Scratch Bakers: Are Your Cakes Dry Without Simple Syrup?

Baking By handymama Updated 22 Jul 2012 , 8:47pm by Cherylc418

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handymama Posted 10 Jul 2012 , 5:55am
post #1 of 8

Until now I've been a mostly box mix baker ( although I'd NEVER make a box carrot or coconut cake). Trouble is, the only mix I really like is DH dark fudge. I don't care for any of the white mixes -- even though my customers seem to -- and I really hate the chemical undertone in lemon mixes. I tried some white chocolate cake recipes from here on CC and they were dry. That seems to be a recurring complaint about scratch cakes, so I'm wondering if any of you have some dependable recipes or techniques that you'd recommend? I'm talking about true scratch cakes, not doctored or tossing in a box of pudding. I'm thinking I'd like to make the leap from box to scratch if it will improve flavor and quality, but ONLY if it will improve flavor and quality

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rosech Posted 10 Jul 2012 , 6:13am
post #2 of 8

I use RLB's butter cakes recipes. Moist fluffy and tasty. Chiffon cakes are moist too. Not suitable for fondant cakes though. Some chocolate cake recipes with oil give moist cake. However with all things cake, experiment and practice practice practice.

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Chellescakes Posted 10 Jul 2012 , 6:43am
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I lonly bake from scratch and never have dry cake , If your white chocolate cake is dry I would suggest you are overbaking your cakes.

Try taking them out just a little earlier than you are .

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scp1127 Posted 10 Jul 2012 , 6:56am
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I only have one cake with simple syrup and I'm partial to very moist cakes.

I always suggest to new scratch baker, to give us a flavor and we can suggest some recipes. When you decide on one to try, those bakers can help you through it.

I have worked hard on my recipes but I am always willing to share. If it's a flavor with extensive adjustments, I prefer to share in a pm, otherwise, I give links and changes.

I'm so glad to see another convert. I hope you find scratch baking as enjoyable as I do, but with plenty of teachers so less dud cakes. But please don't get discouraged. You will have some failures. Sometimes I have to bake a cake 7 or 8 times to get it where I want it. of course, I cross my fingers the first one is it, but that rarely happens with experimenting and learning.

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Bubba-licious Posted 20 Jul 2012 , 6:17am
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Try the white chocolate mud cake from It is lovely & moist.

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milkmonkey Posted 21 Jul 2012 , 8:08pm
post #6 of 8

I always bake from scratch. The only time I use a box cake mix is to test out a new oven and experiment with the temp to get a flat top cake.

My dad taught me to bake at the age of 7 and in South Africa at that time boxes were very expensive anyway so from scratch was the way and he was a chef so boxes were a no no LOL.

I will tell you this much, when you find your recipe (the one that works for you every time) you will taste and see the difference in quality. I have passed my recipe onto others and to be honest one or two have come back and said they cannot get it as good as I can and I cannot find out whyicon_smile.gif I feel we all have our own recipe we are supposed to makeicon_smile.gif

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vgcea Posted 22 Jul 2012 , 5:20am
post #7 of 8

I bake from scratch and not one of my cakes requires a syrup. My personal opinion is, unless a scratch cake is designed for simple syrup e.g. a genoise, any scratch cake that needs syrup to be moist is lacking and should be chucked or have its recipe modified.

Some tips I've learned along the way: your method is just as important as your ingredients. With scratch baking you can't just throw stuff together. There are no chemical buffers or fool-proof additives to save you if your method is wrong or your temperatures are off.

FromScratchSF created a blog post that is very detailed and I would recommend you read through it and try that white cake recipe. I have not tried it but it has gotten rave reviews.

Pay attention to things like accurate weights, temperatures of different ingredients, acid-base balance. Dumping a cup of OJ into a scratch cake recipe won't fly like it could with a box mix.

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Cherylc418 Posted 22 Jul 2012 , 8:47pm
post #8 of 8

Many many things can have a negative impact on a from scratch cake. Baking is an exact science. Everything from over mixing batter, to ingredients that are an improper tempature will make your cake have issues. It may not be something you are interested in, but before I started baking I looked up the science of cake baking, and it gave me AMAZING insight to each ingredients roll in a batter, as well as proper ratios of liquids, fats, and leavening agents. I may be a little nerdy, but I thought it helped 100%.

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