I Can Not Stand The Baking Part!

Decorating By lisa5573 Updated 19 Feb 2010 , 5:06pm by chefdot

lisa5573 Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 3:52am
post #1 of 27

Sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong place...

I LOVE decorating cakes, but I have a very hard time actually baking the cakes.

I use a doctored cake mix, so it should be pretty simple, but I have a lot of trouble. If anyone has any advice for me I'd love to hear it. My main problems are that the cake is always super dense and almost seems a little underbaked, but they are always dark on the top of the cakes. I always bake them longer that the suggusted time and no mater how long I bake them they always seem underbaked. I also have problems with the cakes sticking in the pans. I use bakers joy baking spray in the pans.

Although I have a lot of problems, everyone always raves about my cakes. My sister and I even laugh about it since they're not even scratch cakes. icon_smile.gif

Advice anyone?

26 replies
Deb_ Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 3:55am
post #2 of 27

I noticed you live in CO are you following the recipe for high altitude? That may make a difference.

As far as the cakes sticking, try using shortening to grease your pans and then cut parchment or wax paper to line the bottoms and then grease the paper too. That will help a lot!

jmr531 Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 4:04am
post #3 of 27

If you are not already using one, try sticking a flower nail in the center of the cake while baking. It acts as a heating core. Remember to grease and flour the flower nail. For large cake, I use 2 or 3 flower nails spaced apart throughout the cake.

FromScratch Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 4:09am
post #4 of 27

I'm not a mix bakr, but could it be possible that you are adding too much to the mixes? Maybe there's too much moisture in your recipe... or too much sugar? Sugar in the mix... sugar in the pudding mix... sugar in the coffee creamers... it adds up. Without seeing your recipe I can't be sure. Do the cakes deflate on you when you take them from the oven?

As for the sticking, how long are you letting them cool in the pan? I find that my cakes would stick more if I let them cool too much in the pans.

denetteb Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 4:12am
post #5 of 27

Check your oven temp with a thermometer to make sure it isn't running hot, maybe lower it 25 degrees, baking strips around the edge slow down the baking of the outside so the inside can bake more without the rest getting overdone. And the flower nail to bring heat in to the middle. The denseness is due to the recipe. The doctored recipes make a more dense cake. I only tried a doctored recipe once and didn't care for the texture. But I am not carving or using fondant so I also didn't need the denseness.

milmil95 Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 4:13am
post #6 of 27

I use a mixture of 1cup shortening, 1cup cake flour, and 1cup vegetable oil. Mix together in your mixture for about a minute (not too much or it whips up like whip cream and doesn't work right) then take a pastry brush and brush it on the pan. Store the rest in an air tight container in the fridge for future cakes. Works soo much better than the spray stuff. I was having the same problem you were having until I started using this recipe.

Also, if your cakes are too dense how much liquid are you using? When I put too much my cakes are heavier and take longer to bake. For the WASC recipe I use a hair under 1 cup of water and it come out better than what I was doing before.

HTH and good luck!

retaunton Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 4:15am
post #7 of 27

I agree with Deb, check into the high altitude if it applies to you. I use the Wilton Cake Release and love, love, love it. I use it for anything that I am baking, muffins, cornbread. I found a recipe on this site, sorry I don't remember by who. I think it was a post in a forum for making your own. It is 1 cup flour, 1 cup vegetable oil and 1 cup shortening. I also use a cake mix extender recipe. They are a more dense and they take longer to bake. I used the flower nail as a heating core for the first time recently and my cake baked better. Do you have a cake tester? I use the deeper pans and a toothpick does not work for testing for doneness. Just keep trying. Practice does make perfect! Good Luck!

lisa5573 Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 4:37am
post #8 of 27

Thanks everyone!

The recipe I'm using is just a cake mix (i've been using the Pilsbury with the pudding in the mix) and I follow the regular directions (for high altitude, I'm at almost 6000ft). I add 1/2 cup of sour cream to the batter.

I use the Wilton Bake Even Strips, and I put a flower nail in the pan if it is larger than a 10in cake. Tonight I made an 8in cake without the nail, and I had the normal problems.

Do you think the problem may be the oven having inconsistant tempatures? I have an oven thermometer, but it seems that the oven may be getting hotter during cooking. Could that be possible? If so, does anyone know if the oven could be repaired?

Thanks again for the help. I've been baking for a few years now, and I've always had the problems. I've made over 50 cakes like this! icon_confused.gif

Deb_ Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 1:09pm
post #9 of 27

Lisa it could be one of the heating elements in your oven and if it is it's very easy to replace.

I'm not familiar with the different mixes because I don't use them but maybe try another brand and see if you get the same results. If you do, then maybe it is the oven.

Good luck, I know how frustrating it can be and I hope you can figure out what it is that's going wrong.

Mike1394 Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 1:21pm
post #10 of 27

I'll do the baking for ya, and ship to ya. icon_biggrin.gif

Mike

sweetpea223 Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 2:09pm
post #11 of 27

Lisa,

I bought that Pillsbury mix too and I didn't like the pudding in the mix. It did look like it's underbake...I prefer Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker. I always do scratch cakes and occasionally do some box mixes when I am pressed for time.

KHalstead Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 2:22pm
post #12 of 27

Mike, if I thought for even ONE second that it would be cost effective I would TOTALLy pay you to bake all of my cakes!!

julzs71 Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 2:30pm
post #13 of 27

An oven can be fixed. Mine did that and it was the temprature gauge. It was on an Air Force base so they fixed it. It took like 2 minutes. I was really bumbed, because everyone around me had brand new appliances and I had old ones.

Mike1394 Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 3:44pm
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHalstead

Mike, if I thought for even ONE second that it would be cost effective I would TOTALLy pay you to bake all of my cakes!!




I never looked in to it LOLOL. I do wonder though. How much are the USPS priority shipping boxes? They aren't that much. Hmmmmm Got me thinking now. LOLOL

Mike

lisa5573 Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 4:06pm
post #15 of 27

Thanks everyone. I think I'll try the WASC recipe next time.

Mike- I agree with Khalstead! I would totally have you bake my cakes if I could!

saycheese Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 4:25pm
post #16 of 27

Hey Lisa...I am in Greeley and wanted to let you know...I use the WASC with Betty Crocker mixes and it always turns out perfect. I have tried different scratch recipes and adjust for high altitude and haven't found the right one yet...It's frustrating I know. icon_rolleyes.gif

lisa5573 Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 5:12pm
post #17 of 27

Thanks saycheese. I'm excited to try the WASC recipe. Sometimes high altitude baking is the worst!

Bella214 Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 6:35pm
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa5573

Sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong place...

I LOVE decorating cakes, but I have a very hard time actually baking the cakes.

I use a doctored cake mix, so it should be pretty simple, but I have a lot of trouble. If anyone has any advice for me I'd love to hear it. My main problems are that the cake is always super dense and almost seems a little underbaked, but they are always dark on the top of the cakes. I always bake them longer that the suggusted time and no mater how long I bake them they always seem underbaked. I also have problems with the cakes sticking in the pans. I use bakers joy baking spray in the pans.

Although I have a lot of problems, everyone always raves about my cakes. My sister and I even laugh about it since they're not even scratch cakes. icon_smile.gif

Advice anyone?




I don't like the baking part either but it is more because i don't have the patience lol.

I have a suggestion for the sticking problem. I don't remember where I got this recipe but I've been using i for years and it has always worked perfectly, and it is cheaper than the stuff you buy in the can.

1 cup of crisco, 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of canola/veggie oil
Mix together well to eliminate clumps that may form and store in an airtight container at room temperature

Use a pastry brush to brush it onto your pans before putting cake in.

lisamenz Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 7:00pm
post #19 of 27

Maybe these few tips will help you. I have great turnout with them. First of all bake at 325 to 330 oven temp. Helps bake more even with a longer time. Alternate your cakes on the oven rakes as they are baking after they have had time to bake a little. I do this several times as the cakes are going thru the baking process. Also before you put your cake in the oven when they are just batter, spin your pans several times to have the batter go to the sides. My cakes come out so even I don't even have to crown them most of the time. As far as your cake sticking to your pan when they come out of the oven. Be very generous with your pan coatings. I love and use Pam with butter and flour spray. Thats just my choice., but just coat them extra good, don't be afraid to coat those pans well, I actually flip my cakes right out of the pan when they come out of the oven onto the cooling racks, never have any problem with sticking, with this method. The cake doctor book is a great way to learn how your cake mixes work. I do both cake box and scratch and sometime combine the two. I have had wonderful feedback from my clients on how great they taste and how moist. Study what your cakes product do to the mix, to make it better, eggs, sour cream, flavorings etc. Remember learning your outside of the cake is as important as the inside of the cake. Nothing worse then a beautiful cake that taste horrible. ( Sounds like you don't have this problem :0) Hope this helps. I love this site, so many knowledgable people who love to share. thumbs_up.gif

TexasSugar Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 7:10pm
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa5573

Thanks everyone!

The recipe I'm using is just a cake mix (i've been using the Pilsbury with the pudding in the mix) and I follow the regular directions (for high altitude, I'm at almost 6000ft). I add 1/2 cup of sour cream to the batter.




Are you reducing the oil any? Adding the sour cream to all the other with out making adjustments could be throwing off the 'fat' in the recipe.

whisperingmadcow Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 7:39pm
post #21 of 27

Lisa5573 and saycheese, my fellow High Altitude bakers! Sometimes I feel like I am the only one on this site!

I never use the bake-even strips because I can never get the cake to bake correctly. Also, line the bottom of your pan with parachment and use shortening and flour to grease your pans. Also, are you making the adjustments for high altitude listing in fine print on the back of the box? Some people miss that. And finally, the cake mix that I fine the works EVERYTIME is DH Super moist (I belive it's DH, may be BC) You don't have to make ajustments to it and i have never needed a flower nail/heating core with it.

Thats what I have learned over the last two years of baking in Colorado!

Please Please Please if anyone ever finds a scratch recipe that tastes good/moist, PLEASE pass it on to me!

lisa5573 Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 8:00pm
post #22 of 27

I do follow the high altitude instructions from the box. I don't reduce the oil, I use the 1/3 cup that the box calls for. Any ideas on how much I should reduce it by? Maybe its trial and error...I have no patience either!

Thanks again everyone! You're all so helpful!

TexasSugar Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 8:55pm
post #23 of 27

Lisa, I'm not 100% sure if that is the issue, it was just a thought. 1/3rd cup doesn't sound like a lot of oil though.

I'm not big on trail and error person myself. Instead of playing with a recipe (baking wise) to tweek it I look for other recipes out there. Of course I don't know the whole formula behind cakes to know what to change when I make other changes.

This is a recipe that uses a white cake mix and sour cream. It looks like the water and egg amounts were adjusted.

http://www.grouprecipes.com/22058/southern-keeper-sour-cream-white-cake-mix.html

On another site I found where it says you replace the water with the sour cream. So if you add 1/2 cup of sour cream, use 1/2 cup less of water.

chefdot Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 11:31pm
post #24 of 27

In my past experience I will not use Pillsbury if it's just a straight or doctored cake mix. I haven't tried it in a WASC cake mix so I don't know about that. But I tried the WASC for a wedding cake for the first time and not only did everyone love it but it baked up so great and with no hump!

milmil95 Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 4:35am
post #25 of 27

I use Pillsbury in WASC and have great results. Everyone loves the taste and how moist the cake is. The cake is still very durable and works great for stacking and carving.
Not to mention I can get the mix for $0.88 per box. icon_lol.gif

whisperingmadcow Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 2:16pm
post #26 of 27

Actually, at a high altitude, Pillsbury was the only brand I would get to work consistently until I found the super moist brand. DH always stuck to the pan and BC always fell in the middle. I have used it for the WASC recipe I have with favorable results.

chefdot Posted 19 Feb 2010 , 5:06pm
post #27 of 27

I will have to try Pillsbury for the WASC cake. It's cheaper too!

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