What Causes Homeade Cakes To Be Dry?

Baking By zinger60 Updated 1 Nov 2010 , 8:27pm by mayo2222

zinger60 Posted 30 Oct 2010 , 10:22pm
post #1 of 12

I made a chocolate cake that was in Confetti Cakes for Kids book. When I tasted it right from the oven, it was dynamite. I covered it with plastic wrap and when I tasted it the next day, it was so dry that all it did was crumble to pieces. I was shocked because this recipe is supposed to be the one they use in their bakery. It called for 8 oz of sour cream and I was sure that it was going to be moist because of that. What causes a cake to be dry? What helps to make a homeade cake moist? I had left it in the pan with parchment paper on the bottom. Could the parchment paper have dried it out?

11 replies
deMuralist Posted 30 Oct 2010 , 10:54pm
post #2 of 12

I use the Hershey chocolate cake on the back of the tin. Almost too moist, and fantastic (I use coffee instead of water-I think they ask for water I haven't made it in a while).

Anyway, then what I do is, within 5 minutes of taking it out of the oven (or as soon as I can handle it) I take it out of the pan then cover it in saran wrap and freeze it. I usually take the parchment off but not always, so it is unlikely that the problem comes from that.

To use it I let it thaw in the wrap.

LindaF144a Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 12:58am
post #3 of 12

First off Confetti Cakes is not a bakery, nor does she have one. She has a cake business.
Secondly, her recipe is for cake carving so i think it is formulated to be a sturdy cake.
Third, you should take the cake out of the oan and wrap it tightly.

If you want a moist cake freeze it in the pan tightly wrapped within 10 monutes from taking it from the oven. I was amazed at the results.

Finally, not all chocolate cakes recipes are alike I find i get a dryer cake with sour cream. I always add at least 1/3 cup whole milk per cup of sour cream per Shirley Corriher in her book Bakewise.

If that fails, then there are other scratch chocollate recipes not as dry. Search here on CC for the thread called ? For scratch bakers. There are several chocolate recipes listed there.

BoozeBabe Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 1:21am
post #4 of 12

I use mommyjones recipe called "Best chocolate cake". It is without a doubt the richest, darkest, moistest chocolate cake I have ever tasted. I just made cupcakes with it this week. I filled them with IMBC and covered with chocolate ganache for my version of Hostess Cupcakes. Instead of the loopy squiggle I put initials for the birthday girl.

Try mommyjones recipe next time. Its great

iwantcookies Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 1:45am
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Quote:

If you want a moist cake freeze it in the pan tightly wrapped within 10 monutes from taking it from the oven. I was amazed at the results.




Putting hot food in a freezer is a big no-no from a food safety and sanitation point of view. Not only is there danger of bacteria growing in your warm cake, but all the other food in the freezer is at risk as well as the warm food elevates the temp in the freezer.

LindaF144a Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 2:41am
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwantcookies

Quote:
Quote:

If you want a moist cake freeze it in the pan tightly wrapped within 10 monutes from taking it from the oven. I was amazed at the results.



Putting hot food in a freezer is a big no-no from a food safety and sanitation point of view. Not only is there danger of bacteria growing in your warm cake, but all the other food in the freezer is at risk as well as the warm food elevates the temp in the freezer.




Sorry have to disagree. You would be surprised how much a cake cools down in 10 minutes from the oven. I can handle the cake with no pot holders.

And one cake in a freezer is not going to warm up your freezer enough to warm up the other food, or even melt the other food in your freezer. That is just hyperbole. The pan will get cold way,way quicker than the other food melting.

Which leads me to my last point. Your cake will not build up bacteria. When left in the pan, the pan acts as a cold conductor and will help to freeze the cake and lock in moisture. And it is easier to put it in the freezer in the pan. Try and take a cake out of a pan before it has a chance to cool and it will fall apart. So it is best to freeze it in the pan.

I will not let false information go undisputed, and this previous statement is just plan false- unless you are trying to put in more than 50 percent of what your freezer can hold with very hot pans. In that case you probably have a very large oven too. icon_wink.gif

indydebi Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 5:27am
post #7 of 12

Agree with Linda. If you were putting a straight-from-the-stovetop big pot of soup in the freezer, then yes, it runs the risk of lowering the temp below food safe controls.

In a home refrigerator/freezer environment, I think there is more risk of lower the temp just by the frequent in and out activity of kids getting popsicles and pizza rolls out of the freezer and the high level of the door opening and closing all the time than from one slightly warm cake being put in there.

JanH Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 6:39am
post #8 of 12

Overbaking is probably the #1 reason that scratch cakes are dry.

Handy cake troubleshooting charts:

http://tinyurl.com/2p5bdu

http://tinyurl.com/32goqe

http://tinyurl.com/6c745g

http://tinyurl.com/6lpjww

http://tinyurl.com/yay22w

Here's a link to cakedivine's original post on freezing cakes hot out of the oven:

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-610054-.html

P.S. This method works best for pudding added cakes but not for angel food or butter cakes (per cakesdivine).

HTH

deMuralist Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 4:52pm
post #9 of 12

From what I know (well remember) about food safety, the freezing method is safer than cooling on the counter because it shortens the time the cake spends in the danger zone.

zinger60 Posted 1 Nov 2010 , 6:17pm
post #10 of 12

What is the proper way of getting the cake out of the pan after freezing it? It seems to me that it would stick to the pan even after thawing.

LindaF144a Posted 1 Nov 2010 , 7:59pm
post #11 of 12

First you will want to line the bottom of the pan with parchment paoer. There are just as many different ways to do this also. But i take the overkill method and grease and flour both the pan and the parchment paper. Someone will chime in with an easier and cheaper way. But I don't care. I use the method thst gives me peace of mind.

Having said that, i forgot the parchment paper on the last batch of cakes i made. I remember when I went to takes the baked cakes out of the freezer. Not exactly the right time to remember. icon_wink.gif They came out fine because they were frozen. If i had tried it without them being frozen I would have had cake disaster times 6.

Just run a knife around the edge of the pan between the pan and the cake. Tip the pan upside down and give it a good whack against the table. It should pop out and all i one piece. BTW all the bakers do it this way in the cakery i work at too.

mayo2222 Posted 1 Nov 2010 , 8:27pm
post #12 of 12

I would have to agree with Debi and Linda on the food safety, but it is a valid arguement.

When we would make large pots of chili and then save them for the next day we would put rapid cools (basically large frozen water jugs) into the pots before they went into the frig, otherwise without the rapid cools it would take too long for pots of chili to cool down to the proper temperature.

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