Where Do I Begin?

Baking By kellyd01 Updated 28 Apr 2012 , 3:32am by metria

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kellyd01 Posted 27 Apr 2012 , 3:40pm
post #1 of 10


Up until now I've used only boxed cake mix, sometimes doctored, sometimes not. I'd really rather switch to a scratch cake but the few times I've made them before I haven't cared for the results. I've wound up with dry super dense cakes. At the same time I think the box mixes are too sweet. I really don't want to make a whole bunch of cakes to try different recipes because... what am I going to do with them all! My family certainly doesn't need to eat all that cake! LOL!

Does anyone have any suggestions on where to start? I'm just looking for good basic chocolate, yellow and white cake mixes.

Also, is it all in my head or is this true? I had a recipe I tried for yellow cake, I made them as cupcakes and they were great. When I made it as a cake it was not... I did have to double my recipe to get enough for the cake I was making... but I wouldn't have thought that would make such a big difference!

9 replies
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JamAndButtercream Posted 27 Apr 2012 , 4:08pm
post #2 of 10

I'd love to help you more in depth, but I'm from the UK and we different types of cakes to people in the US.

I did a quick search for a "yellow cake recipe" and found this website,

This recipe seems to have a lot of good reviews, why don't you try out a couple of recipes from this site that have a lot of good reviews?

I know what you mean about not wanted to end up with a ton of cake! icon_lol.gif
Why not half the recipes you try?

HTH icon_smile.gif

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wonkycakes Posted 27 Apr 2012 , 4:39pm
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Unfortunately there's only one way to find the perfect recipe, and that is to try a whole bunch until you find one that works for you. The internet is a great place to start; read the reviews and pick a bunch that have good reviews.

I do understand the problem of what to do with all that cake! Halving the recipe was a good suggestion. Perhaps you could organize an informal cake testing party. Invite your friends and neighbours over and have them rate each cake. That kills two birds with one stone; you get instant feedback and you're not left with heaps of cake at the end of it! I used my colleagues at work as guinea pigs when I was researching recipes and I got sooo much useful feedback. Plus my popularity ratings went sky high, hah haa!!

Hope this helps! icon_biggrin.gif

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zetasilver Posted 27 Apr 2012 , 4:41pm
post #4 of 10

I use Sylvia Weinstocks' vanilla cake and Hershey's 'Perfectly Chocolate' chocolate cake. Both are beautifully moist and taste amazing.

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idreamincupcakes Posted 27 Apr 2012 , 5:01pm
post #5 of 10
Originally Posted by zetasilver

I use Sylvia Weinstocks' vanilla cake and Hershey's 'Perfectly Chocolate' chocolate cake. Both are beautifully moist and taste amazing.

I second the hershey's chocolate. However it took me many many trials on a vanilla cake i liked, and I actually ended up altering a recipe I liked just enough to work with.

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TheSweetTreat Posted 27 Apr 2012 , 7:17pm
post #6 of 10

You could use enough batter to make one layer of cake and then freeze the rest for when you want a snack. OR you could donate your cooked cakes to a nearby shelter. They would love to have your extras. If you've cut into it already maybe just cut into triangles or squares and deliver to the shelter.

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Ashleyssweetdesigns Posted 27 Apr 2012 , 7:46pm
post #7 of 10

It's true that your going to have to practice practice practice, but you can start with solid recipes. Look up recipes from trusted sources. I love martha stewart recipes I have the best results with her. Also go to realbakingwithrose.com lots of good recipes and tips also.

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rosech Posted 27 Apr 2012 , 10:04pm
post #8 of 10

I don't think there is an easy way out. Already, from the replies you are looking at a number of recipes to try. Understanding why things happen the way they do is more important than just trying out recipes. Eg for the recipe where cupcakes come out fine but cakes don't with same recipe. Pan size and material, temperature adjustments and other factors. My breakthrough came when I watched Alton Brown and RLB's videos on youtube. I use RLB's downy yellow butter cake recipe from ytube video. Works for me. Even though she says u can use whole eggs in place of yolks, the yolks recipe comes out better than whole eggs. For me. So I now use small to medium eggs instead of large for whole eggs version. I have had success with her chifon cake as well. Someone else may not but I think learning on factors will help. Whatever recipes you choose.

All the best.

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Tracey2528 Posted 28 Apr 2012 , 1:23am
post #9 of 10

I switched to scratch cakes a few months ago and it was a difficult transition. I've learned that it is very important for all the cold ingredients to reach room temperature and I weigh out all of my ingredients instead of using measuring cups. I definitely noticed all this makes a huge difference!

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metria Posted 28 Apr 2012 , 3:32am
post #10 of 10

i am also in the transitional period of switching from box mix to scratch. i'm really enjoying watching the cake episodes of America's Test Kitchen:


they review many baking basics, like types of flour, chocolate, and mixing methods. there's a free 2-week trial period that lets you watch all the episodes they have available online with their recipes. my trial period has expired, but i have no problem with subscribing to their online access! it has been really informative to me.

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