I Can Never Make Fluffy Cakes! *sobs*

Decorating By AKA_cupcakeshoppe Updated 24 Oct 2008 , 3:13pm by AKA_cupcakeshoppe

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 7:57am
post #1 of 37

No matter what recipe I try, what technique I do (baking strips, low temp baking for longer time) my cakes don't rise. Different matter to my cupcakes, they turn out perfectly. but cakes are becoming frustrating.

They're not hard as rocks but not soft and fluffy either although they taste good. Basically it comes out the same height as how i put it in, so NO RISE at all.

what should I do? this is really frustrating to me because I wanna try and bake cakes too. Please tell me what else should i try to do.

TIA.

36 replies
MikeRowesHunny Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 8:08am
post #2 of 37

Are you trying to get the same texture as a box mix with scratch? That's unlikely to ever happen because you are missing all those nasty chemicals that give the box mix it's texture! You can try separating your eggs and beating the whites until they are stiff and then folding them gently into the batter at the end of the mixing process to make a scratch cake lighter in texture and give more depth (add your yolks at the normal stage). You can also try using cake flour instead of all-purpose, and margarine instead of butter - both these give a softer, lighter cake. Don't forget to check your baking powder/soda is still good, or try a new batch, you may have a dodgy one. HTH!

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 8:26am
post #3 of 37

i bake from scratch. and i mix the batter same way for cakes and cupcakes, basically the way the recipe says i should and the cupcakes come out fluffy and the cakes don't icon_sad.gif

my baking powder and soda are good. checked those too before.

could it be the pan i'm using? that's the only difference i can see between cakes and cupcakes, the pans i'm using. but i think even if you use cheap pans your cakes wills till rise a little. it's confusing and frustrating. icon_sad.gif

and sorry if i sound whiny. LOL thanks for replying!

MikeRowesHunny Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 8:28am
post #4 of 37

Is it with all flavours, or just certain ones? What temp do you bake cupcakes & cakes at? Could your oven temp be off?

Magnum Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 9:20am
post #5 of 37

Mayyybe its the pan. I've only made a few cakes but i noticed a major difference when i switched my cheap pan for professional one.
My cakes rise so much better now and don't have so much of a dome on top icon_smile.gif

murf Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 9:40am
post #6 of 37

Hi,
Sorry to hear that you are having a nightmare!
I'm a scratch baker - box mixes are very expensive here in the UK - and if you'd like, I'll happily share my recipe with you.
I firstly cream the margarine/butter with the caster sugar - don't skimp on how long you do this for as this makes a heck of a difference! The mixture should end up lighter in colour than when you started. Then I run my mixer on slow to medium and add one egg then a TBS of flour, then another egg then flour - alternate til all the eggs are in. I use Self Raising flour (cake flour?) but add a tsp of baking powder too. Then when all the eggs are blende in, I run the mixer on low and add the flour/baking powder mix. It's important to not overmix the flour as it knocks all the air out and therefore the cakes don't get light and fluffy. Just enough to mix it together. Then pop it in a tin, I use baking strips too.
I hope this helps and that you don't feel I'm trying to "teach my granny how to suck eggs" !!
Jenny

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 12:18pm
post #7 of 37

bonjovibabe, it's EVERY recipe. icon_sad.gif i bake cakes at 338 and cupcakes at 350 (depending on the recipe cupcakes will either dome or be flat at this temp) baking cakes at a higher temp makes them dome up so I bake at a lower temp. i tried baking at 350 with baking strips and the sides never got cooked. so i'm trying to figure out an in between icon_sad.gif

murf, i liked your instructions. icon_smile.gif i'm trying a reverse creaming method, it's easier for me and it has a better crumb IMO.

magnum, i thought of that too. but i'm pretty sure even people who only bake for fun and therefore did not buy professional pans have had better results than me LOL

MikeRowesHunny Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 12:39pm
post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupcakeshoppe

i'm trying a reverse creaming method, it's easier for me and it has a better crumb IMO.




detective.gif Aha! This, IMHO, is your problem. I tried reverse creaming once and my cake didn't rise anywhere near as much as when I use my traditional method (Murf's). I, personally, will never use the reverse creaming again, the result was not good! I would rather spend a few extra minutes doing it properly than cutting corners and getting bad results, but that's just me icon_wink.gif !

Lady_Phoenix Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 12:41pm
post #9 of 37

Try using your cupcake recipe to make a cake. If it doesn't rise properly, then it is your pan or temperature. Just curious, how to you decide on 338 for cakes? I bake at 325 and all my cakes rise beautifully.

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 12:54pm
post #10 of 37

bonjovibabe, i just tried the reverse creaming method a couple of weeks ago and even when i tried the regular creaming method my cakes never really rose. icon_sad.gif so it can't be that.

lady_phoenix, i use the same recipes for cupcake and cake. 338 is the lowest temp my oven can go if i try to turn the knob any lower it turns itself off. weird I know LOL

basically, everything is the same the way i prepare the batter for both cakes and cupcakes. the only difference is the pan i use and the temp i bake them with.

is this puzzling for everyone else too? cause it's very frustrating for me to try all these different things and still have the same result (un-fluffy cake). maybe i'm just doomed.

Lady_Phoenix Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 12:58pm
post #11 of 37

Have you tried different cake pans as well? How are you preparing the pans? Cakes, especially chiffon and such, need to be able to "climb" the side of the pan and if it is too slick they can't rise.

woodthi32 Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 1:02pm
post #12 of 37

This is the strangest thing I have ever heard......what are you greasing your pans with? I'd buy my soda from a different store btw.....different brand, something.
Something is weird here.

woodthi32 Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 1:03pm
post #13 of 37

This is the strangest thing I have ever heard......what are you greasing your pans with? I'd buy my soda from a different store btw.....different brand, something.
Something is weird here.

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 1:14pm
post #14 of 37

woodthi32, i know, right? i have tried greasing them with shortening, shortening with flour, butter, margarine, butter/margarine with flour.

i have also tried putting parchment paper all round, foil.

Lady_Phoenix, i haven't made chiffon yet but yes i only have used the same pans. I think they are of the same local brand too. if i have money to spare i would definitely splurge on some pricier ones.

thanks everyone for giving your suggestions. i really wanna solve this mystery. i don't know if it's something i'm doing or not doing, or using or not using. so, please, hit me with your best shot icon_smile.gif thanks!

Magnum Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 1:17pm
post #15 of 37

I've been racking my brain and i've come up with another idea. In most cookery books i have, they always say that using an oven thermometer is vital (although i don't have one, i'm too cheap lol).
So maybe your oven temperature isnt quite as accurate as you think.
If it's every recipe you try dosen't work, i'd definatly invest in an oven thermometer icon_smile.gif

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 1:27pm
post #16 of 37

that's the only one i haven't tried (i'm cheap too!LOL) maybe i can get one of those, along with pricier pans. wish my paycheck would come sooner!

Lady_Phoenix Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 1:39pm
post #17 of 37

If you have a local cake shop, check with them. The one here rents pans for next to nothing. If that works the mystery is solved.

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 1:44pm
post #18 of 37

i will post here again after i've tried it. icon_smile.gif

darcat Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 2:02pm
post #19 of 37

I also believe it's a problem with your oven. You said for some reason you cant get the temp lower or the oven goes off. I've never heard of that and it leads me to believe thats a problem. Cupcakes do not take as long as cakes to bake so maybe once your oven is running for a certain amount of time it's getting cooler than it should for the cake to rise. I would definately by an oven thermometer or have your oven calibrated. JMHO

Magnum Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 2:14pm
post #20 of 37

cupcakeshoppe:-

I'm not a professional cake maker (although i'd like to be one day) but if you look around for deals on good pans, you'll really notice the difference overall in your cakes. The pans won't dent or warp so you'll get a good few years out of them, my new pans gave me a bit more confidence as a baker.
I have a rubbish job which dosen't pay much but i saved up fpr my pans and now i love em icon_smile.gif

woodthi32 Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 6:20pm
post #21 of 37

that's the only other thing I could think of, was accurate oven temp, think is, if they ARE cooking in the right amt of time, they should be rising. So ODD!!icon_smile.gif Cupcakelady, this is a MYSTERY!

arosstx Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 6:31pm
post #22 of 37

Do you have an accurate oven thermometer in your oven? I'm wondering if you're turning your oven down, thinking it's at 338 and maybe it's much lower than that? That would definitely explain your problem.

I hope things work out for you.

arosstx Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 6:31pm
post #23 of 37

duplicate post

FromScratch Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 6:33pm
post #24 of 37

I agree.. get yourself an oven thermometer and check how accurate your oven temp is. If the temp isn't high enough it's not going to rise right at all. I have done both traditional creaming and reverse creaming with good results. I hope you can figure it out. icon_smile.gif

sadsmile Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 6:39pm
post #25 of 37

Could it be that you are opening your oven door too many times to check on the cakes? And that you are comfortable with baking the cup cakes and leave them alone so they bake better? Your not doing jumping jacks infront of your oven making the floor bounce are you??? Haha I know you are not but this is a mystery isn't it!

Mike1394 Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 6:44pm
post #26 of 37

What is reverse creaming? Does the butter, and sugar separate? LOLOL.

When creaming, cream it until it turns white, and is very fluffy, almost frosting like fluffy. You really can't beat it to long. You can, not beat it enough though.

Are you banging the pans to let the air escape? Don't do it. You just spent all that time incorporating air now your trying to take it out.

What kind of flour are you using IE cake, AP? This will make a difference if using to soft of a flour.

Is your cake recipe different from your cuppy recipe?

How much baking powder are you using?

Mike

FromScratch Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 7:55pm
post #27 of 37

Reverse creaming is when you add the butter and some of the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until moistened and then add the rest of the wet ingredients and beat on high for a minute or so.. it's wierd if you are used to doing it the other way around.. but it does actually work. It's big in The Cake Bible

Mike1394 Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 8:02pm
post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

Reverse creaming is when you add the butter and some of the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until moistened and then add the rest of the wet ingredients and beat on high for a minute or so.. it's wierd if you are used to doing it the other way around.. but it does actually work. It's big in The Cake Bible




OK it does sound wierd. LOL Thnx for explaining. I guess the thought would be to let the flour soak up the moisture. Do they try to push the flour/wet ratio?

Toba Garret's chocolate cake is also strange. It's toss everything in the bowl, and mix. It's a wonderful cake very yummy. icon_biggrin.gif

Mike

bananabread Posted 24 Aug 2008 , 6:11am
post #29 of 37

If you use margarine try to beat it from 10 to 15 minutes, until is very pale in color, separate egg whites from yolks, add yolks one by one, mixing well after each additon, when you have added all, beat for 3 minutes more. then add flour and milk, in 3 parts mixing in a very low speed or by hand. Whip egg whites and add to the previous mixture very slowly, because you are adding more air to the mix. If you use butter, beat only 6 or 7 minutes until is pale in color. Pre-heat the oven for 15 minutes at 350 F or 180 C, and the bake. I am sorry for the English, but is easear for me to speak than to write. Good luck.

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 24 Aug 2008 , 6:57am
post #30 of 37

Thanks everyone for pitching in your ideas! icon_smile.gif

sadsmile, i actually don't open my oven door until i know it's time. will doing jumping jacks help? LOL i can do that! hehe

Mike, i use cake flour and AP and it's the same result. sometimes i bang it, sometimes i don't. cake and cc recipes are the same. and i use the same amount suggested in each recipe.

jkalman, i like the reverse creaming method too. icon_smile.gif

bananabread, thanks for posting about your method. thing is, and that really irks me about it is that i'm sure there are other people out there who don't know about such techniques, who just follow the recipes and don't do anything else and i'm sure their cakes come out better than mine (by better i mean fluffier)

i've basically tried the creaming method, taking about 10 minutes to cream the butter while adding sugar bit by bit, then incorporating the dry and wet ingredients slowly. still the same.

is there a way for like to start at a low or high temp and then maybe midway the baking time, to lower or increase the temp? will that work?

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