Wanting A Tall, Light, Fluffy, Moist Cake From A Mix!

Decorating By DiLynn Updated 9 Dec 2009 , 6:16pm by txnonnie

DiLynn Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 4:42pm
post #1 of 19

Wanting to know what we are doing wrong in making our cakes (from mixes). We have been given tips from a local gal that had wonderful cakes, by baking them at 300 degrees for a longer time of course. However, they do not turn out light, fluffy, and moist. Neither were hers crumbly. WHAT ARE WE DOING WRONG? We have special mixing instructions that end up mixing for about 5 min total.

18 replies
Mike1394 Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 7:39pm
post #2 of 19

Guess that special mixing advice isn't that special. Toss out what you've been told, and read the instructions on what you bought.

Mike

Texas_Rose Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 7:44pm
post #3 of 19

Lots of times when someone shares their secret for baking great cakes, they leave something important out...otherwise it wouldn't be secret anymore. My guess is that the girl who told you to make them that way left something out.

sadsmile Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 8:12pm
post #4 of 19

Moisture is weight. Angel food cake is light and fluffy but not moist.

Adding a touch(no more then a TBSP more oil and water will equal more moisture but it will also make the cake more dense.

Adding an egg can give you the height and fluffiness, but I don't like adding extra eggs because I can really taste them and I don't like to taste the egg. It's personal preference. You may need to experiment with your liquid amounts to get what you want.

As far as mixing goes... the more you mix the more you activate the gluten and it will be stickier and gummy and heavy and flat from over mixing.

For a box mix you can well whip the liquid ingredients together for a more even absorption of the dry mix. Try lightly incorporating the wet and dry together and letting it set for 2 minutes and then give it another quick shot or two of the mixer. The time will help the lumps absorb the wetness and breakdown with out over stimulating the gluten.

sadsmile Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 8:17pm
post #5 of 19

I almost forgot... What type of mixer is also important. Two minutes on medium in a KA is very different from all the action two minutes on medium on a hand mixer will do.

indydebi Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 8:21pm
post #6 of 19

also sift your box mixes to remove all the lumps. You wont' believe the texture difference in your cake! Beautiful!

kakeladi Posted 8 Dec 2009 , 8:37pm
post #7 of 19

Beside what the others have side, make sure you are using the right size3 pan for the amount of batter. That alone can make a huge difference.

Have you tried the *original* WASC recipe I have posted? It is not such a light, fluffy cake but it sure is moist and sooooooo yuuuummmmy icon_smile.gif

JanH Posted 9 Dec 2009 , 12:04am
post #8 of 19

Everything you need to know to make, decorate and assemble tiered/stacked/layer cakes:

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

Above super thread has popular CC recipes for American buttercreams, several types of fondant and doctored cake mix (WASC and other flavor variations) - and so much more!

How are you mixing/baking the recipe. Here's what I do.

One of the basic techniques in scratch baking is measuring flour accurately.
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.

Also, 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. Overmixing will also cause a cake to sink.

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.

Handy cake troubleshooting charts:

http://tinyurl.com/2p5bdu

http://tinyurl.com/32goqe

http://tinyurl.com/6c745g

http://tinyurl.com/6lpjww

Bake at 325F, using both inverted flower nails and bake-even strips. Can use Wilton cake making charts as guideline but the WASC always cook past the maximum stated times...

http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-wedding-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm

HTH

DiLynn Posted 9 Dec 2009 , 4:03am
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

Guess that special mixing advice isn't that special. Toss out what you've been told, and read the instructions on what you bought.

Mike




Plain cake mixes just don't cut it. I'm thinking an ingredient was withheld from us. Thx

DiLynn Posted 9 Dec 2009 , 4:07am
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadsmile

Moisture is weight. Angel food cake is light and fluffy but not moist.

Adding a touch(no more then a TBSP more oil and water will equal more moisture but it will also make the cake more dense.

Adding an egg can give you the height and fluffiness, but I don't like adding extra eggs because I can really taste them and I don't like to taste the egg. It's personal preference. You may need to experiment with your liquid amounts to get what you want.

As far as mixing goes... the more you mix the more you activate the gluten and it will be stickier and gummy and heavy and flat from over mixing.

For a box mix you can well whip the liquid ingredients together for a more even absorption of the dry mix. Try lightly incorporating the wet and dry together and letting it set for 2 minutes and then give it another quick shot or two of the mixer. The time will help the lumps absorb the wetness and breakdown with out over stimulating the gluten.




Thanks, I think we will try less mixing for one thing. The five minutes just seems like too much. The only thing we have to add to our mix is water and oil. The egg is supposedly already in the mix. Just can't figure out what is missing.

DiLynn Posted 9 Dec 2009 , 4:12am
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadsmile

I almost forgot... What type of mixer is also important. Two minutes on medium in a KA is very different from all the action two minutes on medium on a hand mixer will do.




Oh yes, I forgot to mention, we are using a KA mixer. That is exactly what I thought as well. Another reason why the 5 min has to be way too much. Di

DiLynn Posted 9 Dec 2009 , 4:14am
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

also sift your box mixes to remove all the lumps. You wont' believe the texture difference in your cake! Beautiful!




We will give this a try as well. I did notice that the mixes have quite a lot of lumps, but tried to remedy that by only adding a tiny bit of water at first to get everything dissolved and moistened. Thx much!

3GCakes Posted 9 Dec 2009 , 4:24am
post #13 of 19

I sifted today as Indydebi suggests....and had to throw out almost a teasopoon of unsiftable junk....it DOES make a big difference!

debster Posted 9 Dec 2009 , 4:27am
post #14 of 19

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, the comment on eggs are in the mix already. I have never seen eggs in the mix, if your leaving out eggs that says a lot. Did you read on the box the eggs are there? Let me know about this, goodness once I forgot to add the eggs and it didn't rise , was gooy and what a mess. I use mixes all the time and people rave over my cakes. Check the egg situation. I also bake at 325 for a longer period of time so I just don't understand this.

Mike1394 Posted 9 Dec 2009 , 4:36pm
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by debster

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, the comment on eggs are in the mix already. I have never seen eggs in the mix, if your leaving out eggs that says a lot. Did you read on the box the eggs are there? Let me know about this, goodness once I forgot to add the eggs and it didn't rise , was gooy and what a mess. I use mixes all the time and people rave over my cakes. Check the egg situation. I also bake at 325 for a longer period of time so I just don't understand this.




It sounds like a commercial pillsbury mix. The only thing you need to add is the oil, and water.

Mike

Kitagrl Posted 9 Dec 2009 , 4:46pm
post #16 of 19

I think mixing for 5 minutes isn't good for a box mix....

I always use Duncan Hines and pudding mix as well as adjust other ingredients...sometimes I also mix two different mixes together (such as white and yellow) and it really makes the flavor very nice.... the mixing of types plus the addition of ingredients makes it unrecognizable to most people as a box mix...they don't know what it is, but I've often had people choose the doctored box mix cake over a scratch cake in a tasting!

TerriLynn Posted 9 Dec 2009 , 5:00pm
post #17 of 19

I have heard (somewhere) that adding a little Wilton Merinque powder makes a cake light and fluffy. Has anyone tried this?

BooBooKitty Posted 9 Dec 2009 , 5:53pm
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

also sift your box mixes to remove all the lumps. You wont' believe the texture difference in your cake! Beautiful!




I started sifting my mixes a couple of years ago, and I couldn't believe the difference. It's so easy to mix the cake now with no lumps! thumbs_up.gif And you don't have to beat the mix to death to get it to mix.. thumbs_up.gif

txnonnie Posted 9 Dec 2009 , 6:16pm
post #19 of 19

A package of Dream Whip added to batter to help fluff the cake.

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