Getting Frustrated With Vanilla Cakes!

Baking By BethLS Updated 16 Apr 2012 , 1:05pm by HappyCake10609

shannycakers Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 4:44pm
post #31 of 47

hello, I was wondering if the recipe you just posted that you loved, holds up for stacking and fondant? I want to try it this weekendicon_smile.gif thanks so much!! im slowly converting to scratch and still in need of a yellowicon_sad.gif

sing Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 5:49pm
post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by shannycakers

hello, I was wondering if the recipe you just posted that you loved, holds up for stacking and fondant? I want to try it this weekendicon_smile.gif thanks so much!! im slowly converting to scratch and still in need of a yellowicon_sad.gif




I would like to know too icon_smile.gif

Bridgette1129 Posted 1 Mar 2012 , 7:01am
post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by shannycakers

hello, I was wondering if the recipe you just posted that you loved, holds up for stacking and fondant? I want to try it this weekendicon_smile.gif thanks so much!! im slowly converting to scratch and still in need of a yellowicon_sad.gif




I gave up on yellow temporarily and don't offer it. But as far as whites go, Ceshell's not-so-lemon lemon cake (Magnolia Bakery's) and Cooks Illustrated White Layer cake are both delicious white cakes! Tried the King Arthur cake listed in the Great Scratch off and it wasn't as good as these 2!

scp1127 Posted 1 Mar 2012 , 10:39am
post #34 of 47

Linda,

Hi and how are you doing?

That Cake Love recipe for me is almost too moist, especially after about 12 hours. I love it ths way.

I make my own half and half by using whole milk and heavy cream. I'm not sure what else I'm doing that is different. I do add a rediculous amount of vbp (maybe 1.5 tbsp). I use 2 tbsp of Hennessy (kid cakes 1 tbsp). I definitely never over-bake my cupcakes. I bake at 350 with independent thermometers in all of the ovens.

I'm sorry you are having trouble because I love that recipe.

Buddy's is excellent, but a little labor intensive. This is one that crowds rave over. I have his book. In the book he suggests using a hand mixer to make the custard, as that will make for a thicker custard. Longer beating and a little extra thickener (I think cornstarch or flour) will make the custard even more sturdy. After I refrigerate the custard, it is thick like cold mashed potatoes. I follow all rules for room temp ingredients, but in this cake, he mentions the importance. I use a chocolate thermometer to get everything to 72 degrees.

Buddy's cake barely changes color, so watch carefully and check with a toothpick. It does have a few minutes more baking time because of the custard.

The crumb is very unique. It almost looks wet without being wet. But it is mega moist. It has the longest shelf life of all of my recipes. It handles changes and flavors well.

That recipe accepts Oreos, fillings, syrup, everything.

Ahof Posted 1 Mar 2012 , 12:14pm
post #35 of 47

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (do not sift the flour)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1tbs +1tsp Vegetable oil
1 stick butter (not margarine), softened
1-tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°

Cut wax paper to fit the bottom of (3) 9 x 1 1/2-inch round pans. Spray the pans with cooking spray, place the wax paper in the pans and spray the paper.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, mixing well.

Add the milk/vegetable oil mixture, butter and vanilla to the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer on medium to medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed.

Add the eggs and continue beating an additional 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center of cake comes out clean, or until cake springs back when touched lightly in the center.

Cool cakes on wire racks for 15 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely.


I add a box of vanilla pudding, this is so yummy. I found this recipe online somewhere.

bonniebakes Posted 2 Mar 2012 , 9:53pm
post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


I refuse to eat a yellow cake. Haven't had one yet that didn't taste dry and have a cornbread texture. Yellow cakes have no flavor to me. dry. tasteless. yucky. Mix or scratch, haven't met one yet that was worth it.

white cake made with egg yolks, which will give it a yellow-ish color, is not the same as a "yellow" cake. its a white cake made with egg yolks.




Debi - I'm curious about this. I'm not questioning your knowledge or opinion at all, just trying to increase my understanding of what "scientifically" make a cake one type or the other (also because I'm on a search for a good scratch yellow cake recipe and most of them taste like cornbread to me, too). What is the difference between a white cake (with yolks) and a yellow cake?

FromScratchSF Posted 2 Mar 2012 , 10:28pm
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bonniebakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


I refuse to eat a yellow cake. Haven't had one yet that didn't taste dry and have a cornbread texture. Yellow cakes have no flavor to me. dry. tasteless. yucky. Mix or scratch, haven't met one yet that was worth it.

white cake made with egg yolks, which will give it a yellow-ish color, is not the same as a "yellow" cake. its a white cake made with egg yolks.



Debi - I'm curious about this. I'm not questioning your knowledge or opinion at all, just trying to increase my understanding of what "scientifically" make a cake one type or the other (also because I'm on a search for a good scratch yellow cake recipe and most of them taste like cornbread to me, too). What is the difference between a white cake (with yolks) and a yellow cake?




According to Rose Levy Beranbaum in the Cake Bible, a true white cake is made with egg whites only. A true yellow cake is made with egg yolks only.

kaya541 Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 4:36pm
post #38 of 47

I too have been baking white cake recipes like crazy trying to find one I like and can work with. A couple days ago I made the Cooks Illustrated White Layer Cake as cupcakes and they came out great. Tried the recipe again as an orange flavor with juice and zest, and again came out great. A little moist on top the 2nd day, but not at all dry on the inside.

Bridgette1129 Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 5:20pm
post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaya541

I too have been baking white cake recipes like crazy trying to find one I like and can work with. A couple days ago I made the Cooks Illustrated White Layer Cake as cupcakes and they came out great. Tried the recipe again as an orange flavor with juice and zest, and again came out great. A little moist on top the 2nd day, but not at all dry on the inside.




I love the Cook's Illustrated as cupcakes. But it was dense as a cake icon_sad.gif

JerryLINY Posted 15 Apr 2012 , 2:41pm
post #40 of 47

Has anyone tried the Ultimate Butter Cake or the Scratch Yellow Cake w/Box Qualities recipes? The butter cake has gotten many great reviews and testers have created several flavor variations.

imagenthatnj Posted 15 Apr 2012 , 3:02pm
post #41 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwantcookies

i absolutely LUV the vanilla buttermilk cake recipe in the book 'Sky High'. you can find it on this blog:

http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/07/project-wedding-cake-the-cake-is-baked/

Just scroll down the page til u get to the recipe.
hth[/url]




I love this one too. Everyone does in my family.

annakat444 Posted 16 Apr 2012 , 2:14am
post #42 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Linda,

Hi and how are you doing?

That Cake Love recipe for me is almost too moist, especially after about 12 hours. I love it ths way.

I make my own half and half by using whole milk and heavy cream. I'm not sure what else I'm doing that is different. I do add a rediculous amount of vbp (maybe 1.5 tbsp). I use 2 tbsp of Hennessy (kid cakes 1 tbsp). I definitely never over-bake my cupcakes. I bake at 350 with independent thermometers in all of the ovens.

I'm sorry you are having trouble because I love that recipe.

Buddy's is excellent, but a little labor intensive. This is one that crowds rave over. I have his book. In the book he suggests using a hand mixer to make the custard, as that will make for a thicker custard. Longer beating and a little extra thickener (I think cornstarch or flour) will make the custard even more sturdy. After I refrigerate the custard, it is thick like cold mashed potatoes. I follow all rules for room temp ingredients, but in this cake, he mentions the importance. I use a chocolate thermometer to get everything to 72 degrees.

Buddy's cake barely changes color, so watch carefully and check with a toothpick. It does have a few minutes more baking time because of the custard.

The crumb is very unique. It almost looks wet without being wet. But it is mega moist. It has the longest shelf life of all of my recipes. It handles changes and flavors well.

That recipe accepts Oreos, fillings, syrup, everything.




scp1127 - I'm curious about your experience with Buddy's custard cake. I have his book too and when I baked it with the custard (two different times), neither time it rose. I know for sure I measured everything correctly, and my baking powder was brand new. Both times it was as dense as a brownie (although the taste was phenomenal)...how did yours turn out? I would love for this to be my go-to recipe for vanilla cake, but I gave up on it because neither time I made it it worked. The recipe said the custard was optional and I just figured with the custard added in (which means 2x eggs, 2x flour, etc.) maybe it needed 2x baking powder? But the recipe didn't call for any adjustments if you add the custard, so I wasn't sure.

SandiOh Posted 16 Apr 2012 , 2:46am
post #43 of 47

IMO, I want a cake that's my own, unique to me. So most of my recipes are altered from a recipe that I have found but not totally happy with.
I have found in my experiments, that baking recipes are not as exacting as I've been taught....meaning there is always some room to fool around with the recipe. The worst thing that happens is you feed the birds.
So say you find a vanilla recipe that you like the taste of, but think it's a tad too dry....think to yourself what can I add to impart moisture? mayo, sourcream, yougurt, oil, more sugar, simple syrup, pudding mix, altering the amount or type of flour, sugar or liquid....think, think, think and make it your own.

yortma Posted 16 Apr 2012 , 2:53am
post #44 of 47

I have spent the past several months testing recipes in preparation for a large event this spring. I easily found an excellent chocolate cake recipe, but I agree it has been a challenge to find the perfect white or yellow cake recipe. I tried box mix adaptations, but wasn't pleased with them, and I would much prefer to say "of course it's from scratch" if asked. Also, I am mad at the cake companies for reducing the size of the boxes and hoping no one would notice. I tried at least 20 different recipes using 9" rounds, and then found that size does matter, as I had to test all over again for sheet cakes. My favorite 9" white cake was from Cooks Illustrated, but was a horrible dense mess as a sheetcake, despite 3 attempts. I agree with the posts above that the the vanilla buttermilk cake from sky high is excellent and was my clear winner. (my favorite chocolate cake has buttermilk too). It has whole eggs and yolks, so is between a white and yellow cake, but is moist, tasty, and a very light yellow color, and works equally as well for smaller cakes and larger sheet cakes. I did not yet try the vanilla bean cake in the same book, which is egg whites only. Has anyone tried this? It looks similar to Rose Levy Beranbaums white velvet cake recipe (which I though was somewhat dense and dry) but slight differences in amounts and technique can make a big difference in the results . Given the success of the vanilla buttermilk cake it is next on my list, but not until I can fit back into my skinny jeans after all this testing!

dawnybird Posted 16 Apr 2012 , 3:36am
post #45 of 47

Please don't think I'm questioning anyone's choice to bake from scratch or to use a doctored cake mix. I guess I just don't understand what anyone has against using a mix as part of the ingredients? I've used both, and the boxed mixes, pumped up with extras wins every time in my circle. So why knock yourself out to bake a scratch cake just for the sake of being able to say you bake only from scratch?
My other question is: what flavor is a yellow cake if not vanilla? When I use a doctored yellow cake, I add pudding and sour cream and an extra egg, plus I use a mix of vanilla, butter flavor and a little almond. That's what my customers love. They call it "birthday cake or wedding cake flavor" - their words, not mine. Even the WASC cake isn't received as well by my customers. They want the soft, fluffy texture of the doctored mix. Why mess with success? No offense to anyone; just asking.

scp1127 Posted 16 Apr 2012 , 6:09am
post #46 of 47

annakat, I have made it many times, all a success. When I study a bakers' recipes, I also research their methodology. This is important to get the most out of a recipe. In that recipe, Buddy gives the tip of using a hand mixer on the custard to add to the strength of the structure and to shorten the time. He also says that mixing longer will produce a thicker custard. I do both and I always bump up my thickener in any recipe to an additional 20-30%. With cornstarch and fully cooked flour, that extra is an insurance policy that a custard will not become runny, especially if it is a filling with weight on it or a base for German buttercream.

So on Buddy's, the custard cold is almost the consistency of cold mashed potatoes... able to stand on its own on a spoon and not lose the sharp cut edges. For the cake, room temp is important. For custards, I actually use my chocolate thermometer to watch to get it back to 72 degrees before using. The cupcakes are mega moist and the dome is higher than any I have ever seen. BUT, be careful, the cake and cupcakes do not brown, so you have to really watch it. Because the cake is so moist and dense, it takes a little bit longer to bake.

dawnybird, The reason that your box mix wins is because you haven't baked a scratch cake that is better than the box. This is true of many bakers' skill level. A good scratch cake isn't even compared to a box. It's like cake and pie. I say this because in my experience, people don't stop eating box just because they have had an excellent scratch cake. They just don't have the opportunity to get it every time they want cake. My prices are too high to have mine as the dessert at every Sunday dinner, for example. There are too many pastry chefs, mega-successful bakery owners, celebrity chefs, and just great bakers, to refute your claim. And there are also the multitude of CC members who have risen to the level of master scratch bakers. My customers will not pay the $89.00 that I charge for my homestyle (not decorated) 9 in German Chocolate cake if it was a box. For that price, I had better produce an amazing gastronomic experience. And this cake has a great following.

Indydebi, you just may not like yellow cake. It is my favorite batter taste and the only one I actually prefer with no frosting. When I experiment, the cakes get eaten by family and my daughter's friend by just breaking off a chunk. It is so delicious. I do have a few extra ingredients that take it to a deeper depth of taste, but to the unknow taster, it's just yellow cake. I don't like chocolate and everyone loves chocolate. My white cake has a wonderful flavor plain. Because I don't do traditional wedding cakes (people come to me for my non-traditional flavors), I have never just made a white cake with vanilla frosting, but if I pull a piece of the cake out of my slice, again, I could eat it by itself.

HappyCake10609 Posted 16 Apr 2012 , 1:05pm
post #47 of 47

Just wanted to stick my 2 cents in... I've been experimenting with scratch vanilla/yellow/white cake for months now... I pm-ed scp1127 the other day for suggestions and she mentioned Warren Brown's Yellow Butter Cake recipe (it's on his website and youtube)... It was great! It worked well as cupcakes and a cake... she knows what she's talking about, and I'm going to try several of her other suggestions.

To answer someone's question about why people don't want to use boxed mixes: I've turned to scratch baking because I feel better knowing what's going into my cakes, I want to be able to tell people that yes, I bake from scratch. I want my labels to have "real" ingredients on it that you can pronounce... I want to use local, fresh ingredients- when available, to help support local farms. Because I LIKE to bake and I like a challenge and I love the satisfaction from having to work at a recipe and have it come out right. Because after all of my experimenting I used a WASC recipe a couple of weeks ago (because I hadn't found a suitable replacement yet) and I could absolutely taste that chemically taste people talk about... I must have been so used to it I didn't notice!

Hope maybe that helps someone icon_smile.gif

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against people who used doctored mixes... It's what I started with and I got plenty of rave reviews about them... but for those who would rather bake from scratch even though they get frustrated at all the experimenting trying to find the right recipe... there are many reasons why we put ourselves through it.

For those still experimenting (and I'm sure I'll continue to experiment myself) a few things I've learned:

I prefer yellow cake, I think the yolks help keep in some of the moisture. I would still make a white cake if someone specifically asked, but my go-to vanilla cake will almost definitely contain egg yolks.

I always have to increase the flavoring in recipes... I'm sorry but 2 tsp vanilla does not give me the vanilla flavor I like. I use at least 2 TBSP vanilla and usually some vanilla bean paste as well! I'm a vanilla girl, I don't see it as "plain", I like to taste the vanilla in my cake.

Pay attention to the temperature of ingredients and the mixing method... yes, I know everyone says it.... but it's true! If my recipe fails the first time, I will usually try it at least once more- paying extra attention to the method.

Finally, at first I found modifying recipes to be a daunting task, I didn't know enough about baking science... but I found this article that talks about ratios of ingredients and it has helped me decide what to change and by how much without causing a complete failure: http://www.finecooking.com/articles/ratios-for-great-cakes.aspx

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