Please Help A Cake Making Virgin!!

Baking By belle76 Updated 4 Sep 2008 , 3:03am by KrissieCakes

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belle76 Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 1:49am
post #1 of 12

ok, i am losing my mind. I have searched many a website. I have always wanted to make and decorate cakes. Now i have a daughter's first birthday. the problem i am having is i cant find a good recipe! People tell me that even the pro's use box cake. Well i tried to use a higher end box cake tonight and it is still dry and well...blah. I want a chocolate and a yellow MOIST but DENSE recipe. How are the pro's cakes so dense and yet soo yummy???? Add to my at high altitude and no recipes i have found online have HA recipes. I am not a professional baker ....i have noooo idea how to alter a recipe correctly. ~~~then there is the filling and frosting. What is the best all over frosting and the best decorating frosting (not fondant)? i hear buttercream....but i have found a million DIFFERENT recipes. Im getting soooo confused icon_cry.gif I went to a birthday party a few weeks ago and the chocolate cake had a chocolate mousse filling. I look on guessed it. a MILLION chocolate mousse recipes...all different. it has to be thick enough to hold up a layer of cake. I would also like a nice filling for a yellow cake. I know i could search the forum here....but i feel like i will just get more confused. If i could just get an overwhelming concensus....that would be good icon_biggrin.gif

11 replies
Deb_ Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
Deb_ Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 8:16pm
post #2 of 12

Hi Belle,

I recommend trying the White Almond Sour Cream (WASC) recipe. I've been reading about it a lot in these forum posts since I joined and I tried it this week. It is moist and dense and delicious. If you don't want the white cake there are modified versions for yellow and chocolate cakes in the recipe section also.

For chocolate filling try the Whipped Chocolate Ganache, it is delicious and is a favorite of many of my clients....most requested! That recipe can also be found in CC recipe section.

Buttercream is my favorite icing, half butter/half shortening variety, recipe also found on this site.

Good luck and have fun baking the cake....don't forget to post a picture icon_smile.gif

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jibbies Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 8:43pm
post #3 of 12

Hi Belle76,
Welcome to CC. I'm Jibbies, Ive been decorating cakes for 27 years now.
You will find lots of great ideas and nice people here on CC. Check out my photos. Every last cake in there is a pillsbury box mix. the fondant covered cakes are done In Satin Ice (a brand of pre-made fondant) or in my buttercream. Its called Jibbies White Velvet Buttercream. It's actually on the home page in the highlighted recipes right now (scroll down and you can see it). I would suggest that as a beginner you find a recipe for cake you are happy with a bc recipe that you like. Don't try to get really fancy quickly, if you have a cake wreck it can discourage you. for fillings you can use Nutella, Hersherys ice cream toppings, canned pie fillings, jams or preserves, peanut butter mixed with bc. The only thing I do different than the recipe on the cake box is 1 cup of water instead of the 1 and 1/4 that is called for. If you need help just ask or you are welcome to pm me anytime.
Welcome icon_smile.gifbirthday.gifparty.gif


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belle76 Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 10:09pm
post #4 of 12

Thanks for the replies. Jibbles~ i wouldnt mind using box mix if it came out the way i want it to. but it doesnt. its very dry and just falls apart. Remember...i am at high altitude that makes things a bit tricky too. I want a firm, moist cake. I just cant seem to do that with any box cake i have tried.

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Win Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 10:37pm
post #5 of 12

Welcome, Belle76. Try the following recipe... however HALF IT as it is a large quantity "extender" recipe. It is moist, dense, buttery and delicious. You did not mention how high your high altitude is, but it should not need any adjustments for anything up to 4700 ft. (That's as high as I have baked it.) I think it is what you might be looking for in a cake.

Have fun! Relax. "It's just cake." icon_lol.gif

2 Duncan Hines Butter Recipe cake mixes (I guess you could use any flavor)
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
4 Sticks Butter (I used half butter, half margarine)
2 2/3 cups water
6 eggs
1 box French Vanilla Pudding Mix (instant)
2 tsp Baking Powder

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, mix until blended. Add cake mix, pudding, flour and baking powder. Blend on low while drizzling in water in a thin stream. Mix until smooth (doesn't take long), and bake according to directions for your pan size.

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saap1204 Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 10:43pm
post #6 of 12

Fora rich, dense chocolate cake, I only make Toba Garrett's chocolate fudge cake--it is the best. I use her French vanilla buttercream as a filling and frosting also--it tastes like vanilla ice cream! I am still looking for the perfect scratch vanilla cake, however, so if anyone has a great recipe, I would love to have it also.

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carmenid Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 10:45pm
post #7 of 12

Hi Belle76,

I get confused with recipes also. I have gotten a lot of good baking and decorating tips from CC. I have been dying to try the White Almond Sour Cream cake, I found the recipe in recipezaar that has a tone of excellent reviews, that always busts my confidence. I have found other cake recipes there such as the amaretto cake and the vanilla pound cake that were outstanding as well.

As far as buttercream I use the Wilton recipe with shortening base for my white and chocolate icing and it is pretty good.

As far as fillings everything that jibbies said works pretty well. Chocolate pudding mix also makes a good filling if you mix it with heavy whipping cream instead of the regular milk.


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kellertur Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 10:50pm
post #8 of 12
Originally Posted by belle76

Now i have a daughter's first birthday.

That is EXACTLY why I renewed my interest in decorating. My daughter's first birthday came, and we couldn't buy a vegan decorated cake, so I just did the best I could, using the "Baby Einstein" theme. This site could have saved me a lot of "freaking out". icon_rolleyes.gif

You'd be surprised just how accomodating people are here. Best of luck and look forward to seeing your cakes! thumbs_up.gif

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SugarFrosted Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 10:50pm
post #9 of 12

Hello and Welcome to CakeCentral!

The thing about box can't aways follow the baking instructions, especially the time. Usually the time on the box is just not quite right for me. It also can be affected by your oven if the temp is not calibrated right, and in your case, the altitude is an issue. I am unsure how to deal with the altitude. Most box mixes have high-altitude instructions. I've been baking/decorating for 20 years and have always used box mixes, almost always Betty Crocker. I sift the dry mix and then mix according to directions. I set my oven temp at 350F for regular mixes, but 325F for doctored cake mixes like WASC (White Almond Sour Cream, you will LOVE this and its variations!) which means it bakes longer. I always bake the night before I need the cake, except for weddings, that's a whole other situation.

Bake-Even baking strips around the pan can help make the cake bake more evenly. It's a teflon coated strip, like an ironing board cover, which you wet and wrap around the pan and pin in place before you put the pan into the oven. It keeps the pan sides cooler so the cake edges don't bake too fast and get hard and dry, as well as helping the cake rise more evenly. I also use a release spray, like Baker's Joy or even just plain Pam, before I pour the batter in. I turn the pan every 10 minutes during baking. After 20 minutes I start checking with a toothpick every 5 minutes so I know how long it might need to go. As soon as that toothpick comes out clean, the cake comes out of the oven.

After I bake the cake, I allow it to cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, the cake covered by a paper towel. After cooling, I leave the paper towel in place and flip the cake onto the cooling rack. Then I cover the top and sides of the cake with plastic wrap and replace the pan over the cake. This allows the cake to cool slowly and keeps the moisture inside the cake, not evaporating in the air. I leave it on the counter for several hours till completely cool and then place it in a covered plastic storage box, including the rack, until I am ready to work on it, usually 12 or so hours later.

I have never had a dry cake. The paper towel allows some moisture to escape so the cake isn't gummy but still keeps the cake moist.

I am sure others have different methods and suggestions, There is no ONE right way to do anything. That is what makes CC so special, we can all have different ways of doing things and different opinions, and still feel comfortable here.

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kellertur Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 2:33am
post #10 of 12

[quote="SugarFrosted"] I turn the pan every 10 minutes during baking. quote]

How do you open the oven door so often and not have your cakes "cave in"? I use bake-even strips, but if I open the oven door to soon (or too often) into baking, they collapse... (they end up looking like a sad "faux" bunt cake) Maybe it's our northern climate???? I'm stumped. icon_confused.gif


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SugarFrosted Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 2:55am
post #11 of 12

I have never had a cake "fall" though I have wondered about that. I turn the cake pan because my oven heats unevenly, as many do, and if I don't turn it, the cake will rise higher on one side.

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KrissieCakes Posted 4 Sep 2008 , 3:03am
post #12 of 12

I am a cake novice myself and I have been experimenting with recipes from this site. The yellow cake that has turned out great for me (dense and moist) is the vanilla butter cake from the mermaid bakery. I have also tried the whipped chocolate ganache from here - it is absolutely delicious and it firms up really well. I tried the raspberry mousse II recipe as a filling in both chocolate and the vanilla butter cakes - delicious in both, but it wasn't very firm and hard to keep it from squeezing out the sides! The icing that I get the most compliments on is also from this site - the marshmallow cream buttercream. Wonderful!!!

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