First Scratch Cake Epic Fail

Baking By chachagyrl22 Updated 16 Nov 2012 , 5:52pm by BakingIrene

chachagyrl22 Posted 15 Nov 2012 , 8:31pm
post #1 of 9


I recently tried Cakeman Ravens Red Velvet Cake and it was not good. The cake sunk in the middle and was dense. It also had a bitter taste to it. I think I may have added too much red food coloring but the recipe called for 2 tablespoons. I was wondering if anybody else has had this problem? This is my first scratch cake and Im baking at 7000 feet, so I know that has something to do with it. I just dont know how to fix it. Any thoughts?



8 replies
FromScratchSF Posted 15 Nov 2012 , 8:51pm
post #2 of 9

Woah, 2 tablespoons???  What kind of food color did you use, the liquid stuff in the bottle or gel color?


That red velvet cake is a very forgiving recipe, so regardless it should have risen and not sunk.  I don't know much about high-altitude baking, so I'm not sure of what adjustments you needed to automatically make, but it almost sounds like you forgot to add your baking soda/vinegar at the end.  


Did you forget that step?

kakeladi Posted 15 Nov 2012 , 9:02pm
post #3 of 9

Yes, the recipe calls for 2T of liquid red color.  It is overkill but that's the way the recipe is presented.  It definately would be a bit bitter as far as I'm concerned.  I have made similar recipes but used only 1T and still I thought it was too red and a bit bitter.

chachagyrl22 Posted 16 Nov 2012 , 1:31am
post #4 of 9

I think I forgot to add the vinegar. I I'll try it again with less food coloring. I was told that not all recipes need to be ajusted for high elevation, so I was at a loss but now that you pointed that out, I think I did forget that step. Thanks again for your help.

BlakesCakes Posted 16 Nov 2012 , 1:33am
post #5 of 9

7000 ft. above sea level?  Best to get a book or some web info and recipes (google) on high altitude baking. 


I baked a cake in Flagstaff (7000 ft.) using Duncan Hines high altitude directions on the box.  It worked well, although I thought the texture was different--not bad, just different.



mytwins2007 Posted 16 Nov 2012 , 1:46am
post #6 of 9

Hi, I use this recipe a lot, but only 1 food coloring (2 is too much for me) and 1 tbsp cocoa is my favorite.

Elcee Posted 16 Nov 2012 , 1:58am
post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by chachagyrl22 

I was told that not all recipes need to be ajusted for high elevation, so I was at a loss but now that you pointed that out, I think I did forget that step. Thanks again for your help.

Hi, chachagyrl22, I've been baking at just over 6000 feet above sea level for around 16 years. At 7000 ft I doubt if any cake recipe will work without some adjusting. I think when people say that not all recipes need to be adjusted, they're referring to 3000-4000 ft. I've settled into recipes that work really well for me but when I do try something new, I always make the most basic adjustments right off the bat.


At the most basic level, you need to:

decrease sugar by 2 tbs per cup
increase liquid by 2 tbs per cup*
decrease leavening by 1/4 tsp per tsp

*sometimes more, it helps to know what your batter consistency should be

It also helps to separate your eggs; beat the whites to soft peaks; fold them into the batter at the end.

I bake at a slightly lower temp (325) for a slightly shorter time. If a recipe says 35-40 minutes, I start checking at 25 minutes. FYI, I know some people disagree with this advice but it works for me so I keep on suggesting it to people who are having trouble with high altitude baking.


Good luck. icon_smile.gif

chachagyrl22 Posted 16 Nov 2012 , 2:55am
post #8 of 9

When I bake the box cakes they turn out fine. This is the first scratch cake that I have tried and it didnt go well. Thanks for the replies. I have read many different articles about high altitude baking and your input really helps.

BakingIrene Posted 16 Nov 2012 , 5:52pm
post #9 of 9

It sounds like you forgot the vinegar--bitter taste from the baking soda.


If it helps, sift the baking soda with the flour, and mix the vinegar into the milk.  The cake will rise just fine, and it is easier to mix.

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