get a lot of baking and decorating supplies there. I'm not sure where else one might find it....mail order? Next time I'm up there I will ask where they get it.

Thanks again you guys! icon_biggrin.gif

DelightsByE Posted 22 Jul 2006 , 3:59am
post #19 of 31

Oh by the way....all the champion entries are sold at auction after the judges tasting. The coordinator told me mine was sold for $100!!!! Proceeds go to support our local 4-H. WAY COOL!!!

But hey - don't despair. If any one of you happens to find yourself in my area, just give me a call and there will be coconut cake for you for sure. Coffee too!

DelightsByE Posted 22 Jul 2006 , 4:06am
post #20 of 31

Oh and one more thing...I get my picture in the paper!

OK - going to bed now! My DH says this is already starting to go to my head! icon_eek.gif

knoxcop1 Posted 22 Jul 2006 , 4:14am
post #21 of 31

Happy, Happy, Happy! icon_biggrin.gif


That Edencakes is such a sweetie, too...she helped me on petit fours! thumbs_up.gif

Great job!


playingwithsugar Posted 22 Jul 2006 , 4:24am
post #22 of 31

Yeah, like you're going to sleep tonight!

Theresa icon_smile.gif

DelightsByE Posted 22 Jul 2006 , 11:34am
post #23 of 31

I think I finally got to sleep about 3....and was abruptly awakened by a thunderstorm at 7...which woke up my now I'm up like it or not!

That's OK - my son gets a nap after lunch, I'll take one too!

Woke up this AM wondering if I'd dreamed it.

camcat Posted 22 Jul 2006 , 11:35am
post #24 of 31

Congratulations! If your cake tasted as good as it looked, I'm not surprised you won!

I am a newbie here and am so amazed at everything I read every day--the quick responses when a call goes out for help, the sharing of recipes and tips, and the genuine delight members find in the success of others. What an amazing community! icon_smile.gif


DelightsByE Posted 22 Jul 2006 , 11:40am
post #25 of 31

I know - it's like a great big sugar-frosted HUG!

IHATEFONDANT Posted 22 Jul 2006 , 12:08pm
post #26 of 31

Cudos to you and to the generous helpers from CC...I am amazed every day at the unselfishness of members here. icon_biggrin.gif

That cake looked magnificent!!! (I am going to confess that I almost licked my computer screen.)

DelightsByE Posted 23 Jul 2006 , 8:32pm
post #27 of 31
Originally Posted by Charb31

Is that sliced coconut that you used? Where did you get that?

I went up to the little shop where I buy it yesterday. The gal didn't know the name of the distributor, but she said they do mail order, all you have to do is call them. Their web site is

Otherwise, I'm going to google and see what I can find!

DelightsByE Posted 23 Jul 2006 , 8:37pm
post #28 of 31

OK I googled and found 2:

and then of course there's Amazon (they sell anything!!)

jwong9664 Posted 23 Jul 2006 , 10:39pm
post #29 of 31

congrats on your win, it sounds amazing!

greenhorn Posted 23 Jul 2006 , 10:58pm
post #30 of 31

Congrats on your win and good luck for the state fair. Will you make the exact same cake for that one?

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