a785girll Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 1:50pm

Hello All
I keep trying and tying to make a homemade cake but it keeps coming out very dry and tasteless I need any and everyone that can help solve this problem to text me back TIA

31 replies
__Jamie__ Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 1:59pm

What recipe are you using? Gotta know that first.

prterrell Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 2:56pm

Yup. Need to see the recipe.

a785girll Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 11:13pm

i just followed the receipe on the back of the box of swans cake flour 1234 cake

__Jamie__ Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 11:15pm

?!?!

__Jamie__ Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 11:22pm

http://www.prestoflour.com/Portals/TheArtOfBaking/portal.aspx?tabid=14&;rid=507&crumbs=false

Is this it? Looked it up on google based on your description in the PM you sent.

__Jamie__ Posted 4 Nov 2009 , 11:25pm

I would a., sub out the milk for buttermilk, b., make sure you are creaming the holy heck out of the butter and sugar, really until is almost double in volume, and fluffy and pale yellow, and c. lower your baking temp to 325.

prterrell Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 1:54am

I also use Swan's cake flour, but as I transfer the flour to a cannister (found a dead scorpion in a box that I had stored in cabinet after opening once, so now it goes in an air tight cannister so nothing gets in there), I do not have the box on hand to reference the recipe.

Based on the recipe to which Jamie linked, here are my recommendations:

Use butter NOT margarine and increase to 1.5 cups
Make sure the butter is room temp (at least 65 def F)
Eggs and milk should also be room temp and either use buttermilk or whole milk and increase to 1-1/4 cups
Cream the butter before adding the sugar, you want the butter to be soft and light before you add the sugar
Scrape the bowl, then add the sugar, make sure you cream the sugar and butter together until it is very light and fluffy (sugar grains should be practically undetectable to the eye and color should be a very very very pale yellow)
Sif the flour BEFORE you measure it
Do NOT dip the measuring cup into the flour and scoop it out, instead, spoon sifted flour into the measuring cup and then level with the top of the cup with a butter knife, do NOT pack the flour into the cup with the spoon, also make sure you are using a measuring cup designed for measuring dry goods, not one designed for measuring liquid
Then RESIFT the flour with the other dry ingredients before adding to the liquid ingredients
DO add eggs one at a time and beat until the egg has completely dissappeared before adding the next one
Go ahead an add the extracts at this point.
Then add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened
Then add 1/3 of the milk (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp + 2 tsp is 1/3 of 1-1/4 cups) and mix until just incorporated
repeat additions until all dry ingredients and milk are added, them mix just enough for the batter to come together and be smooth, at this point should be LESS than 30 seconds.
Bake at 325 NOT 350

HTH!

patticakesnc Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 2:04am

where's the oil? I have made scratch with crisco and it is dry, sub oil and it is moist.
I see butter, doesn't seem like enough fat to me.

Musings9 Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 2:18am

Maybe a moistening syrup could be used.

prterrell Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 2:52am
Quote:
Originally Posted by patticakesnc

where's the oil? I have made scratch with crisco and it is dry, sub oil and it is moist.
I see butter, doesn't seem like enough fat to me.




Butter has plenty enough fat in it (it's almost 100% fat). Cake does not require oil in order to be moist. There is an entire class of cakes called "butter cakes". They contain no oil and are moist and delicious. icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 2:56am
Quote:
Originally Posted by prterrell


DO add eggs one at a time and beat until the egg has completely dissappeared before adding the next one



I see this in directions frequently, but have never understood why this makes a difference in beating one egg at a time or beating all of them until they disappear. Can you educate me on why this method works best? (I'm not a scratch baker, so it's ok to dumb it down for me! icon_redface.gificon_biggrin.gif )

__Jamie__ Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 3:36am

Oi! Totally missed the margarine part. Margarine has no place in a scratch cake...in my little old opinion.

patticakesnc Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 3:48am
Quote:
Originally Posted by prterrell

Quote:
Originally Posted by patticakesnc

where's the oil? I have made scratch with crisco and it is dry, sub oil and it is moist.
I see butter, doesn't seem like enough fat to me.



Butter has plenty enough fat in it (it's almost 100% fat). Cake does not require oil in order to be moist. There is an entire class of cakes called "butter cakes". They contain no oil and are moist and delicious. icon_biggrin.gif




Yes but again a solid fat and a liquid fat makes a huge difference in the moistness of a cake. Just like I said about the crisco vs oil in cakes I have made. They call for shortening but they are dry...sub oil and you have a great moist cake.

__Jamie__ Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 4:03am

Patti....a cake that is made with oil has a moistness that is, well, honestly greasy. A moist butter only cake has no grease feel/texture. I don't know if that really makes a lot of sense, but I know butter only scratchers know what I mean. It's a cake mix kind of moistness that you get from oil. So, it's kind of not "moist", it's closer to just being oily. I dunno. I'm not shunning that kind of cake, but lots of folks (I think) don't think a butter cake is moist, when really, it is. Just not to the point that an oil based recipe will be.

Eh....I hope that made sense.

__Jamie__ Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 4:07am

This is the scratch white cake recipe I use. In fact, there are several pans of it in the oven now. It is divine. Moist, but certainly not as "wet" as anything oil based.

http://cakecentral.com/recipes/6865/buttermilk-white-cake

patticakesnc Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 4:09am

I don't know I am just going from my experience. I make a lot of scratch cakes. Normally that is all I do. I have a lot of old recipes that call for shortening in the cake and they are very very dry. I was instructed one time to replace the shortening with oil and I did and it was a very moist cake. Maybe due to what I have been use to in my life these did not seem oily to me.

I am not saying that a butter cake should have oil in it I am just going by what I was taught with the liquid fat vs solid fats. Now, I do know that in my cakes with butter I am to melt the butter. Maybe that comes in again with making it into a liquid. Not sure but maybe it distributes the fat more evenly for a better moistness.

Jesusa Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 5:50am

Are you overbaking it? and have you tried using Jello sugarless instant pudding mix? Add dry Jello instant pudding in the dry ingredients. I always use Jello and my cakes are moist. Try it and let me know how it works. Good-Luck!

patticakesnc Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 5:54am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesusa

Are you overbaking it? and have you tried using Jello sugarless instant pudding mix? Add dry Jello instant pudding in the dry ingredients. I always use Jello and my cakes are moist. Try it and let me know how it works. Good-Luck!




Nice Idea. I haven't used it in my scratch cakes but do use it in some of my WASC versions. I will try that too....funny just haven't thought of it LOL.

iwantcookies Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 6:40am
Quote:
Quote:

DO add eggs one at a time and beat until the egg has completely dissappeared before adding the next one

I see this in directions frequently, but have never understood why this makes a difference in beating one egg at a time or beating all of them until they disappear. Can you educate me on why this method works best? (I'm not a scratch baker, so it's ok to dumb it down for me! Embarassed Very Happy )




Indydebi,
from what i have learned, adding the eggs too quickly curdles the batter (like if you add lemon juice to milk), especially if they are not at room temperature. But this can be recitfied by adding a little bit of flour to bring the batter back to a smooth consistency.
Someone correct me if i am wrong!

I only use butter in my recipes and they come out beautiful and moist!
Over mixing the batter after adding the flour will make the cake tough and chewy (like bread) because you overwork the glutens in the flour.

lilthorner Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 6:49am
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by prterrell


DO add eggs one at a time and beat until the egg has completely dissappeared before adding the next one


I see this in directions frequently, but have never understood why this makes a difference in beating one egg at a time or beating all of them until they disappear. Can you educate me on why this method works best? (I'm not a scratch baker, so it's ok to dumb it down for me! icon_redface.gificon_biggrin.gif )




Debi there are a few reasons why you should add eggs slowly. I won't say one at a time because when you are doing a larger amount of batter and you are adding 32 eggs, you really don't want to go one at a time. you do want to go slowly so the egg can fully incorporate into the batter before you add the rest of them. Eggs provide volume (protein) , tenderness from the fat (yolk) and also moisture. if not properly mixe din, you could have tunnels tough spots and Lord knows what else.

Tee-Y Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 7:47am

I use margarine and my cakes don't come out dry.

1. I cream till very light and fluffy.
2. I beat my eggs till very foamy before I add to the margarine mixture alternating with flour.
3. I bake at a low temperature of about 300-325.
4. I remove about 2 tablespoons of flour from the measurement given.

lilthorner Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 8:19am

Iwantcookie, if u curdle eggs you can just turn up the mixer a bit for just a second or 2. That will mix the egg in. You don't have to add extra flour

indydebi Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 4:18pm

thanks to all for the egg explanation! thumbs_up.gif It's all logical and makes good sense, which means I get it and can understand it. Y'all are good 'splaners! icon_biggrin.gif

DanaG21 Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 4:56pm

I have to agree with using oil. For my basic vanilla & chocolate recipies I use Bake Wise by Shirley Corriher. I love her cakes. They are moist, delicious and great for decorating. I've tried some cakes from the Cake Bible and while yummy and beautiful the are still just too dry. I just recently tried this white cake and it was really good and white!!! I've been looking for a truly white cake and this will be it.
http://cakecentral.com/recipes/2165/a-better-white-scratch-cake

I think so many people are used to the moistness and texture of box cake that they don't understand how scratch cake is different. You just have to keep trying and looking for the perfect recipie but one of the first things I do is look for what the fat is....

Mike1394 Posted 5 Nov 2009 , 7:56pm

Debi, with the ggs your creating an emulsion like when making mayo. i prfer to give my eggs a lil whisking first. The better the eggs are incorporated the finer the crumb will tend to be.

Your ingredients do not have to be room temp. You need your butter to be soft to incorporate with the sugar.

More than likely you didn't cream the two well enough. The recipe is a tad short on sugar, and milk.

Oil in a cake = YUCK

Mike

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