Krista512 Posted 22 Feb 2012 , 5:22am
post #1 of

I have tried tons of recipes from here and I just dont like them. it could be cause im so used to box mixes that I dont know what a real cake tastes like i just dont know but i was refered to crumboss website for good recipes. they have tons of followers and are an actual bakery so I figured their recipes must be great seing all the rave reviews.

today i tried vanilla cake, chocolate cake, strawberry cake, and thin mint cookies and swiss buttercream and strawberry swiss buttercream.
all were failures. I am following the directions and i believe im getting the measurements correct. she does oz instead of cup type measurements so i used my food scale.

the vanilla was so so ok think it needed more vanilla flavoring
strawberry was a total failure. did the puree like she said and added it to the vanilla and the cake didnt rise at all and was so soggy with burnt edges trying to cook the middle in this 6 inch cake pan

the chocolate texture was funky, and had a major cocoa powder taste.

the thin mint cookies the taste flavorwise was decent but the cookie completely crumbled into pieces and she didnt put what kind of chocolate to dip in so i used milk chocolate thats all the store had then i realized she probably used dark

the buttercream tastes ok, but when added the strawberry puree it had no strawberry taste to it.

anyone else have bad results from her cakes? they seamed so promising.

im starting to loose hope in getting away from doctored box recipes. i love the taste of them but want to just feel prideful that my stuff is completely scratch and not have to worry about a cake flavor not being in or it being recalled like one has been in the past.
where can i get good basic flavor recipes at????

30 replies
FromScratchSF Posted 22 Feb 2012 , 5:46am
post #2 of

First, YAY for trying scratch recipes! But I'm sorry to say, not all recipes are created equal.

First, use vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste to get a vanilla cake.

For strawberry cake do not just add puree. I've seen recipes like this and I scratch my head. If you want a good strawberry cake, take your strawberries and crush them thru a sieve. Smoosh out as much juice as possible and add the pulp to your vanilla cake. I use about 1/4 cup of pulp to a recipe that makes an 8" cake. Use the juice in your buttercream.

If you get no strawberry flavor, it's probably your strawberries. Fresh fruit is tricky to work with, if your strawberries don't taste that great or are not that sweet in flavor they work poorly in recipes because you can't taste them that well.

I love a lot of the recipes on Martha Stewart. Her one bowl chocolate, red velvet, and carrot are really good and easy to make, and the recipes are all online. I also have a white cake recipe on my blog you should try.

Good luck!

chocolatestone Posted 22 Feb 2012 , 7:01am
post #3 of

I've tried the swiss buttercream and absolutely love it. It required more work than other buttercream recipes but it was really easy to make. I find that you need to add as much flavouring as you can to get the taste that you desire. For strawberry buttercream I always use a strawberry liqueur or strawberry flavoured oil in addition to the strawberry puree and the taste is always excellent.

Don't give up. Try the recipes again. It's little things that can make a huge difference when it comes to baking cakes. Box mixes don't require much technique. They are made so that anyone can achieve good results with them. Scratch baking requires technique and patience.

Tails Posted 22 Feb 2012 , 4:03pm
post #4 of

Crumb Boss (Gretchen) is a member of these forums, perhaps also visit her FB page and ask where you might have gone wrong. I have used her recipes many times icon_smile.gif

But, for a nice, no fail chocolate cake, try this one (its my go to recipe so I can guarantee it works!): http://cakecentral.com/recipe/wacky-cake-2

Enjoy!

Debbye27 Posted 22 Feb 2012 , 4:23pm
post #5 of

how do you measure out your ingredients? did you know there is a right way to measuring flour? (can learn on youtube) you never scoop it out of container- you stir the flour then spoon it into measuring cup, then level the cup....it takes slightly longer -but really makes a difference in baking. If all your recipes are failing- you may be measuring ingredients wrong. I measure all my dry ingredients this way now. I also sift all my dry ingredients.
If you do a little research on how to properly measure ingredients and what temperature works best (for instance room temp eggs, room temp butter, room temp milk...) then you may have better results with your recipes. Certain ingredients can be generic, but with baking powder/soda and powdered sugar I buy the brand name, also be sure to use cake flour when called for rather then regular flour.

I just pm'd you with my two fav recipes, choc and vanilla-both are super easy, from scratch, and work wonderfully.

AnnieCahill Posted 22 Feb 2012 , 4:30pm
post #6 of

I can't vouch for any of the Crumb Boss recipes as I have never tried them. I tried watching one of the videos and I stopped watching 20 seconds in.

That being said, go for recipes that are tried and true. The double chocolate layer cake from Epicurious is one of my favorite recipes, and one of the highest rated on that site. Cakes which use oil as the fat are good for beginners. Do a search for the scratch off threads. There is one for yellow, white, and chocolate. Once you find a good white or yellow recipe that can be modified into most fruit flavors. Also, check out Olive Nation extracts. They are pure fruit extracts and would be excellent for your fruit flavors. For red velvet many of us like Cakeman Raven's recipe with the oil scaled back a bit. I also like the Martha Stewart red velvet recipe.

Pay attention to your oven temperature and baking time and also your mixing. It's very important to avoid over-mixing because that can do horrible things to a perfect recipe. Check out The Cake Bible from Rose Levy Beranbaum. A lot of her recipes use reverse creaming which can help you avoid over-mixing.

TheSweetTreat Posted 22 Feb 2012 , 4:40pm
post #7 of

I made the Crumb Boss vanilla cake recipe and it was very very dry. The flavor was pretty good though. The cake was dry because I'm certain that I overbaked it. It was my first time ever making a cake from scratch. I would look through the oven door and the cake still seemed undercooked on top so I would leave it a few minutes longer. By the time I decided to finally check by touch to see if the cake was finished it was over finished icon_razz.gif Like I said, the flavor was there though. I haven't remade that recipe and instead found another vanilla recipe that I love. I think I will go back and try the first vanilla recipe again just to make sure it was all me.

I also use her swiss meringue recipe, but I do not add shortening since my cupcakes are never sitting in the heat, etc. I love the addition of a small amount of powdered sugar.

Like mentioned earlier, when baking from scratch there really is a bit of baking science knowledge that you must know in order to get a good result. I've borrowed many baking books from the library and scoured the internet to learn the science behind baking cakes. I am no baking expert, but I have learned how to successfully bake a cake in different flavors from scratch and I'm very proud of that. It did not happen automatically, but instead took some trial and error and lots of learning.

Don't give up hope on baking cakes from scratch, you can certainly do it.

Dizzymaiden Posted 22 Feb 2012 , 4:53pm
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krista512

I have tried tons of recipes from here and I just dont like them. it could be cause im so used to box mixes that I dont know what a real cake tastes like ....




baking is a science...scale all dry ingredients! Make sure eggs are room temp, all fruit is at the peak ripeness, and you have a oven thermometer!

I always spray my pans with a flour based spray, lay down parchment paper and then lightly spray again.

it does not matter if you have a box mix or scratch - if you don't deal with the details like, oven temp, properly creaming butters, etc...nothing will be right.

Good luck and don't give up!

HappyCake10609 Posted 24 Feb 2012 , 1:41pm
post #9 of

Hi! I am a Crumb Boss follower, I have tried many of her recipes and love most of them. The Vanilla Cake was tricky for me... I am fairly new to scratch baking, and Vanilla or White cake has been the hardest for me to find a good alternative to WASC. The first few times I made the Vanilla Cake it just didn't come out right... the texture was off... and I agree, it needs more vanilla... but I always add more than what recipes say because I like to actually taste the vanilla in my vanilla cake! But the last time I made the vanilla cake, I nailed it! Scratch baking just takes practice sometimes, I don't know what I did differently (probably the length of time I mixed my eggs) but the texture was perfect!

The Chocolate Cake is another recipe I've tried and actually really like it... The texture IS much different than a WASC cake, so that might take a little getting used to... Also, while not all recipes are created equally, not all ingredients are equal! I've made this chocolate cake/cupcakes many times over the past few months... what I've discovered is I don't like it AT ALL with the regular Hershey's cocoa powder... I've tried the Ghirardelli cocoa powder and while it's better, still not great... What I like BEST is a mixture of the Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder and the Ghirardelli (50/50 mix)- personally, I like just the dark cocoa but it's not what everyone prefers. I'm sure Callebaut or another high-quality brand would be outstanding in this (or any) scratch recipe.... I just can't swing it right now with my pricing... so I mix my cocoa, lol!!

I have not tried the Strawberry, but usually when I make strawberry cake or buttercream, I add a tiny amount of Strawberry flavoring (I like Silver Cloud) to boost the "strawberry-ness" but you have to be careful, it's really strong, a tiny amount goes a long way!

My FAVORITE Crumb Boss recipes are the Red Velvet (in my opinion the best one I've tried) and the Tropical Carrot Cake (my absolute new favorite cake flavor!). In the Carrot Cake I used dark brown sugar and omit the coconut...

So, while everyone's tastes are different... and they might not be the recipes for you... it might just be a matter of practice? At least, I know that's the case for me icon_smile.gif

BTW- While I think the Crumb Boss vanilla cake is good, I'm not sure it's "the one"... I actually came across this thread while looking for the "White Cake Scratch Off" post because there were a couple of recipes on there I want to try next... icon_smile.gif

singleagain Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 6:21pm

AThe best way to stir flour etc before measuring with shifting it is to use a whisk & stir ur flour with a whisk, not a spoon. Crumb boss recipes are awesome. The BEST vanilla cake recipe I've tried is from CAI. I think it's there blue cookbook. That recipe u mix flour & butter together in ur mixer. U don't cream ur sugar & butter first. That is the best recipe for vanilla cake ever. When I would make it everyone thought it was a cake from the bakery.

singleagain Posted 4 Feb 2013 , 6:22pm

AThat's suppose to be CIA. Believe me, once u get the recipes down from scratch you'll never like the taste of box cakes again. I personally can't stand box cakes.

Smiles62 Posted 2 Mar 2013 , 6:46am

Don't like allot of her reciepe,she throws stuff together to fast,plus the women who is called producer make the show so unbearable.

-K8memphis Posted 2 Mar 2013 , 4:14pm

an idea for you is to try one flavor like chocolate or yellow cake and make it over & over till you get it

 

you can do this!!!

 

i personally love sylvia weinstock's yellow cake--you can google it--she has two formulas--i like the one using sour cream

 

you can do the eggs separated like it says or you can add the eggs whole to the nicely thoroughly creamed sugar & butter then mix it till it looks like a cake mix--smoothy smooth smooth then add the other ingredients as instructed--after it all is incorporated--beat (gently, not whipped) like speed 4-5 on a ka stand mixer for two minutes--set a timer or watch the clock

 

and i use an extra quarter cup of flour due to a typo made years ago and it works for me!

 

and a question for you, please

 

how are you arriving at the right amount of batter and ingredients for a 6 inch pan???

CakeLady7960 Posted 10 Mar 2013 , 5:21pm

I discovered the Crumb Boss and her recipes about 3 weeks ago.   I tried the sponge cake recipe and for the first time in years, I made a scratch cake that I was proud of.  I used my scale to measure out the ingredients.  I will be trying Crumb Boss' chocolate cake recipe today.   Thank you Crumb Boss!

cookielvr13 Posted 10 Mar 2013 , 6:06pm

AI watched one video and you're right!!! Unbearable and annoying.

It was the first time I had ever heard of crumb boss and surprised that her recipes are CIA recipes and don't taste good?!

I'm a CIA graduate and although I've never tried her recipes the one cake I saw on the video didn't look appetizing at all. SMH

I've never had an issue with their recipes or ones that tasted awful.

Dizzymaiden is right. Having a little knowledge of the science in baking is helpful.

Having knowledge on proper scaling and conversions is also helpful.

A good book is by Paula Figoni "How baking works" 2nd edition.

JerryLINY Posted 11 Mar 2013 , 1:07am

I liked watching crumb boss but then I just couldn't stand listening to her camerawoman anymore.  I wonder how many viewers she's lost due to that annoying person.

HappyCake10609 Posted 11 Mar 2013 , 2:42am

When I started scratch baking, I was a fan of Crumb Boss...  but all too many of the recipes were unreliable or just not to the standard I'm after.  I still think her Red Velvet and Carrot cakes are the best I've tried... but those are the only ones I use.

I used to find the videos entertaining and inspiring but I stopped watching entirely when they started making a habit of being rude and/or insulting other bakers!  They even named names in one video but eventually took it down...

cookielvr13 Posted 11 Mar 2013 , 2:54am

A

Original message sent by HappyCake10609

When I started scratch baking, I was a fan of Crumb Boss...  but all too many of the recipes were unreliable or just not to the standard I'm after.  I still think her Red Velvet and Carrot cakes are the best I've tried... but those are the only ones I use.

I used to find the videos entertaining and inspiring but I stopped watching entirely when they started making a habit of being rude and/or insulting other bakers!  They even named names in one video but eventually took it down...

Wow!! That's so unprofessional. Just the way she carried herself in the video I didn't agree with.

By no means am I suggesting that she should've been dressed to the nines but there are certain standards and lots of common sense ppl should possess and put to use when working in the food industry.

thecakewitch Posted 11 Mar 2013 , 3:07am

Never heard of Crumb Boss until now. I tried watching one of her video but i stopped it after the camera woman showed her sneakers. She was holding the shoe near the sprinkles and cakes! And they are pretty annoying too!

SystemMod1 Posted 11 Mar 2013 , 3:08am

Having an opinion about a recipe is fine, but please refrain from posting personal attacks against anyone.  

 

Thank you.

Shawnee5 Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 9:11pm

Just wondering can anyone access Crumb Boss's recipes? I went to make the Vanilla Cake 2 for my cousin's birthday and I can't seem to see any of them! 

 

Or does anyone know of a good dense Vanilla Cake recipe that I can make a leopard print cake with?

Spooky_789 Posted 14 Mar 2013 , 9:32pm

Gretchen and Steph the Producer had a falling out.  Gretchen is re-doing many of her recipes and will be posting them on her Woodland Bakery blog.  You can find her on FB.  She is slowly but surely retyping her recipes.  And she will be shooting new videos, minus Steph. 

 

Some folks may have great success with one recipe, while others can't stand that same recipe.  We each have to find what we like and what works for us in our own particular environment. 

 

Gretchen has some great recipes and ideas.  She creates desserts that builds upon recipes, which requires a good amount of work, but the final product is awesome.

 

I'm going to try her SMBC, but right now, I'm really enjoying FromScratchSF's SMBC.

roe369 Posted 28 Mar 2013 , 8:30am

A

Original message sent by CakeLady7960

I discovered the Crumb Boss and her recipes about 3 weeks ago.   I tried the sponge cake recipe and for the first time in years, I made a scratch cake that I was proud of.  I used my scale to measure out the ingredients.  I will be trying Crumb Boss' chocolate cake recipe today.   Thank you Crumb Boss!

Hi - I was wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing Crumb Boss vanilla cake recipe. I tried looking for their Vanilla cake 2 recipe but no luck. I really do appreciate if you can. Thank you!

Spooky_789 Posted 28 Mar 2013 , 4:58pm

Awww.woodlandbakeryblog.com - look in the cake recipes tab.

roe369 Posted 30 Mar 2013 , 1:33am

AThank you so much! Made it today and came out perfect. Best yellow cake!

bakechef Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 2:08am

I much prefer the new videos, the cameraman asks much fewer questions, so the information comes through.

 

Her vanilla sponge cake, and red velvet are now standard recipes of mine.  The swiss buttercream is the best that I've tried, more sugar, less butter than traditional recipes.  

 

I'm someone that weighs ingredients and measures precisely, always following the recipe the first time before trying tweaks.

SweetMelissa730 Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 5:17am

Gretchen has a lot of good recipes. She seems to be very serious about and puts a lot of love into her baking unfortunately Steph's personality shadowed that but now that she's doing her own thing you can see more of the real Gretchen shining threw. It's awesome of her to take her time to type up all her recipes and film them. I was the head pastry chef at full scale bakery like that and I honestly don't know where she finds the time and energy to do it!

Spooky_789 Posted 9 Apr 2013 , 10:23pm

I made Gretchen's SMBC this last week and I've now found my favorite SMBC.  It's a bit sweeter than normal SMBC but not nearly as sweet as ABC.  I mixed some of it up with peanut butter and oh my, it was fantastic!  I had some of it left over as well as some ganache.  I kept dipping my spoon in the ganache and then in the PB BC and it was like having  the big O in my mouth with each bite! icon_surprised.gif

dlyoung Posted 25 May 2013 , 3:35pm

I also came across Gretchen's SMBC and made two batches yesterday for a wedding cake and cupcakes.  I have tried many recipes over the past couple of years and this is my favourite!  And yes, I also couldn't keep my spoon out of the bowl.  :)

MsNeuropil Posted 9 Jun 2013 , 8:51pm

I tried Gretchen's SMBC 2 times now and it is by far the best tasting buttercream I have ever tried. 

 

I thought my old one was the best..but had issues with piping flowers with it cause it was too soft. 

 

The addition of the small amount of powdered sugar (compared to my old SMBC) was a concern to me...(being diabetic I wanted a little sugar as possible) but think it stabilized the SMBC enabling me to pipe flowers with it....but only after I let it sit in cooler over night, then sitting a few hours to warm up.  I didn't even bother to re whip it as she suggested.  It worked fine for me. 

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