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Question for the scratchers

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
I recently made a scratch recipe and it came out a tad dry. I was wondering if I overbaked it. I checked it at 50 minutes (the earliest time) and the toothpick tested mostly clean (a few crumbs sticking to it), but it was still slightly jiggly in the center. I let it go another 5 minutes or so (can't remember exactly) and then wrapped it while it was still warm. Wrapped it several times in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and froze it for a few days.

When I torted it yesterday I could tell it was a bit dry. My husband and I thought it was dry but everyone thought it tasted incredible. I really want to keep this recipe because of the crumb texture and the taste, but it could definitely use some moisture.

Do you think I could have pulled it when I initially tested it even though it was slightly jiggly in the center?

The recipe is Dede Wilson's Lemon Buttermilk Cake for those of you who have her book. I made the 10 inch recipe. I can't remember all the ingredients off the top of my head, but there's like 3 3/4 sticks of butter in it, plus 8 eggs and a cup plus two tablespoons of buttermilk. I will try to post the recipe when I get back from church.
post #2 of 37
I'm not familiar with that recipe, but if it's one you like and just want to add a bit more moisture you can add a simple syrup soak when you are filling it. Just bring equal parts water and sugar to a boil, cool, and lightly brush each layer of your torted cake with it before adding your filling.
post #3 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply. I didn't have time to do a simple syrup wash but I did think of that.

Does anyone else have any ideas?
post #4 of 37
I only make cakes from scratch and I don't think I've ever have to go to 50 min, but I just checked that recipe and it does say the cake will be done in 50-60 min.

The only thing you haven't told us is if you baked in 2" high pans. Or, if you baked in higher pans.

I used 9" pans mostly because I bake a lot from Sky High (Alysa Huntsman) and those are 9" cakes, 3 layers. My pans are only 2" tall, so not sure what you used. I know some people who don't like baking in anything higher than that. I saw the Dede Wilson recipe specifies 2" high pans.
post #5 of 37
Thread Starter 
I did use 2 inch pans, Magic Line, with baking strips. It came right up to the top of the pan, and that was filling 3/4 full with batter left over.

I'm beginning to think I should have pulled it out early, when it was still jiggly.
post #6 of 37
Seems like you did everything right. Yes, you should probably have pulled it out early. I know about the syrup tip, but I usually won't like adding sweetness to my cake. Some recipes do have liquor brushed on them, or poured on them and I like that better.

Just curious, did you have to bake the two cakes all at once in your oven, did they go on the same rack? I noticed that it says it's two pans with batter. I didn't read the whole thing through because I was just looking at an Amazon preview of the book.
post #7 of 37
Thread Starter 
Ok here's the thing...I bought the Magic Line set a while back which only had one of each size, so I only had one 10 inch. So I baked one, then waited for it to cool, then baked the second. So I had one in the oven on the middle rack baking at 350.

I agree about not adding sweetness. I filled it with lemon curd and man that stuff is sweet.
post #8 of 37
Have you checked to see that your oven temperature is correct? It might be burning hotter or cooler than the dial says and that would affect how your cake finally comes out. I think if you had taken the cake out while it was still jiggly in the middle, that part would have been slightly raw. At least that's my experience with these things!
"I know my own mind...and it's around here somewhere!"
"I know my own mind...and it's around here somewhere!"
post #9 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply. I was worried about the cake being raw so I wanted to leave it in there a bit longer. I have not calibrated my oven, but it's only a few years old so I thought it would be ok. I might try to do that and see what happens. The recipe has 8 eggs so I thought that may have had something to do with it being jiggly.

Thanks again everyone for your help.

post #10 of 37
A 10" might benefit from a rose nail or other baking core you put in the middle to get it to bake evenly. I know I did that the last time I made a 10".
As for being dry. I don't have the recipe so I can't comment on it. It could be the nature of the cake. Have you googled it to see if there are any reviews? And does she mention a simple syrup in the book? Some cake recipes are forumulated knowing that a simple syrup is going to be added.

But a simple syrup will not make a dry cake moist. I have tried, it doesn't work. It just helps to hold in the moisture that is there. I did try a cake once that someone try to moisten up by adding the simple syrup to the slice. It was an utter fail. The parts that had the syrup were moist where the rest was dry. I actually left 3/4 of the cake behind.

Can you give me the title of the book? I would like to see the recipe with 8 eggs. I'm curious. It could have 8 eggs because of the amount of batter made. Two 10" pans need a lot of batter. It is what is in the rest of the recipe that will determine if 8 eggs contributed to the jiggliness.
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post #11 of 37
Agree with everything LindaF144a says. I've tried the simple syrups. I only put them in if they're part of the recipe and most of the time they're more than that. I make a pina colada cake and it's a brown cake brushed with rum because the buttercream has coconut in it. It's more a flavor than a way to make the cake moist. The cake is already moist to start with.

Linda, I searched all over for the recipe and for reviews on it, and I couldn't find anything. So I went to Amazon and googled her book and then inside the book I did a search for the recipe.

This is the book.

Just go into the preview and search for: Lemon buttermilk cake. It's on page 107.
post #12 of 37
Thread Starter 
Here's the recipe:

5 2/3 cups unsifted cake flour
3/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of baking soda
3/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of baking powder
15 oz (3 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons lemon oil
8 large eggs
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Sift together the cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and set aside. Place the butter in your mixer's bowl. With the flat paddle, beat the butter until it is light and creamy on medium-high speed. Add the sugar gradually, beating well between additions. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Beat in the lemon oil. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The mixture will seem soupy, but as the butter-sugar mixture absorbs the eggs, it comes together into a creamy mass. Add the buttermilk and dry ingredients alternately in 5 batches, mixing well after all the ingredients are added. Bake 50 to 60 minutes at 350.

The notes say this freezes well for a month or can be kept at room temperature for four days.

There is a section in the book about the simple syrup, but nothing says that is required for this specific recipe.

There is a 6 inch recipe and that calls for 3 eggs, but that is the smallest size. She lists recipes for 6, 10, and 14 inch cakes.

Thanks again for taking time to help me out. I really like this recipe. Actually, I made the 10 inch for my wedding but I didn't torte it, so I can't tell if it was dry. But everyone at the wedding flipped out over it so it must not have been too bad.

Thanks again,
post #13 of 37
there isnt enough leavening it looks like to me, but i dont think that would have anything to do with dryness...
try subing a stick of butter for 1/2 mayo... i swear by mayo... but it actually seems like alot of butter...
probably a good flavor though because of the amount of lemon oil in it...
post #14 of 37
I don't want to go against someone who has written a book and has used it this way for years. But I don't like the mixing method. It is not a true creaming method, which is the method I would use.

Plus all the ingredients amounts are in line with a doubled recipe, except for the buttermilk. I've seen recipes that have 2 cups of buttermilk for a single batch with half of the other ingredients.

It might be me because I can never leave well enough alone, but I would be tempted to up that buttermilk. The measurement is wierd. 1 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons is 2 tablespoons shy of 2 cups. Really? 2 whole cups is not going to throw the whole thing off.

Plus, the amount of baking soda and baking powder seems low. The standard is 1/4 tsp soda for each cup of flour or 1 tsp of baking powder per cup of flour. Now this varies given the size of the pan, so it may be why it is so low, and it will not raise and come out even like you want. But leavening also acts as a tenderizer to some degree which can in turn make the cake feel like it is less dry than it actually is.

The other thing is cake flour. It absorbs way more liquid than AP flour, so again the amount of liquid. So this means you can put more liquid into a cake than you would with AP flour.

Plus what is with all the "plus a pinch" stuff. That is not very precise. I highly doubt that a pinch of something could throw it off, but it screams amateur IMO.

If you used it before than obviously it works and I'm just being anal. I think that we all have our own interpretation of dry. I've been testing cupcakes all week that I think are terribly dry, but I am the only one out of all the ones my DH and DD are sharing these with, so go figure.
I am no longer active on CC.  They will not let me delete my account.
I am no longer active on CC.  They will not let me delete my account.
post #15 of 37
Thread Starter 
It definitely rises though! That sucker rose above the pan the first time I made it.

The flavor is truly awesome. I love that it uses lemon oil, although it's expensive. I've been buying the drams of lemon oil from Lorann-it takes like 5 of them to make the 10 inch, and they're about 1.50 a piece.

I thought it would be really moist too with all that butter and the buttermilk.

Thanks for your suggestion about the mayo.
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