Ughhh....scratch Cakes

Baking By stampinron Updated 19 Jul 2008 , 3:29pm by dandrus3

stampinron Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 11:22pm
post #1 of 29

So I have tried several scratch cakes and just can't seem to get them moist enough. I am following the recipes and taking out of the oven when toothpicks are almost clean (usually a few crumbs). I've tried freezing afterwards (I like what it does to boxed cakes.). I just don't seem to have the knack with them. I've tried Sylvia Weinstock's yellow cake recipe, and the Cake Bible's All-occasion Downy Yellow and All-American Chocolate butter cakes. The last 2 I made I gave a good dowsing with syrup, but still wasn't impressed. icon_sad.gif

Can someone please point me in the right direction or give me other recipes to try?

28 replies
summernoelle Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 11:33pm
post #2 of 29

I've had good luck with the Cake Bible.
Are you sure your oven isn't too hot? Have you made sure the internal temp isn't hotter than what is reading on the outside?
Also, box cakes are always moister. If that is what you are used to, it will be hard to get accustomed to a "dryer" scratch cake.

tyty Posted 12 Jul 2008 , 11:43pm
post #3 of 29

I have always baked from scratch, but some customers did think my yellow cake was a bit dry. What I have learned in the 2 yrs I've been baking for others is, you need a good recipe and good technique. I have tried many yellow cake recipe's such as Sylvia's and Toba's. I didn't really like the cakes, but I use their techniques. I continue to use my old tried and true 1-2-3-4 cake recipe from the back of the cake flour box, along with Toba's creaming instructions and Sylvia's egg beating instructions. I also add 1 Tbs of sour cream during the creaming process and 1 Tbs of oil at the end.

These techniques have really made a difference in the texture and moisture in my cakes. I now get a more tender and smaller crumb. Most of my cakes are frozen after baking because I still have an 8 hr day job so I have no choice but to bake ahead.

For chocolate cake I use the chocolate butter cake from the Whimsical Bakehouse book. It turns out great every time.

dreamn900 Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 12:11am
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyty

I have always baked from scratch, but some customers did think my yellow cake was a bit dry. What I have learned in the 2 yrs I've been baking for others is, you need a good recipe and good technique. I have tried many yellow cake recipe's such as Sylvia's and Toba's. I didn't really like the cakes, but I use their techniques. I continue to use my old tried and true 1-2-3-4 cake recipe from the back of the cake flour box, along with Toba's creaming instructions and Sylvia's egg beating instructions. I also add 1 Tbs of sour cream during the creaming process and 1 Tbs of oil at the end.

These techniques have really made a difference in the texture and moisture in my cakes. I now get a more tender and smaller crumb. Most of my cakes are frozen after baking because I still have an 8 hr day job so I have no choice but to bake ahead.

For chocolate cake I use the chocolate butter cake from the Whimsical Bakehouse book. It turns out great every time.




Ditto. This is a great moist chocolate cake. I usually sub boiling water for coffee.

OP, have you tried the scratch yellow cake with box qualities recipe from baking -911?

JanH Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 12:25am
post #5 of 29

Mix Cakes Always Perceived as More Moist Than Scratch:

http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-102531-.html

White scratch cake with box mix texture:

http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-593257-.html

Scratch recipes recommended by CC members:

http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-440803-.html

Helpful website for scratch baking:

www.joyofbaking.com

HTH

milissasmom Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 12:47am
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamn900


OP, have you tried the scratch yellow cake with box qualities recipe from baking -911?




I love baking - 911 and that recipe is AWESOME! I have never, ever had a dry cake and I have always baked from scratch. I Have to freeze my cakes after baking because if not, they would be almost too moist to work with. I am sorry you are having such a hard time getting it right but YOU CAN DO IT. There is nothing wrong with Mixes, I just don't prefer them because I have perfected the Scratch mix thing as it is all I have ever baked (thanks to my mom and grandma). I can't make a good boxed cake to save my life! lol...try baking 911. Sarah is AWESOME! Good luck!

tchrmom Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 2:17am
post #7 of 29

I have had good luck with the yellow and chocolate cakes in Cake Decorating for Dummies. I also have a recipe that someone on here sent- Moist chocolate cake. It involves oil and brewed coffee-- it's not super-strong for decorating, but it is moist. I have adjusted some other ones by substituting coffee for some of another liquid. IT seems to help.

saap1204 Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 2:30pm
post #8 of 29

For chocolate cake, I love Toba Garrett's chocolate fudge cake. It is a bit dense so should hold up well for stacking. Even my husband who does not like chocolate cake will eat this. I love ths recipe!

stampinron Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 3:30pm
post #9 of 29

Thank you for your encouragement and replies....I will keep at it. My oven temp is accurate, I've checked with an external thermometer and I always cook at 325 anyways. I will do over the yellow downy cake and see if it was a fluke. I'll have to get my hands on The WBH. I have been to the baking 911 site, but haven't tried their recipes. I hope to soon say " I have perfected the scratch mix thing", too!! icon_smile.gif

disneynutbsv Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 4:23pm
post #10 of 29

And the cake was so dry!!! Thank goodness for the buttercream....I'm so disappointed!

I had high hopes because the batter looked wonderful....oh well....

steplite Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 4:58pm
post #11 of 29

Have you tried "Yellow cake" recipe from WWW.FROM KAREN'S KITCHEN-HOME.COM" It uses the reverse creaming method and it's an excellent moist cake. I've traded Toba's recipe for this one.

Yoliebean Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 5:03pm
post #12 of 29

I used to feel the same way about scratch cakes until I bought the Cake Bible. I just knew that if I could bake everything else I could do a great cake from scratch. My first attempt was the Chocolate Fudge Cake, ehh it was ok but just not right. Back to the book, I read and re-read the instructions and the tips on getting it right. My mistake was not sifting the flour over the measuring cup like she says. I was spooning in and leveling. Well lo and behold did the cake gods smile down on me that day!!!! The second cake was the absolute best cake I have ever made!!! I filled it with a raspberry whipped cream cheese filling and frosted it with a mocha espresso buttercream TDF!!!! I put fresh raspberries on top and sprinkled them with powdered sugar.

Don't be discouraged. I've been a box mix baker from the beginning, scratch cake baking scared me lol. Now I don't think I can go back to the box mixes. Well ok I probaly will for money sake, I would have to charge an arm and a leg otherwise. But for family and special occassions I will have to go with scratch.

HTH

Tashablueyes Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 5:11pm
post #13 of 29

I am brand new at this and having a hard time adjusting box mixes to the huge pans... but I can't afford to invest in a lot of cookbooks right now. I noticed that Wilton has cake recipes on their website. Has anyone tried a Wilton cake recipe and had good luck with it?
Thanks!

cathyscakes Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 7:11pm
post #14 of 29

Why invest in cookbooks, there is a wealth of recipes out on the internet. I like allrecipes.com, because people rate the recipe, and give you hints to make it better. Just do a search, you can find millions of recipes out there.

ANicole Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 8:05pm
post #15 of 29

Cathyscakes - the only thing I am scared of when finding recipes online (unless it's here on CC because they are rated by fellow members which is SOOOO reliable) is that you can sometimes get bad recipes, or recipes that are mis-typed or something. I like to stick with classics. I use Betty Crocker recipes for my white, yellow and chocolate cakes. I did modify them a bit to my liking after many years of using them and just "knowing" what they needed changed.

To the OP - one thing I wanted to mention to you is that it's really important to make sure your greasing your pan with a good grease. I had SOOO many problems with my cakes before I started using a homemade pan grease. Before I was using spray Pam. I always had crispy edges and a thick chewy top. Now my cakes are great. For the pan grease, just mix equal parts shortening, oil and flour. Store in a container and use whenever you need it. You don't need to make it each time you bake a cake, just keep it on hand at all times.

Good luck!

cathyscakes Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 9:13pm
post #16 of 29

I usually only use the sites where people rate the recipes, and use the tried and true recipes. I just did a carrot cake from there, it had alot of great reviews so I tried it, and everyone at the 4th of july picnic went absolutely nuts over it. One guy took a piece and hid it in his car, so he could take some home. I could't believe how they carried on about the cake. I used the orange cream cheese frosting recipe from cc. Anyway it was a big hit, I think some of the women were getting a little annoyed at how they were carrying on, it was almost embarrassing, I mean I thought it was really good, but sure wasn't expecting that reaction.

KathyAM Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 12:42am
post #17 of 29

One other trick I learned on this board is to wrap your cakes tightly in plastic wrap as soon as they come out of the pans. This keeps the steam (moisture) in.

Tashablueyes Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 2:51am
post #18 of 29

Thanks for all the tips! I think I am going to try a cake from scratch tomorrow if I can find the time. Wish me luck!

steplite Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 6:03am
post #19 of 29

If anyone knows how to put the link up for Karen's kitchen, would you do it. I always type in" From karen's Kitchen-Home." Leave the (.com)off. I'm not that computer savvay. It's also under www.wrenscottage.com. Thanks.

jess85 Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 11:36am
post #20 of 29

when you test the cake, crumbs dont matter, as long as there is o wet batter. if your not removing them until there is only a few crumbs left then i would think that they're being overcooked. just a thought

stampinron Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 2:13am
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoliebean

I used to feel the same way about scratch cakes until I bought the Cake Bible. I just knew that if I could bake everything else I could do a great cake from scratch. My first attempt was the Chocolate Fudge Cake, ehh it was ok but just not right. Back to the book, I read and re-read the instructions and the tips on getting it right. My mistake was not sifting the flour over the measuring cup like she says. I was spooning in and leveling. Well lo and behold did the cake gods smile down on me that day!!!!




Ok, I was using the cake bible. It said "sifted cake flour" "3 cups". I measured 3 cups cake flour and sifted into the dry ingredients. Are you saying I should have sifted then measured 3 cups?

One thing I didn't do was wrap right after baking. I'll do this next time too. I'm getting excited to try this again....Thanks everyone icon_biggrin.gif

steplite Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 4:19am
post #22 of 29

You get better results if you sift first, then measure. A lot of people make that mistake when baking scratch. Three cups of flour scooped in a bowl is more than three cups sifted. That's why your cake will turn out heavy if you don't sift first.

2muchsugar Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 2:07pm
post #23 of 29

I think it really is a matter of opinion on what is "moist". I've tried many of the recipes from the Cake Bible and although they turn out and are tasty, they are a bit drier that I'd like. I think it also depends upon your location. I live in a DRY climate and I think cake recipes that work for a lot of people don't work for me because of the lack of humidity. Just a thought...

Mike1394 Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 2:20pm
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by stampinron

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoliebean

I used to feel the same way about scratch cakes until I bought the Cake Bible. I just knew that if I could bake everything else I could do a great cake from scratch. My first attempt was the Chocolate Fudge Cake, ehh it was ok but just not right. Back to the book, I read and re-read the instructions and the tips on getting it right. My mistake was not sifting the flour over the measuring cup like she says. I was spooning in and leveling. Well lo and behold did the cake gods smile down on me that day!!!!



Ok, I was using the cake bible. It said "sifted cake flour" "3 cups". I measured 3 cups cake flour and sifted into the dry ingredients. Are you saying I should have sifted then measured 3 cups?

One thing I didn't do was wrap right after baking. I'll do this next time too. I'm getting excited to try this again....Thanks everyone icon_biggrin.gif




Yes, sift first if it says sifted flour. This is why using scale is so much easier. Sifted, or not it weighs the same.

Mike

pastrylady Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 3:45pm
post #25 of 29

I have found that the number one reason people think scratch cakes are dry is because they eat them too cold. Scratch cakes must be at room temperature before eating. That means the cake should be warmed to at least 60-64 degrees before eating.

PattyT Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 4:10pm
post #26 of 29

cathy'scakes: What site did you use to find the carrot cake recipe?

Thanks

cathyscakes Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 9:44pm
post #27 of 29

Hi Patty,
The carrot cake is called Sam's Famous Carrot Cake, and its at www.allrecipes.com I think what makes it so good is the Fresh Orange Cream Cheese frosting in the cc recipes. I did have to add an extra cup of powdered sugar, it was too soft for me, but with the moistness of the carrot cake and the frosting it was really good.

PattyT Posted 16 Jul 2008 , 1:19am
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathyscakes

Hi Patty,
The carrot cake is called Sam's Famous Carrot Cake, and its at www.allrecipes.com I think what makes it so good is the Fresh Orange Cream Cheese frosting in the cc recipes. I did have to add an extra cup of powdered sugar, it was too soft for me, but with the moistness of the carrot cake and the frosting it was really good.




Wonderful! I'm heading there now.

I've been using Sheila Lukens' Silver Palate carrot cake recipe for years. Still love it, but need to shake things up a little. This sounds like just the ticket.

THANKS so very much.

dandrus3 Posted 19 Jul 2008 , 3:29pm
post #29 of 29

Tasha...

I tried the Wilton recipes, and frankly they didn't taste very good to me. They were dense, yes. But not good flavor.

That's my opinion, anyway.

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