Cakes From Scratch

Baking By MaraCarter Updated 13 May 2013 , 12:10pm by milly123

MaraCarter Posted 12 Sep 2011 , 3:58am
post #1 of 15

We had a cupcakes from scratch contest at the fair. I thought oh how easy...Haha. Tired three batch of scratch cupcake and no success. I normally am a box cake mixer maker. But this has brought out my competitive side. Any suggests or hints on make a cake from scratch. The recipe we made called for shortening. We used gas station Banana Carmel coffee instead of water. It turned out very crunchy on the top. the main part of the cupcake was crumbly.

Another ? on cupcake my wrapper never stay on! What am I doing wrong there? Sorry to ramble...but thanks for looking and your help!!

14 replies
twooten173 Posted 12 Sep 2011 , 4:04am
post #2 of 15

I'm working on scratch cakes too. I find that chocolate ones are easiest to start with. I've done so of Warren Brown's recipes and they came out well. He said the key is to cream the butter and sugar together before proceeding. This has worked out pretty well for me.

Keep at it.

carolinagirlcakes Posted 12 Sep 2011 , 4:25am
post #3 of 15

Okay so I got this website from another post... she has an awesome site and was very nice and answered my questions.

http://fromscratchsf.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/white-cake-part-3-with-recipe/

Just look through here site to find different things and techniques. The link is for her white scratch cake.

scp1127 Posted 12 Sep 2011 , 4:56am
post #4 of 15

If you are going to learn to bake from scratch, stay away from the shortening and the coffee creamers. Start by using pure ingredients that bring out the wonderful taste of the ingredients. The coffee creamer just added back the chemicals.

Warren Brown is where I always direct new scratch bakers. His recipes work. You may prefer other recipes in time, but you will get a great base cake with plenty of instructions. He has tutorials on his site too. And do buy the potato starch. That stuff really works. I've used it as a custard thickener and it works very well. You may find this book in the library and amazon sells them used.

And wherever you find your recipes, look for an author that explains the process. Don't just bounce around on the internet. You can get discouraged easily. If it's from a book, make sure it is a well respected baker and read the introduction and all tips.

I am an experienced scratch baker with many years experience and I own an artisan bakery. As I post this, I am taking a break from six batches of brioche bread... perfecting my sticky buns even more, and wrestling with Brioche Au Chocolate. I'm not there yet. I'm about six times into the sticky buns and three times into the brioche. As with my cake recipes too, it may take me ten time to get a recipe to where I will add it to the menu, and then I just keep tweaking.

So don't get discouraged. Just start again. And soon, with a success or two, you will find that you either caught the bug, or you will hate it.

I suggest that you pick one flavor and work on it until it is right. Then add another. If you let us know a flavor, then we can help you.

For the cupcake wrappers, cheap ones tend to give scratch recipes trouble. They are pretty, but you never know when they will act up. Look for good quality greaseproof liners.

MaraCarter Posted 17 Sep 2011 , 3:53am
post #5 of 15

Thank you for your help everyone!! I will check out your suggestions. I really appreciate it!!

amaryllis756 Posted 20 Sep 2011 , 9:37am
post #6 of 15

When I first started out baking cupcakes for a business, I too tried baking from scratch, and gave up. I then went to box mixes. I was so frustrated. My family is now encouraging me to try scratch baking, but I am so afraid of the results. It is very discouraging. I had trouble with every cupcake I made. I want to make cupcakes from scratch, but just haven't did it because of the fear of failure. and waste of money. Hopefully one day........................

scp1127 Posted 20 Sep 2011 , 9:54am
post #7 of 15

amarylliss, it's just like learning to play tennis or learning to paint. You put in the time, and sometimes you fail. That is why it is important that you love it. If you hate it and fail, that's a job. And no fun.

Make sure your oven is calibrated with a little $5.00 oven thermometer. A box mix can handle a wrong temp, but scratch can't. Sometimes it's not you. Next are bad recipes. I can't make a bad recipe good. Watch the threads we have on scratch recipes. If you make the recipe, whatever it is, the bakers on the thread will guide you. Then you can be guaranteed a good recipe.

MimiFix Posted 20 Sep 2011 , 11:10am
post #8 of 15

Two other very important points: (1) read through the recipe instructions before you start, then follow those instructions; and (2) measure ingredients carefully, using the exact amount called for.

Those box mixes are formulated to give reliable results. But scp1127 is right, those results come from the added chemicals. I learned to bake from scratch by baking and learning from what went wrong and what went right. My last book has an important how-to section followed by over 100 recipes from my bakery, tested recipes that we made over and over so I know they work. But still, some people write and ask me what went wrong. Then I discover they didn't read the Baking Basics and were not careful with ingredient selection or measuring and take shortcuts without understanding the impact of making changes.

Practice, practice, practice. Once you become an accomplished scratch baker, you can post on CC and help the new scratch bakers succeed.

scp1127 Posted 20 Sep 2011 , 2:22pm
post #9 of 15

Another factor for failure... cheap measuring cups and spoons... especially plastic ones and ones with a rim. They can be very inaccurate. Go to Bed Bath and Beyond or another better kitchen store. They will have accurate ones. They will be about $7 to $10 for each set. I only bake with All-Clad, but they will set you back some serious $. Wait until you are hooked.

Mimi, is the book I have your last book? Do you have another?

MimiFix Posted 20 Sep 2011 , 2:53pm
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Another factor for failure... cheap measuring cups and spoons... especially plastic ones and ones with a rim. They can be very inaccurate. Go to Bed Bath and Beyond or another better kitchen store. They will have accurate ones. They will be about $7 to $10 for each set. I only bake with All-Clad, but they will set you back some serious $. Wait until you are hooked.

Mimi, is the book I have your last book? Do you have another?




Home Baking for Profit is my second book. It includes info that covers all the baking questions people had asked after Start & Run a Home-Based Food Business was published. (Start and Run is business oriented and covers mostly non-baking issues.) Home Baking for Profit is a great resource for scratch bakers, especially those who bake and sell. I help people get the most out of their home kitchens by combining my commercial experience and quantity home baking experience plus tips for marketing/sales. The first few chapters cover equipment (including everything you need to know about ovens), and baking basics such as ingredients and recipe/product development.

As I wrote in my first book, this is the book I wish I'd had when I started my business.

scp1127 Posted 20 Sep 2011 , 3:21pm
post #11 of 15

I'll have to look into your second book. I have the first.

JaniceBest Posted 20 Sep 2011 , 11:29pm
post #12 of 15

I bought Mimi's first book two years ago when a friend recommended it. I'd lost my job and did not know what I was going to do. The style is sweet but firm; she has a way of explaining and making everything clear. I couldn't use my own kitchen and shared use kitchens were so expensive. I had no idea what to do and emailed her. She suggested other commercial kitchens and I soon found a luncheonette that was happy to have me rent the kitchen after they closed for the day - and I took Mimi's suggestion and offered to barter. My rent is a dozen brownies each session.

I wrote her and asked some baking questions and was then excited to see her cookbook last spring. I love it. It's better than I could have hoped. I've learned so much, I just want to say thank you, Mimi. (And Mimi, I've read your other posts on CC. You're not that cranky. icon_wink.gif )

deuceofcakes Posted 20 Sep 2011 , 11:48pm
post #13 of 15

Another good source for scratch recipes is any book by Nick Malgieri. He is the head of the baking and pastry program at a cooking school, and his recipes are well tested and I find them to be very clear. Rose Levy Berenbaum is also a great resource. She gives pointers like having eggs at room temperature, and explains the chemistry behind a recipe. You don't even need to buy books by these and other authors; your local library may have them. HTH.

deuceofcakes Posted 20 Sep 2011 , 11:48pm
post #14 of 15

Another good source for scratch recipes is any book by Nick Malgieri. He is the head of the baking and pastry program at a cooking school, and his recipes are well tested and I find them to be very clear. Rose Levy Berenbaum is also a great resource. She gives pointers like having eggs at room temperature, and explains the chemistry behind a recipe. You don't even need to buy books by these and other authors; your local library may have them. HTH.

milly123 Posted 13 May 2013 , 12:10pm
post #15 of 15

Hi, i bought the book you just mentioned and have just given it away.

 

I found the ingredients hard to source, here in the uk but even when i did, my buttercream was eeeyyuck. The butter to sugar ratio means that im eating sweet butter, thats absolutely gross to me. Maybe us brits have a different taste???

 

My sponge cake was the worst ive ever made. The only good recipe i found was one for cream cheese frosting.

 

Im sticking to the british ingredients from now on. I did find however that my mixing method is wrong. I was under creaming the butter and sugar and was whisking the flour in when i should have been carefully folding it in. I havent tried again yet but i will def post if the results are different.

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