Scratch Cake Problems . . . Again. Any Advice?

Decorating By calla74 Updated 23 Sep 2007 , 10:07pm by FromScratch

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calla74 Posted 22 Sep 2007 , 5:35am
post #1 of 8

I tried another attempt at scratch baking and it failed again! I thought everything would be perfect this time. The cakes come out really light like an angel food cake. They're so light that they crumble apart everytime I try to turn them out of the pan. I've used up all my resources (for scratch) and I know I'll have to rebake one 14" and one of the 10" rounds. I gave up and used mix for the other 14" and it turned out great. Luckily I have enough mix to do my two six inch chocolate layers but I'll have to go to the store to get more yellow mix to rebake the 10 and 14". This three tiered monster is for my SIL's birthday this afternoon. I was so excited but now I just feel deflated. I know I should have baked sooner so I could go to plan B if needed, but life (work and kids) had some trouble the past two days so that took priority. Any suggestions?

Oh, and I've greased and floured the pans, I've tried lining with parchment, I'm letting them cool 20 minutes or more, I've checked for doneness, I've weighed and measured, I'm using ML pans, bake even strips, and I have an oven thermometer to make sure my oven isn't out of whack.

Don't hesitate to tell me if I'm just inept because it is really starting to look that way. I'm just not a baker. icon_cry.gif If only I could have someone else bake so I could have time to practice decorating!

Thanks in advance.

7 replies
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illini89 Posted 22 Sep 2007 , 5:54am
post #2 of 8

i too have had major problems in the past. What size egg are you using? Is the recipe calling for cake flour or regular flour?
Send me the recipe, I will try it out this coming week and see what happens.
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FromScratch Posted 22 Sep 2007 , 5:59am
post #3 of 8

Yes.. post your recipe (or a link) and let us know exactly what you did and for how long you did it for steps. Are you positive that you didn't over cook them? Over mix them? It's easy to mess up a scratch cake recipe.. but when you get it right.. it's wonderful. Hopefully we can figure out how to get you to that place with your scratch cakes. ((hugs)) Sorry that you have to re-bake.. that's never fun.

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-Tubbs Posted 22 Sep 2007 , 6:34am
post #4 of 8

No advice really. Just to say that I share your pain. I have recently lost all confidence when it comes to scratch baking cakes. NOTHING has gone right for me recently. Today I made three different recipes and they were all variations of BLAH. The devils food cupcakes I made totally sank, the vanilla ones were ...just ok. I decided to try Toba Garrett's moist yellow cake, thinking that would be a no-fail recipe. I followed it to the letter and it came out flat and quite dry. I am very disappointed. I am baking at 3500 ft, but I haven't found that to be much of a challenge before. Perhaps we've both lost our baking groove. Any suggestions on where to find it most appreciated!
Keep trying - don't give up!

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JanH Posted 22 Sep 2007 , 8:14am
post #5 of 8

Here are two cake troubleshooting charts:
(short list from
(long list from Sarah Phillips of


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KrisD13 Posted 22 Sep 2007 , 8:26am
post #6 of 8

One thing comes to mind. If you let a cake cool in the pan for more than 10 minutes, it can break apart (stick in the pan) because the oils you use to grease the pan will start cooling and make it stick.

HTH icon_biggrin.gif

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calla74 Posted 23 Sep 2007 , 8:01pm
post #7 of 8

Thanks everyone. Sorry I took off. I had to take a step back from the baking/cake thing for a little while. I was ready to sell everything cake related on ebay after this.

Here is the recipe from WBH:

Whimsical Bakehouse Golden Butter Cake

"Grease two 10x3 inch round pans. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Have all ingredients at room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat at high speed until light and fluffy:

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar

Add and beat on medium speed until fluffy:

6 large egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

On a piece of wax paper, sift together:

3 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

At low speed, add the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture alternately with:

1 1/2 cups milk

Pour 3 1/2 cups of the batter into one prepared pan and the remaining batter into the other. Bake the less full pan for 20 to 25 minutes and the fuller pan for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes on a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes before turning them out of their pans.

Yield: 9 cups of batter"

I actually used the recipe in two 10 x 2-inch pans (baked together) and one 14 x 2-inch pan (baked alone). I also my oven was at 325 degrees because the last times I tried this recipe I had trouble with the center not baking and the cakes falliong apart.

I cooled mine on wire racks for 20 minutes so that must be part of it. It was mostly the top that sticks in the pans. My DH said they tasted a little dry. I used my stand mixer but didn't really keep track of the time I spent on each step. I was so tired I think I may have over beaten. I'll keep trying as I get the chance.

JanH - The kid/pet factor on the link from Baking 911 that you provided made me laugh. We had some loud wind that night so I had to keep ushering little ones back to bed and tripping over the dog multiple times. Does this mean I can blame my ineptitude (sp?) on them? icon_razz.gif

One good thing about steping away for a couple hours I was able to patch the 10" cakes with BC and the 14" wasn't that bad after looking at it through refreshed eyes. Although the top and middle layer had some trouble in transport. My DH was driving like a mad man I cringed at every stop and curve. Next time I'm driving. I had to improvise once we got there and I asssembled the cake. I guess the only thing that matters is that I finally got some more practice and my SIL was happy (to tears) although all I see are the imperfections. I'll post a pic of it today.

Thanks everyone for your help and kind words I was so ready to give up!

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FromScratch Posted 23 Sep 2007 , 10:07pm
post #8 of 8

This is one I haven't made yet. I have made their white and chocolate cakes though and they are good recipes. The white cake especially. The only thing I can see is that there's a lot of baking powder.. you might try only adding 2.5 tsp to this recipe rather than the 3.5 that is called for.

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