I am just starting out cake making and I am looking for a couple of full proof recipes. My husband seems to think that I should stick to cake mixes with added instant pudding but I would love to make my own from scratch recipes. I have been looking through the recipes section and feel a little over whelmed by all the recipes and the couple I have tried have not turned out the way I wanted. If anyone could help me out and suggest their favorite recipes that would be great!!!
Sometimes the problem with a scratch cake is the recipe; and at others it is the baker's technique. Since you are a novice, it may be a matter of over or under mixing or baking temp or times. Even measuring methods can cause problems. Flour needs to be spooned into a measuring cup rather than dipping the cup into the canister. Do you measure with absolute precision or enthusiastic abandon? (Precision is best.) If you want a no fail recipe, stick with those based on a cake mix. If you really want to bake from scratch, start with a basic. I would suggest a chocolate cake as a starting place, Hershey has two excellent recipes which are not particularly difficult- 'Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake' http://www.hersheys.com/pure-recipes/184/HERSHEY'S and 'Black Magic Cake.' http://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipes-by-type/13/Cakes-Frostings.aspx -(It's in the second row with chocolate butterflies on top.)
Hershey also has a section with each recipe giving explanations of problems and possible causes.
Great Advise...Thank you!
I agree with Narie. I'd also like to add to have all ingredients at room temp. For me, I usually have mine between 65-70 degrees F. I am specifying a temp range because in the summer, it can get alot hotter than that (as we all know) and you don't want the butter too soft. I'd also recommend not skimping on quality ingredients...they really make a difference.
As far as recipes to start with, I'd go with a basic yellow or chocolate cake recipe that employs the cream-alternate method (cream butter and sugar, then add dry ingredients alternating with the liquid (usually some type of milk or cream)). That is a pretty basic method and mastering this will enable you to easily graduate to new skills. Look up the thread for the Yellow Cake-Scratch Off. There are several good recipes in it. I know because I participated in it back in June 2009.
I have always scratch baked, but then I am in the UK where we dont use mixes much. I would add that if possible weigh your dry ingredients. It is much more accurate than using cups and produces a more consistent result.
Be aware too that scratch and mix cakes do have a different texture so dont expect to recreate an exact replica using the other method.
Good luck and enjoy experimenting!