Oh, my, gosh - what a day... I've baked three cakes - all of them didn't work out! I needed just one 14" square cake for a 5th birthday to decorate tomorrow. I followed the recipes exactly, have an oven thermometer, fresh flours, free range eggs, fresh baking powders, etc.
The first one was a sponge recipe that I had not tried before, it came out flat as a pancake and had somehow split horizontally (like the batter had split), totally inedible ---> in the bin.
The second cake I tried (thinking ok, i've never had much success with sponges in the past, never this disastrous though, normally they just sink in the centre. I'll use my back up plan - the yellow WASC). Used the dump all then mix in liquid method - it rose very little, incredibly dense, very buttery, inedible ---> in the bin.
Ok, so the third cake, yellow WASC again - used my method of creaming butter and sugar, adding eggs, extracts, then folding in alternatively dry flours and milk with wooden spoon. The batter looked and tasted beautiful, I thought, right now this looks great, put it in the tin, smoothed it over and into the oven. It rose more than the previous one (but still not as much as my usual ones), looked good, cooked for 50mins, took it out, put a dry tea towel over it to let it cool. Check on it in 10 mins and it has flattened, again looks flat as (maybe not even 1" thick), tried some, really buttery and dense and inedible ---> this one has yet to make it to the bin, I think I'm just in denial and wallowing in my tragic baking results.
It is now 11:30pm in Western Australia, I've resorted to going to bed and heading out to IGA at 8am and picking up a sponge to carve up and decorate. In a very low, unhappy state of affairs - my confidence in my baking has totally been shot.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, can someone please suggest to me where I went wrong? This has never happened before, am so upset. This is my first real paid order for a friend and it's not starting off very well. Please I need some advice...
for the 14" WASC @ 325 degrees F. it should take longer than 50 minutes. I think it was underbaked and it caused it to fall.
Also, did you make sure that your pans were COMPLETELY cooled before trying again? Sometimes I think that the pan is ready again when its not warm, but if its not cold, then the cake does all sorts of crazy things: rising too much, or not at all, cooking into a weird texture, and usually falling into a dense, inedible form after it comes out. If I'm stressed out or in a hurry to bake another cake, I will put the pan in the fridge and make sure it is cold before trying again. That way I don't say after 15 minutes that its "cool enough." Because it never is....
Good luck with your cake for this weekend. I hope you haven't lost confidence after a trying day!
It is very clear from looking at your photos that you are a cake artist and great baker! Rest assured that is NOT your problem. However, do you think your over temp might have gtone awry? Maybe something happened to make your oven and/or thermometer just "off" enough to create an issue? Just a thought...
well, i'm having same problem. I used the WASC recipe and it never rose. Now i'm stuck having to clean myself up and drive to store to get mixes. Bake again. I've had my oven temp checked and doubled checked that i didn't leave anything out. Very disappointed right now To OP, i hope you have better luck than I'm having right now.
Thank you all for replying and for all your suggestions, I really appreciate it.
I'm pretty sure the pans were cooled before I put the new batter in, because I made a trip to the shops for more supplies after every time! I tested the cakes before removing from the oven and they were all cooked through (skewer comes out clean numerous times) by about the 50-55min mark, I've even lowered the temp to 170 degrees celcius (325 degrees fahrenheit) to accommodate for the larger tin and to ensure the cake cooks evenly.
Could it be something in my technique or in my ingredients? I use full cream sour cream and full cream milk, salt reduced butter, whole eggs - the only change I make is to add extra vanilla extract which I do with all my vanilla cakes. I only used one batch of the recipe, perhaps I needed to use two? I don't know, am really stuck on this one.
Hhhmmm, how do I check if my oven temp is right?
Anyway, I'm off to the shops to pick up a sponge to carve into a butterfly shape and then decorate...
Please if you have any other suggestions, that would be wonderful, the more info I can get before attempting this again the better!
Thanks in advance,
crazygrammie, I'm so sorry to hear you're having the same issues with the WASC recipe, I feel your pain and know exactly what you're going through.
I have the WASC post in the forum saved in my watched topics and somewhat disheartened as it sounds like so many fellow bakers have had such success with this recipe.
A 5" and 8" cakes I've made previously using the WASC recipe came out great, so I'm really at my wits end trying to work out why it doesn't want to work for me now.
Good luck for next time... keep your head up
I just re-read OP...I realized that you made a 14 inch cake. Did you use a heat core or rose nail in the pan? I make a lot of 12x12 inch squares, and know that if I didn't use the heat core, the cake would NOT turn out properly. Just a thought...
floral1210, thank you for your response! No, I didn't use a heat core or rose nail in the pan - I thought you only needed to use that to help it cook better in the middle?? I'm not sure.
Though when I tested the cakes they cooked evenly - so I thought. I'm wondering whether it was the amount of cake batter I put in the tin (maybe it needed more?) or my KA was on too high when beating (used no. 6 setting) or perhaps I needed to remove all the other shelves in my oven? hhmmm... I'm gonna see if I have time today, if the kids give me a chance, to try again.
Thank you for your help!
A 14 cake pan needs at least 10 cups of batter. Is the pan 2/3 full?
Well, if you get a chance to "play", let us know what you find!
Did you check the expiration date on the baking powder?
If all else fails, pm Macsmom. She's the go to person for WASC - any flavor!
Thank you everyone for your replies and suggestions!
Yes, I think it may have been something as simple as not having enough batter in the tin. I tried again the other night with a victorian sponge recipe, that i'd made before, I used more batter and it did work out better. I had so much cake, I smothered it in a quick lemon icing and gave most of it away. My hubby took some to work (he says it dissappeared in a flash) and donated some to my local Christian Community Centre for their free morning tea.
It has restored my confidence in baking and I'm happy again! Wish me luck for my next order that I don't have this kind of drama again!
Thanks all again! x