After trying countless yellow cake recipes (I think I've lost count ), I've finally found a recipe that seems to have a good balance of moistness, density and flavor. The only problem is that it doesn't seem to rise much and if it could be just a bit "fluffier", it would be perfect.
Has anyone ever tried subbing in some self-rising flour to add some height and lighten the texture? This recipe uses all-purpose flour. I tried substituting some cake and pastry flour but it just seemed to make it more dense.
Self-rising flour already contains flour and chemical leaveners (baking powder, baking soda). If you use self-rising flour in a recipe, you have to omit the salt and leaveners called for in the recipe.
Contrary to what you'd think might happen, too much leaveners in a cake batter will actually result in the cake falling and being extremely dense.
Instead of switching flours, try separating the eggs and mixing the yolks in as normal. In a separate bowl (with clean, grease-free beaters), beat the egg whites until they are stiff, but not dry. Fold them into the completed batter.
This will provide that extra fluffiness. You may have to play with the amount of egg whites you whip. You may decide that it only needs half of the egg whites whipped and the other half in as normal.
Thanks so much for the tips! This baking stuff is quite a science - very challenging for a right-brained person!! I'll try folding in some of the whites and see what happens. If that doesn't work, I'll just go back to the WOW recipe - that's a good one too.