Hi everyone, this is the first time a post something and I'm desperate for some advise. My cakes are turning out dry, at least that is the feedback I'm getting. I've tried a lot of things and they seem good to me when I take them out of the oven to cool down, I even save the left over and they are fine but some people have complained of them being dry. I make my cakes from scratch and I know the texture and flavor is different from box cakes. I try to explain this to people but it seems that they prefer the box cakes over the homemade one. What should I do??? I'm seriously thinking on giving up:(... Here is the recipe I use.:
3 cups of flower, 3 eggs, 3tsps baking powder,1/2 cup of oil. 6tbsp butter.1/2 cup milk. And 1 cup sugar
I am new, I've been baking for other people for about 10 months, I still have a lot to learn. I love baking and decorating but sometimes this type of comments really bring me down:(
The problem is that people are used to overly sweet and artificially moist boxed cake mixes. This is an issue I had when I first started out as well.
There are two things I would recommend:
1. Buy Beyond Buttercream by Jennifer Bratko https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/178952866/beyond-buttercreams-base-cake-recipes-by
Her recipes are designed to have properties like a cake mix; i.e. moist and sweeter than typical scratch cakes.
2. Always `wash` your cakes in a simple syrup before using ganache or butter-cream. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/simple-syrup
You can also add flavorings to your syrup so they will no only add moistness they can add a real depth of flavor.
You got excellent advice from Gingerlocks. May I add to it?
I bake mainly from scratch too. I have found a few things that contribute to the moisture. A good recipe of course. Using whole fat milk or whole fat sour cream when called for.
Above all, method! If you are making a recipe using a high ratio of sugar to butter, when you cream your butter and sugar, cream these ingredients together for about 8-10 minutes. In my opinion this makes a huge difference.
Some people find recipes for white cakes that use high ratio shortening and large amounts of sugar are more moist than butter recipes. It is a matter of personal taste.
A good stand mixer is a needed investment.
If you are using a high-ratio method recipe or a method using the afore mentioned creaming method or a recipe that uses oil as its fat, remember to only mix to combine well - once you add liquid to the flour mixture. If you mix too long once that flour is wet, you are going to over develop the gluten in the flour.
Don't over bake. Bake only until toothpick inserted in middle comes out with a moist crumb or two. You don't want the toothpick to be wet. However, often if you wait for a completely dry with no crumbs attached toothpick, the cake will be dry.
As was stated, a lot of people are used to only cake mix cakes so for them, you are better off using mixes. It may well be that your cakes are perfect the way they are!
I always look for recipe that have at least one half the amount of sugar to flour- in this case the sugar should be at least 1 1/2 cups; sugar does contribute to moisture
People tend to confuse "dense" with "dry" because the cake mix marketers have been trying to make people associate gumminess from a boxed mix with the term "moist" for decades. So a denser scratch cake will feel dry to people if they're used to boxed mixes and think that's the standard.
You've received good advice so far...I'd also add that if you torte your cakes so that you have four thinner layers of cake and three layers of fillings (I use flavored buttercreams but you can also use preserves etc), that will make people have a mouthfeel of more icing to cake ratio. It cuts down on them feeling that they've had a bigger bite of a denser cake, which they then think is dry.
Somehow I didn't see your recipe when I first commented. It does seem to have a lot of flour compared to sugar. And a lot of baking powder. And not much milk either. Not sure why it has both oil and butter. I suspect your recipe is not giving you the best results.
When in doubt (especially if you are new at baking), use America's Test Kitchen's recipes. They always work, and they are always good! You can find all their recipes online, their site is subscription only, but a lot of people post the recipes on their blogs, etc., so they are not hard to find. It is worth it to invest in their baking book, all their recipes are fantastic! I have about a hundred cookbooks and baking books, but theirs are the ones I actually use for recipes (the others are mostly for inspiration and beautiful pictures!) Good luck!