Scratch Bakers: Resting Cake Batter Yea/nay?

Decorating By vgcea Updated 4 Jun 2012 , 4:39am by scp1127

vgcea Posted 1 Jun 2012 , 6:43pm
post #1 of 9

I made 5 dozen cupcakes the other day. Since I have 2 pans and one oven, I baked in batches with the batter in the fridge while I waited for each batch. 375/350F. I observed that with each progressive batch I was getting more doming, and needed less batter for each cupcake or it would overflow. I'm not sure if the cold temperature of the batter or the resting time was responsible.

I tried google and found that resting batter is used to get a dome on muffins but people tended to disagree on whether resting the batter increased gluten activity or decreased it.

So is resting batter a common thing for cakes too? Do you do it? Does it affect you cake rise and texture?

I tasted a couple of cupcakes when they were warm and noticed no significant difference, if anything, the rested batter was a tad more tender, BUT maybe chewier when cold? I can't really say as i was having a long frustrating baking experience, over flowed batter and all.

8 replies
KoryAK Posted 1 Jun 2012 , 8:05pm
post #2 of 9

It was probably due the the leavening having shelf time to react, then reacting again once it got in the oven. I'm a scratch baker and I don't rest mine if I can help it.

vgcea Posted 1 Jun 2012 , 8:11pm
post #3 of 9

Thanks KoryAK. One thing about scratch baking is that it keeps me on my toes. Once I think I've got it, it shows me another side of itself. icon_lol.gif

scp1127 Posted 2 Jun 2012 , 7:44am
post #4 of 9

Baking powder is double acting... once with liquid, and then with heat. There's a fine line for when the first action dies. Cold, like with yeast, retards the action and gives you a little more time.

I'm with KoryAK (as usual). I like to get the batter in the oven asap, or at least within 10 to 15 minutes at most.

You will find that as you get deeper into scratch baking, some batters do not react well to the wait. But this is purely individual. I make what the ovens will hold and while baking, make another batch.

vgcea Posted 2 Jun 2012 , 8:27pm
post #5 of 9

Thanks scp1127. I'm sure some other cake batter is just waiting to teach me another lesson LOL.

scp1127 Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 6:20am
post #6 of 9

vgcea, here is my take on the issue. But I am at heart a southern baker and many of my recipes are from this geographical area.

Southern cakes, in general, are hearty. Look at pound cake (not applicable to this topic because of no leavening, but the wait will decrease the air needed to rise), Red Velvet, Hummingbird, Lane, Italian Cream (I know, but still a southern favorite), dense chocolate and vanilla, strawberry made with puree, dense coconut... you get the idea. I believe these batters are very forgiving provided that the ratios are correct.

Now look at Angel Food Cake, whipped egg white based cakes, some high-maintenance chocolate cakes, and others with more delicate ingredients and methods. These are the ones for me that are not forgiving. They don't like over-mixing, need perfect time and temp, and are more advanced in skill level to execute. These are the ones that I don't make into cupcakes, have to experiment when they need to be much larger cakes, and in general, will fail with one small slip up. These are the ones that I would also not chance a long stay before baking.

Also, many cakes requiring higher skill levels will not work without precise room temp ingredients. These too would not be candidates for waiting or refrigerating. Those cakes I mentioned in the first part of this post, although room temp will yield a higher quality crumb, the cakes will not fail if all ingredients are not at room temp.

So just get a feel for your recipes and you will soon be able to guess the outcome of the new recipes.

escaliba1234 Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 8:13am
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

vgcea, here is my take on the issue. But I am at heart a southern baker and many of my recipes are from this geographical area.

Southern cakes, in general, are hearty. Look at pound cake (not applicable to this topic because of no leavening, but the wait will decrease the air needed to rise), Red Velvet, Hummingbird, Lane, Italian Cream (I know, but still a southern favorite), dense chocolate and vanilla, strawberry made with puree, dense coconut... you get the idea. I believe these batters are very forgiving provided that the ratios are correct.

Now look at Angel Food Cake, whipped egg white based cakes, some high-maintenance chocolate cakes, and others with more delicate ingredients and methods. These are the ones for me that are not forgiving. They don't like over-mixing, need perfect time and temp, and are more advanced in skill level to execute. These are the ones that I don't make into cupcakes, have to experiment when they need to be much larger cakes, and in general, will fail with one small slip up. These are the ones that I would also not chance a long stay before baking.

Also, many cakes requiring higher skill levels will not work without precise room temp ingredients. These too would not be candidates for waiting or refrigerating. Those cakes I mentioned in the first part of this post, although room temp will yield a higher quality crumb, the cakes will not fail if all ingredients are not at room temp.

So just get a feel for your recipes and you will soon be able to guess the outcome of the new recipes.




scp1127, thank you so much for this; I find it extremely interesting and applicable.
It certainly answers a few questions I have had recently. icon_smile.gif

vgcea Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 2:01am
post #8 of 9

Thank you for sharing such a wealth of information scp1127. My next recipe to test is Italian cream. I tried one (from a popular bakery) for the first time yesterday and after all the hype I was highly disappointed. Surely that was not what people are raving about. I'm on the look out for recipes to test and I'm glad you listed it as one of the more forgiving ones.

scp1127 Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 4:39am
post #9 of 9

vcgea, send me a pm for a great Italian Cream.

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