I'm wondering if anyone else is finding that their WASC recipe is resulting in cakes with many more, and larger air bubbles in their baked cakes? I know back in 2012 or so box mixes went from around 18oz to 16oz but more recently I've noted they are now around 15oz. Could this be the issue? Wondering if they've been reformulated with more baking soda or something so they rise to be the same size as the previous mixes, with less overall ingredients?
For reference I use the traditional Kakeladis recipe (1 box, 1c sugar, 1c flour, 1c sour cream/yogurt, 1c liquid, 3 large eggs), and do all the 'tricks' to eliminate bubbles-- banging pan on the counter, running a knife through the cake, etc. I also read somewhere room temperature ingredients may help with bubbles. I tried this theory and didn't see any difference. So, despite many efforts to avoid them, I'm noticing that time and time again I'm finding my cake have far more (and bigger) air pockets than they used to have. All these bubbles have be me concerned that my cakes will not stand up as a well to the weight of fondant, etc.
Curious to know if anyone else is having these issues and has found a work-around (does measuring out a full 18oz of mix help at all?). I used to use Dunkin Hines box mixes but have also migrated over to Betty Crocker (mostly due to availability of flavors-- and cost-- in NYC).
I have not noticed any problem with air pockets in the baked cake. Like you, I bang the pan on the counter and (not always) sometimes run a knife through the batter. I do usually add the extra cake mix, 1/2 cup to the proportion you show above, but sometimes do not bother and still have not noticed bubbles.
I forgot to add that I do always use ingredients at room temperature.
Can I ask what box mix brand you use? and are you sure your box is the 15oz one (the 16 oz boxes are still available but in NYC where the turn over of product is fast, there aren't many left to be found).
I use both Dunkin Hines and Betty Crocker, with no real preference between the two. I checked the boxes I have in my pantry and some of them are (all Dunkin Hines) 16.5 ounces and some are 15.25 ounces. It is the chocolate which is 15.25. Don't know if they have all changed or not. I will check next time I go to the store.
How are you beating it? What type of mixer and what speed are you using? This sounds to me to be overbeating at much too high a speed. If I remember right I mention very near the bottom of the comment section where I used a hand-held mixer and a whisk to mix up a batch of batter. See if you can find those comments. When I had me KA mixer I used speed #s 2 &/or 3 for most of the batter mixing. I have used all 3 of the major brands from time to time (Pilsbury; DH & BC - even a store brand once or twice) and almost always go back to Betty Crocker.
I'm usually using my Kitchen Aid, and never go beyond 2, usually keep it on 1, which is labeled as a 'stir' setting. I also only mix until everything is incorporated, never allowing it to mix for too long.
But I did consider that somehow, after 10 years of doing this, I'm somehow over mixing now, so did mix up my last two batches by hand and still there were a lot of bubbles. I also tried starting with wet and adding dry, and starting with dry and adding wet to see if that would make a difference, to no avail.
The reason I think the formulations may be different in the box mixes is that I was able to get my hands on some of the 16oz white boxes recently (via an amazon order) and those had much smaller and less bubbles.. much closer to what I'd typically see.
I'm kinda convinced the 15oz formulation are to blame and I'm wondering how many people realized that yet again they've reduced the weight of the mixes on us with no warning and no price adjustment.
I think the less you mix it the better and on low speed. Also try using 5 egg whites instead of 3 whole eggs. I just started using only the egg whites and my cakes are coming out beautiful and delicious with no air bubbles. My family and friends said this is the best cake so far. Try it and let us know what you think.
Yeah, don't think it's a mixing issue. I've been hyper sensitive to that to ensure no beating or over-mixing.
Re: the egg whites, I thought I read that egg whites actually result in a lighter crumb, with more bubbles. But I'm willing to give it a shot-- at this point I'm willing to try anything else anyone can think of.
Cracked eggs I presume, NOT pasturized whites from a container, correct?
Making a cake in a day or so, will report back...
Yes cracked eggs. I have some left over from a wedding cake I made last Saturday so I took a picture for you. Hope this helps.
YES! that's what i want!!!! what a beautiful crumb! Which mix do you use? Any other tips? TELL ME ALL YOUR SECRETS! :)
Hahaha you're funny ittybittybakery thanks. I use tonedna's wasc recipe but I like to add an extra egg white. I love all of her recipes. I use my kitchen aid mixer. I bake my cakes on 315 F for about 1 hr and 20 minutes more or less. But everyone's oven is different so you just have to know your oven. Hope it works out for you. Rossana.
Can you share the recipe? I can't seem to find it on here. HELP! I NEED THAT PERFECT CRUMB!!
Again, it's not my recipe, it's Edna De La Cruz. You can find the WASC recipe and other delicious recipes on her site "Design Me A Cake".
Now you're just showing off! ;)
Well I did a lot of things differently with my last cake and got much better results but not perfect-- had a crumb similar to your 2nd picture (the round cake) even though I did it with just whites. Below are all the changes I made, all of which resulted in a much more even crumb and closer to what I want:
1) I used egg whites only and added an extra egg white
2) I weighed my cake mix to ensure I got a full 18.25 oz of cake mix (I used an extra box of mix for the 3oz difference with the now 15.25 oz mixes being sold in NYC stores)
3) I added oil per Edna's version of the WASC recipe, something I'd never done before and may actually be quite significant in terms of the crumb consistency and bubble issues. I did a bit of online research into the science of the bubbles in cakes, and learned that when fats coat the gluten properly you get a more even crumb and less bubbles!
4) I used an in-oven thermometer to check to see if my oven temp was correct-- and actually found my oven temp was off by 25-50 degrees!!! So this time I wound up baked my cakes at a much lower temp than I (unknowingly) had been before.
For what it's worth, I'm still convinced the new 15.25 box mixes have a different formulation and I'm guessing they has more baking soda or some other kind of leavening agent-- how else could they reduce the size of the mix and still claim the same pan and cooked-cake serving sizes? The investigation continues. Some day when I have time I'm going to call and interrogate customer service :)
You never did say which box mixes (and what size/weight they were) did you? Keeping more secrets, aren't you :) ?
LMAO you're so funny. I'm not showing off just trying to help and show you the difference between using egg whites or whole eggs. I have no secret I only added an extra egg white for the first picture and the second was exactly like Edna's recipe. I use Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines which ever is on sale. Here's a picture from my pantry.
BTW I only use one cake box. So for every recipe only one cake mix.
Sorry, I stopped getting notifications from this thread for some reason! Of course I was just joking about you showing off :) I'm just jealous and have crumb-envy :)
I see your cake mix is equivalent to 16.25 oz, which is the old measurement that was sold here in the US. Some time in the last year they have switched to 15.25, which means they must have changed the formulation somewhat since the baked cake sizes the box says it yields has not changed at all. I remain convinced extra baking soda (and therefore more air bubbles) is the culprit.
when you say you only use one cake mix, do you mean you 1/2 the entire recipe or you do the receipt as is but 1/2 only the cake mix portion? The recipe calls for 2 cake mixes, 2 cups flower, 2 cups sugar, 2 cups liquid, etc. do you 1/2 all of the ingredients or just the mix? I've never heard of just cutting down the mix?
ittybittybakery I mean I used the exact recipe but if I want to make just one box I just 1/2 the entire recipe. So for 1 cake mix box, 1 c flour, 1c sugar and so on. I only mentioned this because I've read people are adding more cake mix to the recipe since the new box have less mix now.
Pucci Cakes....I've tried a million different things and then I tried some more. You will NEVER get a tight crumb out of the new boxed mixes. They all changed their formulas when they reduced the boxes, by adding more leavening to get the same volume cake as the 18.25 boxes used to. It was a dirty trick and I've written them all screaming my dissatisfaction to no avail. It's all about money and trying to fool us out here in cake land. That WASC used to be wonderful. The ONLY consumer cake mix that I've found that's somewhat the same is the Jiffy cake mix in 9 oz boxes. Two boxes equal what the old ones were in weight, and I always sift the mix. Now, I know people think they're inferior mixes, but they're better than the new formula. They only come in white and yellow. White is getting hard to find. Same with our high ratio shortening. That was a dirty industry trick also.
I've never even seen Jiffy cake mixes, only cornbread, but I would try them if available. You are so right on the high ration shortening. I don't even try to make frosting with shortening any more, all butter only and, if it is hot, I finish the cake with ganache.
Well, wouldn't ya know it.....Jiffy has discontinued their white cake mix
I've never seen Jiffy cake mix, only cornbread mix. I never have any trouble with air bubbles in my WASC recipe, but I do add an extra 1/2 cup per cake mix to compensate for the reduced size of the container.
mamageese -- wah wah
mom used to buy me jiffy mixes -- i've said this before but their spice cake mix topped with their chocolate icing was a thing of beauty
Wow. I had forgotten the difficulties everybody seemed to have with the WASC recipes vs. the smaller mixes. I guess I have either been lucky/blessed because I never encountered them. I would just add whatever the directions called for (any brand of mix) and then add 1 extra cup of flour, sugar, sour cream and an extra egg. I thought that was kakeladi's original recipe until I went back and checked - - nope, it's not. But it works for me - every time. It's all in the bowl together and whisked until (fairly) smooth. Then I bake at 325 until it smells right and my fingers don't leave a dent on the top, pull the pans out of the oven and set them on a wet towel. I can have them levelled and out of the pan in less than 2 minutes.
I really think the baking gods are looking out for me in my ignorance since I don't have near the problems others seem to. Is that a good thing? Right now I'm converting all my recipes to metric and Baking Percentages and really upping my math skills (and wearing out calculators). Looking forward to making pies for Thanksgiving - it's been a while.
"one bakers never ever do is the next bakers I swear by this" ~ all that to say the only wrong way to bake is the way that doesn't work for you -- if it ain't broke...although all that math is pretty scary, burns too many brain cells hahahaha --
more power to yah!
I just read a post on a Facebook forum about weighing ALL ingredients & how 1 cup of flour can very depending on how you measure it. She said in her testing a cup of flour varies as much as 1/3 cup. Makes me think that’s why so many are having problems..... I never thought about it... I just scoop up a cup of compacted flour from the storage caniste r & when the canister is almost empty the flour is now loose as I shake it around in order to get it all out. I bet from what she said my 1 cup is varying greatly:(
oh please! I think you just forgot you knew that -- all your stuff's been turning out alright forever -- no worries! I just whisk to aerate the top of the flour where I'm going to measure from -- so long as you mostly do it the same you're fine!