SamHarrison Posted 31 Aug 2012 , 4:46pm
post #1 of

What am I doing wrong. All my bigger vanilla cakes are coming out raw, it seems no matter how long I cook or what I do, the centres and bottoms are always raw. I use the same recipe for cupcakes and small cakes, ie 8 inch etc and no problems. Checking cooking guides say for example a 10 inch square should be cooked for 40-45 mins, even baking mine (in individual layers!) for 75 mins, they're still raw. I don't want to bake for ages and have them end up dry. I'm so worked up, I'm wasting so much money on ingredients with having to rebake, just makes me want to quit. I need help, and fast. I can't hack another night with no sleep again finishing a cake ready for pick up icon_sad.gif

13 replies
judywoody Posted 31 Aug 2012 , 4:59pm
post #2 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamHarrison

What am I doing wrong. All my bigger vanilla cakes are coming out raw, it seems no matter how long I cook or what I do, the centres and bottoms are always raw. I use the same recipe for cupcakes and small cakes, ie 8 inch etc and no problems. Checking cooking guides say for example a 10 inch square should be cooked for 40-45 mins, even baking mine (in individual layers!) for 75 mins, they're still raw. I don't want to bake for ages and have them end up dry. I'm so worked up, I'm wasting so much money on ingredients with having to rebake, just makes me want to quit. I need help, and fast. I can't hack another night with no sleep again finishing a cake ready for pick up icon_sad.gif




Have you checked if the temperature of you oven is correct? Sometimes it's not the temperature it says on the knob...You can get special thermometers for that.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 31 Aug 2012 , 5:53pm
post #3 of

At what temp are you baking? I bake my 8" cakes at 350 but 10 & higher at 325.

Are you using a nail or baking core? I use nails for 10" & 12" cakes and heating cores for 14 & 16. It helps distribute the heat for more even baking. **I know I know...some people don't use them.** Might help in this situation.

SamHarrison Posted 1 Sep 2012 , 12:22am
post #4 of

I have a fan oven so normally bake at 150-160. On the 3rd attempt with this cake i didn't line the bottom of the pan, just buttered and floured it and used a flower nail in the centre and it's come out much better, not 100% perfect but a few extra mins would have done it i think. I think i'll be investing in a few more flower nails! I'm using the alan silverwood multi tin for my square cakes and it's supposed to help bake evenly, doesn't seem to be doing the job very well!
Thanks for your replies!
I'll check my oven temp again too i think but it's weird as everything else still comes out fine!

costumeczar Posted 1 Sep 2012 , 2:47pm
post #5 of

The bigger cakes generally need the flower nails or some other way to distribute the heat throughout the center of the pans. A ten inch square shouldn't really need one, but maybe it's the convection oven...

BakingIrene Posted 1 Sep 2012 , 7:41pm
post #6 of

Set your oven to 350 for all cakes.

The problem is your oven. Mine is similar--it bakes too hot but if I turn down the thermostat, it doesn't bake at all.

Use the magic cake strips to help (they prevent humps too).

SamHarrison Posted 1 Sep 2012 , 8:51pm
post #7 of

Brill, thank you, I shall invest in some strips. I think when the time comes I will go for a non-fan oven, it's so hard to get cakes perfect without them going too brown!

Annabakescakes Posted 1 Sep 2012 , 11:34pm
post #8 of

The only problem with flower nails is the rust... They are basically 1 or 2 time use, then chuck them in the garbage, and buy more. My husband works in a metal fabrication shop, so he brought home some stainless steel circles, and I used 3", stainless steel, fine threaded screws, and made my own. I can even leve them in the cake overnight and there is no rust. It's wonderful!

costumeczar Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 12:00am
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes

The only problem with flower nails is the rust... They are basically 1 or 2 time use, then chuck them in the garbage, and buy more. My husband works in a metal fabrication shop, so he brought home some stainless steel circles, and I used 3", stainless steel, fine threaded screws, and made my own. I can even leve them in the cake overnight and there is no rust. It's wonderful!




If they rust just steel wool it off. There was also a mention in another thread of heating nails or something that were specifically made for this purpose, so flower nails aren't the only option.

Annabakescakes Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 2:41am
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes

The only problem with flower nails is the rust... They are basically 1 or 2 time use, then chuck them in the garbage, and buy more. My husband works in a metal fabrication shop, so he brought home some stainless steel circles, and I used 3", stainless steel, fine threaded screws, and made my own. I can even leve them in the cake overnight and there is no rust. It's wonderful!



If they rust just steel wool it off. There was also a mention in another thread of heating nails or something that were specifically made for this purpose, so flower nails aren't the only option.




Yeah, i know, except steel wool-ing it off is a PITA.... And there are pock marks and holes on the nail, and scalloping on the edges of my base thingy. I would rather have the 40 rust proof ones I made for $15. Plus they feel nice to use as flower nails too. Solid.

Apti Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 3:17am

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamHarrison

What am I doing wrong. All my bigger vanilla cakes are coming out raw, it seems no matter how long I cook or what I do, the centres and bottoms are always raw. I use the same recipe for cupcakes and small cakes, ie 8 inch etc and no problems. Checking cooking guides say for example a 10 inch square should be cooked for 40-45 mins, even baking mine (in individual layers!) for 75 mins, they're still raw. I don't want to bake for ages and have them end up dry. I'm so worked up, I'm wasting so much money on ingredients with having to rebake, just makes me want to quit. I need help, and fast. I can't hack another night with no sleep again finishing a cake ready for pick up icon_sad.gif




SamHarrison~~Your photo gallery on CC has 139 cakes, and all of them look very professional. Since you obviously have a ton of experience and talent, I'm puzzled that you are having problems with a cake not being done in the center.

Have you tried this exact Vanilla cake recipe before?
What are you doing different?
Have you ever made this recipe in larger sizes before?
Have you made other cake recipes in larger sizes before?

Some of the suggestions provided by American CC members may be at cross-purposes for your UK baking requirements because we often do cakes quite different over here. We use F not Celsius for temperature here in the States. So it would be helpful to provide a comparison of 150C (302 degrees Fahrenheit).
In the States we also often use VERY different cake recipes. Our American cakes tend to be like UK sponge cakes. The standard pan height in the USA is 2" (5,1 cm) , not 3" (7,6 cm).

Bluehue Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 6:33am
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamHarrison

I have a fan oven so normally bake at 150-160.
I have a fan forced oven also - but 150 - 160 is too low a temperature - you ned to bump your temp up. 150c is just a tad under 300F... 180c or a tad more is what you are needing.

Bluehue


On the 3rd attempt with this cake i didn't line the bottom of the pan, just buttered and floured it and used a flower nail in the centre and it's come out much better, not 100% perfect but a few extra mins would have done it i think. I think i'll be investing in a few more flower nails! I'm using the alan silverwood multi tin for my square cakes and it's supposed to help bake evenly, doesn't seem to be doing the job very well!
Thanks for your replies!
I'll check my oven temp again too i think but it's weird as everything else still comes out fine!


SamHarrison Posted 2 Sep 2012 , 10:54am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamHarrison

What am I doing wrong. All my bigger vanilla cakes are coming out raw, it seems no matter how long I cook or what I do, the centres and bottoms are always raw. I use the same recipe for cupcakes and small cakes, ie 8 inch etc and no problems. Checking cooking guides say for example a 10 inch square should be cooked for 40-45 mins, even baking mine (in individual layers!) for 75 mins, they're still raw. I don't want to bake for ages and have them end up dry. I'm so worked up, I'm wasting so much money on ingredients with having to rebake, just makes me want to quit. I need help, and fast. I can't hack another night with no sleep again finishing a cake ready for pick up icon_sad.gif



SamHarrison~~Your photo gallery on CC has 139 cakes, and all of them look very professional. Since you obviously have a ton of experience and talent, I'm puzzled that you are having problems with a cake not being done in the center.

Have you tried this exact Vanilla cake recipe before?
What are you doing different?
Have you ever made this recipe in larger sizes before?
Have you made other cake recipes in larger sizes before?

Some of the suggestions provided by American CC members may be at cross-purposes for your UK baking requirements because we often do cakes quite different over here. We use F not Celsius for temperature here in the States. So it would be helpful to provide a comparison of 150C (302 degrees Fahrenheit).
In the States we also often use VERY different cake recipes. Our American cakes tend to be like UK sponge cakes. The standard pan height in the USA is 2" (5,1 cm) , not 3" (7,6 cm).




Aww thanks. It's weird, I ALWAYS use the same vanilla recipe, but it seems to be giving me more problems now. I can't figure it out! I don't think I'm doing anything different. I often make it in 12 inch squares and normally it's fine. I use 3 inch high tins but still only bake in individual layers as I like a nice tall cake.

Bluehue, I can't cook on any higher than 160 c as cakes get biscuity on the outside icon_sad.gif If I ever use a lower temp it's because I'm doing a bigger cake for longer. Do you think it's worth increasing the temp even though it might make the outside a bit crispy? I pride myself on always having lovely moist cakes so worry I'll end up drying them out.

emma_123 Posted 5 Sep 2012 , 4:37pm

Hulloo

I'd suggest looking at Lindy Smith's website she has some good advice about cooking cakes which I find helps make a really nice moist cake (although I don't use glycerine which she suggests but sugar syrup instead after its baked). I cook mine at 140 and I baked a 11 inch round a few days ago and it took about 2 and a half hours (vanilla madeira - not sure what type of sponge you are making though). I find long, slow cooking helps it cook evenly and avoids crispy edges, also the Silverwood pan recommends 10 degrees lower than the recipe as it cooks quicker than normal tins and my recipe says 150 degrees and it works well for me, I hope you have some better luck soon!

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