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Dry cake emergency!

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,

I made a cake from scratch last night, it was chocolate with 8oz. of sour cream. It is AWFUL!!!!! I was so embarassed, even my seven year old did not eat much! What could I have done to make it more moist? This is the second cake from scratch that turned out this dry. The last one was a four layer italian cream cake.

Pinky (Phlustered in Phoenix!) icon_sad.gificon_cry.gifthumbsdown.gif
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post #2 of 28
Hi Pinky

How long/what temp did you bake the cake at? The instructor of the cake decorating classes I took told us to bake our cakes at 325 and up the baking time, instead of 350, which worked alright for cake mixes, but when I tried it with 'from scratch' cakes, they turned out SO dry, I was also embarassed to serve them!

Melissa icon_smile.gif
post #3 of 28
This is why I stick to doctored cake mixes. It takes so little mess up a scratch cake. Did you add a minuscule extra flour? Two drops too few of butter or oil? With a mix you always get consistency.

Now if you insist on making form scratch... dry cakes are such as easy fix it's not even worth fussing over.

Simple syrup fixes most dry cake issues. Learn to use it. It will be your best friend.

Basic simple syrup is equal parts boiling water and sugar, allowed to cool and poured over a cake. Don't be afraid of using too much. You can honestly use 1/2 cup and even more on an 8-inch single layer.

Other simple syrups (but not all):

Coffee syrups (and they come in flavors... mm mm!)

Snow Cone syrups

Liqueurs- Kahlua on a chocolate cake is fantastic- of course, no kiddies allowed

As I think of more, I'll let you know.
post #4 of 28
Hey Pinky,

Chocolate cakes are easier to me. I have a recipe that has buttermilk in it & also the hershey's cocoa box has a good recipe on it that always turns out very good! Good luck~

I haven't had any luck w/ a nice moist yellow scratch cake! I have turned to cheating... using mixes & adding things to them. I even bought the Cake Mix Dr. book for help. Someone on this forum suggested it. It's a good book. I have a wedding cake in April & the bride just wants yellow cake! So I'm looking for a good yellow cake mix. If you or anyone has a moist but not too moist yellow recipe please share.
"Learn from a turtle... it only makes progress when it sticks it's neck out"
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"Learn from a turtle... it only makes progress when it sticks it's neck out"
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post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Calidawn, thanks and thanks to all who answered my emergency call! I never knew how easy it was to screw up a cake from scratch! Thanks for the tips! I had a beautiful cake that tasted like the desert! Thanks for the syrup suggestions! I go to Cost Plus World Market for wine and will pick up the coffee syrups! They really are divine with all of the different flavors!

Pinky
Always S*H*I*N*E...SHARE, HONOR, INSPIRE, NOURISH & ENCOURAGE!!!!
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Always S*H*I*N*E...SHARE, HONOR, INSPIRE, NOURISH & ENCOURAGE!!!!
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post #6 of 28
I started out just using cake mixes, and they were working great, but I felt guilty charging people for a cake mix cake! As soon as I tried making them from scratch, finding good recipes, it was a nightmare! lol. From now on I think I am going to stick to the doctored cake mixes too.

Melissa icon_smile.gif
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
melissablack,

You hit the nail on the head! I thought, if I am going to start doing these for money then I need to master scratch cakes! I thought more about it, they are paying me for my artistic ability. They are also paying for great tasting cake. They don't care how I get the cake to be the right flavor, right density or texture, they just want what they want!

Putting it in prospective, I know what my next purchase will be...

the doctored cake book!

Thanks for helping me get this figured out! What in your opinion is the best cake mix?

Pinky! icon_smile.gif
Always S*H*I*N*E...SHARE, HONOR, INSPIRE, NOURISH & ENCOURAGE!!!!
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Always S*H*I*N*E...SHARE, HONOR, INSPIRE, NOURISH & ENCOURAGE!!!!
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post #8 of 28
Yep- would you rather sell a moist great mix cake or a dry bland scratch cake? I admire that have the knack for scratch. but I must be honest and admit it's simply not me. Besides, my scratch cakes aren't going to sell anyway. AAAAAAnd.... how you arrive at the final product is NOT the customer's business at all. TRULY!!

I prefer Pillsbury, but I'm not faithful to any brand. I've noticed when I doctor them, they behave about the same way.
post #9 of 28
I usually use the store generic brand of cake since I do doctor my mixes as well. (not to mention it's the cheapest and I still get good results) (Our store is Pick 'N Save, Roundy's being the store brand) I've also used Pillsbury since it's the most likely to be on sale or a free with purchase item.
Hope this helps!
"To solve any problem, here are three questions to ask yourself: First, what could I do? Second, what could I read? And third, who could I ask? ~ John Rohn"
"Action is the foundational key to all success. ~ Pablo Picasso"
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"To solve any problem, here are three questions to ask yourself: First, what could I do? Second, what could I read? And third, who could I ask? ~ John Rohn"
"Action is the foundational key to all success. ~ Pablo Picasso"
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post #10 of 28
I use different types of cake mixes. No favorite kind, like mouse said whatever is the cheapest! I baked the Coke Cake (cake mix dr) for my mom's bday this past weekend. ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh it was sooooo good!!! You have to try it!! I haven't tasted a wonderful chocolate cake like that in a long time!! It was so moist, cut so beautifully, & didn't fall apart!! It melted in your mouth!!!! I also baked the hummingbird cake. That is wonderful too!! My scratch recipe called for at least 15 ingredients.. This one only had about 6!! I think it was actually better!!
Like everyone said "as long as it's good doesn't matter how you got it!!" Try them & let me know how you like them!

The mom of the bride emailed me today & asked me if I've tried the Duncan Hines French Vanilla mix. I bought one today to see how it tasted. I'll let ya'll know. The bride just wants yellow cake.. she's pretty easy icon_lol.gif !! I'll probably wind up making that for her wedding cake. See noone really cares if it's homemade anymore icon_biggrin.gif
"Learn from a turtle... it only makes progress when it sticks it's neck out"
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"Learn from a turtle... it only makes progress when it sticks it's neck out"
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post #11 of 28
Let me tell you, it's really really great!!
post #12 of 28
tcturtleshell-
to my surprise, the yellow cake recipe from Martha Stewart is really, really good. It has a very nice buttery flavor and texture with that true homemade taste.

I have found that my scratch cakes don't retain their moistness as long as the doctored cake mix cakes do. I use doctored mixes most of the time for this reason.

My hands down favorite is Duncan Hines cake mix thumbs_up.gif . I stock up on them when they go on sale-virtually clean out the shelves of the basics yellow, dark chocolate fudge and white.
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Just got back from the store...Albertson's has Duncan Hines on sale, 10 for 10 dollars! I bought three, thinking of going back!!!!

I have a doctored cake in the oven as we speak. My first doctored, it is the Enchanted cake on this site.

Has anyone had it? Sounded good. Made enough batter to make two 8X3 round cakes.

Also...for a treat I have been soaking sliced strawberries in champagne for three days, just drained them and put a little granulated sugar on them for the filling! Should be yummy!

Pink! thumbs_up.gif
Always S*H*I*N*E...SHARE, HONOR, INSPIRE, NOURISH & ENCOURAGE!!!!
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Always S*H*I*N*E...SHARE, HONOR, INSPIRE, NOURISH & ENCOURAGE!!!!
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post #14 of 28
Pinky~ I'm coming to your house for dessert!!!! Sounds yummy!!!

Vicki~ can you email me the Martha Stewart recipe or just reply on this board for me? Thanks

OHHHHHHHHHHh.. the french vanilla mix shrank!!!!!!!!! What's up w/ that???? I mean shrank big time!! I'm disappointed icon_cry.gif It tastes good, nice & moist but it's teeny tiny!!!!! I guess I mixed it tooooo long??? Wonder what happened??
"Learn from a turtle... it only makes progress when it sticks it's neck out"
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"Learn from a turtle... it only makes progress when it sticks it's neck out"
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post #15 of 28
I haven't had that happen--- that's horrible for you!!
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