Cooks Illustrated White Cake

Baking By Debbie45628 Updated 2 Jun 2015 , 3:28pm by SquirrellyCakes

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Debbie45628 Posted 30 May 2015 , 10:53pm
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I realize that from scratch baking is a science and it is difficult to narrow down a problem, but am hoping that someone can shed some light on a problem that I had this wk end...I used the Cooks Illustrated cake recipe and the first one cake out like I threw that one one looked good, but seemed heavy and the 3rd one was another fail....have any of you had this happen...Thanks

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Jinkies Posted 30 May 2015 , 11:13pm
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In my experience, the coming out like rubber/heaviness is caused by over mixing.  

But, if  you post the recipe someone here may be able to help you narrow it down.

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cakesrock Posted 30 May 2015 , 11:26pm
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Yes, it definitely is a science..and that's what I love about it! I have never made this cake, but it looks great - I think I will give this recipe a try. I prefer lighter cakes...But a scratch cake is a scratch cake and the rules apply to all...I develop my own cake recipes now and have learned a few things along the way...

I just looked back in my Wilton course 1 "Trouble Shooting Guide for Bakers" that was my bible when I first started out 14 yrs ago and it said:

Rubber: I would guess it's overbeating same with it being heavy (this could also be removing it too soon - time is only a guide). Did you use a cake tester. I rely on that,  as opposed to the time in the directions...

Did you measure and follow the directions to a "T"? This is critical...

How big was the cake? I use a rose nail even on an 11 X 13

Is your oven properly caliibrated? 

Did you cook in the middle rack?

Hopefully this helps!

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yortma Posted 31 May 2015 , 3:00pm
post #4 of 9

First time I made Cook's Illustrated white cake recipe I thought it was wonderful.  The next time it had a very rubbery layer along the bottom.  I  made it again several times, all with the same negative results  (best I could tell I did the exact same thing each time, and I have baked a LOT).  Time to move on.  After much trial and error I found a great fool proof recipe that works for me.  Some recipes just don't work and you have to decide when it's time to try something else.  

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cakesrock Posted 31 May 2015 , 3:11pm
post #5 of 9

Mermaid Bakery Vanilla butter cake is awesome and great results every time!

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jmt1714 Posted 31 May 2015 , 10:06pm
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This is my go to white cake. Awesome, never fail. I often sub all purpose flour but still never have issues. 

I do time my beating exactly and use the speeds suggested.  

I think you do have to follow their process regarding the order they add the ingredients too.  Don't use your normal methods , IMHO.  

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SquirrellyCakes Posted 2 Jun 2015 , 2:29pm
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Debbie45628, is it the Cook's Illustrated White Layer Cake recipe at Epicurious?  I don't mind trying it out to see how it turns out if you are willing to let me know which recipe it is.

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SquirrellyCakes Posted 2 Jun 2015 , 3:28pm
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I assumed it is a new recipe you are talking about.  But if it is the one on Epicurious that Imagenthatnj refers too, I remember experimenting with it somewhere between 2004 and 2008. As was stated, you do have to follow the instructions exactly. It is a high ratio recipe so the method is totally different from standard.

I didn't have any problems with it but I wasn't convinced that it was the best ever recipe either.  It was ok.  But I only ever used it twice..

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