Cake Mix Question

Decorating By sweettreat101 Updated 7 Aug 2012 , 9:48pm by sillywabbitz

sweettreat101 Posted 5 Aug 2012 , 9:09am
post #1 of 16

I have a ten cakes to bake for a friends event and I want to start baking early and freeze them. I will be using Betty Crocker mixes but like others I hate the new formulation. They tend to get a lot of holes and just don't seem to be as stable as the old formula. The cake mix doctor said to add a little extra flour does anyone do this and if so how much? I was planning on add extra mix to accommodate for the smaller boxes but extra mix won't help with the holey layers. Any help greatly appreciated.

15 replies
CakesbyCarla Posted 5 Aug 2012 , 4:06pm
post #2 of 16

I feel your pain. I used to use BC too. I've switched to Duncan Hines because they have more mix in their box. They've also downsized, but they are still more ounces of mix per box than BC.

I used DH mix with the following extender. Just add this to what is already called for on the back of the box.

1 cup cake flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp. pudding mix
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 extra egg

I don't know if that helps, but I get good results with it. You'll have to add between a 1/4 to 1/2 cup more water too. I have to eyeball it when I mix so just add the water the box calls for and then slowly add more until it looks right.

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 6 Aug 2012 , 3:04am
post #3 of 16

Except in the case of pound cakes (where BC is the only game in town, since none of the local grocers seem to carry Dromedary), I stick with DH myself, because they seem to have a few more choices available. Although I'm not especially happy with their white cake, which seems a bit wimpy on volume.

Annabakescakes Posted 6 Aug 2012 , 3:26am
post #4 of 16

I had been adding flour, to the weight of the old mixes, plus a bit of extra flavoring to make up for it. And it was working great with all purpose, but I got some cake flour last time. It made the white rise up normally, but then it fell like a rock. I was sure I would have to rebake, but it was moist and good, so I baked another layer, and put them together to make a taller tier. Then, I tried with chocolate, and it never rose like chocolate normally does. It was super dense, and actually reminded me of the crumb of a HoHo or Little Debbie Swiss Roll! It was good, but off. I did add 2 tbs cocoa powder and 1/4 cup of sugar, and some instant coffee and a couple tbs of chocolate pudding mix . And, though I don't normally use it, a dab of sour cream. It was for me, so I was messing around with it. I put Hersheys chocolate frosting on it, and it was good! (though o would like a much less gritty chocolate icing) But neither cake had all the holes the new mixes have now. But they still need lots of work. I think I am just going to go with commercial mixes to see if I like them. If it tastes like Meijer or Bigg's cakes, I'll be p!$$ed I spent the money. If it tastes like Sam's Club, I'll deal with it, maybe see if I can tweak it a bit.

sweettreat101 Posted 6 Aug 2012 , 8:47am
post #5 of 16

Thank you everyone for your input. I used to love baking with Betty Crocker mixes but now I dread using them. The only Duncan Hines cake mix I like is the Red Velvet. I just haven't found a scratch cake recipe I like yet. They tend to be on the dense side and I prefer my cakes light and airy not the consistency of a muffin. I'll keep searching and hope and pray that Betty Crocker changes back to their old recipe. The new mixes just plain stink.

sillywabbitz Posted 6 Aug 2012 , 1:16pm
post #6 of 16

Has anyone tried using multiple boxes. Kitchen scales are cheap and you can just measure out the extra 3 ounces of cake mix. If you're making 10 cakes, that is 2 extra boxes of mix you would need.

What I can't understand yet is if they just made it smaller or they jacked with the actual stuff in it. If they just made it smaller the above should work. If they changed the levening etc then it may not fix all the problems. I haven't tried it yet because I'm still working through my stash of full size DH mixes I bought when rumor hit it was changing.

Annabakescakes Posted 6 Aug 2012 , 3:21pm
post #7 of 16

Yes, I tried adding extra mix before I tried adding flour. The extra mix is similar to the old cakes, but you need a lot more liquid than usual, and there are tons and tons of holes. Looks more like Swiss cheese, than cake. So, NO, it is not the same as old.

sillywabbitz Posted 6 Aug 2012 , 3:24pm
post #8 of 16

Thanks Anna, that's depresssing but I will try the flour trick.

Did you try this with DH, BC or Pillsbury ?

sillywabbitz Posted 6 Aug 2012 , 3:28pm
post #9 of 16

I am not that familiar with baking science but I do remember when I was perfecting my strawberry cake that I had to add levening because the acid in the strawberries was making the cake too dense.

So could we add acid to the new mix to counteract the over levening? I'm thinking maybe a couple of teaspoons of real lemon juice?I do plan on playing with all of these ideas just curious what everyone is thinking

CakesbyCarla Posted 6 Aug 2012 , 3:47pm
post #10 of 16

A couple things I thought of as I read through some new posts in the discussion.

About the "holes" in the cake. Do you tap your pans before placing them in the oven? If not you might give that a try. After I pour the mix in to the pans, I bang them on the counter (carefully of course) for about 10 secs to get a bunch of bubbles to rise to the surface. It helps make the cake rise nicely inside.

And someone mentioned that the DH brand didn't raise as well - I noticed that too and that's why I added the levening in my extender. When I used to extend the BC kind I never needed to add levening agent but DH seems to be low on that to start.

And one other comment about if DH actually altered the ingredients or if it's just less of it in the package. I am not sure, but I noticed on the white cake that it calls for more oil now than it used to (even with the decrease in actual mix). I took that as a sign that the contents are altered a little as well.

Great discussion everyone!

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 6 Aug 2012 , 3:50pm
post #11 of 16

I do remember when I was perfecting my strawberry cake that I had to add levening because the acid in the strawberries was making the cake too dense.

I half-expected to have to add some NaHCO3 to the contrast batter of my strawberry marble cake (and the contrast batter is noticeably lower than the main batter), but the difference in rise isn't even enough to show after the cake's been frosted, so I left it alone.

"Baking is an exercise in applied chemistry. And given the number of photographic processes I've had hands-on experience with, I figured I could handle baking: after all, unlike, say, black-and-white slides, baking doesn't usually involve anything that eat holes in your clothes, your hide, or your benchtop."

Annabakescakes Posted 6 Aug 2012 , 4:58pm
post #12 of 16

I used pillsbury. And i tap, then run a knife around to burst the bubbles. I only had a tiny smash cake to do in the white, and an 8" single layer, then a 6" double layer. I am accustomed to chocolate doubling, or more after baked, so I filled them half full. I always use bake even strips or a nail or both on 8" and higher. I used a nail in th 8", and nothing on the 6"s. In all 3 cakes, the sides were about 2" high, while the middles rose about 5" high. Really. But after I took them out of the oven, they shrank to 1" sides, and 3" middles. But they were still the same diameter. The first batch was a bit holey, but not near as bad as just mix, and since I had a lot of batter left (I was going to make cupcakes for the family) I baked the 8" and one 6" again. That had no holes at all, and was a little bit fluffier. It was the exact same batter, but it had sat. Before I scooped it, I gave it a stir, and it was filed with holes. So that leaves me to conclude that the holes are just part of the new mix, and tapping doesn't help. This was the recipe I previously posted a few posts back.

My white cake with the extra flour, white choc pudding mix, and milk shrank horribly as well. But the sides were still taller than the choc. But they were curved in severely, like an hour glass.

Previously, in the 18.75 oz boxes, a nail in an 8" chocolate, filled half full,( with a tbs of cocoa powder, and 2 tsp of coffee powder and 3 tbs of pudding mix, 1/4 cup of sugar and a bit of extra milk per mix) would yeild a perfectly flat, moist, beautifully textured cake with no big holes. Soft and fluffy with rich flavor. I worked hard to get it just right, after abandoning the flat, chewy, dry tasteless scratch cakes I was making.

batterbug Posted 7 Aug 2012 , 3:10pm
post #13 of 16

I thought I was losing my mind. I have been baking wedding and birthday cakes for years. Many of my recipes are formulated based on Duncan Hines Classic cake series. I use cake mixes for some cakes (dryer cakes) because they contain products that retain moisture that are unavailable to the public. None of my recipes with this cake mix work now. I called Customer Service at Duncan Hines, 1-800-362-9834. They explained that the Classic series had been reduced in weight to avoid raising the cost. They also said that, in order to reduce the weight, they had to reformulate the mix, so I don't think adding more cake mix will work for me. I, as well as others, have problems with this new mix. It's too bad. I've got work ahead of me for sure. Major bakers went back to cake mixes also because of bans on certain products. I will try commercial also, but I never was a fan of a commercial cake. P.S. I posted a comment on their Facebook website also, and I wish they would go back to the old formula.

CakesbyCarla Posted 7 Aug 2012 , 4:04pm
post #14 of 16

Thanks Batterbug for sharing your info from that phone call. I thought maybe they'd reduced the fat in the mix. Great to know!!

batterbug Posted 7 Aug 2012 , 9:38pm
post #15 of 16

Glad to help CakesbyCarla...and thank you for posting your additions to the DH cake mix. I'm going to try that also. We're going to be caked out! Have to see if there's any takers.

sillywabbitz Posted 7 Aug 2012 , 9:48pm
post #16 of 16

To save on experimenting cost you can split your cakes into quarters using a scale and apply 4 different tests but only using 1 cake mix. I use 1 egg per quarter batch which is 1 more egg than the mix calls for but I'm going to hassle with splittling 3 eggs 4 waysicon_smile.gif I do this when I want to test out new flavors all the time.

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