i am constantly getting requests for "less sweet" cakes. There are from new vustomoers so I don't think it's a reaction to an overly sweet cake they ever got from me, but my cakes are regularly sweet, so I don't want to off work my standard cake. Additionally I am a microbiologist by day so please don't offer a suggestion to simply add less sugar, scientifically this isn't a sound approach. I would be totally open to a recipe that is tried and true where it just has less sugar/is less sweet
I'm not sure if you used only 1/2 cup added sugar if this recipe would help but it is a well recieved, tried and true recipe: I have had comments from users that they have cut down on the sugar some . http://www.cakecentral.com/recipe/7445/the-original-wasc-cake-recipe
Are you just talking about the cake being sweet or the cake and frosting together being too sweet?
I like the flour frosting which has less sugar in it and tastes more like whipped cream frosting. I also love stabilized whipped cream frosting. But I know that these do not hold up as well as the frosting with shortening in it.
I haven't tried the original wasc cake recipe so I don't know how sweet that one is as far as the cake goes. I am sure others here who know a lot more than me will have some suggestions for you
I've tried the WASC recipe and don't find it too sweet - but then again, I really don't find any cakes too sweet unless they were purposefully made to be extra sweet (like you were going for a cotton candy flavor or something). Whether full-scratch or WASC, would adding more vanilla ( I love vanilla bean paste) add a richer taste and offset any sweetness? Or increasing the salt? (I feel the need to crack open my Cake Bible book and check the ingredients section to see if salt is even used for flavor - I think it's more for inducing a chemical reaction???.....)
As for the frosting, Italian Meringue or Swiss Meringue especially are less cloyingly sweet than American buttercream (I love them all:) Adding salt to American buttercream would definitely help and always add a pinch or more.
In reference to my last comment, if you haven't already, you should definitely check out Rose Levy Barenbaum's Cake Bible book. She really takes cakes to the scientific, organic chemistry level and explains how ingredients interact with each other IN DEPTH. It makes my head hurt sometimes trying to learn it all, but as a microbiologist you'd pick it fabulously I bet!
I've used the Original WASC by kakeladi many, many times and do not find it too sweet. It is also a very forgiving recipe and would probably do just as well with half the added sugar.
...........Whether full-scratch or WASC, would adding more vanilla ( I love vanilla bean paste) add a richer taste and offset any sweetness? Or increasing the salt?..........
I certainly would try those suggestions plus reducting the extra sugar the recipe calls for. I guess you are ging to be our tester and report back to us what worked best for you. I have such a sweet tooth that I almost never have come across anything I thought was 'too sweet' - when eaten in moderaton.
Highly sweetened products often mask flavor, so reducing the amount of sugar in a cake recipe is a workable idea. If you have a recipe that you like and you're familiar with how it handles. Start in small increments, no more than half a cup, and evaluate the results.
another thought about cake chemistry -- and rlb's baking powder mathematics in particular -- actually it's a rare cake recipe that needs the leavening amounts tortured with her formulas -- those mathematical leaps and bounds with the leavening is not needed with 99.9999% of all cakes made everywhere -- so be advised that straight up multiplying and dividing each ingredient amount works just fine -- if you need to make a triple recipe, multiply everything by three, etc. save your brain power
so it's a rare 6" cake that will fall when all the other sized cakes bake fine -- and maybe her formula will help and maybe if you decrease the amount of batter in the pan that will work too -- some cakes bake better in certain sized pans -- end of story
...those mathematical leaps and bounds with the leavening *are not needed with 99.9999% of all cakes...