Lots Of Issues So Far.... Help?

Decorating By eee31773 Updated 23 Aug 2014 , 2:15am by Apti

eee31773 Posted 22 Aug 2014 , 7:39am
post #1 of 7

AHeya!

So my problems kind of go on and on....

1. My cake pans are too short.... Each cake could overflow from the top and It would still be too short for my leveler! Where should I get deeper pans? 2. When I DO use my one deep pan, my cake is always still raw in the middle, but if I put any less batter in, I really can't level it! 3. When I make my cakes, they're always too crumbly to frost... Even after the crumb coat. What do I do? 4. I need a better frosting recipe, I use the wilton white buttercream one, and even make triple-quadruple* (spelling*?) batches and never have enough! Any suggestions? 5. When I do 'up' the buttercream recipe, any more than 2 cups of confectioners sugar is too sweet, even though there's a bunch of butter and shortening in it. 6. I have tried making cake pops on multiple occasions and failed, I even tried with a cake pop pan! Why did the pan make half circles instead of the full sphere?

I'll save the rest of my questions for later.... I do have a lot more though, but I realize these are probably all newbie mistakes... /:

Thank you! Any advice is appreciated! :)

6 replies
winniemog Posted 22 Aug 2014 , 8:06am
post #2 of 7

AHave you baked before? Hopefully I can give you some pointers. 1. Buy deeper pans - from a store or online, there's lots out there. I don't know your location though. 2. Bake at a lower temp for longer if your cakes are not baking through. Always test with a skewer etc. to see cakeis baked through. 3. I'm not sure what recipe you are using. Are you trimming the cakes and producing lots of crumbs? Are you allowing them to cool fully first? 4. If you need more frosting, make extra batches. Not sure what the problem is here? 5. This question didn't make sense to me - if you don't like the recipe, then doubling it will just give you twice as much frosting that you don't like. Maybe experiment with different recipes, there's lots on this site. 6. I make cake pops with cake crumbs and buttercream or ganache to bind them. If you use a cake pop pan, the only reason you'll get half spheres is that you're not filling them enough or that you're allowing the batter to sit before baking, so the raising agent can't work fully. Although possibly your basic recipe is faulty, it depends what you're using.

Hope that all helps. I suggest starting from scratch and working on baking a cake you love properly, and then focus on frosting, and then try cake pops. If you're not having success in one area, don't jump from place to place failing everywhere. Give yourself a chance to succeed in one area at a time. Try some recipes from this site and have fun.

maisie73 Posted 22 Aug 2014 , 9:39am
post #3 of 7

AI was going to say the same as winniemogs last paragraph. Concentrate on getting one thing consistently right before you move on to the next. I don't often bake deep layers I bake lots of little ones and stack them to get the height I want. It's more time consuming but it works for me. I notice you said "cups" try weighing your ingredients, you'll get better, more consistent results. Look for one cake recipe and one buttercream recipe you think you're capable of and go from there. Try it a few times before you abandon it, if it's still not working look for a different recipe. The most simple recipe I know is Victoria Sponge, if you're not familiar with it and you'd like to try it let me know. :-)

eee31773 Posted 22 Aug 2014 , 1:35pm
post #4 of 7

AThank you! [@]winniemog[/@] and [@]maisie73[/@] I bake quite often, and I have encountered so many problems! So I thought I'd ask about everything that's happened so far! Thank you both so much! Your tips and answers were DEFINITELY helpful. I love the idea of weighing, I just got a new kitchen scale, and have been wanting to try it out! :)

Thanks again!

cupadeecakes Posted 22 Aug 2014 , 3:35pm
post #5 of 7

Quote:

Originally Posted by eee31773 


5. When I do 'up' the buttercream recipe, any more than 2 cups of confectioners sugar is too sweet, even though there's a bunch of butter and shortening in it.
 

I agree that maybe you should try a different recipe, but if you feel that your buttercream is too sweet, try adding a little salt to it.  It will help cut that sticky sweet taste.

kakeladi Posted 22 Aug 2014 , 8:20pm
post #6 of 7

..........1. My cake pans are too short.... Each cake could overflow from the top and It would still be too short for my leveler! Where should I get deeper pans?............

    You do not tell us how deep your pans are.  2" is custom; some people use 3" deep ones.  If the batter is flowing over/out of the pan then you put too much batter in it.  Pans should be filled about 2/3rds full of batter so there is room for the cake to rise properly.


..........2. When I DO use my one deep pan, my cake is always still raw in the middle, but if I put any less batter in, I really can't level it!.................

     If the cake is not cooking all the way through then give it more time.  OR maybe use a flower nail (turned upside down in the center of the pan) to help spread the heat better.  Some people also use 'bake-even strips'. 


............3. When I make my cakes, they're always too crumbly to frost... Even after the crumb coat. What do I do?.................

        If your cake is crumbly it probably is overbaked :(   But I think it has more to do with the buttercream recipe you are using than the cake itself.   See next answer :)

 

......4. I need a better frosting recipe, I use the wilton white buttercream one, and even make triple-quadruple* (spelling*?) batches and never have enough! Any suggestions?.........

 

   There are many recipes on this site to choose from.  But.......I think you are not thinning it enough for spreading.   As for how much icing to make....it depends on how big the cake is.  In general a rule of thumb is one batch of icing (using 2# of sugar) for every cake mix/batch of batter used to bake the cake.

    
.........5. When I do 'up' the buttercream recipe, any more than 2 cups of confectioners sugar is too sweet, even though there's a bunch of butter and shortening in it............

 

      You must realize, buttercream is *suppose* to be sweet.   Using only 2 *cups* of sugar won't ever make enough icing to properly cover & decorate a cake. 

Adding about 1/4 teaspoon salt to your recipe might help a bit.  Here is a great recipe that might help you if you following it exactly :  http://www.cakecentral.com/a/2-icing

Apti Posted 23 Aug 2014 , 2:11am
post #7 of 7

Kakeladi is absolutely correct!    Here is some more information contained in different threads, some with photos.

 

eee31773~~Welcome to CakeCentral!  Your post made me laugh (not at you, with you).  I think you are well and truly hooked on the hobby of cake decorating.   Unless you really care and want to get the details "just right", you wouldn't be asking these important questions.  When you are starting your learning curve in cake baking and decorating, there are NO dumb questions, and the gracious members of cakecentral are always there to help.

 

~~My cake pans are too short.... Each cake could overflow from the top and It would still be too short for my leveler! Where should I get deeper pans?  When I DO use my one deep pan, my cake is always still raw in the middle, but if I put any less batter in, I really can't level it!

 

Although there are 3" deep pans, the majority of bakers in the USA use  2" deep pans with straight sides.   [How to see if your pans have straight sides?  If the pans neatly "nest" inside each other, then they are NOT straight sides, they are angled sides \_/   You do not want angled sides.  You want straight sides l_l which will not fit into another pan the same size.]

There are several methods to obtain a full 2" height on baked, cooled, cakes:

Bake at 325F for a longer period of time. 

Use Wilton Bake Even Strips

Use metal "flower nails" on cakes over 8" wide

Use a parchment collar

 

Bake Even Strips and Flower Nail on larger cakes --Photo tutorial

http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=8&threadid=148262&FTVAR_MSGDBTABLE=

 

TUTORIAL: How to collar a cake pan...

http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=8&threadid=154355

 

When I make my cakes, they're always too crumbly to frost... Even after the crumb coat. What do I do?

One of the "practice" parts of baking/decorating is trying out lots of recipes to find what works for you.  As a hobby baker, I choose (for now) to make mostly "doctored" cake mix recipes.  A doctored cake mix starts with a box mix (I prefer Duncan Hines), and then the box with its original instructions is thrown away, and a whole new set of extra ingredients is added.  Using the box mix as the "base", allows a very consistent cake result every time.  If you are choosing to go scratch, then be prepared to spend the necessary time to perfect recipes.

 

My most consistent white cake doctored recipe:

Sour Cream White Cake
1 package (16.5 oz.) Duncan Hines white cake mix

1/2 cup flour

1/8 to 1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup canola oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure almond (or use vanilla, lemon, etc.) extract

 

I need a better frosting recipe, I use the wilton white buttercream one, and even make triple-quadruple* batches and never have enough! Any suggestions?

 

Beginning decorators nearly always underestimate the amount of frosting needed.  I suggest you double or triple what you think you'll need for your cakes, until you've done enough cakes to know what will be required.   The lovely thing about making too much American buttercream is that you can freeze leftovers for a long time!  Just defrost, briefly re-whip, and use.  Easy peasy.

 

Here's my go-to frosting recipe, (a crusting American buttercream), Bunny's "Mock Shack's Buttercream Icing" :

http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=7&threadid=135663&FTVAR_MSGDBTABLE=

 

Re:  cake pops

Don't like 'em.  Won't make 'em.  Ick.

 

Good luck and Bake On!!!

 

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