The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 10 Jun 2011 , 9:26pm
post #1 of

Recently I tried some cupcakes from a new shop in my area. They are really heavy and moist and soo yummy! Almost like a mix between a cupcake and a muffin. I usually use cake mixes because every scratch recipe I use comes out drier than the mixes. So yesterday I tried another scratch recipe from Toba Garrett's book (I love her cookie recipes) and again, a bit too dry (compared to the mix). It had buttermilk in it too! (I don't want anything with almond flavour as I don't like it!) Maybe putting vegetable oil in the recipe or yogurt?? But I wonder how much. The recipe makes enough for 2 8"x2" round cakes. Does anyone have any ideas or advice for me?? Thanks!

23 replies
kmstreepey Posted 10 Jun 2011 , 9:44pm
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I think that cupcakes are easily over-baked, so they can end up dry. Watch them carefully and take them out of the oven a little sooner. You can also try subbing some canola oil for some of the fat in the recipe. Good luck!

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 10 Jun 2011 , 11:05pm
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I'll try that next time, maybe I did overbake them a bit. Thanks!

dawncr Posted 10 Jun 2011 , 11:39pm
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If one could bake a great scratch cake from following a recipe the first time, few persons would be using a mix. There's a steep learning curve to baking from scratch. It's a complex and detailed skill, so be kind to yourself--you've just taken the first step.

Listen to how some of the best scratch bakers here (FromScratchSF, LindaF, SCP) describe their early attempts.

Also read some of the threads here on scratch baking and notice the suggestions and comments about things like temperature of ingredients, mixing time and speed, etc. Those threads have helped me to get better at scratch cakes.

HTH

Narie Posted 11 Jun 2011 , 12:39am
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I started scratch baking in 4-H at age ten. Some of those early attempts were very sad. Occasionally I made what my brother called 'paving stones' or 'cardboard'- early pie crust attempts. Hey, one of my first pies the dog wouldn't even eat. Now 56 years later, I'm pretty good. However I have found that taking a cake out of the oven about 1 minute before you think it is done gives the best results. I suspect the carry over heat finishes the baking process. If you wait until you think it is done, the end product is generally a tad dry.

I put the 4-H Busy Day cake recipe in with the other recipes listed here. It is not a refined recipe but it is an easy starting point for scratch baking. It makes a great practice cake for decorating. Cut it in half and make two layers.

scp1127 Posted 11 Jun 2011 , 8:15am
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thanks dawncr. She is right. As well as I bake, I just threw seven cakes in the trash trying to come up with a vanilla vegan cake. But you know what? I nailed it on the eighth try and it was a huge hit, even with the non-vegans. I now offer it in my business. That scary task (it was a wedding cake) led to a business opportunity I never planned to persue.

There are a bunch of us here to help if you really want to persue this. I agree that the first thing you need to look at is are you over-baking. When I practice a new cupcake recipe, I put in one or two to test. This is not popular, but I actually pull them out when the crumbs are still a little damp. The top should be moist, but still bounce back if touched.

By the way, most of my cupcakes are heavy and moist. Many trials and errors went into these recipes. And ask any scratch baker... we are always looking for that recipe that will top our very best. It is an obsession, but a fun one.

Hopefully someone will give you a good recipe for yellow cake. Mine is rather odd and requires a few odd and pricey ingredients. I have had no luck with Sylvia Weinstock's as a cupcake. It shrinks and makes a smaller cupcake. The cake is good, but I don't like the looks of the cc.

It sounds like you have a good recipe, just work on it. When you master that one, try to "one up" yourself with each flavor. If you ask a scratch question on CC, you will get answers.

I highly recommend Shirley Corriher's book, Bakewise, as a fantastic reference book. I also google all of my problem issues. I also copy and file great ideas and baking dilemmas from here for future reference. For example, I have never had a ganache problem. But I keep a file of odd situations I have read here so that if I ever get in a jam, I go to my ganache file. But you know what... reading all of the great advice here and putting it into practice is what I credit for my ganache success.

Good luck and ask away.

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 11 Jun 2011 , 11:06pm
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Thanks for all the tips guys! I've been looking at cake recipes all day. I'm going to try another recipe tomorrow. The one in Sylvia Weinstock's book calls for sour cream and you separate the egg whites and whip them up and add at the end. Whereas the one from Toba Garrett's book used buttermilk and the eggs were just added whole one at a time. Has anyone tried sour cream in their cakes or this method of whipping the egg whites before adding?

sandy99 Posted 11 Jun 2011 , 11:37pm
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i made this vanilla cupcakes http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2063648 with this method( with the whipped egg whites ) and it was the best vanilla cake ever!!!
i also use sour cream in my cakes and it make the difference.

OhGanache Posted 11 Jun 2011 , 11:40pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy99

i made this vanilla cupcakes http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2063648 with this method( with the whipped egg whites ) and it was the best vanilla cake ever!!!
i also use sour cream in my cakes and it make the difference.




Hi
That cupcake looks delicious. What recipe did you use?

Thanks icon_smile.gif

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 11 Jun 2011 , 11:43pm

Thanks Sandy! I can't wait to try that recipe now tomorrow! icon_smile.gif

AuntieE Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 12:15am

I swear by the white chocolate sour cream cake recipe here on cc. It's not completely scratch but it's delicious and moist. I've never had a problem with it and people always tell me how much they love it.

sandy99 Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 12:29am

this one http://cakecentral.com/recipes/2131/white-wedding-cake

scp1127 Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 10:05am

Don't do SW's cake in cupcake form. Although it makes a great cake, it shrinks a little and will make your cupcakes small. It is also very light and airy, not at all dense.

LindaF144a Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 1:45pm

No offense, but by looking at that photo there is no way you can tell how the cupcake came out. It is covered in frosting. While it is a pretty cupcake, without seeing the batter or the finished unfrosted cupcake, you have no idea how it is going to come out. I would rather see an unfrosted one to determine if the recipe will work for me.

LindaF144a Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 3:38pm

Hmm, don't get me started on baking cupcakes! They are harder to get a moist cupcake compared to a cake. Plus, like the previous OP said, it takes a lot of practice to get a good scratch cake recipe. You can over mix the batter at any one part of the process, you can put too much or too little in each cup, you can over bake or even under bake and it will affect the outcome. The ingredients made a huge difference in a cupcake recipe vs a cake recipe. Where you will have a great surface area in a cake, all that stuff that goes in a cake has to happen in a smaller surface and it happens quicker sometimes too even before the chemical reaction takes place inside the cupcake. It is science after all. After a year of testing I am just getting to the point where I like the results. Thank goodness too because I am about 2 weeks away from opening and still tweaking. I am never satisfied.

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 3:55pm

Success! My husband actually told me he prefers a bit lighter cake than the one from that store anyway. So today I tried the recipe from Sylvia Weinstock's book "Sweet Celebrations". It's called Classic Yellow Cake. The only thing I did differently is that I only used only half of the egg whites (I had a feeling that the cupcakes would be too light and fluffy if I used them all). I made 24 cupcakes today. I was expecting them to come out all wrong and taste dry, but they came out perfectly shaped (I used 1/4 cup of batter per cup and smoothed it out with a spoon before putting it in the oven) and they tasted really good and very moist. There's sour cream in this recipe. I actuallly found it on the internet too (the exact same recipe) so I'll try to attach the link. I did make sure to have the ingredients at room temperature and I was careful not to get any of the egg yolks into the whites. I'll try to post a picture here of the book and the finished uniced cupcakes (but sometimes I can't get the pictures to work).

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 4:00pm

Here the link for the recipe http://homecooking.about.com/od/cakerecipes/r/blc13.htm
and of course, I can't figure out how to put a picture on here, I never can. If anyone knows how, let me know. The cupcakes came out perfect domed and pretty smooth.

Sangriacupcake Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 4:12pm

Sugar Fairy, that's my favorite recipe these days, but I haven't tried it as cupcakes. At what temp did you bake yours? I usually do cupcakes at 375, but if yours turned out well at 350, maybe I'd better try that first!

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 4:18pm

I did them at 350 for 18 minutes. 1/4 cup of batter per cup. icon_smile.gif

Sangriacupcake Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 4:20pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Sugar_Fairy

I did them at 350 for 18 minutes. 1/4 cup of batter per cup. icon_smile.gif




Thank you!! I will definitely try this. icon_smile.gif

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 5:56pm

I'm SO happy! My husband and I just tried them with lemon buttercream and they are EXCELLENT! The sour cream must give it the moisture it needs and the egg whites must give it the fluffiness it needs. The next time I do a fondant-covered cake, I'm going to try the recipe either with only a 1/4 of the egg whites or none so that the cake is really dense. He is always honest with me.. he said the first ones I made (Toba Garrett's book) were dry, but okay and the second ones (Weinstock's book, but 1/2 the egg whites) were awesome. Yay! I've found my scratch recipe! Thanks for all the tips along the way though guys! icon_biggrin.gif

cakegirl1973 Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 6:11pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Sugar_Fairy

I'm SO happy! My husband and I just tried them with lemon buttercream and they are EXCELLENT! The sour cream must give it the moisture it needs and the egg whites must give it the fluffiness it needs. The next time I do a fondant-covered cake, I'm going to try the recipe either with only a 1/4 of the egg whites or none so that the cake is really dense. He is always honest with me.. he said the first ones I made (Toba Garrett's book) were dry, but okay and the second ones (Weinstock's book, but 1/2 the egg whites) were awesome. Yay! I've found my scratch recipe! Thanks for all the tips along the way though guys! icon_biggrin.gif





Did you use a simple syrup with it? Or does it not need it?

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 3:47am

I've only made cupcakes so far, and they didn't need the syrup. I'll let you all know how the recipe works for a cake. I'll be making one next week. I don't think it'll need it though, it is very moist. I came home from work today and my husband had eaten all the extra cupcakes... that's a first, he'll usually only have one or two, lol!

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 8:10pm

Well, I've made a cake now. Two 10x2" rounds (doubled the recipe). I just pulled them out of the oven and they look great so far. I haven't tried any yet though.
Sylvia Weinstock does have a simple syrup recipe in the book so I think I will try brushing it on the cake. I've never done this before though... how much should I put on? Doesn't it make the cake soggy? Do you brush it on all the layers of cake? Does there have to be 'skin' on the cake or is it okay to just brush it on where I've cut the cake? I'd so appreciate it if anyone's used simple syrup and can answer these questions for me. icon_smile.gif

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