Someone PLEASE help me... I don't know what I am doing wrong... every recipe I have tried has this cornbread texture... WHAT am I doing wrong??? I made Martha Stewart's Classic Yellow Cake last night... and the batter was fantastic... but the cake was horrible... I have tried using both cake flour and all purpose and they are both horrible... I have tried sifting the all purpose like 10 times to get it light and fluffy... nothing helps! The only time I can get a cake that doesn't suck is when I add stuff... ie Coconut... but plain is always horrible... what do I do!?!?!?
Important steps to successful cake:
WEIGH the flour. Use a recipe that provides that info, look at www.kingarthurflour.com under "recipes".
If the recipe has sour cream or yogurt or buttermilk, you MUST use all purpose flour. Otherwise use pastry flour.
Butter and eggs MUST be at room temperature.
Try a straight creaming method cake: where the butter and sugar are beaten together, then the eggs are beaten in, and then flour and milk folded by hand. Use a mixer up to the step where you are adding flour.
In this straight creaming method, you have to beat the eggs in one at a time and beat for a full minute after each egg. That will prevent your cornmeal consistency.
The straight creaming method REQUIRES the flour to be folded in as if you were folding whipped egg whites.Gently and just enough to mix.
Use LOTS of vanilla I use a tablespoon of the recipe says a teaspoon. I LOVE real vanilla.
I posted this exact post a few months ago and my problem was that after adding the flour I overmixed. Try your recipe and as you add the flour mix on low JUST until combined... or even mostly combined and then give it a few swirls by hand w/ the mixer turned off to get the sides incorporated.
I was told by posters here that overmixing activated the gluten in the flour and is what gave it the cornbread taste and texture.
I make the recipe from epicurious.com called - Moist Yellow Cake - you can search for it on their site. It has specific instructions on times to beat the batter after each addition which I believe results in the great texture. The cake has a beautiful, dense crumb. Very nice texture the next day - almost like a pound cake, but tender. You might want to give it a try.
Look for recipes which utilize reverse creaming, where the fat and the flour are combined initially before any liquid is added. Most of Rose Levy Beranbaum's recipes use reverse creaming. The fat coats the flour particles, providing a barrier against the liquid in the recipe. Flour + water + agitation = gluten formation.
Scratch cake with cornbread texture:
Does yellow butter cake taste sorta like cornbread:
Winners in the Great Scratch Off - Yellow Cakes:
Sylvia Weinstock's ORIGINAL Classic Yellow Cake !!!!!!!
#1 - Sylvia Weinstock Original Classic Yellow Cake - 8.83
#2 - White on White Buttermilk - 8.33
#3 - Not So Lemon Magnolia Cake - 8.25
Note: Lita829's Yellow Cake had a score of 8.5, but it only had one vote. I figured a recipe would need more than one vote to win.
Best scratch recipes (recommended by CC members):
Helpful scratch baking site:
Jan-is it true-is it really you? Glad to see you back!
Over the past year I have tried dozens of yellow cake recipes. The best are Toba Garrett's "Moist" (everybody's favorite word) Yellow Cake from her book the Well Decorated Cake, and Jennifer Bratko's A Bettter white Cake made with whole eggs, (fromscratchsf.com). Both are very tasty with a nice light fine crumb and texture. The many yellow cakes I tried with just milk as the liquid had a floury or corn bread type taste and were just missing something. (All my favorite cakes, including chocolate and RV, have buttermilk in them). I initially loved the Sky High yellow buttermilk cake that uses the reverse creaming technique, but only the first try came out great. Each time I made it after that, the texture was course, and the bottom was dense and rubbery. Toba Garrett's has almost identical ingredients, but uses the traditional mixing technique. It comes out light, with a fine crumb, and tastes great every time. I have started to add almond extract which I love, otherwise exactly as written. ( BTW, Jennifer Bratko's A better White Cake IS WONDERFUL! )
If anyone needs an almond cake recipe, this past weekend I ran an Almond Cake trial. I tried RLB's from the Cake Bible, Toba Garret's Almond-Paste Cake, and Sky High Almond Cake, and the Sky High cake is great. It is light and fluffy with a nice, not overpowering almond taste. A real keeper. RLB's was a very close second, just not quite as much almond flavor. Toba Garrett's was dense and coarse, and sank A LOT in the center. Winner - Sky High Almond Cake. This was a small trial, but because this cake is so good, I will not look further!
Some reccs to keep cake texture light and fluffy: use baker's sugar, and cream the butter and sugar (when the traditional technique is used) until it is almost white and very fluffy. Could be 5 - 10 minutes. Mix well after each egg, but when adding in the wet alternating with the dry, do not overmix. Just 10 to 20 seconds on low after each, just until mixed in, or even by hand at this stage. HTH!
Now back to my diet.......
thanks for the test results -- greatly appreciate it
Oh My Goodness! I just came back to this post... it's been a hectic few months and I can't BELIEVE how many of you tried to help me!!! Thank you so much for all your suggestions!!!