jen4230 Posted 23 Sep 2012 , 12:49pm

Ok I have been making cakes for about 13 yrs but I always use store bought cake mixes. I want to learn how to make cakes from scratch. I have no idea how much of each ingredients or what are the best ingredients to use. I would also like to come up with my own flavors but how do you know what and how much of each ingredient to use? Please help and tell me any tips or ideas you may have that you can share with me.. Thank you icon_redface.gif

7 replies
Diana81 Posted 23 Sep 2012 , 4:52pm

Someone shared this site with me: www.joyofbaking.com. They not only give u recipes, but also explain that when u bake, u need to understand the function of each ingredient and how to use them.

Norasmom Posted 23 Sep 2012 , 5:13pm

Invest in a copy of book The Cake Bible. It's awesome!

jen4230 Posted 24 Sep 2012 , 3:33pm

First I want to say thank you to everyone that responded. I will definately look into the web site and find the book. Secondly I should add that yes I have been making cakes for 13 yrs but i am self taught and only make them for family and friends. I don't sell them. This is why I am trying to find information I keep thinking more and more about how I would love to start my own cake business but I want to make my OWN cakes created from my own recipes and never made one from scratch so I want to start experimenting to see if I could really do it or if i should just keep it as a hobby which it is now. Again thank you I love Cake Central I get so much great information, advice, and great ideas. icon_biggrin.gif

Diana81 Posted 24 Sep 2012 , 3:38pm

No problem! I m sure you ll make great recipes! thumbs_up.gif

KLCCrafts Posted 24 Sep 2012 , 11:19pm

You're situation is similar to mine -- I only recently started baking from scratch (after box mixes for family and friends for 10+ years) and I love it! Definitely learn the science behind why/how baking works. You can start at the library (search for science of baking type titles).

As for developing your own recipes, that is a lofty goal which you might be ready for after a lot of experience, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with using another's recipe (even a common one) and either making a few tweaks of your own or some tweaks recommended by the fabulous bakers here on CC. Baking is really an art and a science and there is plenty of skill required to bake a recipe properly, so don't feel it has to be a recipe you made up yourself to be a worthy accomplishment. If you find a great existing recipe (which will take plenty of trial and error in itself), take pride in executing it flawlessly and enjoy the fabulous results. I really don't think anyone will think less of your cake if you didn't write the recipe yourself!

Enjoy the wonderful world of scratch baking, I'm sure it will be a rewarding adventure! icon_smile.gif

vgcea Posted 25 Sep 2012 , 2:59pm

OP you've gotten some good advice. I find the Cake Bible more beneficial for understanding the "Why?" than anything else. If your goal is to develop your own recipes, I would first start with practicing using recipes that have been tried and tested. From there you will get a feel for how things work. Once you know how each ingredient works, creating your own recipe should be easy.

One more thing that I have not seen mentioned here: Method. How it's put together is just as important as what you're putting together.

I'll share an example of one of my recipes. It's fresh fruit based, and I wanted that fruit flavor to shine without necessarily using extract. From studying online, I found that baking soda will neutralize acidic ingredients BUT in the process would also mellow their flavor (hence if you want a buttermilk tasting cake and 1/2 tsp of baking soda neutralizes 1 cup of buttermilk, you could cut the baking soda in half to 1/4 tsp and substitute 1 tsp baking powder for the 1/4 tsp baking soda you took out-- baking soda has 4x the leavening power of baking powder which is essentially neutral and won't do much to affect your recipe's acidity). Conversely, if you have buttermilk in your recipe and it's messing with your flavor profile, you could neutralize it completely.

I found with that recipe that if I add my other acidic ingredients first, and add the fruit puree last, the baking soda has already reacted with the first batch of acids so whatever is left to react with my acidic fruit is much less that what would have been if I had added the fruit first, thus, allowing the flavor to shine. Baking soda will react with the acidic ingredients almost immediately giving off CO2 which is why you're advised to bake baking soda-leavened batters ASAP.

Note though that with scratch baking, the same tweaks and methods will not work for each and every recipe. That's the fun (and frustration) of scratch baking. Each recipe has its unique character which would dictate how you go about putting it together for optimal results.

There are little things here and there that you will find as you continue to experiment. Good luck.

jen4230 Posted 29 Sep 2012 , 2:25pm

Thankyou everyone. I have learned alot fromm all of you. I guess my first step will be to do some research and try to find the "Cake Bible". Once I try it for the first time I will let you all know how I made out. I am excited about trying a new recipe from scratch and learning as much as possible so my first stop is the library. Again thank you all you are all the reason I love CC so much icon_biggrin.gif

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