lrlt2000 Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 2:39pm

Okay, I found this great recipe for butter cake, and it tastes great but sinks EVERY TIME! I noticed something strange about the recipe. It calls for 1 tablespoon of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of soda. Other important ingredients are: AP flour, sour cream and buttermilk.

I made a chocolate cake yesterday that had NO baking powder, some soda, and rose perfectly without sinking. It also called for AP flour (and unsweetened cocoa).

WHY IS THIS!!!??? Should I add less then a tablespoon of powder or can I omit it altogether, like the chocolate cake recipe???

Please help! My oven is on and ready icon_wink.gif

21 replies
MimiFix Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 5:41pm

The sinking may happen because of the leavener. Or the cake was not baked long enough, or the pan size was not correct. And probably a few other reasons. Can you post the recipe?

Ashleyssweetdesigns Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 5:57pm

Also make sure you check the expiration dates! That happened me two years ago I made like three cakes all fell after doing some research on troubleshooting I finally figured it out. It was a few months out of date. After I purchased a new container my cake came out awesome!

lrlt2000 Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 8:28pm

I've checked ALL of this, in the struggle to get this recipe to work properly!!! I've also used exactly the pans that the recipe calls for AND calibrated my oven and keep a therm in it!!!

It's this:

http://www.pauladeen.com/recipes/recipe_view/ooey_gooey_butter_layer_cake

I've done it in cake pans and in cupcakes, and both sink. I've made it 4 times, while other recipes do not sink.

cakegrandma Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 8:46pm

I have made her ooey, gooey butter cake before and it said to use a 9 x 13 pan not as this one. It has always sunk down to be the ooey, gooey namesake. It tastes good and I am not sure that it will turn out if baked in round pans to be stacked. Good luck with it though and maybe just try it in the sheet pan.

scp1127 Posted 12 Jun 2012 , 7:31am

First, her recipe works. It has been reviewed well over 20 times and I'm sure a quick look at her FN reviews will be the same.

I have recipes with odd amounts of leaveners and they work.

My suggestion is to check your oven thermometer for correct calibration. On a sturdier cake or cupcakes, you may not have noticed a problem. But on a recipe that may depend on a more precise method, it can fail.

Good luck and get that thermometer. If that is the problem, it's a cheap and easy fix and will save you from future disasters.

Be sure on that recipe, to make sure you do not under bake.

lrlt2000 Posted 12 Jun 2012 , 6:03pm

I do have a thermometer! And I've tried several times to take it out a tad early (i.e., when the toothpick *just* pulls out clean) and again, baking for a few minutes more than that. I've baked it in 9"x13", rounds, cupcakes, etc.!!! All sink the same. The cake is still amazing, just no dome on the cupcakes and I lose about 1/4"-1/2" after cooling.

I've also tried preheating my oven for up to 45 minutes, for goodness sake, just to be sure the temp is reached and the heat has evened out!!!!

I'm stumped. :/

lrlt2000 Posted 12 Jun 2012 , 10:06pm

I THINK I FIGURED IT OUT!!! I made two minor changes. . . I've been so focused on using all ingredients at room temp, that I thought maybe the stuff was too warm. I didn't let the butter warm up quite so much.

I also increased my oven temp by 5 degrees, as it's susceptible to losing temp quickly when I open to put the cakes in.

I rose much nicer and did not sink!!! WOOHOO!

Hope this helps someone else!

newbaker55 Posted 12 Jun 2012 , 10:40pm

Acids in those liquids react with the baking soda to create carbon dioxide while baking powder already has the acid in the form of cream of tartar. IDK...maybe they counteracted each other?I don't recall any of my scratch recipes requiring both, so maybe a misprint? Does the chocolate cake require buttermilk &/or sour cream as well?

BakingIrene Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 1:50am

For the amount of buttermilk and sour cream, you MUST use all purpose flour (which in some places bakes decent bread). That means that there is enough gluten structure to allow the cake to rise properly, but the acid will keep the cake tender. Using cake flour in this batter WILL collapse it.

I think also that the name "ooey-gooey" might be a tip. Top make a nice white butter cake, I would skip all of that sour cream.

FromScratchSF Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 4:59am

I think this recipe is a total fail. Most of the comments are loving on what happened in that show, not from people that made this cake. There are more negative reviews then positive!

There is way too much liquid and eggs.

This is why I dislike celebrity recipes - they have people that pen these things, give them to the "talent" to make on their shows (which are actually made by staff, they just pull a perfectly baked cake out of the oven), and then people get super discouraged because the recipe didn't turn out like Paula's did. This cake doesn't look like anything special, just a vanilla cake. I suggest you try a different recipe instead of trying to make this one work.

My favorite comment from that link, who have Paula 5 balloons or whatever those were:

"Hi Paula, I love your show and your recipes but I was disappointed when I saw a black man doing push ups on your show and even more disappointed when I saw you put your foot on his back out of disgust. Now I don't watch your show at all but as I was reviewing your website I see how great your recipes are and decided I might just forgive you and come back."

WTF? LOL

scp1127 Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 9:21am

Those gooey butter cakes are awful, but people love them. I helped my daughter make one years ago. They are not cakes. They are supposed to be something like a sunken bar. So because those Ooey Gooey Butter Cakes are one of her earlier claims to fame, I seriously doubt the recipe is wrong. It just may not be what the OP and others were expecting.

I guess I know too much about those cakes. She was another celebrity that I studied because she started so small. But with no experience, she did a lot of things right.

Those butter cakes, to me, are one of the most disgusting things I have ever tasted. They are a sugar jolt packed with an instant headache and the need to brush your teeth. But many people love that kind of dessert. Those cakes have a huge following... so big that she sells them retail nationally.

Don't get me wrong, I actually dislike her because of the phoney way she has conducted her business. And personally, her recipes are all on the novice level and her desserts are all based on mega sweetness.

FromScratchSF Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 10:46am

Lol I guess I'm the tool here because not only have I never heard of an ooey gooey cake, all i know of Paula Dean is she has diabetes. I've never seen one and had no idea it was a product you cold buy in a store somewhere! Must be a store we don't have here.

AnnieCahill Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 7:15pm

Yeah I made one of those things a long time ago when I was in high school. Epic sugar fail. Totally gross.

And yeah, she was fine when she started out in a small kitchen on the Food Network as a little old grandma, then sold out hard with her fake teeth and plastic surgery. Now I see her and her products everywhere and it makes me cringe. Dislike.

scp1127 Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 8:37am

That cake is the most disgusting cake and she has recipes for quite a few flavors. My daughter did eat it but I had only a taste.

But again, those cakes have a huge, huge, following.

I love Anthony Bourdain and I agree completely with his take on Paula Deen. She actually had a commercial kitchen approved and then proceeded to bake out of her home with a fake license when she started.

I still studied her rise to the top. She did quite a few things right, obvoiusly. But she's actually the cook I like the least because of the phoney persona.

imagenthatnj Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 2:00pm

Paula Deen put her name to that ooey gooey cake, but she didn't invent it as people seem to think. Maybe you should check her recipe against the some of the original St. Louis recipes? You can really use any good vanilla cake of your liking for the cake part. It was invented in the 1930s and people even used a mix for the cake part...a lot. I think the original had a yeast raised sweet dough on the bottom, but it has been replaced with just vanilla cake.

Glad your changes are working for you, though.

FromScratchSF Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 3:28pm

OK, maybe call me dense, but this recipe looks like a failed recipe to me, something that would be thick, heavy, deflate in the oven and be and very wet.

Could this be another example of a non-scratch baker with a failed recipe that has figured out how to sell it anyway?

Suzie Cakes is a chain here that drives me nuts and is an example of this - the cupcakes are straight caved in failed cupcakes. Dense, strange texture, with a big sunken cavity. But they load the sunken cavities with frosting from a can and call them "Frosting Filled!". I would estimate cake to icing ratio is 1:3.

People pay $3+ each and gobble them up. I think they are beyond gross.

AnnieCahill Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 4:31pm

You're right Jen. It's like an overly sweet, wet bar. The one I made was a pumpkin one. I made it about ten years ago and I remember thinking how strange it was to add an entire one pound box of powdered sugar into the batter.

lrlt2000 Posted 12 Jul 2012 , 1:20am

Okay, I obviously wasn't getting the notifications of responses!!! I just haphazardly came back to this post and saw all of your responses! They're making me LMBO!

First off, I can't stand PD either--I browsed upon the recipe, trying to find one that used both sour cream and buttermilk (I like some of both because it seems to keep the cake moist). I really have no baking background and haven't even been scratch baking for a year, so the science part is all new to me icon_wink.gif

I appreciate all of your insights!! And I am **dying** to find out what recipes FromScratchSF would recommend my trying instead icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

vgcea Posted 14 Jul 2012 , 5:15am

Well if you head on to her blog there's a scratch white cake that has been getting rave reviews. You might like it.

lrlt2000 Posted 15 Jul 2012 , 12:51am

vgcea: is this the link http://fromscratchsf.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/white-cake-part-3-with-recipe/ ??

I'm not too technically savvy icon_wink.gif Is that her blog?

lrlt2000 Posted 15 Jul 2012 , 3:04am

Thanks for the suggestion--I can't wait to try this recipe this week!

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