Help With Scratch Recipe

Baking By princesscatt Updated 29 Apr 2010 , 11:37pm by newmansmom2004

princesscatt Posted 21 Apr 2010 , 1:29am
post #1 of 16

Ok, so I normally use doctored cake mixes to make my cakes and people love the taste. So I have been playing around with some scratch recipes. I LOVE the chocolate cake recipe from Toba Garrett's Well dressed cake...but i'm still having a hard time getting the vanilla cake down pat. I have tried several recipes and they taste like they are missing something. The last one I tried was the Scratch WASC recipe...it was awful? I sift my cake flour, try not to over mix or over bake but I just can not for the life of me get this scratch thing down? Any tips??

15 replies
SandiOh Posted 21 Apr 2010 , 9:31pm
post #2 of 16

I think finding a scratch yellow cake you like is not that easy. IMO, you really need to try a few recipes to see what you like...possibly even playing around with the recipe until it suits your taste. There was some sort of thread about different yellow scratch recipes and a chart that compared them...hoping Jan will see this thread and point you in the right direction.
As far as the scratch WASC....I haven't tried it, but I've seen alot of people write how they can't get consistent results with it....I'm not even tempted to waste my time.
Good luck, I hope you find a recipe you like and Happy Baking to you.
Sandi

princesscatt Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 2:24am
post #3 of 16

Thanks...yeah the scratch WASC had an off taste to it...tried it with and without butter milk... I will look for the thread.

honuwebd Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 2:57am
post #4 of 16

My favorite is Elisa Strauss' from her Confetti Cakes.

ladyonzlake Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 3:04am
post #5 of 16

I use Sylvia Weinstocks recipe. It shrinks a bit on me but I make it work. Toba's is great too!

Larkin121 Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 3:34am
post #6 of 16

Ditch the scratch WASC. It's unreliable and its baking science (cake ratios) are very off. It's just not a well written recipe.

I've tried a ton of vanilla cakes, it really takes some searching to find one that's best for you. To be sure that you have the result the author intended, be sure you know enough about scratch baking science and techniques (not saying you don't, just putting it out there). If you don't know about the science of it, try getting a book on it like Bakewise or The Secrets of Baking. It will make ALL of your recipes turn out better.

Good luck!

princesscatt Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 11:08am
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larkin121

Ditch the scratch WASC. It's unreliable and its baking science (cake ratios) are very off. It's just not a well written recipe.

I've tried a ton of vanilla cakes, it really takes some searching to find one that's best for you. To be sure that you have the result the author intended, be sure you know enough about scratch baking science and techniques (not saying you don't, just putting it out there). If you don't know about the science of it, try getting a book on it like Bakewise or The Secrets of Baking. It will make ALL of your recipes turn out better.

Good luck!




I will have to check those books out...Thanks!

Buttacream Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 4:56am
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larkin121

Ditch the scratch WASC. It's unreliable and its baking science (cake ratios) are very off. It's just not a well written recipe.

I've tried a ton of vanilla cakes, it really takes some searching to find one that's best for you. To be sure that you have the result the author intended, be sure you know enough about scratch baking science and techniques (not saying you don't, just putting it out there). If you don't know about the science of it, try getting a book on it like Bakewise or The Secrets of Baking. It will make ALL of your recipes turn out better.

Good luck!




So glad you said this Larkin. I have tried this recipe and it taste so good. I keep getting request for it. My main problem is that it keeps cracking. It is sooo unstable and I am tired of fighting with it. So sad that it taste so good to be such a flop icon_sad.gif

LindaF144a Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 3:24pm
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by honuwebd

My favorite is Elisa Strauss' from her Confetti Cakes.




I second this recipe. I have used it several times now and I just keep adding my different flavors to it via liquors (2 Tplsp) or extract (Vanilla, almond, vanilla bean paste, etc.) It may be (ok, I need a stronger word) definitely is a bit over leavened for cupcakes. But you want a flat cake for cakes and I like a slight mound for cupcakes, so I lighten up on the BP. also her 2 3/4 cup measurement doesn't match 10 oz. It is more like 12 oz. But I bake by weight and just used the 10 oz and it works fine. 10 oz is 2 1/4 cups. I looked everywhere I could on the internet and found no errata for her book. The only thing I can think of is she uses a different weight for her flour which can vary depending on how you measure it. I just sift out 10 oz of flour directly into a bowl on my scale so I have no idea what that converts to in cup size.

This book says it has a looser crumb than other white cakes, but I did not find this to be the case in either cake or cupcake, so I'm not too sure what she means by that. I just know it is good.

Oh, and I use 2% percent milk icon_surprised.gif I know, taboo, but it works for me and we like the taste and it has not affected the outcome of the cake having less fat. That's all that counts, right? icon_biggrin.gif

Just to add: The one time I didn't adjust the BP, the cupcakes domed in the oven and then flattened near the end of the cooking time. I know enough about baking to know that this is not a desirable outcome, so I adjusted BP and it took care of that.

newmansmom2004 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 3:37pm
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by honuwebd

My favorite is Elisa Strauss' from her Confetti Cakes.




I'm glad you had better results with that one than I did. I thought it was one of the worst I've tried yet - dry, crumbly, tasteless and just disgusting. I do lots of scratch cakes and had high hopes for this one but it was just awful. What is it with vanilla scratch cakes that makes them so darned difficult to make with good flavor and texture???

LindaF144a Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 3:49pm
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmansmom2004

Quote:
Originally Posted by honuwebd

My favorite is Elisa Strauss' from her Confetti Cakes.



I'm glad you had better results with that one than I did. I thought it was one of the worst I've tried yet - dry, crumbly, tasteless and just disgusting. I do lots of scratch cakes and had high hopes for this one but it was just awful. What is it with vanilla scratch cakes that makes them so darned difficult to make with good flavor and texture???




I was surprised when you said this! We loved it. But I do remember that I not made it as is straight out of the book. In the book she said it had a neutral taste, so I added 2 Tblsp of brandy.

And Cakelove has a good yellow cake recipe also. I've made that one before and it went over real well. I do remember that the Cakelove recipe was thinner than the Confetti Cake recipe. I don't know if that makes a difference or not in moisture though.

newmansmom2004 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 4:16pm
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144

Quote:
Originally Posted by newmansmom2004

Quote:
Originally Posted by honuwebd

My favorite is Elisa Strauss' from her Confetti Cakes.



I'm glad you had better results with that one than I did. I thought it was one of the worst I've tried yet - dry, crumbly, tasteless and just disgusting. I do lots of scratch cakes and had high hopes for this one but it was just awful. What is it with vanilla scratch cakes that makes them so darned difficult to make with good flavor and texture???



I was surprised when you said this! We loved it. But I do remember that I not made it as is straight out of the book. In the book she said it had a neutral taste, so I added 2 Tblsp of brandy.




I love her cakes and was elated to find her Confetti Cakes book merely by accident when on vacation and couldn't wait to try the recipes. The white (vanilla) cake was the first one I tried. I was so disappointed when this one turned out the way it did that I haven't tried anymore from her book. I'll check out the Cakelove yellow cake recipe - thanks!

jennywenny Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 5:15pm
post #13 of 16

I found the cakelove cake a little bit crumbly. My favorite cake is the one from smitten kitchen. Look up birthday cakes on her website and you'll find it. It has a very generous amount of buttermilk in it. I volunteered to make some cakes for a fellow blogger here in san diego and she wanted 'box mix yellow cake' and I said I refused to make box mix but I was happy to make this recipe and they were absolutely over the moon about it.

I also like elise strauss' white cake but it seemed extremely sweet. I like that for a 'white cake' and the smitten kitchen for 'yellow cake'!

Make sure to spoon your flour when you measure and not scoop, I think this may sometimes be the problem with dry scratch cakes.

newmansmom2004 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 6:35pm
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennywenny

I found the cakelove cake a little bit crumbly. My favorite cake is the one from smitten kitchen. Look up birthday cakes on her website and you'll find it. It has a very generous amount of buttermilk in it. I volunteered to make some cakes for a fellow blogger here in san diego and she wanted 'box mix yellow cake' and I said I refused to make box mix but I was happy to make this recipe and they were absolutely over the moon about it.

I also like elise strauss' white cake but it seemed extremely sweet. I like that for a 'white cake' and the smitten kitchen for 'yellow cake'!

Make sure to spoon your flour when you measure and not scoop, I think this may sometimes be the problem with dry scratch cakes.




Good info, Jenny - thanks!!

LindaF144a Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 10:43pm
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennywenny

I found the cakelove cake a little bit crumbly.




Hmmm. I think I need to have someone describe crumbly, because I did not get that on the Cakelove cake. Mine held together and did not fall apart (my idea of crumbly). It was so good that son stopped eating after first bite and just stared at it (my first time making scratch cake). When I asked what was wrong, he said this is so delicious. He ate another piece before he left and had the rest of the cake I sent home to him gone by the next day. He keeps asking when I'm going to make it again.

I guess no matter what the recipe we are all going to get different results. thumbs_up.gif

newmansmom2004 Posted 29 Apr 2010 , 11:37pm
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144

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I guess no matter what the recipe we are all going to get different results. thumbs_up.gif




I think you're right on the money with that!

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