Three Yes Or No Questions For Scratch Bakers.....

Decorating By giraffe11 Updated 7 Jun 2009 , 3:45am by miny

giraffe11 Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 6:33am
post #1 of 67

I am interested in how many scratch bakers actually do any of the following. I was trying to set it up as a poll, but it's not cooperating with me.....

1) Do you always wrap your cake in plastic wrap upon removing it from the oven to "keep the steam in"?

2) Do you routinely bake at 325 instead of 350?

3) Do you alwasy tend to soak or syrup your cakes with simple syrup and the like?

I don't routinely do any of these things, but I constantly see them mentioned on here. I am just curious what the percentage of people is that actually do these 3 things all the time and/or often.
I actually did wrap in plastic wrap once and it made the cake denser/heavier. It was plenty moist, I suppose. But I would've preferred it unwrapped. Generally, I just try to find a good recipe that doesn't require all of these extra steps. What do y'all do?
You can just yes or no the 3 questions if you like.
Thanks much, Heather

66 replies
arwa Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 6:58am
post #2 of 67

yes to all....

bakermommy4 Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 7:11am
post #3 of 67

Though I don't frequently bake from scratch...I still do all 3. It's standard procedure in making my "doctored" box cakes, and my scratch cakes.

cakeandpartygirl Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 7:13am
post #4 of 67

No to # 1
I bake at 300 for #2 but my oven may be off I have just never checked it
#3 it depends on the recipe

Homemade-Goodies Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 7:14am
post #5 of 67

Hi Heather...my answers:

1) Yes-ish - I allow to cool to just above room temp, then wrap in aluminum foil and refrigerate til needed. Cling film and I have a problem wtih each other...
2) Close - I bake at 170C, which converts to 335F.
3) No, I only simple syrup some of my cupcakes, never cake.

My main 2 recipes are Hershey's Collector Cocoa Cake, and Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcake batter, which I use 1/2 buttermilk-1/2 milk. Both are moist, without being too heavy & dense. I bake my 9x13 size in a glass pan...though that may have no bearing on anything.

HTH thumbs_up.gif

umgrzfn Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 8:13am
post #6 of 67

May be a silly question, but what is "simple syrup"? Thanks

sayhellojana Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 8:30am
post #7 of 67

1. No. I store cakes in airtight cake carriers.
2. Nope. I bake at 350 unless the recipe or pan size says otherwise
3. No. I'll use a syrup to add a certain flavor, but most of the time I flavor my cake well enough and their always nice and moist.

G_Cakes Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 8:49am
post #8 of 67

1. no let them cool at room temp

2. Yes/No depends on the size of cake I am baking larger 300F anything else 325F

3. No unless the recipe calls for it

Rylan Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 8:56am
post #9 of 67

When I bake from scratch, I always let it cool completely before wrapping it with layers of plastic wrap. I bake them at 325-250 degrees and never use simple syrup as my cakes always turn out moist. My key is to start with a great recipe and not overbaking it.

Oh and hi Cara, simple syrup is a mixture of water and sugar that is heated up. People use it to keep their cake moist and sometimes to add flavor.

solascakes Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 8:59am
post #10 of 67

1, I always wrap my cakes to seal moisture but not when it's hot,I allow it cool a bit but still warm
2, I bake at 180c-200c and adjust as I go along,at times I need to turn the top heat off to cook the bottom properly at the last stages of baking
3, Never use syrup on my cakes,but I use them for cupcakes.

HannahLass Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 9:53am
post #11 of 67

1: I cool my cakes then Wrap in cling film and foil on top if they are goung to rest for more than 1 day.
2: I bake at 150c
3 I hve never used a simple syrup on my cakes they are wonderfully moist as they are. I use a debbie brown madeira recipe that is fab every tiem.

mclaren Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 10:17am
post #12 of 67

ok my turn.

1) not always. i wrapped them after i read on here that it would make them moistier (is that a word?), but somehow i didn't notice any difference, wrap or not, my cakes are always moist. but if i know i'm not using the cake right away, i do wrap it up nicely, so that when i keep it in the fridge or freezer, it doesn't absorb any other smell, and become dry.

to be honest, i know how a dry cake taste like, coz i've bought cakes that were dry before. but my cakes - only bake from scratch - are always moist. i'm not sure if the climate plays a role, as i live in a humid country.

2) yes, ever since i found CC, i've been baking all my cakes at 325, with homemade baking strips around the pan.

3) never tried soaking any of my cakes in a syrup yet.. like what i mentioned in #1, i never had a dry cake before, so i never see the need of soaking the cakes in syrup, i would imagine having a soaking wet cake if i were to attempt that.

just for the note, i've left my cakes outside, unwrapped, for a few days, and they are always moist. so i really can't relate to claims that a scratch cake is always drier than a boxed mix cake, as i've never experienced that before. but i guess it's because it's hot and humid here, where i live.

bettinashoe Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 10:31am
post #13 of 67

I only bake from scratch. I love to bake and it gives me as much pleasure as actually decorating the cake.

1. After the cakes have cooled, I do a double wrap on them and refrigerate or freeze them before leveling and torting.
2. I always bake at 300 degrees. This was a tip provided at the Austin Cake Show by one of the master chefs. He indicated this keeps the cake from rising in the middle allowing you to have an even layer with very little waste as you don't have to cut off much to level the cake. When baking at the lower temperature the cake doesn't rise as quickly so it doesn't form that center cap that has to be cut off. Always use a heat core.
3. I use simple syrup when the recipe calls for it, if I'm trying to create a unique flavor, or if I know the cake is going to be sitting out for an extended period of time at a party. Normally I do not use it though.

Happy Baking!

artscallion Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 11:07am
post #14 of 67

1. I let my cakes cool completely, unwrapped.
2. I do adjust the temp down for larger pans, not so much to avoid the dome, as I like to have lots of trimmings to use for Spackle. But so I can leave it in long enough to cook the center without overcooking the sides.
3. There's a difference between moist cake and wet cake. Moisture comes from the internal structure of a cake. Adding liquid to an already baked cake makes it wet, not moist. Some people like that. But I never use it. If I felt a cake needed it, I'd start looking for a different recipe.

giraffe11 Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 11:38am
post #15 of 67

Wow. Thanks for all the replies. I am glad to see that most people don't "wrap the steam in" or use syrup as a rule. I always like the moistness of my cakes, but you know.......the temptation to try other "improvements" is always there.... icon_smile.gif
I may try cooking at a lower temperature just to see how I like it once or twice.
Feel free to keep chimining in......
Thanks again

Evoir Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 11:48am
post #16 of 67

1. No. Cool completely before wrapping or placing in airtight container.

2. Yes. I bake cakes at 170 deg C, about 330 deg F.

3. No, only cupcakes.

HamSquad Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 12:00pm
post #17 of 67

1. Sometimes yes, sometimes no, typically let cool to room temp, wrap in
wax paper or when they are room temp, smaller cakes goes into
freezer storage bags then pop them in the frig.
2. No
3. No
Hammy

mgigglin Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 12:01pm
post #18 of 67

ok here's my contribution to your survey... icon_smile.gif

1. I do wrap my cakes in saranwrap but after they have cooled off a bit. I will wrap them and put them in the freezer to keep that moistness in the cake tho.

2. I bake at 325 for all my cakes

3. I don't as a practice use simple syrup. I usually don't need to unless the recipe calls for it.

Kim

PinkZiab Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 12:10pm
post #19 of 67

1) Do you always wrap your cake in plastic wrap upon removing it from the oven to "keep the steam in"?

No. I only wrap my cakes once they are completely cool.


2) Do you routinely bake at 325 instead of 350?

It depends on the recipe, and also the oven (home standard gas oven vs commercial convection oven)


3) Do you always tend to soak or syrup your cakes with simple syrup and the like?


I always use simple syrup, but it is NOT to make up for a dry cake (my cakes are VERY moist). I use it for (A) an extra layer of flavor (my syrup is always flavored to complement the cake) and (B) RETAIN the moisture over the days of decoration and also since my cakes require refrigeration (which naturally dries out a cake) . Also, I think the word "soak" misleads people. You should never SATURATE your cake with syrup to the point that it is WET. I brush my syrup on with a pastry brush to just moisten it. Again this will NOT make a dry cake any better... you should always start with a good, moist, cake... it's only to RETAIN moisture, not CREATE moisture.

Deb_ Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 12:18pm
post #20 of 67

1) Do you always wrap your cake in plastic wrap upon removing it from the oven to "keep the steam in"?

No, I let them cool then wrap in plastic. I tried wrapping them hot one time after reading about it here, but in my opinion it made my cake *gummy*

2) Do you routinely bake at 325 instead of 350?

Only my large tiers (over 10")

3) Do you alwasy tend to soak or syrup your cakes with simple syrup and the like?

Never use simple syrup. Tried this once too after reading it here, it was for a family Bridal shower. I could tell by the reaction on people's faces that they didn't like the cake. I asked them what was wrong and they said "Did you change your recipe?" We all hated it.

mpaigew Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 12:27pm
post #21 of 67

No, no, and no.

1. I let my cake cool completely, then wrap it in saran (if freezing it) or go ahead and decorate it.

2. I always bake at 350.

3. I never use a simple syrup. I think this method depends on what type of cake you are using...if it's a dry type of cake, I probably would. I use a simple scratch white cake and alter it for specific flavors, and it's not necessary to add more moisture.

Mike1394 Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 12:30pm
post #22 of 67

Always cool then wrap.

Depends

Depends on what flavor combo I'm going for.

Mike

cylstrial Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 2:07pm
post #23 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by umgrzfn

May be a silly question, but what is "simple syrup"? Thanks




Simple syrup is a mixture of water, sugar, and the flavor of choice. You boil the water and sugar and let it cool. Then you add the flavor. Then you take it and brush it onto the cake. It makes the cake so moist!!

I love it.

P.S. There are many ways to put the syrup on the cake. I actually take a spoon and let it drip on the cake. I kind of swirl my hand around. Hope this helps!

snowboarder Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 4:37pm
post #24 of 67

No to all, and I don't rig my pans (I use Magic Line) with baking strips, heating cores or flower nails.

PinkZiab Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 4:46pm
post #25 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowboarder

and I don't rig my pans... with baking strips, heating cores or flower nails.




Ditto... I've never found the need for any of these.

mombabytiger Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 5:04pm
post #26 of 67

1. cool almost completely then wrap well.
2. 325 - convection oven-low fan (I know, I know, but I don't have a still oven at work)
3. I use a little bit of simple syrup but I put a flavoring in it. Vanilla simple syrup works well on chocolate cake for some reason. Grand Marnier simple syrup is fabulous with an orange butter cake. Etc.

for the simple syrup questioner: 1 c water - 1 c sugar. Boil until sugar is dissolved. If you leave it to boil and get caught up in something else (who me?) you will have caramel!

artscallion Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 5:09pm
post #27 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkZiab

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowboarder

and I don't rig my pans... with baking strips, heating cores or flower nails.



Ditto... I've never found the need for any of these.




Me three.

MichelleM77 Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 5:20pm
post #28 of 67

No to all.

CakesByJen2 Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 5:37pm
post #29 of 67

I noticed more than 1 person say they do not normally use syrup on their cakes, but they do on cupcakes. I'm just curious why that is?

As far as the survey, I let my cakes cool to room temp (or close), then refrigerate a couple of hours or so until firm enough to handle easily to fill and assemble, let settle a few hours, then crumb coat. I never wrap them up unless I'm not going to be able to get them crumb-coated that same day for some reason, or to freeze.

Baking temp will depend on the recipe & oven. If your cake is getting too browned, or the sides are geting done to quickly and not rising evenly, then lower the temp 25 degrees.

I've never tried a syrup; ;never had a reason to.

giraffe11 Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 5:43pm
post #30 of 67

Dkelly.....you sound just like me....... I keep reading suggestions on CC and thinking "well, maybe I should try it" but now....especially with all the replies on this thread.....I'm thinking if it ani't broke, don't fix it. Don't need gummy, funky-tasting cake! icon_biggrin.gif



Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

1) Do you always wrap your cake in plastic wrap upon removing it from the oven to "keep the steam in"?

No, I let them cool then wrap in plastic. I tried wrapping them hot one time after reading about it here, but in my opinion it made my cake *gummy*

2) Do you routinely bake at 325 instead of 350?

Only my large tiers (over 10")

3) Do you alwasy tend to soak or syrup your cakes with simple syrup and the like?

Never use simple syrup. Tried this once too after reading it here, it was for a family Bridal shower. I could tell by the reaction on people's faces that they didn't like the cake. I asked them what was wrong and they said "Did you change your recipe?" We all hated it.


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