It seems as though when I am baking my cakes they are too moist and have lots of crumbs. I just finished Wilton class 1 and was using box cake mix. The tops of the cakes were so moist and sticky, but the cake tester came out clean so figured they were done. And when I go to cut into them there are lots of crumbs, like it wants to fall apart. I have heard about changing the amt of oil in cake mix or adding dream whip. In case I get asked by friends to make a cake for them I want to start figuring out what is a good cake batter. Also, when it comes to sculpting the cake what do you all use as far as batter goes? Thanks for any help.
Hi and Welcome to CC, prichard.
Decoding CC acronyms:
Everything you need to know to make, decorate and assemble tiered/stacked/layer cakes:
Above superthread has popular CC recipes for crusting American buttercreams, several types of fondant and doctored cake mix (WASC and other flavor variations) - and so much more.
When measuring flour, do you use the "scoop and drag" method and then shake to level.... You should be aerating the flour prior to gently spooning it into the measuring cup and using a straight edge to level.
When I make any of the WASC cake recipes, I sift all the dry ingredients together into a large bowl, and mix all the wet ingredients in a second larger bowl.
Then I add the dry to the wet and beat for 2 mins. using an electric hand mixer at medium speed.
If using a stand mixer, I would mix at the lowest speed for 2 mins. or less.
When it comes to mixing, MORE (as in more speed or longer mixing time) is not BETTER. Overmixing will develop the gluten and result in a tough cake.
There is also a lot of baking help in the above thread that might be useful to you.
Handy cake troubleshooting charts:
Additionally, if you are not using a sharp bladed, preferably serrated knife to cut your cakes, it's possible you're not cutting them cleanly.
Rather, a dull blade will compress (smoosh) through the layers - breaking the edges of the slices through blunt force until you're left with a fairly shapeless mass of crumbs....
Indydebi's photo tutorial on cutting clean slices of layer cake:
Perhaps you could lower the tempature on the oven and bake just a little longer. Be sure to bang the filled cake pans on the counter to break the air bubbles. Additionally you could let your baked cakes sit in the pan just a few minutes before cutting the excess and turning onto the cooling rack.