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Guidance requested from recipe gurus!

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
OK I am in a predicament.

I have this special cake I make called Double Coconut with Key Lime Buttercream Filling. Some CC members have asked for this recipe and I am flattered folks want it. I love the recipe myself and I've had a lot of wedding cakes booked this year with this flavor combo.

I have been asked to enter this cake into the county fair, which is coming up this weekend. My submission has to be in on Friday. I accepted the opportunity and entered the cake before I had a copy of the rules.

My cake recipe involves a DH cake mix as one of the ingredients. I have never had any problem with this in the past, most people I deal with don't care and it makes a heckuva good cake. BUT here's the predicament part. The rules of the fair competition expressly forbid cake mixes or commercial preparations. And I have to submit my recipe along with the cake.

I desperately want to enter, and at this stage in the game I would hate to cancel, because my good friend pulled strings to get me a late entry.

So now I'm falling on the mercy of recipe gurus, I have found another coconut cake recipe that I can use and alter a bit, but what is it about a cake mix that makes it better (and by better I mean moister and richer) than a scratch cake? Is there anything in particular that can be recommended to add that would give it that extra bit of moistness? Can I add pudding mix to a scratch cake? This cake recipe uses a stick of butter but only 2 eggs. I plan to try it out tomorrow night and see what it's like. But I'm no good at recipe manipulation...except when starting with a mix as a base ingredient.

HELP!!!
Exercise hard, eat fiber, die anyway.

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Exercise hard, eat fiber, die anyway.

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post #2 of 31
As you already know, I am a big fan of your coconut cake recipe. I have used this Epicurious recipe in the past, but I baked it at 325 instead of 350, and kept it in for about 10 more minutes. Maybe you can adapt it to your additions. Good luck, and let us know which recipe you use!

Theresa icon_smile.gif

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/102696
post #3 of 31
Well, to be frank cake mixes have a lot of additives and preservatives in it that gives the cake that added moistness, etc. There is absolutely no reason why a scratch cake cannot be moist and highly flavored! I don't know why people think this way and I mean no offense to you in saying that. I only bake from scratch and my cakes are moist, delicious, and they come out fine every time. Now I will say that baking from scratch is a two part thing, one is the recipe the other is technique. All that being said, try the recipe you have and research others. If you can get it look at RLB's The Cake Bible or The Well Decorated Cake by Toba Garrett. If you can find a good yellow/white cake recipe maybe you can sub coconut milk for part or all of the liquid and add coconut to the batter. I can't speak to adding pudding because I have never tried it. I would imagine the recipe would have to be tweaked because of the added sugar etc.

IMO the issue is your time constraint. The only way to get the recipe the way you want it is to play around with it. Try researching a basic 1-2-3-4 recipe on the net and try some substitutions. I like to use buttermilk in my cakes I think it makes them more tender. If you can find one with buttermilk and I believe there are coconut extracts, you can add that. One very important point in scratch baking is not to overbake. With mixes one can fudge a little with that but not scratch cakes. It will dry out and be no good. Also, don't over mix once you add the flour or it may not be as tender as you would like. I like to use cake flour, I believe it gives a finer crumb. That's all I can think of at the moment. Sorry if I was long winded here and I hope you don't take offense to anything I stated. I wish you the best! icon_smile.gif
The older I get the smarter my mother gets!
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The older I get the smarter my mother gets!
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post #4 of 31
All good points, but her recipe calls for finely chopped coconut in the batter, and the fat from that extra coconut, plus the extra egg, etc, is going to some moistness to the cake.

Bake a practice cake with whatever recipe you decide to use and add your extra ingredients to. You may also need to add a bit of coconut extract.

Theresa icon_smile.gif
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
You guys are sooooo good to me!

Lenette of course I take no offense dear! Everyone has their own "way", mine just happens to use DH because it's quick, easy, and inexpensive...3 things that are pretty important to me as a working mom with 1 kid, 1 hubby and 1 dog, and trying to get a cake business off the ground.

I did find a recipe that I can experiment with fairly confidently, that is a white scratch cake recipe provided here on this site by edencakes. I've seen her post before and she seems to know her stuff. I have to submit my entry on Friday morning, I already have my filling and icing made, and I have a day off on Thursday so I can spend it manipulating. Best case scenario - I hit it out of the park on first bake and I can spend the rest of my day at the pool icon_lol.gif Worst case scenario is I bake all day and give my rejects to my waiting family (they love rejects!).

By the way - where in the world can I find coconut extract?? Wal-Mart??
Exercise hard, eat fiber, die anyway.

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Exercise hard, eat fiber, die anyway.

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post #6 of 31
yes walmart has it McCormick's makes the one i got


GOOD LUCK
TARA*GO FLORIDA GATORS
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TARA*GO FLORIDA GATORS
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post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 
hey daltonam babe - been wondering where you've been! Nice to see you!

I will check Wal-Mart for sure, it's on my list and I'm getting excited!!

I've said it before and I'll say it again - you all are just the absolute BEST!
Exercise hard, eat fiber, die anyway.

"the views expressed in this post are not intended to cause any offense to any member of CakeCentral unless expressly stated."
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Exercise hard, eat fiber, die anyway.

"the views expressed in this post are not intended to cause any offense to any member of CakeCentral unless expressly stated."
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post #8 of 31
I'll keep my fingers crossed for you to have success on your first try! Here's to a first place ribbon thumbs_up.gif
The older I get the smarter my mother gets!
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The older I get the smarter my mother gets!
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post #9 of 31
DELIGHTS--just gonna let you know that my grandmother said your coconut cake was great (i didn't get any icon_sad.gif ) thanks again!
TARA*GO FLORIDA GATORS
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TARA*GO FLORIDA GATORS
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post #10 of 31
http://recipecircus.com/recipes/Kimberlyn/CAKESandPIES/Coconut_Layer_Cake_w_Cream_Cheese_Frost.html

here is a coconut cake made from scratch that is very moist and flavorful, i love it. i've tried the coconut cake from the mix and there is no comparison, good luck!

edit-just realized theresa posted the same recipe, i would advice against adding extra coconut to this cake (not including the extract) as it is very moist as is. as a matter of fact, after 1 week in the fridge, it was still just as moist as the first day. don't forget to let us know when you win that ribbon.
Pray The Rosary
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post #11 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your help and advice. The cake is parked in my fridge waiting to be taken to the Expo. Here's a photo.

I used the edencakes recipe

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-2165-0-A-Better-White-Scratch-Cake.html

and adapted it by subbing 1/2 cup coconut milk for 1/2 cup of the regular milk, also added 1 tsp coconut extract and 2 c finely shredded coconut.

The results were OK, it was a little too meringue-y (foamy?) for my liking, kind of reminded me of angel food. It was definitely a white-white cake, it tasted good, but nothing really like my other recipe.

I am wondering, anyone with experience in recipe manipulation, what would happen if I used whole eggs instead of just the whites. Would I use the same quantity? Might this make the crumb more heavy and tender instead of light? That's what I'm going after.

I'm submitting cake as is but am thinking ahead to State Fair, any additional advice would be appreciated!!!
LL
Exercise hard, eat fiber, die anyway.

"the views expressed in this post are not intended to cause any offense to any member of CakeCentral unless expressly stated."
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Exercise hard, eat fiber, die anyway.

"the views expressed in this post are not intended to cause any offense to any member of CakeCentral unless expressly stated."
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post #12 of 31
Yes, it is possible that the extra protein and fat in the egg yolk will tighten up the crumb. I also noticed that you did not mention using the coconut pudding. I have found that this also serves to tighten the crumb on a recipe.

Remember also that using whole eggs means more moisture from the yolks (you may want to consider changing the number of eggs to suit), and that the color of the cake be more yellow, closer to the color of the original recipe you shared.

Theresa icon_smile.gif
post #13 of 31
i just ruined 3 cakes last week by manipulating the ingredients, of course, that wasn't the *first* time i've done that! LOL i love to bake and always think i'm gonna *tweak* the recipe a bit but usually end up with poor results. i think the best thing is to start with a tried and true recipe and follow it to a tee, then you know you are most likely gonna get great results. if what you are looking for is a heavier, tender crumb, then save yourself the headache (and ingredients) and make the recipe from Shubox Cafe. its much more flavorful then any other coconut cake i've tried and its the one that i offer to my customers.
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post #14 of 31
Hi, Dailey, just an FYI, Shubox Cafe has closed it's doors, so if you can post the recipe for her, that would be great.

Theresa icon_smile.gif
post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
You guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just received an e-mail from the Open Class coordinator, my cake won - not only the Champion Cake Entry, but also the Grand Champion Baked Goods overall!!!

I AM SO PUMPED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you all for your input, love and support and especially to edencakes who helped so much by creating the base recipe!!!

I feel like I've won an Oscar or something! This is the most unbelievable feeling. STATE FAIR HERE I COME!!!

Somebody PLEASE create a smooching emoticon!!!!!!
Exercise hard, eat fiber, die anyway.

"the views expressed in this post are not intended to cause any offense to any member of CakeCentral unless expressly stated."
Reply
Exercise hard, eat fiber, die anyway.

"the views expressed in this post are not intended to cause any offense to any member of CakeCentral unless expressly stated."
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