Help...can A Cake Go Bad Or Sour???

Decorating By Liz1951 Updated 21 Jun 2011 , 2:26am by Liz1951

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Liz1951 Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 1:27pm
post #1 of 17

I've decorated cakes for years and never experienced what I experienced recently. I had a cake order for last Friday. The lady called Saturday to tell me it didn't taste right; Something was wrong with it and wanted her $$ back. OMG....that made me sick just thinking about how I messed up the little girl's birthday. I've done 100's of cakes and never had that before. I asked her to bring it back so I could figure out what the problem was. Well, she brought it back yesterday and she's right. Something was wrong. I can't put my finger on it, but it had a peculiar smell. I always check expiration dates on cake mixes, egg cartons etc. Maybe I didn't bake the cake long enough and it soured. Do cakes sour??? She said it wasn't left out in the heat. It had been in the house the whole time. This is driving me crazy. Please any comments or suggestions? Thank goodness she's ordered cakes from me before and she knows this is not my "usual" cake. Thanks for any help.

16 replies
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cakification Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 2:06pm
post #2 of 17

I don't think you could under-bake it enough that it would have turned sour, because you would have noticed if she returned a plate full of uncooked cake dough.

What type of filling did you use? Was it one that required refrigeration? What favor of cake?

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Spuddysmom Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 2:29pm
post #3 of 17

Yes, it's probably the filling or the icing. What recipe did you use?

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cakegrandma Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 2:29pm
post #4 of 17

I had that happen to me about 5 years ago. I never did figure out what happened and it was a DH marble cake. I tasted it and it did have a somewhat sour taste but, it did not have a filling nor do I use milk that may have been somewhat at it's last date. Good luck on finding out what it was.

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kakeladi Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 2:36pm
post #5 of 17

Yes, yrs ago I had a cake turn sour. It was a wedding cake for my neighbor and it was HOT - like 105. The venue didn't turn on the air until after the 1st guests started to arrive icon_sad.gif So it was very hot inside - like outside. Most of the lgst/bottom tier was leftover and the next morning they went to eat it for bkfst and it was sour. I had made the cake a few days eariler than usual so I chalked it up to heat and unrefrigerated for too long. BUT..........that is the only time I know of that such a thing happened.

You don't really say what the smell is like - sour? shalack(sp?)? or what?
When I 1st started doing cakes I make my DD's wedding c ake. I baked 16" rounds and ended up throwing out 3! of them because I thought they smelled like shallack. After baking 2 more I finally decided that's how that brand of mix and flavor always smelled (at least to me!) This was confirmed to me again recently when I baked another one of that brand/flavor and again found that same smell.

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Liz1951 Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 4:15pm
post #6 of 17

The cake was a 11 x 15 sheet cake. DH cake mix. No filling. I used my normal Crisco base icing, creamer, ps, clear vanilla. I don't think it was the icing because I had some of that left over and used it on cupcakes the next day (for us) Tasted fine. After the lady left, I poked around the cake like crazy. The yucky taste and smell came mostly from the center. The outer edge wasn't that bad. So that's what makes me believe it was the cake mix and possibly I didn't bake it long enough or something. From now on, I will use a core (I think that's what you call them) in the center of the cake to make sure. I thought about it, but didn't do it. Lesson learn.

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warchild Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 4:49pm
post #7 of 17

So sorry that happened. Just a couple suggestions. Check your bottle of clear vanilla. I always buy Watkins clear vanilla but ran out once, and had to rush out and buy Wilton clear vanilla as a sub.
As soon as I opened the Wilton bottle I could tell it was off. It smelled funny, had a weird chemical smell, not anything I'd want to bake with. I ended up taking it back.
Check your shortening too. It can go bad also. You should be able to tell by the smell.

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JillyPlot Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 8:48pm
post #8 of 17

I've recently had DH cake mixes taste sour as well. I think that something has changed with the recipe/ingredients they use.

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dchockeyguy Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 9:50pm
post #9 of 17

Do you track the lot numbers on the products you buy in case of recalls, etc? If so, I'd go back to your store and try to find a box with the same lot number on it and make a new one to see if there's a bad batch of mixes out there.

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Liz1951 Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 10:39pm
post #10 of 17

Never thought about recalls on cake mixes. I've thrown the boxes away so I can't go back and look. The trash was picked up today (or I'll be out there digging in the garbage) I had 2 other cake orders the same weekend, and have received good feedbacks from them. I'll probably never find out what caused this. I've used DH for years and certainly don't want to change, but if it happens again I may seriously consider it. I didn't think to look at the Baker's Joy can before I threw the empty can away. Don't think it was expired because I buy that pretty regularly. It didn't have time to spoil. Oh well, thanks for all the comments. I plan to email DH and see what they say. Who knows....there may have been a bad batch of cake mix.

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cabecakes Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 11:01pm
post #11 of 17

I have used DH for years, and I have never had a problem with it. I do know that you want to check expiration dates on all cake mixes. Especially, if you purchase cake mixes from close-out stores like Odd Lots. These mixes usually are approaching their expiration dates. You should always check expiration dates on all box type mixes of pancake batter, cake mixes, brownie mixes and the like, because they most certainly can go bad.

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gigiel Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 11:25pm
post #12 of 17

yes it can, how long in advance did you make the cake?

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Liz1951 Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 11:29pm
post #13 of 17

I baked it late Wednesday afternoon, crumb coated that night and decorated Thursday for Friday AM pickup. The party was Friday night.

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gigiel Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 11:52pm
post #14 of 17

anything with eggs in it is perishible. did you put it in the fridge from wed - fri?
if not was your room temp below 70 degrees? room temp in tx this time of yr is murder and ac on is risky days in advance. ( i'm from dallas area) i'm convinced anyone from tx has to operate w/ a different set of rules in the summer due to the heat & humidity uncommon to other areas.
i haven't had a cake 'sour' within 2 days. 3-4 maybe, but not 2. did you add oither ingredients, or just use cake mix as directed?

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Liz1951 Posted 21 Jun 2011 , 1:47am
post #15 of 17

I don't add anything extra to the cake mix. Just whatever DH cake mix calls for. I also don't put my cakes in the frig. The more I think about this, the more I'm leaning towards the eggs. You're right, TX heat is a killer even though I try to keep the thermostat a little cooler when I have a cake order. Maybe it wasn't cool enough.

I really appreciate all the input I've gotten on this post.

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funpets Posted 21 Jun 2011 , 2:05am
post #16 of 17

ive had a couple experience with cakes not being cooled completely b4 frosting kind of seal the heat in,it goes bad quickly.

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Liz1951 Posted 21 Jun 2011 , 2:26am
post #17 of 17 that's another thought. I honestly don't remember if I let it cool completely or not, but I will certainly pay more attention next time. Thanks a bunch!!

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