So, I am beginning to make cakes from scratch scratch, and only use the box when in a hurry.
BUT, my vanilla cakes always turn out horrible.
they are all bread-like and plasticky, and taste not-so-good.
I have tried Joy of Baking video recipe (exactly), and Good Housekeeping tested recipes, both times were a horrible waste of materials.
Does anyone know what I could be doing wrong?
Just in case...
i did make sure the eggs, milk and butter were room temperature.
The only thing that I did differently was add 5 medium sized eggs when the recipe called for 4 large.
May I ask what you mean by 'plasticky'? And does bread like mean that it wasn't crumbly?
I had the same issue with vanilla cakes forever (I don't know about 'plasticky' but they always turned out dry or bread like). I've tried the joy of baking one more than once and it's never worked out. My go to recipe is now the Vanilla Cake from the Mermaid Bakery (can be found on this site) and it works for me.
A few things I can say is make sure you REALLY beat the butter and sugar together, a good 3-5 minutes. And do NOT over bake! I always set the timer for a few minutes earlier than I expect it to be done and start checking every couple of minutes from there.
Hope this helps, and good luck!
Try FromScratchSF's recipe/. She explains a whole lot in this link. Also be sure to read all of the comments.
You might find part 1 and part 2 of her white cake series helpful too.
thanks all. and plasticky excuse the word, I meant its not this soft and nice cake texture I get..its more like this hard, and almost oily grossness.. ;/
i use blue bonnet as my butter, it works amazing when i make chocolate cakes...
I will be looking to try all the links, thanks all! )
You should get a copy of the Cake Bible. Here vanilla cakes are the best. I especially like the downy yellow butter cake.
I agree with pmarks0. Try FromScratchSF's cake. It is now my go to cake. Everyone always loves it and it is anything but dry and tastes wonderful!
What is the fat content in the Blue Bonnet? Fat in a recipe will help tenderize the cake. You need a certain amount of that and you may not be getting it if you're using margarine. I guess I should look up how much fat margarine has.
Blue Bonnet is margarine and not butter and (IMO) should never be anywhere near a cake. Chocolate cakes and vanilla cakes tend to be different animals so great if you are getting away with it there but if the recipe calls for butter, you HAVE to use butter for a vanilla cake.
I would also suggest looking for a chiffon recipe (or converting one you already have to the chiffon method [oil instead of butter, make a meringue with half the sugar and all the whites, add the meringue to the rest of the batter at the end]). You wil be surprised at the difference.
^ thank you for the tip! I have some experimenting to do!
I also have been learning to bake scratch recipes... I have great recipes for most cakes but
Vanilla is the hardest to get right! I can't tell you how many recipes I've tried since I decided to hunt for the "perfect" recipe... there was always something I didn't like... I pmed spc1127 and she suggested Warren Brown's Yellow Butter Cake... It is my new favorite! I've baked it several times now and it comes out with the perfect taste and texture each time.
*It calls for Potato Starch, I was able to find it in my grocery store near the gluten free products.
I've tried his chocolate cake before and really like that as well... I got his book "Cake Love" and can't wait to try more of his recipes.
Also, I agree with what others have said, don't skimp on the butter! I use only name brand or when available good local butter
Thats a good suggestion, I have Cake Love, why didnt I think of that.
Anyway, just to let all the readers who have had the same problem know..
I have been researching why my vanilla turned bad. and i have an answer.
Check for all expiration date on your products used.
I used 2011 expired baking powder! (the new one was just behind it, and I missed it in the pantry).
So, yes, small mistakes like this cause huge disasters!