Stodgy Cake?

Decorating By myxstorie Updated 21 Mar 2012 , 7:21am by scp1127

myxstorie Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 11:19am
post #1 of 8

On Friday night (March 16th) I baked a couple of small 12cm cakes and a larger sheet of cake using a scratch sour cream vanilla cake recipe I found on one of the threads here. I followed it to the letter, except I used 2tsp of baking powder, rather than 1tsp baking power and 1tsp baking soda. I checked it was cooked through before taking it out of the oven, let it cool a little, then cut it up to make these two cakes:

My other half and I had a nibble on the leftover scraps, some from the edges and some from the middle, and it tasted amazing. Light, fluffy, moist and not overly sweet.

So I stored them, then Saturday I went ahead and torted, filled, stacked, covered and decorated them, and we took them out on Sunday (March 18th) to give to our respective mothers. But when we cut into one of them to eat, the cake inside was incredibly stodgy. It was like it had sunk badly, or been undercooked. If I hadn't tasted it first, I would have said I'd taken it out of the oven too soon, but we tasted it, and it was fine. Lovely, even. Probably the best sponge recipe I've ever found. Did I compress it too much while decorating? I stored them in an airtight container once they'd cooled completely, then when I'd covered them in buttercream, and fondant, I stored them in the fridge, uncovered, as I'd heard it was fine to do so long as the cake had a thick enough crumb coat.

I just don't understand why it went so wrong so quickly! When I've undercooked cake in the past it's obvious straight away because the middle hasn't risen properly. Any ideas?

7 replies
mcaulir Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 12:04pm
post #2 of 8

Can you link to the recipe you used?

myxstorie Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 12:12pm
post #3 of 8

I can't remember which thread I found it on, but here is the recipe:

2 c all-purpose flour
1 ts baking powder
1 ts baking soda (subbed for another tsp baking powder)
1 c sugar
1 pk instant vanilla pudding (3 1/8 oz.)
1 c sour cream
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 c oil
1 ts vanilla
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix all ingredients and beat for 5 minutes. greased 10-cup bundt pan. Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes away clean. Cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely.

mcaulir Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 12:16pm
post #4 of 8

I'm no expert, but I'd suggest with all that oil, sour cream, pudding mix, and four eggs, that it is supposed to be quite dense. This isn't a 'sponge' recipe.

myxstorie Posted 19 Mar 2012 , 12:19pm
post #5 of 8

It wasn't the recipe I was blaming, or critiquing, I was more wondering about why/how it would change so much so quickly, and what it was I'd done wrong to cause this to happen. The cake wasn't at all stodgy to begin with, it was beautiful! But it was totally different by day 2 :/

auzzi Posted 20 Mar 2012 , 4:28am
post #6 of 8

When I've undercooked cake in the past it's obvious straight away because the middle hasn't risen properly. Any ideas?

The cake is cooked. Changing the ingredients means changing the structure.

Loosely speaking 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons baking powder will raise 1 cup flour. Baking soda is a different type of leavener: 1/4 teaspoon will raise 1 cup flour but it must have an acidic ingredient to offset it eg sour cream, yoghurt, buttermilk...

In this recipe, by substituting baking powder for baking soda, you have shot the leavening power to pieces. And upset the structural balance.

2 teaspoons baking powder will raise only half the flour. That then leaves the egg [which contributes to leavening] to offset pudding mix [starch], oil and the butter-fat of the sour cream

Loosely speaking, again, 1 teaspoon baking powder plus 3/8 teaspoon baking soda is leavening the flour, 2/8 teaspoon is leavening the pudding mix, the remaing soda is offsetting the use of oil [lacks aeration] - all in the presence of sour cream. When this happens, the egg is then free to add to the rise, but do it's job of binding the cake structure together.

Sour cream and baking soda also, together, texturises and softens the cake crumb ..

myxstorie Posted 20 Mar 2012 , 7:52am
post #7 of 8

Thank you so much, Auzzi! I'd read elsewhere on the forums that substituting one for the other didn't make a huge difference, but it sounds like that's not the case. I'll give it another go with baking soda, providing I can find some in our local supermarkets over here >_>

scp1127 Posted 21 Mar 2012 , 7:21am
post #8 of 8

auzzi, will that be on the test?

Great post auzzi.

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