Needing A Boost

Decorating By springlakecake Updated 3 Mar 2010 , 6:30pm by springlakecake

springlakecake Posted 28 Feb 2010 , 9:24pm
post #1 of 15

I have converted to scratch baking over the last year. But I am having such inconsistent results that sometimes I just want to throw in the towel and go back to box mixes! I am so frustrated sometimes. But I do enjoy the process of making the scratch cakes. I don't know if the recipes I have chosen are just to finicky or I am just not a good baker. sniffle. I am so tired of baking and testing recipes to be honest. I don't want to eat any more cake!! (I am gaining weight btw...this is also frustrating me)

14 replies
JGMB Posted 28 Feb 2010 , 11:51pm
post #2 of 15

What kind of inconsistent results are you getting ... flavor, texture, sticking to pan, cakes not level . . . ?

I'm not promising that I can give you solutions, but I'm sure someone on this site can!!

springlakecake Posted 1 Mar 2010 , 1:27pm
post #3 of 15

mostly texture problems I guess. The recipes I was using

Toba Garretts Moist Yellow cake: I had texture problems with this one. Then I figured out that I wasnt creaming the butter/sugar well enough and that my butter was too cold. So I made the recipe this weekend and the texture was good, but the cake was a bit dry! I don't get it.

Toba Garretts chocolate fudge cake: I have had ups and downs with this cake too. For awhile the cake would suddenly fall right before it was done baking. I thought I had solved this too (another butter temperature problem) I thought the I had the butter too warm and it whipped too much air into the batter. So when I started using colder butter it was working beautifully! Then I made the cake again this weekend and when I took it out of the oven it sort of deflated and was too dense. The only thing I can think of that I did differently was that I turned the pan in the oven (because it was a 12 inch) so that it would bake more evenly. It didnt fall in the oven or anything (in fact it rose beautifully until I took it out of the oven).

I also had just made the white on white cake recipe by Rebecca Rather.. It tasted so good, but when I went to make it again, it just didn't bake up nicely. It kind of sank again, but it tasted great.

I just cant handle the inconsistencies of scratch cakes! I think it is me, not the recipes. Why is it sooo hard!!

minicuppie Posted 1 Mar 2010 , 1:40pm
post #4 of 15

If I cannot get good results from ANY recipe after 2 tries, I toss it and move on. I use a BC recipe written by TG that works every time and is pretty forgiving with substitutions, but her cakes don't work for me. Don't know why and don't care. My absolute fave LB cake recipe came from a 4H food and nutrition project I made a LONGGGG time ago. I found my "go to" chocolate cake recipe on the back of a can. Keep on moving until you get one you like and then start tweaking. Nothing wrong with an altered box mix, either. (no I am NOT getting into a box vs scratch back and forth, LOL!) Chin up....

SandiOh Posted 1 Mar 2010 , 1:51pm
post #5 of 15

I agree with minicuppie, if it's not consistent I move on...It took me months to find a yellow cake recipe I liked.
BTW, visited your web site, you make some gorgeous cakes!

springlakecake Posted 1 Mar 2010 , 4:59pm
post #6 of 15

I think I am just so sick of taste testing! I just need to find some recipes I can be confident about. I hate worrying that the cake might not taste good! I usually am confident with the decorating, but not the baking.

minicuppie Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 12:36am
post #7 of 15

Ok...you make pretty cakes. Your customers would not keep buying from you (no matter HOW lovely) if your product didn't taste good. Leave things as they are. If it's not broke, don't fix it!

kkitchen Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 1:09am
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by springlakecake

I think I am just so sick of taste testing! I just need to find some recipes I can be confident about. I hate worrying that the cake might not taste good! I usually am confident with the decorating, but not the baking.




No matter how reliable a recipe seem I always taste test. I am on a very strick diet, loosing a lot of weight - gained A LOT too messing with cakes. But whenever I do a cake, I taste test every layer. Just small pieces, like when I level it. Not a slice or anything. I call it 'QC' - same for my buttercream, fillings, fondant etc.

As far as TG recipes, try adding a pudding mix to it. It should solve the problem. Trust me.

minicuppie Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 1:25pm
post #9 of 15

The whole point of baking from scratch is the ability to control your ingredients and end up with a product free from chemicals and additives. Why go thru the time and expense if it needs a box of pudding to make it palatable?

springlakecake Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 2:10pm
post #10 of 15

oh yeah, I am not talking about the tiny slice from testing each cake before it goes out. I am talkign about trying completely new recipes taht is killing my waist line! LOL. I think I am just tired of the cake recipes that are yielding inconsistent results. Like one time it is awesome then the next, problems. I am sick of thowing away cake because I am not sure if it is good or not. You know when you bake from a box, you can be pretty sure that each time the cake is going to be the same. I guess it all comes from experience with each recipe.

nesweetcake Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 2:33pm
post #11 of 15

Have to tell you that sometimes from a box isn't always bad. I bake mostly from box for standard flavors and go from there. I even took a sheet cake to a gathering a week ago, and the little old ladies in the group were raving......they never had better cake, couldn't believe that it would be from a box, and also said no one bakes from scratch anymore. They were puzzled. They were trying to guess, scratch or box. The key to box baking is mix it correctly, bake it well (not over done or underdone) and find the right mix for you and your area. It may be a good stand by for you. Believe it or not, they could have made the same cake right from home. But most people just don't use a box mix correctly. Good Luck!

kkitchen Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 2:43pm
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by minicuppie

The whole point of baking from scratch is the ability to control your ingredients and end up with a product free from chemicals and additives. Why go thru the time and expense if it needs a box of pudding to make it palatable?




I shop at whole foods and I still see chemicals in everyday products.
So, a box of pudding can't hinder a batch of homemade cake.
Nothing these days is chemical free. Just for packaging there are preservatives.

Just my opinion

Sagebrush Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 3:14pm
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by minicuppie

If I cannot get good results from ANY recipe after 2 tries, I toss it and move on.




I wish I could do that! I live at high altitude, and it seems there aren't any cake recipes that I can get right w/o tinkering with them. WASC worked great at my in-laws house, but I'm still having problems with it here. I guess it would help if I tried more often, but I need to lose weight as well, so I put it off because I know once it's made it will be too easy to just have another slice whenever I want it and I want it a LOT icon_smile.gif

minicuppie Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 2:44pm
post #14 of 15

From scratch...eggs, butter, flour, milk, baking powder/soda, sugar, salt. Show me the chemical additives (other than anti-clumbing agents and which are organic themselves) in the plain jane bake from scratch products. (I said I wasn't gonna do this, didn't I?)

springlakecake Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 6:30pm
post #15 of 15

Well I have decided to throw in the towel with the recipe. I found a new recipe that I am hoping is a winner instead. It is Sylvia Weinstocks classic yellow cake. I am also planning to try a new chocolate cake. I am feeling more inspired again! *personally* I have nothing against a box mix. Baking from scratch was just an interest of mine to set my business above and beyond.

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