Why Does My White Cake Taste Like Corn Bread

Baking By tonrob Updated 27 May 2011 , 6:14pm by tonrob

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tonrob Posted 26 May 2011 , 3:18am
post #1 of 11

icon_sad.gif I have tried several white cake recipes and they all seem to have a corn bread taste. I just want to know if that is how scratch white cake taste. I know store bought box and bakery white cakes don't taste that way. What am I doing wrong?

10 replies
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sebrina Posted 26 May 2011 , 3:34am
post #2 of 11

What recipe are you using? I found that if I use buttermilk in mine it will remind me of corn bread. icon_lol.gif

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cakification Posted 26 May 2011 , 3:38am
post #3 of 11

That's not how it's supposed to taste, no. But it's hard to say where you're going wrong without knowing your recipe/mixing technique/baking time/quality of ingredients. White cake is one of the hardest to learn to do well from scratch.

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JanH Posted 26 May 2011 , 5:02am
post #4 of 11

If your cake tastes like corn bread, it's a baker's error. icon_sad.gif

Measuring correctly is critical in baking. Do you scoop and drag to measure your flour? If so, the traditional method is to aerate the flour then gently spoon into your measuring cup and level by pulling a knife over the top of the measuring cup.

And proper mixing is also critical. Mixing using a hand held mixer is not the same as mixing using a stand mixer.. When I mix using my hand mixer, I use a medium speed but if I'm using the stand mixer, I use low speed. (Of course, if the mixer motor is straining it's necessary to increase the speed to prevent the motor from burning up.)

But when it comes to mixing the batter ingredients and the finished cake batter; higher speeds and longer mixing times don't make a better baked cake. Rather an overmixed cake can be heavy, dense, tough, or chewy so only mix as long as the recipe recommends.

Great website for learning baking techniques:


Handy cake troubleshooting charts:







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LindaF144a Posted 26 May 2011 , 3:31pm
post #5 of 11

I agree that seeing the recipe is key. I have my ideas on why, but want to see the recipe first.
Also when did you taste it? Fresh out of the oven or when it was completely cooled. Cake taste different. I have learned to wait before I test for taste because it is so different.

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tonrob Posted 26 May 2011 , 7:05pm
post #6 of 11

This is the recipe I use:

2 1/4 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 c oleo margarine, softened (do not melt)
2/3 c milk (at least 2%, whole milk is best)
1 tsp vanilla or almond flavoring
1/3 c milk
4 egg whites

1 Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

2 Add oleo, 2/3 c. milk and flavoring. Beat for 2 minutes.

3 Add 1/3 c. milk and egg whites. Beat 2 minutes more.

4 Bake at 350 degrees in greased and floured 9x13 pan (or two/three rounds for layers).

5 Cake is done when toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Top will be a golden color.

I used vanilla instead of almond flavoring. I really appreciate everyones advice.
Thank you all

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LindaF144a Posted 26 May 2011 , 8:34pm
post #7 of 11

Sometimes the process can change the texture of the cake which can result in it, well, not tasting like cake. I have tried this process and I agree it creates a cake with a course texture similar to a corn muffin. Therefore, it has the flavor in the mouth too.

I would use another method to make the cake instead. And use unsalted butter instead of margarine. I'm trying to think of how you can make this with the egg whites where you beat the egg whites and fold them into the batter. I think it would be the creaming method, only skip the part of adding the eggs and fold in the egg whites in the end. Or you can try adding the egg whites after creaming the butter/sugar together and see how that comes out too.

Also it looks like a little too much baking powder, probably because the method used for mixing the cakes does not create a lot of rise, so there was extra BP added to try and give the cake lift. The amount of BP will also contribute to the flavor of the cake.

Where did you get the recipe?

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tonrob Posted 27 May 2011 , 2:43am
post #8 of 11

I got the recipe from www.justapinch.com it is called silver white cake. Thank you for your advice I will try doing the egg whites different and use less baking powder.

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indydebi Posted 27 May 2011 , 4:48am
post #9 of 11

I'll say up front that there are lots more folks on here who know more about scratch baking than I do, but I'm wondering if the all purpose flour is a factor as opposed to using cake flour?

My daughter makes a great white scratch cake and at first, it was also course and cornbready. She switched to cake flour and now it's wonderful.

So I appeal to our scratch bakers ..... is this a possibility?

The recipe uses the word "oleo" which leads me to believe this is an older recipe. While some older recipes are still great, others just haven't made the transition into use with the newer and updated technologies that have come about in the kitchen over the past few decades. No idea if this might be a factor ... it was just something I noticed.

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JanH Posted 27 May 2011 , 4:55am
post #10 of 11

A very similar recipe is on www.allrecipes.com and has some very favorable reviews (4****) while others say it tastes like cornbread:
(Uses shortening instead of margarine and the mixing directions are different.)


And there's also a very similar recipe on CC with 4**** rating:



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tonrob Posted 27 May 2011 , 6:14pm
post #11 of 11

Thanks for more great advice everyone. I will try using cake flour instead of all purpose flour. By the way Indydebi I am not to far down the road from you in Lafayette.
Thank you,

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