Mixer Broke, Cake Fell In Oven, Tasted Awful...

Decorating By lisa5573 Updated 18 Dec 2008 , 7:54am by JanH

lisa5573 Posted 15 Dec 2008 , 10:43pm
post #1 of 11

I had a cake order for last Saturday. I just started decorating and this is only the 2nd cake I've ever been paid for. I normally use mix for my cakes becuase it's so much simpler. The woman that ordered this cake was VERY specific, and she showed me pictures of previous cakes she ordered, and I knew she wouldn't be happy with cake mix. I found a reciepe on CakeCentral that was just called "white cake" and was rated over 4 Stars.

Friday night I began making the cake, and I've never had such a disaster baking. The cake batter was SO thick, that my stand mixer broke (I think the motor burned out). I finished the batter with my hand mixer, but even after doubling the recipe, I didn't have enough batter for all of the cakes. I was making a 10 inch and a 6 inch. I didn't want to risk breaking my hand mixer with the same recipe, so I decided to use a cake mix for the 6 inch cake.

When the 10 inch cakes were finished baking I went to take them out of the oven, and the cakes had both fallen. They were also very dark (almost burned) on the top. I thought I may be able to salvage the cakes, so I let them cool and turned them out of the pan. The bottom of the cakes were barely cooked, and the tops were burned! I knew I couldn't use these cakes for the order. I tased the cake to see how it was, and they tasted awful! They were VERY dense and not very sweet. My husband said that it reminded him of corn bread!

I ended up and re-made the 10 inch cakes from mix and they turned out fine. I stayed up until 2:30am decorating.

When I delivered the cake Saturday morning, the customer loved it, and told me later that everyone at the party thought it was delicious.

Any suggustions on what happened with the recipe? Have you ever had cake batter be SO thick that it broke the mixer?

Here is the recipe I used:

Serves/Yields: 12-24
Prep. Time: 15
Cook Time: 35
Category: White Cakes
Difficulty: Easy

3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup butter
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla


Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine dry ingredients in mixer bowl; add 3/4 cup buttermilk and blend until just combined. Add room temperature butter, blend slowly, then blend on medium speed for 90 seconds. Add eggs and vanilla to remaining buttermilk. Add buttermilk mixture to batter in two batches, blending on low until just combined. Pour into prepared 9x13" pan or 2 - 8" round and 1 - 6" round pans. Bake at 350F for 35 minutes.
LL
LL
LL

10 replies
janelwaters Posted 15 Dec 2008 , 11:18pm
post #2 of 11

I have no idea what could have happened - just b/c I don't have that kind of knowledge - I just wanted to say I'm so sorry that you had all of that happen! But, on the bright side - your finished cake ROCKS!

I do some of my best work at 2:30AM!! seems its the only time I really have to decorate.

Tita9499 Posted 15 Dec 2008 , 11:30pm
post #3 of 11

I've never in my 13 years of baking have heard of making a cake by adding milk to the dry ingredients. That's my tip off that the cake is doomed to fail.

Even with a sponge cake you don't see this.

Try this instead. Combine the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about 6 minutes) on med speed. Then add eggs one at a time, along with the flavorings. Sift the dry ingredients together and add them in 3 parts alternating them with the buttermilk. Scrape down the bowl often while mixing and the put them into the preheated oven immediately.

I think adding the milk to the dry ingredients first messed up the balance. It may have been a typo. Try it again before you give up on it.

saap1204 Posted 15 Dec 2008 , 11:33pm
post #4 of 11

I made this cake a couple of weeks ago for my friend's daughter's birthday. Like yours, my 12 inch just sunk after it was out of the oven--not as bad as yours though. My 9 inch sunk just a little. It tasted good however and everyone at the party loved it. My next white cake will be Nick Maglieri's white cake (from "Perfect Cakes"--I liked the color better and the taste--that is the one I should have made.

Sheryl

bethola Posted 15 Dec 2008 , 11:36pm
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tita9499

I've never in my 13 years of baking have heard of making a cake by adding milk to the dry ingredients. That's my tip off that the cake is doomed to fail.

Even with a sponge cake you don't see this.

Try this instead. Combine the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about 6 minutes) on med speed. Then add eggs one at a time, along with the flavorings. Sift the dry ingredients together and add them in 3 parts alternating them with the buttermilk. Scrape down the bowl often while mixing and the put them into the preheated oven immediately.

I think adding the milk to the dry ingredients first messed up the balance. It may have been a typo. Try it again before you give up on it.




I agree! Might try cake flour too. Just a suggestion.

Beth in KY

Tita9499 Posted 15 Dec 2008 , 11:37pm
post #6 of 11

Ditto Beth! Always, always, always use cake flour when making a cake. Gives it a more tender texture.

lisa5573 Posted 15 Dec 2008 , 11:41pm
post #7 of 11

Thanks for the ideas. I did use the cake flour. Maybe I'll try it again once I buy a new mixer!!

saap1204-- where did you find the recipe for the Nick Maglieri's white cake? I'm new to all of this!
icon_redface.gif

-Tubbs Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 10:50pm
post #8 of 11

Great catch! The finished cake looks fantastic!

saap1204 Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 11:54pm
post #9 of 11

It's in his book "Perfect Cakes" which I am hoping to get for Christmas. The recipe was in a newspaper a few years back. If you want the recipe, PM me and I will try to find it.

HTH

Sheryl

Sugarflowers Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 4:21am
post #10 of 11

I'm sorry that you had problems with the recipe wit great success.

Based on your description and photo there could be a couple of things wrong. If the cake was placed too high in the oven then the top will burn and the bottom will not cook properly.

Over beating can cause density problems as well as having leavening that is not fresh and active.

Carefully measure all ingredients and mix exactly as the direction state. It is a delicate cake, but it usually does quite well. Honestly, in all the times I have made this I have never had any of these problems.

HTH

Michele

JanH Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 7:54am
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa5573

I normally use mix for my cakes becuase it's so much simpler. The woman that ordered this cake was VERY specific, and she showed me pictures of previous cakes she ordered, and I knew she wouldn't be happy with cake mix.




Probably not a good idea to experiment with scratch baking for a customer. And you're putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on yourself, unless she specifically asked you if you baked from scratch....

It's perfectly acceptable to be a box mix baker:
(Even bakeries use pre-measured bases!)

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-612370-.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa5573

even after doubling the recipe, I didn't have enough batter for all of the cakes. I was making a 10 inch and a 6 inch.




A 10x2" round requires 6 cups of batter PER layer.
A 6x2" round requires 2 cups of batter PER layer.

You might find this thread help for making/baking & decorating your tiered/stacked/layer cakes:

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-605188-.html

Above thread has links to Wilton's cake preparation and serving charts. (Gives batter requirements by pan sizes as well as recommended baking times and temps.)

Also includes popular WASC cake recipe w/variations and American buttercream recipes and so much more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa5573

When the 10 inch cakes were finished baking I went to take them out of the oven, and the cakes had both fallen.




Handy cake troubleshooting charts:

http://tinyurl.com/2p5bdu

http://tinyurl.com/32goqe

http://tinyurl.com/6lpjww

http://tinyurl.com/6c745g

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa5573

They were VERY dense and not very sweet. My husband said that it reminded him of corn bread!




Did you aerate the flour before spooning it gently into your measuring cup and leveling with a knife drawn across the top of the cup... Or did you scoop and drag your measuring cup through the flour and shake to level?

Too much flour and/or overmixing (which develops the gluten) will result in a dense, and heavy cake....

....As for sweetness, quite a few folks think (American) cakes are TOO sweet:
(So finding a scratch recipe you like is a matter of personal preference.)

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-585757-.html

Great site for learning how (& why's) of baking from scratch:

www.joyofbaking.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa5573

Have you ever had cake batter be SO thick that it broke the mixer?




I have quite a few fruitcake recipes that only require the use of a stand mixer to make the batter. The addition of the fruit must be done by hand because the combination of batter and fruit is TOO stiff/thick.

If you hear your stand or hand mixer motor straining, it's necessary to either switch to a higher speed (or a more powerful mixer) or to stop the mixer and continue mixing by hand.

If my stand mixer wasn't adequate for the task at hand, I would never switch to my hand mixer....

Scratch baking requires much more attention to detail than box or doctored box baking. (Learning the proper measuring and mixing techniques, etc. is critical.)

Box cakes are VERY forgiving of baker error - scratch cakes are NOT.

If you love decorating, don't let making the cakes become something you dread. Go with what you're comfortable doing. icon_smile.gif

HTH

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