Scratch Cakes Coming Up Dry?

Decorating By knoxcop1 Updated 24 Apr 2008 , 4:35pm by peacockplace

knoxcop1 Posted 6 Sep 2006 , 6:36pm
post #1 of 14

Hey, Y'all!

For those of you out there who make scratch cakes, maybe you have an answer to the following:

What makes a scratch cake come up DRY? I made one the other night, and it was UNBELIEVABLY dry! icon_cry.gif It wasn't overbaked, just dry.

Any thoughts? Remedies? General CC knowledge? detective.gifdetective.gifdetective.gif

Any help is appreciated!

Thanks,
--Knox--

13 replies
sweetamber Posted 6 Sep 2006 , 6:49pm
post #2 of 14

First thought...some recipes just aren't very good! icon_biggrin.gif

Since you said the cake wasn't over-baked, and we'll assume there weren't any other problems with the cake, it has to be the recipe- What did you use? There are a few types of cakes that are meant to be dry so that they can be soaked with a simple syrup or a really juicy fruit filling without falling apart. Too much baking powder can also cause a cake to be dry.

Amber

cindy6250 Posted 6 Sep 2006 , 6:57pm
post #3 of 14

You can use a simple syrup to add moisture. Equal parts water and sugar and just heat on low till the sugar melts and brush onto your cake layers. Or you can use apricot preserves, heat them and strain and brush the liquid on your layers. Hope this helps...

This is off topic, but I was looking at your Chocolate Buttercream Dream. Is that going to be a fairly light color? Also, can I use mild chocolate chips instead of the candy melts?

Cindy

WhenTheCookieCrumbles Posted 6 Sep 2006 , 6:58pm
post #4 of 14

That's a great question, on Monday I made a cake that everyone said was little dry too. I was given a 8 out of 10 in dryness. I found/used this recipe I found either here or another forum.....

Question- why do some recipes use whole eggs and others just the egg yolks?
Thank you, Liz
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
My favorite yellow and white cakes are both from "The Whimsical Bakehouse" b
y Liv & Kaye Hansen. Each yields 9 cups of batter and is written to be baked in two 10" rounds. I have baked the full recipe in two 9" rounds for a nice, tall cake. I reduce the formulas by 2/3 when I want to use 8" rounds. I've also adapted them for 13" rounds and sheet cakes without rescaling the levening (i.e., I scale the levening as I do the other ingredients, without adjusting for the change in surface area).


Yellow Cake
8 oz unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
6 large egg yolks
1.5 tsp vanilla
3.5 cups cake flour
1 Tbs + 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1.5 cups milk
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg yolks and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl and add them to the egg mixture alternately with the milk. Bake at 350* for 20-35 minutes, depending on the pan size and how full the pans are.
This post has been edited by RuthWells: Jun 22 2005, 05:54 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

imartsy Posted 6 Sep 2006 , 7:08pm
post #5 of 14

I have this problem too - still searching for good recipes! The dark chocolate cake recipe from this site (also on the back of the Hershey's cocoa package) is VERY moist chocolate cake! I tried to make it vanilla by adding vanilla pudding instead of cocoa powder and it tasted good - but was chewey - meaning it seemed a little underbaked but it wasn't! I didn't use it though.....

lilthorner Posted 6 Sep 2006 , 8:16pm
post #6 of 14

i would just continue to try different recipes. I have used Toba's yellow cake recipe and while it is good, I get more requests for my butter cake which is heavier (and one of my faves).

I am also quick to try a recipe with sour cream and/or milk in it (regular or buttermilk) becasue those tend to be moist as well. Crisco makes for a moist cake.. ( i adapted a 7up pound cake recipe to 2 sticks of butter and 1/2 cup of crisco and it was delish.. more moist than when I used butter only.

snarkybaker Posted 6 Sep 2006 , 9:06pm
post #7 of 14

If you have a recipe that you like, but dries out too quickly, you can add 1/3 cup of this:

http://shop.bakerscatalogue.com/items/Signature_Secrets__Culinary_Thickener.html

Alternately, find good recipes, and learn to use simple syrups on cakes that are going to be around for a while. I find it a great way to add another layer of flavor as well. Like white cake with vanilla bean -cointreau syrup or chocolate cake with kaluha/frangelico syrup.

For those of you really intent on great scratch baking, I reccomend two cookbooks. The first is The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather and Rosie's Bakery All Butter Fresh Cream Sugar Packed No Holds Barred Baking Book.

Both women started as home bakers rather than pastry chefs, so their recipes are easy to follow and almost always yield great results. I use adaptations of the Sour Cream Chocolate Layers, Rather Sweet's Carrot cake and several of the other recipes in these books as the basis of many of my restaurant recipes ( can't use the exact versions since I need to make QUANTITY)

ablksapphire Posted 6 Sep 2006 , 9:15pm
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilthorner

i would just continue to try different recipes. I have used Toba's yellow cake recipe and while it is good, I get more requests for my butter cake which is heavier (and one of my faves).

I am also quick to try a recipe with sour cream and/or milk in it (regular or buttermilk) becasue those tend to be moist as well. Crisco makes for a moist cake.. ( i adapted a 7up pound cake recipe to 2 sticks of butter and 1/2 cup of crisco and it was delish.. more moist than when I used butter only.




I agree, sour cream and buttermilk or regular milk really lend a nice crumb...I'm going to have to try the crisco with butter in the 7up cake...one of my favorites!! Thanks for the idea!

mkerton Posted 6 Sep 2006 , 9:20pm
post #9 of 14

I probably have the opposite problem...I have a scratch cake that is really moist....but its one that I cannot seem to get out of a pan...just falls apart. Everyone loves the taste of it, but I have yet to be able to decorate one....just leave it in the pan and frost the top...grrr

knoxcop1 Posted 6 Sep 2006 , 10:21pm
post #10 of 14

Well, thanks Y'all! icon_smile.gif

Cindy6250--I've never used anything but the unsweetened chocolate in the frosting recipe. Couldn't hurt to try, though you might not get as much of the "chocolate" effect as you're looking for.

Not a dark chocolate color, it's about like the color of light milk chocolate.

I've been using the simple syrups for about 2 years now on cakes. It's one of my signature things.

Thanks to everyone for the recipes and help!

thumbs_up.gificon_biggrin.gif
--Knox--

FancyLayne23 Posted 7 Sep 2006 , 3:34am
post #11 of 14

I heard that 1/4 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of sour cream to the recipe will help with adding moistness. I usually add this to my yellow cake and it turns out real well and actually is one of the only cakes I can make from scratch besides chocolate and a few others. Good luck and if you find a great recipe please share with CC.

steplite Posted 7 Sep 2006 , 3:58am
post #12 of 14

I have read so many posts about scratch cakes being dry. I have been making scratch cakes for 20 years . My cakes are never dry. What usually happens to make a cake dry is First ,too much flour, I always measure sifted flour. Never over mix when the flour is added. All ingredients are at room temperature. The best cake flour is Softassilk. The best all purpose flour is White Lily or Phillsberry. My favorite recipes are Toba Garrett's moist yellow cake. Slyvia Weinstocks classic yellow cake and Wilton's butter cake. Happy baking everyone!

TheCakeSmith Posted 7 Sep 2006 , 4:40am
post #13 of 14

I just posted a question about scratch, pretty much this same thread! icon_redface.gif

peacockplace Posted 24 Apr 2008 , 4:35pm
post #14 of 14

I was doing a search about scratch baking and this one came up. I think it has a lot of great info!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%