Red Velvet Cake Too Dense

Baking By Jei Updated 7 Feb 2011 , 7:05am by scp1127

Jei Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 4:57am
post #1 of 8

Hi All! I just made a Red Velvet cake, actually this was my first cake from scratch! I usually use a box and add things to make it to my liking.
Anywho, it came out dense and hard. I think I followed the instructions properly, what did I go wrong?
HELP!

7 replies
scp1127 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 5:21am
post #2 of 8

Red velvet is a moist, dense cake compared to the light, fluffy box mix. But it shouldn't be hard. Did you use a tried and true recipe? There are several good ones out there that give good results. Search CC and we have a thread about Cakeman Raven's recipe that is a crowd-pleaser. Several other threads and the "most saved" recipe list have more. I guess if it is overcooked, it may get hard. I take my cakes out when they start to pull away from the sides and the toothpick has a few crumbs because they still cook in the pan after they are out of the oven. Make sure your oven is the right temp. Get an oven thermometer. Cake mixes are designed to take a little abuse, so you may not know if your oven is incorrect

indydebi Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 5:27am
post #3 of 8

There are plenty of folks who have a higher experise level on scratch cakes than I do, but here's a couple of things to consider.....

What kind of flour did you use? There's a difference between all purpose flour and cake flour and bread flour.

If hte cake is coming out "hard", it sounds overbaked. Do you use baking strips? Reduce the oven temp?

Do you sift your dry ingredients? Whether the recipe calls for it or not, I sift all dry items.

And yes, a scratch cake's texture is way different than a box mix texture.

CupQuequito Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 5:27am
post #4 of 8

I did not care for Cakeman's recipe. Had no flavor at all, and I tried it twice. I was testing his recipe for a cake I did this past weekend. I ended up going with WASC cake, and adding cocoa and dye. OH MY... deee-lish!

I added a half cup, to the 2 doctored boxes. HTH

FromScratchSF Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 5:53am
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jei

Hi All! I just made a Red Velvet cake, actually this was my first cake from scratch! I usually use a box and add things to make it to my liking.
Anywho, it came out dense and hard. I think I followed the instructions properly, what did I go wrong?
HELP!




Hi!

I make tons of red velvet, one of my top sellers. I am also a red velvet snob, and can taste a box mix with red coloring in it from a mile away. Red Velvet is a very specific flavor that cannot be duplicated unless made from scratch.

One very common mistake and misunderstanding is that RV is NOT a chocolate cake, and the type of cocoa powder you use is very important. The cocoa causes a chemical reaction with the vinegar and baking soda causing your cake to rise and have a distinct uniform texture which should be moist and fluffy. For best results you have to use Dutch processed cocoa, and most cocoa you buy in the supermarket is NOT Dutch processed (Hershey's, Ghiradelli). I use E. Guittard Cocoa Rouge powder, it's available all over in my area but might be harder to find where you are. Green & Black's Organic Cocoa is also dutch processed.

You could also have baking soda that has gone over.

My personal favorite red velvet recipe is actually Martha Stewart's (on her website). It's actually pretty close to my Grandmother's RV rcipe which I use in my bakery (and I don't share icon_smile.gif).

Good luck!

Jen

scp1127 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 6:20am
post #6 of 8

I make changes to Cakeman's... more cocoa powder, less oil, and less coloring. Then I really like it.

FromScratchSF, I have never tried Dutch Process, although I regularly use the exact one you use. I will have to try that. RV is my favorite cake. I am a rare person who does not like chocolate.

FromScratchSF Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 6:35am
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

I make changes to Cakeman's... more cocoa powder, less oil, and less coloring. Then I really like it.

FromScratchSF, I have never tried Dutch Process, although I regularly use the exact one you use. I will have to try that. RV is my favorite cake. I am a rare person who does not like chocolate.




I have yet to try the Cakeman one, but I hear that people cut the oil.

If you use Guittard, you use Dutch processed... and it's probably why your cake turns out icon_biggrin.gif I actually just was visiting my sister, she asked me to make a RV... she only had Hershey's in the house. I thought I'd give it a go, with the disclaimer that it might not work right - and I was right... using the recipe I have in my head that always turns out at home, didn't even come close to turning out right using Hershey's! That chemistry is a fickle one!

scp1127 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 7:05am
post #8 of 8

FromScratchSF, the Guittard is hard to get. We have another home outside of Annapolis, MD and I have to get my husband to go to Sur La Table there and buy a bunch at a time so I don't have to buy it online. Cakeman's is dfferent than southen RV. I lost the recipe I made years ago but it was more dense and dark. I am still trying to duplicate that one, but Cakeman's is completely different from most and I like it.

By the way, Cooks Illustrated did a test using dutch process in recipes calling for regular cocoa. In each recipe, people preferred the dutch process to the original and it did not throw off any of the recipes. So their consensus was to use it exclusively.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%