My cakes (box cake) always come out dry and crumbly. I know this is cake 101 but..Ive already tried to 1)check my oven temp (oven termometer)..2) bake for a shorter period.
Do u think the problem could be..
over mixing? Using the wrong fat (canola oil)? Using eggs that are not room temp?
I Have already tried tweeking all the above...
Please help! Any suggestions!?
Have you tried milk instead of water?
Overmixing would make it appear underbaked or gummy. When i make box cakes, if the box says to bake at 350 i bake at 345. this helps it to bake level too. I always bake with room tempurature ingredients.. you may want to try that. Otherwise it doesn't seem like you are doing anything wrong. Double check the expiration dates on the box.. I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but i know i just bought 6 boxes of cake and they were all expired.. i didn't want to take any changes with it...
I always add an instant pudding mix to my box cakes. Just the packet of dry ingredient, and mix it into my cake batter. Ive done this would DH and BC box mixes. I dont change anything else about the box instructions. I dont religiously bake with only room temperature ingredients, and people always seem to be surprised with how moist and yummy the cakes turn out. There clearly is no scientific method behind my madness, but it may help.
Always use room temperature ingredients, regardless of whether you bake from a box or scratch.
I use Kakeladi's WASC recipe on here with Betty Crocker mixes. I used to use Duncan Hines exclusively but had a really bad experience with all three DH mixes that I used for a wedding cake last weekend. I am basically switching to scratch baking unless it's a freebie for someone. However, her recipe is really good and moist. It's also heavy if you do carving or any of those shenanigans.
I always SIFT the dry ingredients (it breaks up the clumps) and add them to the wet.
What kind of mixer are you using? If you are using a standing mixer like a Kitchen Aid, mix on number 2 ONLY. Any more than that and you will mix in way too much air. I also pour the batter in slowly and slam that sucker on the counter to get all the air bubbles out.
I also bake at 325 (scratch or mix) which does take considerably longer. You may also want to buy a set of bake even strips to put on the outside of your pan. Wilton makes them so you can pick them up in Michael's or any other place that sells cake decorating stuff. This will keep the outside from getting too overdone and also it will help the cake bake more level.
THANK YOU So MUCH !! I will try all the above!!!!
Have you tried a different brand of cake mix instead? It could just be an inferior brand if they always come out bad. I never use room temp, don't have time, I break all sorts of baking rules. Over mix, use water, different temps, doesn't matter, as long as I don't go too rogue, it comes out fine. But I did notice one certain brand of cake mix is awful and never comes out even when I follow directions to a 'tee'.
I'm with sweetflowers, I've never bothered with room temperature. It just doesn't make a difference except for cream. Cream has to be cold or it will separate. Eggs whip all the same when they're cold, just slower. Even in school it wasn't unusual to end up using rock hard butter for imbc (for example)... just means you get to throw it in before it cools down!