Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Decorating By fathfamilycakes Updated 7 May 2010 , 2:24am by Bunsen

fathfamilycakes Posted 4 May 2010 , 5:46pm
post #1 of 24

when trying to make cakes from stratch and they alwasy turn out dense and not fluffy what is wrong?

23 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 4 May 2010 , 5:50pm
post #2 of 24

Scratch baking is a very fine art that few have mastered well..It can take years to learn to bake great scratch cakes...Keep trying new recipe and practice..You will eventually find recipes that you like and work well for you.

chelseak Posted 4 May 2010 , 5:59pm
post #3 of 24

Make sure your baking powder is not expired or old icon_smile.gif

Chiara Posted 4 May 2010 , 6:09pm
post #4 of 24

Scratch cakes are different because boxed cakes are highly processed so the texture will always be different. To be honest, the two should not be compared because they are not the same.

But, as stated earlier, scratch cakes can be more difficult however, one thing that will help with making it lighter is getting the proper amounts of flour. You should in fact sift the flour and gently remeasure it after it has been sifted. By doing this you are actually getting a true measure and you are also adding air to the product. When you do not sift you are adding more flour and believe it or not up to 1/4 cup depending upon how packed the flour is.
When measuring your fats here is another trick too. For example if you do not have measured butter you would make sure you got the proper amounts by using a wet measure cup. So lets say, I want 1 cup of butter. You would take a 2 cup measure and add 1 cup of water to it. Then proceed to add the fat. Once the water level reads 2 cups you have your perfect cup of fat. Dump the water (it does not harm the fat) and then your measurement is perfect.
Don't give up. You will get it and it will taste great. The two should not be compared. Box bakers and scratch bakers are two different creatures and I venture to state that you should not ask each of them what their preferences are or you will see the war that arises. Lots of arguments on here about that.
I do both. If I am donating for fund raising etc...I use boxes that I buy on sale for a $1. because people don't care. If I want an original and healthier option I bake it 100% organic. So I actually have 2 sugars in my house, 2 flours etc...if it is for me or my guests they get scratch only and much better quality.
Don't give up. You will find your favs and then you will be able to rely on them.
ciao Claire

fathfamilycakes Posted 4 May 2010 , 9:22pm
post #5 of 24

so if i was going to start selling cakes would you recomend that i buy bulk box cakes or try the scratch baking? I hate the baking part i just love the decor. so buy the boxes is easier but i dont want people to pay for box cake.

Shalott Posted 5 May 2010 , 4:32am
post #6 of 24

I'd recommend continue practicing your baking from scratch. Some people (myself included) can always tell from the flavour if the cake's made from a box mix.

GenGen Posted 5 May 2010 , 5:03am
post #7 of 24

the first "scratch" cake i ever made though i'm not certain it could be called from scratch is a WASC cake i found the recipe here. its basicaly one you use two cake mixes and add a bunch of ingredients to it. it comes out very "scratch like" but gives you the boost of the mix.

Loucinda Posted 5 May 2010 , 12:20pm
post #8 of 24

If you are not happy with your results, then it is likely that your clients won't be either.

For the scratch baking, wieghing the ingredients is more accurate than measuring them. Try that and see if it helps if you are dead set on just scratch cakes.

I used to do the scratch cakes, AND the doctored mixes both for cake tastings - no one ever chose the scratch, so I quit making them for the most part. I sitll make a few from scratch for family - but rarely for a client.

Do not feel you cannot sell a cake that starts from a box -there is absolutely nothing wrong with a cake made that way.

leah_s Posted 5 May 2010 , 2:02pm
post #9 of 24

I've been baking from scratch since I was 9 yeas old in 4H, so I truly don't understand the problem. Unless it's this.

Think about bread. There's the pre-sliced bread that comes in a package from the grocery. It's almost fluffy. DH calls it "marshmallow bread" due to the texture.

Then there's artisinal bread made by the little bakery with the wood fired oven, where they let the dough rise for 24 hours naturally. It has a firm crust and is chewy.

People buy both. They're both bread but they're not the same. One has all sorts of dough conditioners and preservatives to create that soft, fluffy texture, because it's not particularly natural. The other is more traditionally what bread always was.

And to me the analogy with boxed cake and scratch cake is there. I can always spot the difference both in taste and texture.

And I'm going to quit writing now.

jammjenks Posted 5 May 2010 , 2:06pm
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by fathfamilycakes

when trying to make cakes from stratch and they alwasy turn out dense and not fluffy what is wrong?




What recipe are you using? Can you link or post an example. Maybe it is supposed to be dense.

Adevag Posted 5 May 2010 , 2:08pm
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by fathfamilycakes

so if i was going to start selling cakes would you recomend that i buy bulk box cakes or try the scratch baking? I hate the baking part i just love the decor. so buy the boxes is easier but i dont want people to pay for box cake.




There is no reason to feel guilty for making cakes using a box mix. If you really hate the baking part, then using boxed cakes would be a great option for you. There are many who use it. If you one day will start enjoying the process of scratch baking, then you just start. It's not a very big deal.

kermitncupcake Posted 5 May 2010 , 2:25pm
post #12 of 24

I personally like scratch baking, but it takes the right recipe and the "love" as my hubby says, to make it work. I do use box if im short on time or busy.

pinky73 Posted 5 May 2010 , 2:54pm
post #13 of 24

I have done both on a very limited scale. My scratch cakes were terrible. I have been using the WASC with great results and that works fine for me as a purely hobby baker so I prefer those. One thing I have learned from both experience and here on these wonderful forums is DON'T GIVE UP and do what is most comfortable for you. If you really rather bake from scratch, keep experimenting. If a scratch cake turns out to your liking, make notes to yourself about it, time and temp of baking, ingredients and their brands, weather that day, etc., sometimes that helps me get more consistent results. If you would prefer to use the box mix, do it and don't feel guilty about it.
Leah S, you have got my mouth watering for a really good loaf of home made bread..geez, there's not much better in the world than the smell of freshly baked bread with a nice chewy crust..hand over the butter.

Loucinda Posted 5 May 2010 , 3:20pm
post #14 of 24

Yumm......artisan breads!!! I bake all my breads from "scratch" - I even have 2 sourdough starters here own and one from the 1800"s!) I personally would take a slice of bread over a piece of cake! (I love to decorate though!)

There is absolutely nothing wrong with however one chooses to bake their cakes....do what you like, what is comfortable for you, and what your clients want. Easy peasy! icon_smile.gif

Cakelayer Posted 5 May 2010 , 5:30pm
post #15 of 24

I like the challenge of baking from scratch and I've found that the recipes that whip the egg white separately and are folded into the other ingredients are lighter and fluffier. There are many that use this method.

DianaJJ

KHalstead Posted 5 May 2010 , 5:53pm
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

Yumm......artisan breads!!! I bake all my breads from "scratch" - I even have 2 sourdough starters here own and one from the 1800"s!) I personally would take a slice of bread over a piece of cake! (I love to decorate though!)

Loucinda you mean the starter has been around since the 1800's?? Like the kind where you use the starter, add to it, and reserve some for the next time?? And that has continued on and on since the 1800's?


I had my SIL recently ask me if I wanted some starter from some bread she had that was started like 10 yrs. ago and I thought she was joking!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with however one chooses to bake their cakes....do what you like, what is comfortable for you, and what your clients want. Easy peasy! icon_smile.gif


Couturecupcakes Posted 5 May 2010 , 5:53pm
post #17 of 24

Overbeating can make your cake too dense.

ladyonzlake Posted 5 May 2010 , 5:54pm
post #18 of 24

As mentioned above...scratch cakes and box cakes are 2 different breeds. Your scratch cake will not be light and fluffy unless you make a chiffon cake or an Angel Food cake.

I bake from scratch and my clients prefer scratch. You will find that scratch cakes have more flavor than box cakes and there is also different types of scratch cakes which will give you different textures. I bake mostly butter cakes which a a little heavier but not as heavy as a pound cake.

Make sure you are beating your butter and sugar until it's light and fluffy and be sure to sift your cake flour...I measure all of my ingredients in grams since I do large volumes and you may find this helps you.

The Cake Bible is a great resource to scratch baking loaded with tips and information.

SUELA Posted 5 May 2010 , 6:20pm
post #19 of 24

Doctored cake mixes are a great place to start with many books out there on how to add yummies to your mix. There is the cake Mix doctor and she has a second book out as well.

It tends to be a big debate on cake central...usually I can tell the difference, but more because scratch is dense whereas the box mixes are lighter. Some bakeries use box mixes and it's a don't ask don't tell policy...if customers don't ask, they don't tell. I ask what they prefer.

I can say the Hershey Cocoa chocolate cake recipe is fool proof and yummy. Sadly it's hard to locate hershey cocoa in my aprt of Canada

Loucinda Posted 7 May 2010 , 1:10am
post #20 of 24

KH - yes, the starter is actually from the 1800's - there is a group that has kept it going. I have both of them in a dried state too - just in case something would happen to the batch I have out. The one I made is actually more "sour" than the 1800's one. Here is the link to getting it, you give them a donation to help keep it going.

http://carlsfriends.net/

cabecakes Posted 7 May 2010 , 1:31am
post #21 of 24

I know I'm going to start an agrument (I don't totally agree with the statement I'm about to make), but Food Network's Alton Brown says that most recipes cannot compete with box mixes, because home bakers do not have access to the sophisticated ingredients that can be found in the commercial cake mixes. I personally use box mixes all the time, however, I doctor them up. Noone has ever accused me of using a box mix. Frankly, I wouldn't care if they did if they liked the cake. Most of my cakes are for friends and family, and I work full-time, so I will take any advantage I can get. I just made a DH strawberry cake mix and subbed 1/3 cup water with 1/3 cup strawberry pie filling. It tasted great. The person recieving the cake thought so too! Not a big doctor up job, but it made it taste great and was super-moist. On the other hand, when I have time to do it... I love a good scratch cake too!

Kitagrl Posted 7 May 2010 , 1:45am
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shalott

I'd recommend continue practicing your baking from scratch. Some people (myself included) can always tell from the flavour if the cake's made from a box mix.




I wanted to add that, not to jump in on the debate...but I have some great scratch recipes as well as doctored cake mixes that I make, and just as many people love the boxes (they don't know they're boxes) as they do the scratch ones.

Even my husband, who has eaten LOTS of ALL of my cakes loves a good doctored yellow cake mix cake!!! haha.

It just depends on who you are...but I will say that a good majority of customers are going to be looking for sort of a "bakery style" texture and taste in the cake...so while I use scratch for several flavors, I still keep using a doctored cake mix for my vanillas, (yellow and white) and sometimes chocolate if its being mixed with a box vanilla. (Scratch chocolate if in a wedding or on its own, not with vanilla box). People rave on them.

nancyg Posted 7 May 2010 , 1:58am
post #23 of 24

I have a silly question. If you use a lot of box cake mix....Is it possble to buy wholesale in large quantities...400 boxes etc. Name brand preferably Duncan HInes.

Does anyone know of anywhere cheaper if in quantities than Wal-Mart or Grocery stores.....

Bunsen Posted 7 May 2010 , 2:24am
post #24 of 24

If you want to get good at scratch baking here are a couple of tips:

1. buy a weighing scale and weigh your ingredients
2. start simple - if a recipe contains anything more than butter, sugar, flour and eggs leave it alone for now!
3. Try a simple sponge eg victoria sandwich and get that right first, scratch is all about technique, once you master the basics you can make anything.
4. be accurate and follow recipes exactly, you can start substituting ingredients and adding your own touches but not until you get the feel for what each ingredient brings to the cake.

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