madgeowens Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 11:04pm
post #1 of

Who has a scratch cake recipe that is sure to make me a scratch baker rather than box doctored. I am willing to give it another try. Maybe I just have not been using the best scratch cake recipes. I would like a devils food, a yellow and a white. They must be moist. icon_lol.gif

22 replies
indydebi Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 11:41pm
post #2 of

The only scratch cake I can make so far is the one on the Hershey cocoa can. There's also one I found online that is a Brown Sugar Chocolate Cake that is pretty good and passed the family taste-test. (I'll try to find that one).

mariana7842731 Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 11:50pm
post #3 of

find some that have good reviews. follow directions. should work.

mariana7842731 Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 11:51pm
post #4 of

oh wait, why fix what ain't broken eh Madge?

costumeczar Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 11:59pm
post #5 of

I thought you liked the boxes, but good luck on baking scratch, it's much better icon_twisted.gif

Go to epicurious.com and get some cake recipes that have good reviews. Make sure to FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS in the recipe, because a lot of people who say that a recipe and/or scratch cakes aren't good are just guilty of bad baking technique. It's like boiling a steak then complaining that you cooked it, why isn't it good? Must be the steak's fault!

indydebi Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 12:03am
post #6 of

Found It.....

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/105133

mkolmar Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 12:24am
post #7 of

Giving it another go I see.
Baking from scratch is harder and even with the best of recipes some people fail.
Try to look for a recipe that goes by weight. Those are usually the better ones. You'll need a scale.
Costumeczar is 100% correct with the steak analogy.
I've read on here so many times that scratch cakes are dry, crumbly or just don't taste as good. I think the person should look at their baking skills instead. Scratch cakes are wonderful! You just have to know how to bake properly first because it's a science.

Read the reviews first on the cakes at Epicurious. Start with a beginner level and work you way/skills up from there.

Good Luck!!!

newmansmom2004 Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 12:40am
post #8 of

Collette Peters' chocolate bourbon cake is my "go to" chocolate. I know that's not devil's food, but it's dayum good!!! Here's the recipe...and you can just hand mix it in one bowl with a big spoon or rubber spatula - don't even need a mixer!


Chocolate Bourbon Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
1 3/4 cups hot coffee
1/4 cup bourbon
5 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, cut into small pieces
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-challenge/colettes-chocolate-bourbon-coconut-cake-recipe/index.html
(omit coconut)

madgeowens Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 12:47am
post #9 of

I have learned to be a much better baker in the past couple years, thanks to the good tips in here, so I was thinking maybe I should give it another try. My family will no doubt complain, but I always like to push the envelope hehe

However you are so right about, if it aint broke why fix it. thumbs_up.gif

costumeczar Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 10:39am
Quote:
Originally Posted by madgeowens

I have learned to be a much better baker in the past couple years, thanks to the good tips in here, so I was thinking maybe I should give it another try. My family will no doubt complain, but I always like to push the envelope hehe




Well, they won't complain if you make it taste good, hahahaa! thumbs_up.gif

Larkin121 Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 3:03pm

Nevermind the recipes. If you don't have the technique, then you won't make a good scratch cake. As I've mentioned before on many other posts, FIRST get some books on the science of baking. There are several good ones out there. The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard, Bakewise by Shirley O. Corriher are two good ones to start.

A recipe is not written with enough detail for anyone who doesn't know the science and technique to achieve a perfect end result. "Cream butter with sugar" is not specific enough, yet 99% of recipes say just that. How long? To what color? Why? What about eggs? Room temperature? One at a time? How long should you mix them? Why? What about baking powder? Is the recipe even correct on the amount of leavening??? Quite a few are not.

It's an interesting world out there in scratch baking land. One cannot just jump into a recipe and hope for gourmet bakery quality goods. One must take the time to first learn the science (because that's exactly what baking is - chemistry), then practice again and again and again. Many times you will fail to achieve the perfect result, but then you will begin to achieve good results most of the time, and soon you will find your own perfect recipes. And you'll even begin to spot recipes that you know you won't like, just by reading them.

It's fun. But it's not quick and it's not easy.

Don't judge a scratch cake until you are sure you've done it the right way.... and many, many people do not know how to do that.

NJCakeDiva Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 3:34pm

I would have to agree with Larkin121. In the past I had trouble with certain scratch recipes (yellow or chocolate). For some reason carrot cake always came naturally and crazy enough it takes alot of work. My grandfather (such a sweetheart with a sweet tooth) bought me "Essentials of Baking" by Williams-Sonoma and Martha Stewart's Cooking School- Lessons For The Home Cook (it has a great section on baking, techniques, tools with photos). Now that I have read both books I understand alot more about the science and art of baking from scratch.

It doesn't hurt to have so many great bakers willing to share here on CC either thumbs_up.gif

rainbow_kisses Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 4:01pm

I agree it is all in the science and tecenique used to get the cake to turn out great. It is not the recipe that is wrong it is the baker.

Larkin121 Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 4:16pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrummymummy

I agree it is all in the science and tecenique used to get the cake to turn out great. It is not the recipe that is wrong it is the baker.




Occasionally the recipe is wrong... consider the one I tried of CC that had raves. I thought it sounded off, and when it baked up strange, I checked it's ratios and it was allllllll wrong. Never would have worked. icon_biggrin.gif

Do try recipes that come from reputable pastry chefs.

indydebi Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 4:23pm

Larkin, excellent post! I've long recognized that scratch baking is more talent than anything and you've phrased it perfectly! thumbs_up.gif

rainbow_kisses Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 4:28pm

Larkin I was meaning usually, You are right a reputable recipe is a good choice, but not always. I creat a lot of my own recipes. It is a lot of trial and error to find the ones that you like and will work with time and again. Some of the scratch recipes on here do look wrong I agree.

indydebi Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 4:42pm

Sidetracking just a bit, part of the problem is many people don't know how to write a recipe down.

- Many of our non-U.S. CC'ers have questioned "how much is a 'stick' of butter?"
- There have been threads that point out packaging is getting smaller so "a can" of this or "a box" of that just isn't accurate anymore. (Not that it was to start with, since the user doesn't know if it's a big can or a little can!)
- Dont' EVEN get me started on the "capful" measurement! icon_mad.gif
- Lots of threads questioning when flour should be sifted .... before or after measuring?...... or not knowing what it means between "1 cup flour-sifted" vs. "1 cup sifted flour".

I've edited a couple of cookbooks and it was the most frustrating part of the job to track down the recipe submitters and ask "what the heck does THIS mean?"

Larkin121 Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 6:34pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Sidetracking just a bit, part of the problem is many people don't know how to write a recipe down.

- Many of our non-U.S. CC'ers have questioned "how much is a 'stick' of butter?"
- There have been threads that point out packaging is getting smaller so "a can" of this or "a box" of that just isn't accurate anymore. (Not that it was to start with, since the user doesn't know if it's a big can or a little can!)
- Dont' EVEN get me started on the "capful" measurement! icon_mad.gif
- Lots of threads questioning when flour should be sifted .... before or after measuring?...... or not knowing what it means between "1 cup flour-sifted" vs. "1 cup sifted flour".

I've edited a couple of cookbooks and it was the most frustrating part of the job to track down the recipe submitters and ask "what the heck does THIS mean?"




Right, but again, are those reputable recipes? Measurements like that tend to come handed down in families or between friends. I've never seen those kinds of measurements (other than a stick of butter, but it almost always has the cup or tbsp measurements with it) in any of my books or good online recipe sites.

If you are just starting out in the scratch world, avoid your "average person" sites until you've mastered a few pro recipes. As mentioned earlier, Epicurious.com is a good place for recipes to start, as are a large number of baking books. I wouldn't use a place like allrecipes.com or even the section here on CC til you know enough about the baking science to be able to do a tried and true pro recipe correctly. And then you can mess with recipes that are typed up by random strangers and say things like "can of this."

Even better, start out using recipes that are in grams or ounces. They are the most accurate and will give you the most consistent results. I can't stand that most American baking books are still by volume. It's a silly way to bake.

abeane Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 7:13pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larkin121



If you are just starting out in the scratch world, avoid your "average person" sites until you've mastered a few pro recipes. As mentioned earlier, Epicurious.com is a good place for recipes to start, as are a large number of baking books. I wouldn't use a place like allrecipes.com or even the section here on CC til you know enough about the baking science to be able to do a tried and true pro recipe correctly. And then you can mess with recipes that are typed up by random strangers and say things like "can of this."

Even better, start out using recipes that are in grams or ounces. They are the most accurate and will give you the most consistent results. I can't stand that most American baking books are still by volume. It's a silly way to bake.




Agreed!! I only bake from scratch and I always measure dry ingredients by weight. It's worth it to invest in a digital scale if you are serious about wanting to get into scratch baking (and even if you're not, you'll probably find you use it more often than you think). I think one of the main reasons scratch recipes turn out dry is due to the baker's error in measuring. For instance, if you are using a measuring cup for flour, you should spoon the flour into the cup then level it off with a knife rather than dipping and scooping with the cup. When you dip and scoop, the flour gets compacted and you end up with more flour than when you lightly spoon the flour into the cup....does that make sense? And if you're using measuring cups, be sure to use dry measuring cups for dry ingredients and liquid measuring cups for wet ingredients!
Epicurious.com is a great source for recipes. I've found that most of the recipes that have been given a lot of good ratings turn out well. Be sure to follow the recipe the first time you make it, as any little substitution can drastically alter your results. Foodnetwork can also be a good source for recipes. This is my go-to chocolate cake recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/40-a-day/chocolate-fudge-cake-with-vanilla-buttercream-frosting-and-chocolate-ganache-glaze-recipe/index.html

abeane Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 7:16pm

Also, if you're measuring by weight, there is a great conversion chart in the back of The Cake Bible that gives the weight for most common cake ingredients.

Larkin121 Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 7:36pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by abeane

Be sure to follow the recipe the first time you make it, as any little substitution can drastically alter your results.




Oh yeah, I love it when someone reviews a recipe and says "Terrible recipe, was awful. I made it just like it said, except I used milk chocolate instead of dark, regular cocoa powder instead of dutch processed, and I was all out of buttermilk so I used sour cream, and I don't know what cake flour is so I just used regular flour. The cake was awful."

Ummmmm... you just made a totally different cake.

You can alter a recipe only if you understand exactly what that alteration does to the chemistry... something I am still trying to learn about as I go.

mkolmar Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 8:04pm

Great advice. The main complaint about scratch cakes from non-scratch bakers are being addressed. thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

madgeowens Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 4:41am

ok lol you have convinced me that I suck thank you lol to think I have been baking 40 years and to be so sucky, thats just way bad lol....oh well icon_wink.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%