Advice For A First Time Scratch Baker?

Decorating By kel58 Updated 27 Oct 2009 , 1:20pm by kel58

kel58 Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 1:31am
post #1 of 20

Hello CC,
I was recently asked by a co-worker to do a carved cake. Im already a little worried about it, but iv read some turorials and im going to give it a shot. Well today I thought, "ill bet ill need a different cake receipe for this!". So on to CC i go and saw a few highly rated receipes that are all from scratch. Up to this point i have only made one attepmt at scratch cake and it failed misserably. I was wondering if I could get some helpful tips from you all. I was hoping to not have to make a test cake before hand to make sure i dont screw it up. If there is extra cake in the house, Ill eat it. Not so great for the diet eh. Anything you can tell me would be fantastic!

19 replies
prterrell Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 1:55am
post #2 of 20

The first time you make any scratch cake, follow the recipe to the letter. Don't make any substitutions. You can't really expirement with a recipe until you've made it once as written.

cakeandpartygirl Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 2:10am
post #3 of 20

All ingredients would need to be room temp
Make sure that you really mix sugar and butter/shortening/oil really well because that will be your basis for the whole cake.
Mix each egg well before adding another
Don't overmix adding the flour it makes the cake tough

HTH

Lita829 Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 2:11am
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by prterrell

The first time you make any scratch cake, follow the recipe to the letter. Don't make any substitutions. You can't really expirement with a recipe until you've made it once as written.




I completely agree with prterrell. I always follow a new recipe to the T until I get to know and understand it. After I get comfy with it...I change it or expand upon it to suit my needs.

Lenette Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 2:12am
post #5 of 20

Just know that baking from scratch is a lot of trial and error. From that you can gain the skills of not only being a great baker but being able to pick out great recipes based on reading the ingredients. You will learn what works so be patient with yourself as with any new skill.

Personally, I really like recipes with buttermilk or sour cream. I think it improves the texture. Check out the scratch WASC thread. Sorry, I don't know how to link it but if you look under new posts it should be there. This recipe is great and an easy one to start with.

I also agree with the PP, go with the recipe the first time also, measure accurately. That is very important. Equally as important is not to over bake. Check the cake before you think it is done and pull it out when a large moist crumb sticks to the toothpick or skewer. If you wait until it is dry the cake will be overdone. Remember the cake will continue to cook a bit in the hot pan right after you pull it out. You will get a feel for it.

Sorry this is long but I hope this helps a little! I will post if I think of anything else. icon_smile.gif

kel58 Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 12:56pm
post #6 of 20

Thanks you all for you advice. I was thinking of trying the Vanilla Butter Cake from Mermaid Bakery. Has anyone ever tried this one? good starter receipe?

-K8memphis Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 1:14pm
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by kel58

Hello CC,
I was recently asked by a co-worker to do a carved cake. Im already a little worried about it, but iv read some turorials and im going to give it a shot...
...Up to this point i have only made one attepmt at scratch cake and it failed misserably. I was wondering if I could get some helpful tips from you all. I was hoping to not have to make a test cake before hand to make sure i dont screw it up.




I think it is overdoing it to do your first scratch cake with your first carving without testing anything. Because the type of cake is so crucial to success of your sculpting.

I mean by all means make the greatest scratch cake on the planet but hoping to make the perfect scratch cake that will also perform as art work the first time, the first one you make is a tall order--not that it can't be done I'm just saying it's a lot.

If all goes well great.

If it doesn't I see a ton of frustration in your near future.

Crystal ball thoughts for you.

kel58 Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 1:20pm
post #8 of 20

I think your right K8memphis. I think im gonna give it a trial run and see how it goes. My son's b-day is the week before this car cake is due so maybe ill use it for his. If its a dissaster i can always fall back on the doctored cake mix i usually use for his cake.

KHalstead Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 1:26pm
post #9 of 20

the best tip I've got is make sure you have enough of all of your ingredients and enough time to rebake the cake a couple times if necessary!

-K8memphis Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 1:26pm
post #10 of 20

Oh excellent!! I mean testing is so important. And I totally get the moment on the lips forever and ever ever on the hips and upper arms and muffin top, and chiny chin chin-- icon_biggrin.gif

But I could foresee the smoke rising from your ears on this one, maybe from the oven too. icon_biggrin.gif

However a nice pound cake would probably work from the get go too.

MichelleM77 Posted 22 Oct 2009 , 12:00am
post #11 of 20

Weigh your ingredients if you can.

I love the Vanilla Butter Cake from Mermaid Bakery. icon_smile.gif

Kims_cakes Posted 22 Oct 2009 , 12:16am
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by kel58

Thanks you all for you advice. I was thinking of trying the Vanilla Butter Cake from Mermaid Bakery. Has anyone ever tried this one? good starter receipe?




I really like that cake. It's a simple scratch cake too. Good luck!

sugarandslice Posted 22 Oct 2009 , 1:27am
post #13 of 20

I would reiterate all the advice you've had so far. I've recently 'discovered' the scratch wasc mentioned by a PP and would say it is the best cake I've come across for taxture (carving too), taste and easy to make. Also, as someone else said: ALL ingredients at room temp!!

Measure everything if you can as it's a much more accurate way to go while you're getting familiar with a recipe. Recipes are like scientific formulae; it's alchemy and must be treated as such.

Also, bake with love!!!

Best of luck
icon_biggrin.gif

kel58 Posted 22 Oct 2009 , 3:10am
post #14 of 20

how long would you all say that it takes for your ingredients to come to room temp.? How does that work with eggs? Thanks again for all the advice. I cant wait to give it a try

prterrell Posted 22 Oct 2009 , 3:16am
post #15 of 20

I generally take things out of the fridge and let them sit for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how warm it is that day. Butter I might take out the night before, especially if it is coming from the freezer. I get my mise en place in order and then take care of other things, like working on fondant/gumpaste decos. That way my milk (if I'm using it) is measured out and only what I'm using is sitting out, not the entire jug. With the eggs, I just have the number I will be using sitting out. If I need them seperated, I'll go ahead and do that.

LaBellaFlor Posted 22 Oct 2009 , 4:14am
post #16 of 20

DO NOT overbeat. I believe this is culprit to a dry cake.

kel58 Posted 27 Oct 2009 , 1:52am
post #17 of 20

Alright everyone. Here I go!!! Keep you fingers crossed that its not a complete flop!

sugarandslice Posted 27 Oct 2009 , 3:33am
post #18 of 20

Good luck
icon_biggrin.gif

Lita829 Posted 27 Oct 2009 , 12:11pm
post #19 of 20

I'm sure it will come out great icon_biggrin.gif

kel58 Posted 27 Oct 2009 , 1:20pm
post #20 of 20

okay. Well its baked, cool and leveled. I just tasted some of the scrap and relized i know know that last time i ate scrap cake. It tastes good, and its moist, but its more dense than the doctored cake mix im used to. Is this normal? Is the Vanilla Butter Cake from Mermaid bakery supposed to be a little more dense? Hmmmm

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