sweettreat101 Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 7:44am
post #1 of

I always use box mixes because I haven't been able to find a scratch recipe that doesn't have the texture of homemade bread. How do they get cake mixes to be so light and airy and moist? Any good recipes you can suggest for me to try?

24 replies
Cenell Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 9:08am
post #2 of

That depens what recipe you have., but try putting them in the freezer. They get very moist.

scp1127 Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 11:25am
post #3 of

Watch the scratch recipe for oil, sour cream, etc,... anything that will add to the moisture. Alton Brown's book, "I'm Just Here For More Food", gives valuable information on which ingredients contribute what to the final product.

Maria925 Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 11:47am
post #4 of

I use cake flour and sour cream and my scratch cakes are always moist & light & fluffy.

For my yellow I use Slyvia Weinstock's original. You can google it and find the recipe...best yellow cake recipe ever!!!

I also have started freezing my cakes and that definitely will make your cake moist!!!

HarrietBakes Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 11:51am
post #5 of

I am absolutely new to 'proper' baking, basically, so please excuse my ignorance, but doesn't having a moist cake make it difficult to stack? Does using dowels *completely* avoid a lovely yummy moist cake collapsing?

Nothing worse than a dry cake but I am worried about stacking moist cakes, and surely it's better for the cake to be sturdy than collapsing. And you can make it moister with the filling.

Any advice/clarification?

TIA icon_smile.gif

Marianna46 Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 11:54am
post #6 of

I use the scratch WASC, of which there are a million or so versions here on CC, although I substitute plain low-fat yogurt for the sour cream. They always turn out moist and tender. I also wrap each layer well and freeze it before doing anything else with it, which works wonders for not letting whatever moisture the cake has escape.

Could you be overbaking them? Maybe your oven is hotter than the temperature control says it is (I've had to put an oven thermometer in mine to uncover its lying ways!). I hope you can find something that makes you happy!

And a note to VaNella: you need a certain degree of moisture or the cake becomes inedible. For stacking, what you need, more than a dry cake, is one that is dense enough to withstand stacking (think of pound cake as opposed to a sponge cake!). A dense cake can be quite moist without having a weak structure.

Cenell Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 11:57am
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maria925

I use cake flour and sour cream and my scratch cakes are always moist & light & fluffy.

For my yellow I use Slyvia Weinstock's original. You can google it and find the recipe...best yellow cake recipe ever!!!

I also have started freezing my cakes and that definitely will make your cake moist!!!




Hello Maria
Do you have the recipe of Sylvia? I'm trying to find it but I can't.

Maria925 Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 12:01pm
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cenell


Hello Maria
Do you have the recipe of Sylvia? I'm trying to find it but I can't.




Yes...I found it here:
http://homecooking.about.com/od/cakerecipes/r/blc13.htm

The baking time was way too long for me, but I use an 8x2 pan so that may be why. I also made cupcakes the other day out of some left over batter and they were light & moist also & held together very well.

icon_smile.gif

luddroth Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 12:02pm
post #9 of

Really important not to overbake -- there should be a few crumbs on a tester in the center of the cake.
Vanella -- moist cakes stack fine if you use proper internal support. Read the thread on the SPS system. It works like a charm. Moistness in the cake also prevents it from cracking as you press the support columns into the cake.

Cenell Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 12:08pm

AWESOME!!!!! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif Thank you I'm going to try it.

You know that since I saw your post of freezing cakes I'm doing the same now. Thanks for that too. I was sceptic. thumbs_up.gif

11cupcakes Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 12:33pm

I use recipe with sour cream for white and yellow cake and with pudding for chocolate. And I freeze my cakes for a few hours.

cakeprof Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 12:42pm

Nothing against freezing but really should not need to freeze a scratch cake to make it moist. I only make scratch cakes, never freeze and never have a problem with them being moist.

Will second what someone else said about overbaking, I was surprised to learn how quickly a cake can become overbaked.

sweettreat101 Posted 17 Jul 2010 , 9:22pm

I already put a thermometer in my oven so i know the temperatures are correct. I purchased a new oven and had nothing but problems with it. It would spike to 500 degrees but would say 325 so I had to watch my cakes all the time until they finally fixed it. I was just curious because some of my co workers were eating cupcakes the other day and they were complaining that they were extremely dry and didn't like them. Another co worker brought in cupcakes a couple of days later and everyone raved about how good they were compared to the scratch cupcakes a couple days earlier. What magic ingredient do they add to box mix that makes them so light in texture not dense. Most of the people were complaining about the texture being dense and bread like. I would love a recipe like a box mix.

LindaF144a Posted 18 Jul 2010 , 3:52am

Cupcakes can be very quickly overbaked also and become dry.

And scratch cupcakes can be light and moist. Unfortunately the coworker that made the scratch cupcakes probably left the in the oven too long. It doesn't take long to do from moist to dry in the oven.

There is no magic ingredient in scratch baking. And I'm talking totally scratch, not doctored mix. It takes practice, practice and practice. I have never gotten a scratch cake that is the texture of bread, so I can't relate to this problem. Sorry.

Have you made a scratch cake in the past, or are you asking because of this experience? If you have made a cake from scratch, post your recipe and process. Then we can see where we can help you find the "magic".

mamawrobin Posted 18 Jul 2010 , 7:09am
Quote:
Originally Posted by VaNellaCakes

I am absolutely new to 'proper' baking, basically, so please excuse my ignorance, but doesn't having a moist cake make it difficult to stack? Does using dowels *completely* avoid a lovely yummy moist cake collapsing?

Nothing worse than a dry cake but I am worried about stacking moist cakes, and surely it's better for the cake to be sturdy than collapsing. And you can make it moister with the filling.

Any advice/clarification?

TIA icon_smile.gif




A cake doesn't have to be "sturdy" for stacking icon_confused.gif You can stack jello if you have the proper support system. Cake doesn't support cake. It's the support system that keeps everything from collapsing so NO "having a moist cake" doesn't make it difficult to stack.

HarrietBakes Posted 19 Jul 2010 , 11:00am
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawrobin

Quote:
Originally Posted by VaNellaCakes

I am absolutely new to 'proper' baking, basically, so please excuse my ignorance, but doesn't having a moist cake make it difficult to stack? Does using dowels *completely* avoid a lovely yummy moist cake collapsing?

Nothing worse than a dry cake but I am worried about stacking moist cakes, and surely it's better for the cake to be sturdy than collapsing. And you can make it moister with the filling.

Any advice/clarification?

TIA icon_smile.gif



A cake doesn't have to be "sturdy" for stacking icon_confused.gif You can stack jello if you have the proper support system. Cake doesn't support cake. It's the support system that keeps everything from collapsing so NO "having a moist cake" doesn't make it difficult to stack.




OK sorry. Thanks.

Marianna46 Posted 19 Jul 2010 , 3:31pm

Of course, you're right, mamawrobin - moistness has nothing to do with it. My signature line should explain it all: "I know my own mind... and it's around here somewhere" [even though I can't always find it when I need it!].

Joyfull4444 Posted 19 Jul 2010 , 4:03pm

Here's some links to cake baking you might be interested in reading over.

And... look for books at your library on baking & baking science if you're really getting into scratch baking now. Lots of help there!

Also... theres the measuring of ingredients in scratch cakes.
Many times the way the flour & sugar are measured can ruin a good recipe. A cup of flour thats scooped out of the sack then leveled off, will be compacted, so will contain more flour than a cup of flour thats measured with the spoon & fill method. Plus there's measuring sifted flour or sifting flour after measuring. These are things that can mess up a recipe if not followed.
I'm pretty positive you know this kind of stuff anyway but thought I'd throw it in as a helpful hint for whomever doesn't. icon_biggrin.gif


Links.. Happy reading!

http://www.finecooking.com/articles/ratios-for-great-cakes.aspx?

http://www.bakingandbakingscience.com/Cakes.htm

http://www.baking911.com/cakes/101ingredients.htm

This link is to one of my favourite sites. A thread on baking a good scratch cake. Some good books recommened from other posters.

http://www.cheftalk.com/forum/thread/60777/the-science-of-baking-cakes

JaeRodriguez Posted 19 Jul 2010 , 5:44pm

Ditto Sylvia Weinstock Classic Yellow! It's amazing and I use the original one without the extra milk and ginger and if this cake comes out dry it is a user error! I've done cakes of all sizes and cupcakes and they are so moist and the flavor is unbelievable!

honeyscakes Posted 19 Jul 2010 , 8:20pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakeprof

Nothing against freezing but really should not need to freeze a scratch cake to make it moist. I only make scratch cakes, never freeze and never have a problem with them being moist.

Will second what someone else said about overbaking, I was surprised to learn how quickly a cake can become overbaked.



Hi there cakeprof,
Can you please share your yellow cake and chocolate cake recipe that you use? I'd love try it and see what mistakes I am making?
I see some tiny crumbs on the cake tester and I leave the cake in the oven a few minutes...somehow I think it will be gooey and un cooked from the center.I am lost!
- h

sweet_honesty Posted 19 Jul 2010 , 8:32pm

It really is practice and getting a feel for what you are doing. For example there are some cakes that I will take out with just a few crumbs on the tester. Cake continues to cook after it's out of the oven so sometimes if you leave it until you get a completely clean toothpick you'll end up with a dry cake.

Practice will tell you how many crumbs are too many crumbs.

JaeRodriguez Posted 20 Jul 2010 , 2:33pm

honeyscakes have you tried the Sylvia Weinstock? It is amazingly moist and doesn't require freezing either, I also take the cake out when a few crumbs are on the toothpick, I NEVER wait for it to come out clean! I wait for it to be crumbs but not sticky/liquid/goopy. Hope that helps!

Oh and a great chocolate cake recipe- Double Chocolate Layer Cake off of epicurious.com. It's incredible! So moist that I'm starting to think I shouldn't freeze it because it's getting too moist with freezing! It's amazing, don't skip the ganache if you try it!

deesweets Posted 30 Oct 2010 , 4:14pm

I only use scratch cake for my cakes as well and they are always moist. My question is how do you convert them to other flavors. You see that most of the bakers use the WASC recipe and they use pudding and yogurts and the sherbert to change the flavors. I get thrown off as to the substituting part. I get the yogurt sub for the sour cream and the creamers for the liquid. But what about if you are putting a flavored syrup where does that substitution come in. Help!!!
Thanks

-K8memphis Posted 30 Oct 2010 , 7:28pm

My biggest problem with using white/yellow scratch cake for a wedding is the refrigerator issue because most of my fillings require they be kept chilled. And I always deliver cold wedding cake.

My experience is that my white/yellow scratch cake does not bounce back good enough at room temperature. Wvsc (I use vanilla instead of almond icon_smile.gif works so good for me for a tier cake.

Test if for yourself--if you chill your butter cakes--see if they are as soft after they are friged or frozen & get back to room temp. I mean you can microwave it to restore it good as new but you can't microzap a 14" iced cake either. Chocolate, carrot, banana yes--white/yellow no--not mine.

But I loves me some Sylvia yellow cake!!! You can leave it on the counter and it doesn't even dry out --it's awesome. Just not for my tier cakes.

And the moistness factor is different than mouthfeel--it's tighter/chewier after it's chilled to me and the people who tested my cakes. It could be described as drier because it goes down the throat a little rougher but the moisture really is the same, the texture is not as soft.

crazyladybaker Posted 30 Oct 2010 , 8:16pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maria925

I use cake flour and sour cream and my scratch cakes are always moist & light & fluffy.

For my yellow I use Slyvia Weinstock's original. You can google it and find the recipe...best yellow cake recipe ever!!!

I also have started freezing my cakes and that definitely will make your cake moist!!!




I use this one as well and it's actually in the recipe section here at CC. I LOVE this cake by Sylvia!

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-quote-6887232.html

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