Help With Dry Cake :(

Baking By CakeJoy2019 Updated 23 Apr 2019 , 3:57am by SandraSmiley

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CakeJoy2019 Posted 22 Apr 2019 , 7:02pm
post #1 of 5


Newbie baker here. I've been practicing a lemon blueberry recipe to bake for my friend's bridal shower. This will be my first cake for people other than my immediate family and I, of course, want it to be perfect.Here is the recipe:

I've practiced making this cake a couple of times already.

The 1st time-- This was really just for flavor and I followed the recipe exactly and found that it was a little too sweet for me so I wanted to adjust the sugar level for the next time. The thing I noticed was that it was a bit dense. I used AP flour as stated in the recipe.

2nd time-- I used cake flour instead, hoping it would be fluffier. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that my oven was too hot (I bought an oven therm. AFTER making it) and so while it wasn't a disaster, it was dry and dense and probably bc of the temp. I also may have over-mixed.

3rd time-- Again used cake flour (1 cup + 2 tbs per cup of AP flour as the box suggested), only mixed until incorporated, lowered the temperature, and baked longer. It looked great! I wrapped 2x with saran wrap, foil, and even a freezer bag after cooling and popped in the freezer with the cakes I made for the 2nd time above.

I wanted to make the cake for Easter, so I defrosted the cakes from my 2nd and 3rd time  baking on Saturday. Iced it, decorated, etc. and put in the fridge until Sunday morning.

It sat out during Easter for about 4 hours. And we cut into it, it was 1) still cold and 2) dry (even with the yummy blueberry filling) and even with the cake I made the 3rd time. (I wanted to compare the 2 times I made it so there were 2 layers from my 2nd time and 2 layers from my 3rd time).

Not sure what I did wrong. 

I've read that too much flour can dry out a cake. I didn't sift my cake flour in any of my tries and I was wondering if maybe that was the culprit: too much flour.

The recipe itself doesn't call for sifted AP flour... so I guess my question is: should I have sifted the cake flour? If so, when should've I have sifted it...before measuring or after measuring?

Also, how should I be measuring? I half haphazardly scooped and leveled my 2nd and 3rd time.

And last question, could putting the cake in the refrigerator overnight, dried it out? (It was frosted with Ermine Buttercream).

I plan to use simple syrup for the bridal shower cake to help but I just wanted to get some input from experienced cake people!

Thanks so much!

4 replies
kakeladi Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
kakeladi Posted 22 Apr 2019 , 7:07pm
post #2 of 5

K8 has some info abou scrfatch baking and how the butter hardens and never really comes back to room temp which could cause a person to think the cake was dry.  I' let her explain it better as I don't do scratch baking and might get the info wrong.

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kakeladi Posted 22 Apr 2019 , 7:09pm
post #3 of 5

Well can't type right today.   sorry for things above.  That should say .........some info about scratch baking..........

-K8memphis Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
-K8memphis Posted 23 Apr 2019 , 2:22am
post #4 of 5

yes exactly what ms lynne said — the butter in the cake does not relax all the way back to room temp after it comes out of the chill box — if it’s zapped in the microwave for a few seconds it does —  when someone eats it — it scratches a bit down the back of your throat — not because it’s actually dry — it’s firm — but we translate that to say, “it’s dry” — 

to fix that either don’t fridge/freeze your cakes — which I don’t recommend especially for delivery reasons — or use a cake made with oil —

also so i recommend that you find a nice tried and true yellow or white cake recipe then add in the lemon blueberry pizzazz — I have no clue why some recipes work for some and don’t for others — there are tons of bad recipes too — idk — but nail down your standard flavors then do the additions — because there are plenty of great recipes out there —

cakes have to be mixed properly — brownies and cookies are only combined until incorporated, not cake — 

best to you

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SandraSmiley Posted 23 Apr 2019 , 3:57am
post #5 of 5

You asked the proper way to measure flour.  It should be shifted prior to sifting, then gently spooned into the measuring cup.  Level off the top with a straight edge.  By dipping your measuring cup directly into the flour bin, you will inevitably get too much flour because it compacts in the container.

I agree with -K8memphis that it is quite possible that the recipe is not great to start with and also that a recipe made with oil is much softer after being refrigerated.  If you use a recipe that uses oil as its fat, you can get the butter taste by adding butter flavoring.

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