What's The Diff Between These Cakes?

Decorating By letsgetcaking Updated 29 May 2010 , 3:27pm by cheatize

letsgetcaking Posted 28 May 2010 , 1:41pm
post #1 of 38

I was wondering if anyone could tell me how these cakes were made differently.

http://www.countryliving.com/cm/countryliving/images/slice-sponge-cake-rep0505-de.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_sjR2TuiDD2g/S3OHAVWY_cI/AAAAAAAADFU/Wm7W6zIVAno/s1600-h/Filling.jpg

My cakes look like the first one, with a thicker crumb. I think the second cake looks really pretty and smooth with tiny, tiny crumbs. How would I go about making a cake that looked like the second one?

Thanks for any help you can give. I tried searching, but searching for "How to make a smooth cake" comes up with icing techniques and "How to make a cake with tiny crumbs" doesn't help much either. icon_redface.gif

37 replies
Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 28 May 2010 , 1:48pm
post #2 of 38

I would say the type of cake. The first one to me looks dry IMHO. The second one looks a lot denser and moist.

I don't know what kind of cakes do you make - from box or scratch? I make mine starting with a box mix and add to it. I get a denser, moister cake without a lot of crumbs.

I add the following:

1 small box of instant pudding (choose a flavor that compliments your cake)
4 eggs instead of 3
1/2 cup oil instead of 1/3

I also use Duncan Hines as my preferred brand.

Mix as you normally would and bake at 325.

letsgetcaking Posted 28 May 2010 , 2:01pm
post #3 of 38

Thanks for the reply, MamaMiasCakes. I make both homemade and doctored cake mix cakes. I haven't had a problem with them being dry, it's just that you can see bigger air pockets in them compared to the second picture. I've never added extra eggs or the boxed pudding mix. I'll definitely be trying that. Thanks for the suggestions.

arosstx Posted 28 May 2010 , 2:11pm
post #4 of 38

I'm going to suggest that the second one might have been sprayed or soaked with a simple syrup, it looks almost wet to me.

And you have to remeber in "posed" photos for magazines or whatever that they have food stylists to make it look pretty!

SugarFiend Posted 28 May 2010 , 2:13pm
post #5 of 38

What kind of flour are you using? I was always under the impression that cake flour (as opposed to all-purpose) tends to make a finer crumb. Not sure if it's true or not... ?

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 28 May 2010 , 2:18pm
post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgetcaking

Thanks for the reply, MamaMiasCakes. I make both homemade and doctored cake mix cakes. I haven't had a problem with them being dry, it's just that you can see bigger air pockets in them compared to the second picture. I've never added extra eggs or the boxed pudding mix. I'll definitely be trying that. Thanks for the suggestions.




Once you put the batter in your pans, tap it on the counter about 10 times. You will see the air bubbles rise to the top and it helps your cake from having large air pockets.

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 28 May 2010 , 2:19pm
post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by arosstx

I'm going to suggest that the second one might have been sprayed or soaked with a simple syrup, it looks almost wet to me.

And you have to remeber in "posed" photos for magazines or whatever that they have food stylists to make it look pretty!




I think you are right on this. It also looks like it may be a pound cake with the syrup.

LindaF144a Posted 28 May 2010 , 2:24pm
post #8 of 38

The second one looks like some of the pound cakes I've seen on the internet. I haven't made one myself, but if you Google pound cake and do an image search you'll see some. But pound cakes are not frosted so maybe it is a recipe that was based on a pound cake.

And then the complete opposite of that is a White cake. The kind of cake that has no egg yolks. If you do an image search of those you will see some. But when I Google white cake I get a lot of cakes with white frosting. icon_razz.gif But there is some there to see.

floral1210 Posted 28 May 2010 , 2:31pm
post #9 of 38

There is another twist between those two cakes...not sure if your experience bears this out. When I put a "jelled or jelly-type" filling in my cakes, the layers tend to soak up some of the moisture from the filling. When they are then layered, there is more compression on the cake itself causing it to compact a bit. An icing-type filling doesn't seem to have the same effect. I noticed in the photos that the one had a jelly-type filling as well, as compred to the chocolate filling. Does anyone else have this experience as well?

floral1210 Posted 28 May 2010 , 2:32pm
post #10 of 38

There is another twist between those two cakes...not sure if your experience bears this out. When I put a "jelled or jelly-type" filling in my cakes, the layers tend to soak up some of the moisture from the filling. When they are then layered, there is more compression on the cake itself causing it to compact a bit. An icing-type filling doesn't seem to have the same effect. I noticed in the photos that the one had a jelly-type filling as well, as compred to the chocolate filling. Does anyone else have this experience as well?

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 28 May 2010 , 2:34pm
post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by floral1210

There is another twist between those two cakes...not sure if your experience bears this out. When I put a "jelled or jelly-type" filling in my cakes, the layers tend to soak up some of the moisture from the filling. When they are then layered, there is more compression on the cake itself causing it to compact a bit. An icing-type filling doesn't seem to have the same effect. I noticed in the photos that the one had a jelly-type filling as well, as compred to the chocolate filling. Does anyone else have this experience as well?




It does. Try putting a very thin layer of butter cream first then your jelly filling. It helps to stop the soaking issue.

indydebi Posted 28 May 2010 , 2:45pm
post #12 of 38

Mine look like the 2nd one. I use Betty Crocker cake mixes. I sift the cake mixes and add one extra egg. When they come out of the oven, I use the push-down method to reduce the dome a bit (I still trim, though).

WHen I first started sifting, I noticed the differnce IMMEDIATELY!! When I did the dome trim (before any filling was added) I was so excited to see how just beautiful the cake looked!!! (only a food person can get excited over how an uniced cake looks, huh? icon_biggrin.gif ). It looked as 'smooth' as the vanilla cake (2nd pic). Then when I started doing the push-down, that seemed to "push out" any air pockets, making a nice, firm, pretty cake. But the sifting .... THAT was my new "secret weapon".

Since I stayed and cut most of my wedding cakes, I know first hand how they looked when cut. Using a nice clean sharp knife makes a big difference, too. (Notice the icing on the 2nd cake isn't even marred .... like it was cut while really REALLY cold, whereas the chocolate cake looks a little 'rough' on the icing.)

metria Posted 28 May 2010 , 2:58pm
post #13 of 38

sifting the mix, eh? hmmm...I'm sold. Thanks indydebi!

iamcakin Posted 28 May 2010 , 3:05pm
post #14 of 38

Although I use the DH mix in an enhanced recipe, I, too, sift the mix and use the same "push down" technique as indydebi. Try it, you will be surprised at how dense the crumb is without the cake being the least bit dry.

Also the caption in the second pic says it's a sponge cake.

HTH, and happy cakin' icon_smile.gif

JohnnyCakes1966 Posted 28 May 2010 , 3:19pm
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Using a nice clean sharp knife makes a big difference, too.




thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

This reminded me of my grandma, who taught me much of what I know about baking. You didn't DARE go near one of her cakes with a dull knife!! At least not twice! (Ask my behind how it knows!) icon_cry.gificon_biggrin.gif

cardicard Posted 28 May 2010 , 3:20pm
post #16 of 38

I always use this recipe and always have a very light sponge with very small air pockets, absolutly brilliant to carve.

HD= High Density. Recipie from BSG. UK.

This sponge is;-
close textured ie small air pockets.

light to the bite unlike Madeira which tends to be heavy to the bite

great for all types of celebration cakes and due to the close texture is suitable for carving.

Basic information
Sponge flour is not the bog standard SR flour. Sponge flour is marketed by McDougalls. Its made from a softer grain of wheat and as such has a lower gluten content than regular flour.

Eggs are always weighed without their shell, so you can use what ever size eggs you buy as long as the weight of egg you add to the mixture is right.

On no account should soft margarine be used ie the type you buy in a plastic container as this type of margarine is prone to splitting due to the low fat content (you will not know that the fat has split till the cake has baked ie when you torte the cake you will see streaks of what looks like under cooked cake ie darker colour). The margarine used in this recipe must have at least a 70% fat content. If you prefer you can use butter instead of block margarine.

I work on a seven day shelf life - bake the cake on Thursday decorate the cake on Friday for the celebration on Saturday. I do know customers who have eating this cake after this time and who state it still tasted nice, but that is their choice and as such I would not recommend this.

Basic recipe is
4 oz (120g) Sponge Flour
4 1/2 oz (135g) Caster Sugar
4 oz (120g) Block Margarine
4 oz (120g) Egg
1 tbsp (15 ml) cold water

The margarine or butter used in this recipe must be soft ie the same consistency of the soft tub margarine - so take it out of the fridge the day before and if necessary blast in the microwave for a few seconds.

For shaped cake tins always use the quantity of mixture stated for a round cake example;-
8 inch heart = 8 inch round cake mix
10 inch hexagonal = 10 inch round cake mix

A sponge cake portion is classed as 1 inch x 2 inches (2.5cm x 5cm)
The number of portions shown allows for a slight degree of error when cutting

6" Round - Portions = 11
6 oz Block margarine (softened)
6 3/4 oz Caster sugar
6 oz Eggs (approx 3 large eggs)
6 oz Sponge flour
1 ½ tbsp cold water

7" Round - Portions = 15
8oz Block margarine (softened)
9 oz Caster sugar
8 oz Sponge flour
8 oz Eggs (approx 4 large eggs)
2 tbsp cold water

8" Round - Portions - 20
10oz Block margarine (softened)
11 ¼ oz Caster sugar
10 oz Sponge flour
10 oz Eggs (approx 5 large eggs)
2 ½ tbsp cold water

9" Round - Portions - 27
14 oz Block margarine (softened)
15 3/4 oz Caster sugar
14 oz Eggs (approx 7 large eggs)
14 oz Sponge flour
31/2 tbsp cold water

10" Round - Portions - 34
18 oz Block margarine (softened)
20 1/4 oz Caster sugar
18 oz Eggs (approx 9 large eggs)
18 oz Sponge flour
4 1/2 tbsp cold water

11" Round - Portions - 43
To achieve the right depth the quantity of mixture required will be too great for your mixing bowl, so bake two separate cakes each cake to be made from
12 oz Block margarine (softened)
13 1/2 oz Caster sugar
12 oz Eggs (approx 6 large eggs)
12 oz Sponge flour
3 tbsp cold water

12 Round - Portions - 50
To achieve the right depth the quantity of mixture required will be too great for you mixing bowl, so bake two separate cakes each cake to be made from
14 oz Block margarine (softened)
15 3/4 oz Caster sugar
14 oz Eggs (approx 7 large eggs)
14 oz Sponge flour
3 1/2 tbsp cold water

6" Square - Portions - 16
8oz Block margarine (softened)
9 oz Caster sugar
8 oz Sponge flour
8 oz Eggs (approx 4 large eggs)
2 tbsp cold water

7" Square - Portions - 20
10oz Block margarine (softened)
11 ¼ oz Caster sugar
10 oz Sponge flour
10 oz Eggs (approx 5 large eggs)
2 ½ tbsp cold water

8" Square - Portions - 28
14 oz Block margarine (softened)
15 3/4 oz Caster sugar
14 oz Eggs (approx 7 large eggs)
14 oz Sponge flour
4 tbsp cold water

9" Square - Portions - 36
18 oz Block margarine (softened)
20 1/4 oz Caster sugar
18 oz Eggs (approx 9 large eggs)
18 oz Sponge flour
4 1/2 tbsp cold water

10" Square - Portions - 46
22 oz block margarine
24 3/4 oz Caster sugar
22 oz eggs (approx 11 large eggs)
22 oz sponge flour
5 1/2 tbsp cold water

11" Square - Portions - 58
To achieve the right depth the quantity of mixture required will be too great for your mixing bowl, so bake two separate cakes. Each cake to be made from
14oz Block margarine (softened)
15 3/4 oz Caster sugar
14 oz Sponge flour
14 oz Eggs (approx 7 large eggs)
3 1/2 tbsp cold water

12 Square - Portions - 66
To achieve the right depth the quantity of mixture required will be too great for your mixing bowl, so bake two separate cakes. Each cake to be made from
18 oz Block margarine (softened)
20 1/4 oz Caster sugar
18 oz Eggs (approx 9 large eggs)
18 oz Sponge flour
4 1/2 tbsp cold water

14" Square - Portions - 96
To achieve the right depth the quantity of mixture required will be too great for your mixing bowl, so bake two separate cakes. Each cake to be made from
22 oz Block margarine (softened)
24 3/4 oz Caster sugar
22 oz Eggs (approx 11 large eggs)
22 oz Sponge flour
5 1/2 tbsp cold water

10"x 8" oblong - Portions - 38
18 oz Block margarine (softened)
20 1/4 oz Caster sugar
18 oz Eggs (approx 9 large eggs)
18 oz Sponge flour
4 1/2 tbsp cold water

12" x 10" oblong - Portions - 58
To achieve the right depth the quantity of mixture required will be too great for your mixing bowl, so bake two separate cakes. Each cake to be made from
14 oz Block margarine (softened)
15 3/4 oz Caster sugar
14 oz Eggs (approx 7 large eggs)
14 oz Sponge flour
3 1/2 tbsp cold water

8" x 13" Oblong - Portions - 48
22 oz block margarine
24 3/4 oz Caster sugar
22 oz eggs (approx 11 large eggs)
22 oz sponge flour
5 1/2 tbsp cold water

6" x 4" Oval - Portions
4 oz Sponge Flour
4 1/2 oz Caster Sugar
4 oz block margarine (softened)
4 oz egg (approx 2 large eggs)
1 tbsp cold water

8" x 6" Oval - Portions 15
8oz Block margarine (softened)
9 oz Caster sugar
8 oz Sponge flour
8 oz Eggs (approx 4 large eggs)
2 tbsp cold water

8" x 10" Oval - Portions - 30
16 oz of Sponge flour
18 oz caster sugar
16 oz block margarine (softened)
16 oz egg (approx 8 large eggs)
3 3/4 tbsp cold water

10" x 12" Oval - Portions 43
22 oz block margarine
24 3/4 oz Caster sugar
22 oz eggs (approx 11 large eggs)
22 oz sponge flour
5 1/2 tbsp cold water


Method
Fan assist oven 130 C, regular electric ovens 160 C or Gas mark 2
I tend to use the covered cake tin method for all cakes less than 11 inches, for cakes 11 inches and over I highly recommend that you use the Wilton bake even strips. The reason for doing this is to stop the outside of the cake becoming to dark/crispy before the cake is cooked in the middle, plus the fact that using this method also stops the cake doming too much.

This cake is made using the all in one method (ie place all the ingredients in the bowl and mix)

Place all sponge cake ingredients in a mixing bowl, mix on slow speed till there are no lumps of fat visible (this is why the fat needs to be soft), mix on medium speed for two minutes then full speed for a further minute.

Pour the mixture into lined cake tin a bake till cooked (6 inch approx. 1 hour, 9 inch 1 hour 20 minutes, 12 inch 1hour 45 minutes).

Leave to cool on a cooling rack.

icon_biggrin.gif

letsgetcaking Posted 28 May 2010 , 3:31pm
post #17 of 38

Wow! Thank you everyone for the wonderful responses! I will do my best to incorporate all of your advice. Thank you for sharing your recipe, Cardicard. I can't wait to try the push-down method and the sifting. Baking is so much fun!

Now I just have to do my best to switch out my broken oven coil on my own. DH is out of town, and I'm ready to bake! icon_smile.gif

ArtieTs Posted 28 May 2010 , 3:53pm
post #18 of 38

I sift the cake mixes and add one extra egg. When they come out of the oven, I use the push-down method to reduce the dome a bit (I still trim, though).

@ indydebit thanks for that tip. Sifting the cake mix and your push down methods sounds great. I'll be trying that with my next cke. Thanks again.

mrsdizney Posted 28 May 2010 , 4:01pm
post #19 of 38

Can some please tell me more about the push down method...sounds simple enough? Thanks!

dalis4joe Posted 28 May 2010 , 4:13pm
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


Since I stayed and cut most of my wedding cakes, I know first hand how they looked when cut. Using a nice clean sharp knife makes a big difference, too. (Notice the icing on the 2nd cake isn't even marred .... like it was cut while really REALLY cold, whereas the chocolate cake looks a little 'rough' on the icing.)




I agree... the knife you use and how you cut it... makes a difference also... when we are hired to do the cutting also... we have a special knife just for that and we also have a pitcher with hot water and a clean kitchen towel... we always dip the knife and clean it so we get clean cuts everytime...

as far as the crumbs.. I am not familiar with what the process is called but I'm sure the amount of baking powder/baking soda, etc can affect the crumb size, etc.... just like when they bake breads there are precise things that you can do to make the crumb be as you want it to be....

there is an interview in you tube with a cake artist that she explained it very good and she even explained how the oven she uses it's specially made for baking cakes.... and when they did a close up of her cake... it just looked amazing... the perfect crumb... looked moist but not too moist... it was a beauty.... just like debi said... only a baker can see a piece of cake with no icing and admire how good (or bad) it looks...

hth

LateBloomer Posted 28 May 2010 , 4:22pm
post #21 of 38

WOw cardicard, thanks for the recipes.

Jeep_girl816 Posted 28 May 2010 , 4:29pm
post #22 of 38

Ditto what Indydebi said! I use cake flour and sift ALL my dry ingredients, makes the biggest difference! When I use a box of pudding and an extra egg it makes it super dense and moist, sooo good! thumbs_up.gif

GenGen Posted 28 May 2010 , 4:39pm
post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsdizney

Can some please tell me more about the push down method...sounds simple enough? Thanks!




the push down method i believe they mean when the cake comes out of the oven place a dish towel over the top and gently press down on the areas that are raised up. i tend to press down and rotate the cake each time i release (press - turn press turn press turn etc) it must be done soon as its removed from the oven if you wait even a few minutes the cake has had time to "settle" or set and it wont work then- at least for me it hasn't. others may have had other luck.

that is the "press down" method i use. there are other variations to an extent

this also helps condense the cake- minimizing the airpockets and i found it helps make the cake more sturdy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Mine look like the 2nd one. I use Betty Crocker cake mixes. I sift the cake mixes and add one extra egg. When they come out of the oven, I use the push-down method to reduce the dome a bit (I still trim, though).

WHen I first started sifting, I noticed the differnce IMMEDIATELY!! When I did the dome trim (before any filling was added) I was so excited to see how just beautiful the cake looked!!! (only a food person can get excited over how an uniced cake looks, huh? icon_biggrin.gif ). It looked as 'smooth' as the vanilla cake (2nd pic). Then when I started doing the push-down, that seemed to "push out" any air pockets, making a nice, firm, pretty cake. But the sifting .... THAT was my new "secret weapon".

Since I stayed and cut most of my wedding cakes, I know first hand how they looked when cut. Using a nice clean sharp knife makes a big difference, too. (Notice the icing on the 2nd cake isn't even marred .... like it was cut while really REALLY cold, whereas the chocolate cake looks a little 'rough' on the icing.)




Thank you debi!! lol i've had my "Debi-ism" for the day icon_smile.gif hehe. i like the idea of sifting the cake mix. i wish i had thought of that wednesday when i was mass baking. i didn't like the lumps i kept seeing in the batter but was too tired to really care- i know that was not nice of me but it mixed up ok and baked fine.

i know people rave bout duncan hines or betty crocker but i found the blue box pillsbury worked best for me. i just wish they had more flavor varieties like the other two brands. (keep in mind i'm in northern idaho and an hour away from even the nearest walmart hehe so i'm also limited on even the basic cake mixes YET they finally started carrying gluten free cake mixes in our store last week! yay!) sorry for rambling folks. i get that way when i'm tired heh..

on to the cakin today! (ZzzzzzZZzz...) wake me when its over! Muah! nothing but love! icon_lol.gif

GenGen Posted 28 May 2010 , 4:39pm
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeep_girl816

Ditto what Indydebi said! I use cake flour and sift ALL my dry ingredients, makes the biggest difference! When I use a box of pudding and an extra egg it makes it super dense and moist, sooo good! thumbs_up.gif




i forgot to mention this addition in my previous post-. i really want to try this!

Pacific Posted 28 May 2010 , 4:48pm
post #25 of 38

Sponge flour is not the bog standard SR flour. Sponge flour is marketed by McDougalls. Its made from a softer grain of wheat and as such has a lower gluten content than regular flour.


So is Sponge Flour the same as cake flour here in Canada?

au_decorator_76 Posted 28 May 2010 , 4:55pm
post #26 of 38

Glad I stumbled on this post. I wasn't sure about the air pockets on my cake I made last night. I'll try the sifting and push down method next time!

marthajo1 Posted 28 May 2010 , 6:55pm
post #27 of 38

I also like sifting cause I don't have to mix long at all!! And you will be amazed at how many big chunks are left in your sifter after sifting a box of mix! icon_razz.gif

letsgetcaking Posted 28 May 2010 , 7:09pm
post #28 of 38

@dalis4joe

Would you mind telling us what kind of special knife we should use to cut cakes?

@marthajo1

What do you do with all the big chunks left in the sifter? Do you try to break them up and mash them through the sifter or do you throw them away?

I love CC. You guys are so helpful!

JohnnyCakes1966 Posted 28 May 2010 , 7:11pm
post #29 of 38

I asked this question on another thread, but no one was sure of the answer, so I'll ask here. What ARE those pieces that are left in the sifter when you sift a box mix??? They aren't "balls" of flour that can be broken up; they're hard bits. I've just dumped them in the batter, assuming they are supposed to be there. (They're in every box mix I've ever sifted.) Like....maybe they're dehydrated pieces of butter that melt when put in the oven?? Any ideas?? icon_confused.gif

7yyrt Posted 28 May 2010 , 9:41pm
post #30 of 38

It sounds like your mix might be soaking up moisture. Are you in a humid area?

I have them once in a while, usually I just have a few that seem like flour-&-shortening and will smoosh.
When I get the hard ones I toss 'em out.

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