Help! Trouble Getting Light, Fluffy Cakes With New Mixer

Baking By CupcakeChemist Updated 17 Jun 2010 , 3:40pm by noworries

CupcakeChemist Posted 15 Jun 2010 , 6:17pm
post #1 of 11

First of all, if this is in the wrong section, I apologize. I couldn't decide if my post should go here or in the "How to" section, but I figure since I'm specifically dealing with cupcakes this was best.

I've been having trouble getting light, fluffy cupcakes. I remember cupcakes as being fluffy, but moist, like my mother's or even the betty crocker mixes. But, I DESPISE those mixes so I don't want to resort to them.

However, all of my batches lately have been dense and chewy. I'm not new to baking, and I didn't have this problem before.

I have noticed that since getting/using my new kitchen aid stand up mixer is when the problem started.
I'm guessing that it's over mixing the batter which I know can lead to denseness and chewiness.

But I'm not mixing my batter for very long, after I add flour, maybe a minute?

Could it be that I have the speed too high? I have noticed that I was using a speed that the manual said was for other things... speed 7 out of 10.
I also have been using the paddle attachment, as that's what the manual said to use for cake batter and I've seen other users online use.. Would the wisk be better?

Or could it be something else? My mother suggested under-mixing could also cause that problem, but I didn't think under-mixing would result in dense cupcakes.

Has anyone else had this problem when using a powerful mixer? What's the ideal attachment, speed, time when using these?

Also, I use the creaming method, where I cream the sugar and butter, then mix in the liquid ingredients, and finally add the flour/baking soda/dry (which have been sifted together). I don't alternate wet and dry because I'm afraid that causes over mixing (and I tried this method before and it still resulted in a dense cake), so I just add the dry at the end and then mix until just blended.

What am I doing wrong? Any ideas?

HELP!

Thanks icon_smile.gif

10 replies
kileyscakes Posted 15 Jun 2010 , 7:31pm
post #2 of 11

kitchen aids are a lot faster than a hand held so If I was you I would just mix on a speed four maybe 6 and that is it. I definitely think it was over mixed. I think a minute is also too long just mix till the flour is incorporated then shut it off.
HTH

Larkin121 Posted 15 Jun 2010 , 8:08pm
post #3 of 11

You can go high speed with the butter and sugar in the beginning, but the flour should go in on the lowest speed, until you just barely can't see it anymore and it's just mixed in. A minute, especially at a higher setting, would be too long.

LisaMarie86 Posted 15 Jun 2010 , 8:09pm
post #4 of 11

sounds like overmixing to me. Incorporate flour at a lower speed with a paddle attachment

LindaF144a Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 3:53pm
post #5 of 11

You are definitely overmixing and at and too high of a speed.

When creaming the sugar and butter I use #4 speed. When incorporating the eggs, I use #2. When adding the flour and liquid I use stir. If you take longer than 1 minute to incorporate the flour, you are taking too long. Unless the recipe says to mix after incorporating the flour don't mix any further. I will scrape down the bowl and give it one good mix with a spatula when done.

But once that flour starts to be added, you want a slow speed and the least possible time you need.

HTH

LindaF144a Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 3:59pm
post #6 of 11

One more thing, your method of adding the liquid and then flour is causing problems also. There is a reason why you add the flour and liquid alternatively. It has something do to with the chemical reaction once you incorporate it. If i can find the spot where I read about this, I'll post it here. Basically you need to add these ingredients in stages so as to maintain the balance in the batter. If you don't maintain that balance then you get all sorts of problem with your cupcakes. And one of them is probably the dense cupcake you are getting.

There is a reason why the professionals are doing it the way they do. If it could be done your way, they would have adopted it by now. Who wants to go through the trouble of alternating flour and liquid if it doesn't need to be done that way? That means that it must work in the case where the recipe is written that way. There are dump cake recipes out there, but they also state that you do not get the same cake doing it that either.

CupcakeChemist Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 8:31pm
post #7 of 11

Thanks everyone for replying.

I def. think I'm going to use the wire whisk for blending, and make sure my speed it lower. I'm wondering if that wasn't the biggest culprit.

I knew my new mixer would mean less mix time, but it's exceeded what I thought!

Linda: the reason I wasn't sure about the alternating method was because i had done that before as well, and still had a bad result.

But now that I'm watching my speed and mixing time, it should work. I'm going to try the alternate method again.

LindaF144a Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 8:51pm
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by CupcakeChemist

Thanks everyone for replying.

I def. think I'm going to use the wire whisk for blending, and make sure my speed it lower. I'm wondering if that wasn't the biggest culprit.

I knew my new mixer would mean less mix time, but it's exceeded what I thought!

Linda: the reason I wasn't sure about the alternating method was because i had done that before as well, and still had a bad result.

But now that I'm watching my speed and mixing time, it should work. I'm going to try the alternate method again.




Do not use the whisk attachment, it only adds too much air. Stick to the paddle beater.

You are trying to reinvent the wheel.

If you have had bad results before using the alternate method, then you did that or something else wrong. It was not the process of adding the ingredients alternately, but rather your speed, the amount of time you creamed the butter and egg and everything else that you said you did here on this post.

Here is a video of Cakelove making a cake:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mpob3cZstmI&feature=channel

Watch it. You will see in here just about every tip we all have said here to get a better cake.

Also post your recipe for us. Not all recipes are balanced well. We could give you tips on how to fix the one you have or get you a better one.

CupcakeChemist Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 8:58pm
post #9 of 11

Uhm. I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel, or argue.

Why are you being so aggressive? I'm not stupid or new to making cakes. I've made them before, many many times successfully (and without the alternate method in some cases). This is the first time i've had a problem.

You don't have to be insulting. icon_sad.gif

LindaF144a Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 9:14pm
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by CupcakeChemist

Uhm. I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel, or argue.

Why are you being so aggressive? I'm not stupid or new to making cakes. I've made them before, many many times successfully (and without the alternate method in some cases). This is the first time i've had a problem.

You don't have to be insulting. icon_sad.gif




So, so sorry. My message was very short cause I'm cooking a dinner party for 8 guests (on a darn weeknight!) and watching my computer all at the same time. I didn't want to leave you high and dry and remembered the video.

I was trying to be insulting, just rushing.

Off to make more appetizers.

noworries Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 3:40pm
post #11 of 11

Hi, thank you for adding the CakeLove Vid. He seems to make the same recipe that Alton Brown uses except Alton uses cake flour. I've made Altons yellow cake recipe for cupcakes and it is wonderful. I use the flour/wet/flour method and the cupcakes always come out great (with my kitchen Aid).
I hope I'm posting correctly, as it is my first post.

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