Hi all! I have been decorating cakes for about 3 years now but I have always used box mixes. Lately, I have been wanting to try some from scratch cakes and I just cannot find a good recipe. I don't know if it is just the way I am doing it but the last 5 recipes I have tried all turn out the same way... One has even been a Paula Dean pound cake recipe and they all have a weird after taste along with just a dull flavor! I don't know what to do because it us getting expensive trying out these recipes to not even get to enjoy eating them! Someone please help me lol thank you!
Really, you just have to keep trying until you find recipes that work for you. There are bad recipes out there. If you find a source you can trust, all the better. I have two old (early 80s) cookbooks that I got as wedding gifts that are my go to sources for scratch cake (and many other things). They are the Better Homes and Gardens and Good Housekeeping Illustrated. I also use the Chocolate Snowball by Lettie Halloran Flatt (for my high altitude needs). No matter what other recipes I try, I keep going back to those. I love Martha Stewart's fillings and frostings, cakes not so much. I wouldn't waste time or ingredients on a Paula Deen recipe.
When I transferred over from box cakes to scratch cakes I had a hard time adjusting. The box cakes seem to taste more sweeter and the from scratch were good..but not what im used to. I now prefer to cook from scratch and can tell when I get served a box cake.
I still get comments that the cake tastes funny sometimes and I will tell them its a scratch cake not from a box -- 90% of the time they reply back that they are used to box cakes. HTH
I had trouble adjusting as well. It helps to always beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, which may take 3-4 minutes. Add your eggs one at a time until each one mixes. When you add your flour mixture, alternate with the liquid, always starting and ending with the flour. All of your ingrediants should be at room temp. I use a flavoring called Wedding Bouquet, you can find it at globalsugarart.com. Hope this helps!
I have found that TV personality recipes can be a bit ...humm... lackluster. Product recipes however are usually good. i.e. Hershey or Swansdown. And if you can find Farm Journal recipe books, the recipes in them have always been sound. The magazine went out of business many years ago and their recipe books have been out of print for sometime. However you might find them through Amazon.
CC member recommended scratch recipes:
Measuring is also critical in scratch baking. Do you scoop and drag to measure your flour? If so, the traditional method is to aerate the flour then gently spoon into your measuring cup and level by pulling a knife over the top of the measuring cup.
Great website for learning baking techniques:
Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I think I may have found the culprit... I used the Great Value brand sweet cream butterecerytime I baked and throne time I didn't... Viola! That must because I have researched it and others have had the same problem. Thanks everyone!