Maria925 Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 7:08pm
post #1 of

I see so many recipes for doctored box mixes that sound really yummy. But I really love baking from scratch! I have a great yellow cake recipe & a really great chocolate one. I would love to use those as a base maybe to build on.

I've never experimented with this before. Does anyone use a base scratch recipe that they use for other flavors? If so, do you have a specific formula that you follow as far as what to replace, etc?

Or if anyone knows of a great online resource/thread that maybe covers this?

TIA icon_smile.gif

25 replies
JaeRodriguez Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 8:08pm
post #2 of

Maria, THAT is a great question, I'm so scared to use anything other than different flavorings in my vanilla cake, I'd love to know how much room (generally) one has to play around with a scratch cake!

iwantalicakes Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 8:11pm
post #3 of

Girl I know what you mean! Watching cake wars makes me want to adventure out there and play with all the possiblities out there! Hope someone can offer a good website!

leah_s Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 8:15pm
post #4 of

Sure. My white cake becomes: strawberry, lemon, orange, almond, chai, even carrot and Italian Creme with the addition of ingredients, flavorings and extracts and icing fruit.

My chocolate becomes chocolate raspberry, chocolate orange and chocolate almond.

You don't need a recipe. Just throw stuff in there.

It's the only way I can possibly offer 31 flavors of cake.

JaeRodriguez Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 8:21pm
post #5 of

Leah, I have started to "just throw stuff in there" BUT then I read all these threads with how scratch baking is so scientific and you have to know what you're doing and then I get scared! Have you ever had any flops?

Tellis12 Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 8:34pm
post #6 of

I, too, am glad you asked this question. I have a cake recipe that I really like but I'm not sure how to safely alter it so that it bakes up properly. It started as a cinnamon bundt and I've made it into chocolate chip and spice cake but that's all the further I've taken it. i'd like to figure out more ways to use it because the base cake is so delicious and light!

Maria925 Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 8:43pm
post #7 of

Leah I'm so glad you posted. I know you offer ALOT of flavors and I know you are a scratch baker. I wondered if you had THAT many different recipes or if they were mostly variations of the same few ones. That's what I was hoping and am hoping I can figure out some good ones for myself icon_smile.gif

I'm curious as another poster put it...if you had a number of "flops" along the way or if you basically got it to down to a pretty good science.

SoSasha Posted 9 Aug 2010 , 8:53pm
post #8 of

There are a few basic rules that I follow and keep in mind. Generally speaking the two "flavoring" things that can throw off a stable cake is acidity and moisture. As long as you account for moisture (and lessen the liquid) or the acidity of some fruits (which means you may need some soda etc. like in buttermilk cakes) it should be fine! The structure is coming from flour and eggs, the tenderness from fat and sugar- if you have a solid cake from the balance of these elements and are getting enough air into it, the room for experimentation is endless!!! HTH a bit icon_smile.gif

Maria925 Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 12:23am
post #9 of

Sosasha...so it sounds like I can safely "experiment" by keeping the liquid measurements the same. So if it calls for 1 cup of milk and 2 TBL of vanilla, I could substitute liquors & other flavorings as long as I keep the measurement the same? At least that's how I'm understanding you.

Man I really need to get the BakeWise book. They have it at my library but it's currently checked out! I have a feeling that might help me out a bit.

cakeprof Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 12:42am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maria925

Sosasha...so it sounds like I can safely "experiment" by keeping the liquid measurements the same. So if it calls for 1 cup of milk and 2 TBL of vanilla, I could substitute liquors & other flavorings as long as I keep the measurement the same? At least that's how I'm understanding you.

Man I really need to get the BakeWise book. They have it at my library but it's currently checked out! I have a feeling that might help me out a bit.




I will not answer for Sosasha hopefully just piggyback. I'll give you can example from one of my experiments recently. I wanted to make a strawberry cake so I started with my white cake recipe and subbed some of the milk in the recipe for strawberry puree. Here was the problem I did not account for the acidity of the strawberry puree. While the flavor was good, and it rose well, the texture was a bit gummy. The reason: the added acid from the strawberry puree. To counter this I needed to add a bit of baking soda and next time it was perfect. So you have to think not just the amount of liquid but the kind of liquid.

Another example: I made a "dreamsicle" cake. I began with yellow cake and subbed half of the vanilla for orange extract and added some orange zest. A nice vanilla buttercream and voila--dreamsicle. In this instance the zest was not going to upset the balance of the cake and the orange extract was just flavor. Planning to try this to get a lemon cake but have not done it yet. In this instance altering the kind of flavoring was not going to impact the other elements in the cake.

Hope this helps.

Tellis12 Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 2:26am

cakeprof, how much is "a bit"

JulieMN Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 2:59am

this document is from the gourmet recipes thread which is mostly doctored mix recipes, but there are some scratch recipes for doctoring too.

https://docs.google.com/Doc?id=df4f9hbq_46cs9f28fs

HTH

icer101 Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 3:13am

There is a thread stating," finally a scratch wasc cake recipe,etc.There is a lot of info in this thread. I hope you can find it. I have tried some of them. hth

cakeprof Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 3:13am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellis12

cakeprof, how much is "a bit"




Was the zest of one orange.

SoSasha Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 3:19am

Exactly cakeprof! Now I'm getting excited lol- I love the science of baking. Spending a week perfecting a random recipe is the best therapy for me icon_smile.gif

Maria925- In response to your example. When you add liquor (in place of liquid) to flavor cakes I think that you should probably "cook" it first to get rid of excess alcohol and reduce the flavors because the actual alcohol part will evaporate during baking. I don't think this would matter with extracts (such a negligible amount) but if you were going to, for example, on a whim replace water with something tasty from the liquor cabinet, I think this would matter?

I better stop theorizing or I'll end up staying up all night over a stack of old "cooks illustrated" icon_wink.gif

leah_s Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 3:47am

I use flavorings and extracts mostly. Dry spice mix for the chai flavor and lemon, strawberry and orange icing fruits for those flavors. I'm not altering the chemistry enough to have to worry about anything. Icing fruit is a concentrated fruit flavor that's roughly the consistency of the batter. You can buy it from CK Products (Country Kitchens Sweet Art).

cakeprof Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 1:28pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoSasha



I better stop theorizing or I'll end up staying up all night over a stack of old "cooks illustrated" icon_wink.gif




I so <3 America's Test Kitchen. My favorite ATK product is Baking Illustrated. their discussion of how elements impact recipes is second to none. I think they do the science of baking much better than Good Eats as they go through a discussion of not just which ingredient was best but how they got to the amount of each item. Reading it got me interested in the science of baking.

And I understand the sentiment, I get so bogged down in "theorizing" what will happen with a particular variation, I forget to make the cake. icon_razz.gif

kansaslaura Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 1:44pm

We have an old family recipe for a buttermilk chocolate cake which is rather heavy and dense. I've doctored it by changing the AP flour to cake flour, by using 1/2 oil and 1/2 shortening instead of all oil, and by putting in a 1/2 package of instant pudding. It really lightened and moistened it. ...oh and I also mixed it differently. Gr-Grandma's recipe creamed the sugar and fat and basically dumped everything else in. I do the alternating with wet and dry.


I just got my copy of America's Test Kitchen COMPLETE TV SHOW COOKBOOK!!
I love that show!!

Maria925 Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 5:35pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieMN

this document is from the gourmet recipes thread which is mostly doctored mix recipes, but there are some scratch recipes for doctoring too.

https://docs.google.com/Doc?id=df4f9hbq_46cs9f28fs

HTH




Julie thank you so much for this! That "gourment flavors" thread is so flipping huge that I got overwhelmed just trying to look through it!

cakeprof Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 5:44pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by kansaslaura

We have an old family recipe for a buttermilk chocolate cake which is rather heavy and dense. I've doctored it by changing the AP flour to cake flour, by using 1/2 oil and 1/2 shortening instead of all oil, and by putting in a 1/2 package of instant pudding. It really lightened and moistened it. ...oh and I also mixed it differently. Gr-Grandma's recipe creamed the sugar and fat and basically dumped everything else in. I do the alternating with wet and dry.


I just got my copy of America's Test Kitchen COMPLETE TV SHOW COOKBOOK!!
I love that show!!




Nice, I end up getting a cookbook from them every 3 months or so only because I forget to send back the card saying I do not want to receive it. Finally sent the last one back. Stopped getting the monthly magazines (magazines, website subscriptions, cookbooks all got to be too much) since I have access to all their websites but I do miss the extended discussions of the recipes in the monthly magazines----ooops did not mean to turn this into a ATK discussion back on topic thumbs_up.gif

homebasedbaking Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 6:10pm

I will come back and fill in more info but you may also want to check out using a variety of flavorings used by top pastry chefs. I absolutely love L'Epicerie and the variety is amazing. Just take a few days to experiment with a couple flavors. I will post some recipes shortly, but first check out L'Epicerie Baker's Pantry.
http://www.lepicerie.com/catalog/category_275_HARDTOFINDS_Bakers_Pantry_page_1.html

I have posted this link before somewhere. You will need to learn to work with these flavorings, but it really is worth it; plus there are purees, but once you get the hand of using them you will love them forever and remember a little goes a long way.

kansaslaura Posted 10 Aug 2010 , 6:24pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakeprof

Quote:
Originally Posted by kansaslaura

We have an old family recipe for a buttermilk chocolate cake which is rather heavy and dense. I've doctored it by changing the AP flour to cake flour, by using 1/2 oil and 1/2 shortening instead of all oil, and by putting in a 1/2 package of instant pudding. It really lightened and moistened it. ...oh and I also mixed it differently. Gr-Grandma's recipe creamed the sugar and fat and basically dumped everything else in. I do the alternating with wet and dry.


I just got my copy of America's Test Kitchen COMPLETE TV SHOW COOKBOOK!!
I love that show!!



Nice, I end up getting a cookbook from them every 3 months or so only because I forget to send back the card saying I do not want to receive it. Finally sent the last one back. Stopped getting the monthly magazines (magazines, website subscriptions, cookbooks all got to be too much) since I have access to all their websites but I do miss the extended discussions of the recipes in the monthly magazines----ooops did not mean to turn this into a ATK discussion back on topic thumbs_up.gif




This is a one time thing for me. Since it was a complete collection of the 10 years and there was a deal on it I grabbed it. I love how they explain the whys and whens...etc..to do things. I did have a membership to their website for 1 yr but it would log me out, not recognize my name, on and on so I didn't renew it. I've got my DVR set to record every episode so I never miss Christopher.. aka the Bow Tie Man!

Naty Posted 16 Aug 2010 , 7:57pm

I too have wanted to experiment and make different cake flavors from my scratch basic yellow and chocolate cake recipes. I started small and used the recipes from "Cupcake Doctor" to start and they have worked well.

Larkin121 Posted 16 Aug 2010 , 8:29pm

I have over 35 flavors and bake all from scratch. Like others said, flavoring, zests and fruit purees can be used to change up recipes, but do remember that you can create cake flavors by your filling combos, too. For example, Strawberry Lemonade can be made out of lemon cake (yellow or white cake + lemon zest) and strawberry filling (preserves or fresh cooked puree, etc) and either lemon or strawberry icing (or both). I do things like a Mudslide cake with chocolate cake filled with Baiely's Irish Cream SMBC and coffee SMBC.

I mostly use zests and extract to change up a cake recipe because fruit purees are trickier. I've done strawberry and raspberry purees in my cakes before and getting the balance of acidity right is tricky for me. It's much easier to pick coordinating cake flavors and really make the fancy with the flavorful fillings and icings.

litlecuchi Posted 16 Aug 2010 , 9:37pm

thank you guys for posting the info

bfranzen Posted 21 Aug 2010 , 8:23pm

Leah, I looked up the icing fruit on CK, since I buy a lot from them already. Do you just add a certain amount of icing fruit (1 tbsp, 1 cup??) to the batter or do you sub it for something else in the recipe?

Thanks!

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