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The Great Scratch-Off...Yellow Cakes - Page 7

post #91 of 423
K8Memphis,

I know exactly what you mean about Rose's recipes. Tried my best to be exact on one of her yellow cakes and it still came out dry. Beautiful cake, tasted great, rose nicely, but was dry. I even posted on her forum about the results and got several suggestions about better outcome. I don't want a recipe that finicky! I only bake for fun, not for sale, but when I spend the time and $$ to do so want a reliable recipe. Have tried Sylvia's yellow cake and was very pleased.

May try some of these to compare, but don't need all that temptation sitting around! Looking forward to seeing the results from everyone.

Cindy
post #92 of 423
Quote:
Originally Posted by CindyD333

K8Memphis,

I know exactly what you mean about Rose's recipes. Tried my best to be exact on one of her yellow cakes and it still came out dry. Beautiful cake, tasted great, rose nicely, but was dry. I even posted on her forum about the results and got several suggestions about better outcome. I don't want a recipe that finicky! I only bake for fun, not for sale, but when I spend the time and $$ to do so want a reliable recipe. Have tried Sylvia's yellow cake and was very pleased.

May try some of these to compare, but don't need all that temptation sitting around! Looking forward to seeing the results from everyone.

Cindy



Love Sylvia's!!! I mean it comes out like a wonderful scratch/mix combo--fluffy enough but with enough denseness to be pleasant, holds well at room temperature, does not dry out.

I am allergic to whipping egg yolks & whites separate for cakes so I toss mine in -- no worries but I did typo the flour once & started using 2.5 cups and that works too.

Now to me, that's a workhorse formula--no teeter totter--no Foghorn Leghorn /Chicken Hawk vigilance at the oven door--you can twist, tweak and screw it up and it still comes out. Even for moi.

Go Sylvia So Sylvia
my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

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my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

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post #93 of 423
Thread Starter 
Hey ladies...

Here are my findings on the cakes I sampled:

I halved all four of the recipes.
CeShell's Not-So-Lemon Lemon Cake from Magnolia Bakery
Flavor: Mild lemon flavor...very good as an all purpose flavor. I paired it with Peach Preserves and Vanilla Buttercream.
Texture: I baked it in layers in a 6" heart pan. It came out yet light and fluffy. I really liked how high it baked up.
Moistness: Moist but not wet.
Cost: Very resonable
Ease: Easy to follow directions
Cupcake Potential: Yes..I do think it could be converted into cuppies.

Overall, a very good cake. I'm adding it to my recipe box! I give it a 9.

Here is a photo:


All-Purpose Buttery Yellow Cake
Flavor: Good..very vanilla. I paired it with pineapple preserves and vanilla buttercream.
Texture: I baked it in layers in a 6" square. It was pretty dense. I would have liked it if it was a little lighter.
Moistness: Very moist...on the verge of being too moist (if possible).
Ease: Pretty easy, although i was little thrown off by the texture of the batter.
Cost: Reasonable
Cupcake potential: I don't think this would be a good recipe to convert to cuppies.

Overall I give it a 6.

Here is a photo:


Sylvia Weinstock's Classic Yellow Cake
Flavor: Very tasty! I can taste the sour cream. I paired it with vanilla buttercream.
Texture: Light and fluffy. I baked it in a 9 1/2 X 4" loaf pan.
Moistness: Moist but not wet.
Cost: Reasonable
Ease: Moderate being as though you have to make meringue and fold it in.
Cupcake Potential: Yes.

Overall a very good cake. I'm adding this one to my recipe box. I give in a 9.

Here is a photo:

CakeMan Raven's Modified Red-Velvet Cake
Flavor: Good. It DOES taste like Duncan Heins! I paired it with strawberry jam and vanilla buttercream.
Texture: Smooth with a fine crumb.
Moistness: Moist but not wet.
Ease: Pretty straight foward. I think it was an easy recipe.
Cost: Reasonable.
Cupcake Potential: Yes

Overall a good cake....I give it an 8. I think I'm keeping it.

Here is a photo:
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Darlita
Die-Hard Scratch Baker

Time...and baking heals all wounds.
Your only competition should be yourself.
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Darlita
Die-Hard Scratch Baker

Time...and baking heals all wounds.
Your only competition should be yourself.
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post #94 of 423
Lita-

Thanks for writing down all the details and sharing pictures with us. I'll have to try some of those recipes.
post #95 of 423
Thread Starter 
No problem icon_smile.gif
Darlita
Die-Hard Scratch Baker

Time...and baking heals all wounds.
Your only competition should be yourself.
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Darlita
Die-Hard Scratch Baker

Time...and baking heals all wounds.
Your only competition should be yourself.
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post #96 of 423
OMG! I spent most of today baking and in the evening my toughest customers (DH and our boys) assessed the cakes. I'll post results later. For now lemme just show you what went down. icon_wink.gif
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Formerly The Casual Kitchen. Just here for cake
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Formerly The Casual Kitchen. Just here for cake
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post #97 of 423
Thread Starter 
LOL...CasualKitchen, that was cute icon_lol.gif . I think your family loved the exercise icon_smile.gif
Darlita
Die-Hard Scratch Baker

Time...and baking heals all wounds.
Your only competition should be yourself.
Reply
Darlita
Die-Hard Scratch Baker

Time...and baking heals all wounds.
Your only competition should be yourself.
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post #98 of 423
I love how you did them all at the same time! I should have done that... maybe I'll do two and have a little taste test, too.
No, I did not weigh. I don't have a kitchen scale. I did measure correctly, though, by spooning the flour into the cup. I used real cake flour, not the AP + cornstarch version, and I sifted twice. The cake rose so well and seemed to be fluffy, I just wish it was more moist. Is there anything else that could have gone wrong?
post #99 of 423
I stumbled upon this blog post with a tutorial on cake layers using a modified version of the All-Occasion Downy Yellow cake - http://joepastry.web.aplus.net/index.php?cat=115

The cake in the photos doesnt look dry at all, and Casual Kitchen has had awesome success with this recipe. I must have done something wrong. I might try again, if time allows.
post #100 of 423
Quote:
Quote:

Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:10 pm Post subject:
I stumbled upon this blog post with a tutorial on cake layers using a modified version of the All-Occasion Downy Yellow cake - http://joepastry.web.aplus.net/index.php?cat=115

The cake in the photos doesnt look dry at all, and Casual Kitchen has had awesome success with this recipe. I must have done something wrong. I might try again, if time allows.



That's exactly how the cake looks like! I didn't bake one when I tried out the other cakes on the scratch off because I bake it so often my testers and I know exactly what it's like and compared the other cakes to what we're used to. I'll try to bake one later so I can post pictures of the crumb and to get better comparisons against the other cakes.

I'm surprised the modified version uses more flour. Flour is a binder so I would think adding more flour makes for a drier, sturdier cake.

Some very important things about making this cake:
1. All ingredients must be at room temp. I usually take them out of the fridge at least an hour before baking (30 mins for the butter but we live in the tropics so it melts easily here)
2. weigh all ingredients, except for salt and vanilla
3. sift flour before weighing. I do sift directly on the scale.
4. do not overbake. (finger leaves depression on top, tester comes out moist and sides haven't pulled away from pan.
5. correct oven temp
6. Serve at room temp.

It's deceptively simple but as K8memphis says, it's quite fiddly in that you have to follow everything precisely. But after you've done it a few times, and you've gotten to know your oven and your ingredients, it becomes second nature so much so you can almost make it with your eyes closed!

I think the the crumb on this cake and mouthfeel may not appeal to some people because it's very fine and velvety, not like other cakes which are soft and fluffy. It melts in your mouth and opposed to feeling pillowy but it is moist, soft and tender. It holds together well, not crumbly at all. If you want a coarser crumb, try mixing it using the creaming method. The crumb won't be as fine but will be more like the other cakes.

The flavor is phenomenal BUT, since there's a high proportion of salt, it can be a bit "salty" especially for those who are used to very sweet cakes or box mixes. It's sturdy enough to carve but still feels light. I like how it improves with standing because I normally complete my cakes over 2 or 3 days and this cakes keeps on getting moister, drawing moisture from the filling and frosting.

Not out to convince anyone to love this cake. Just saying why I like it so much - easy, delicious and versatile.
Formerly The Casual Kitchen. Just here for cake
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Formerly The Casual Kitchen. Just here for cake
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post #101 of 423
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info, CasualKitchen...I think I'm gonna try that recipe. It sounds good!!
Darlita
Die-Hard Scratch Baker

Time...and baking heals all wounds.
Your only competition should be yourself.
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Darlita
Die-Hard Scratch Baker

Time...and baking heals all wounds.
Your only competition should be yourself.
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post #102 of 423
Here are my results. I signed up to try America's Test Kitchen Cake but when I reviewed the list of recipes I found others more intriguing.

I baked half recipes of the cakes I tested in either two 6" or 7" layers. My testers (my family and some friends) tasted the cakes on day 2 and 3, with and without frosting. Cakes were stored at room temp under a cake dome, which is how I normally store my cakes. Since I did not try to make cupcakes I won't comment on their ability to be converted to cupcakes.

Results, Part I

1. Serious Cake

Texture: Fine, moist crumbs but edges were crunchy. Crumbly slices.
Moistness: My husband said it was dry. Not as moist as we wouldve liked. (ETA after 3 days of being filled and frosted, the cake was moister was more flavorful, from absorbing the frosting.)
Flavor: Good balance of sweetness. No floury aftertaste. Vanilla flavor was not pronounced. Flavor is not rich like butter-based cakes. I found the flavor one dimensional.
Ease of preparation: Average. Creaming method.
Cost: Average. Does not require special ingredients
Other comments: Cake was pale. I prefer not to use shortening in my baked goods but I tried this cake to see if I was missing out. It was a fun learning experience but I am not likely to use this recipe again. 6 out of 10
ETA: the crunchy edges are not a problem because they will soften after you apply frosting or you can just trim the off. It doesn't affect the rest of the cake.

2. Great American Cakes


Texture: Fine, moist, light, fluffy but large (coarse) crumb. Tender cake. This recipe is said to be like a box mix. I would say that claim is true but this is way better.

Moistness: Very moist especially on the day it was baked. Dried out somewhat after 2 days at room temp. Slices of filled and frosted cake were crumbly. 

Flavor: Good flavor. Good balance of sweetness, butter and vanilla. Delicious freshly baked however after a couple of days it was noticeably drier and with less flavor. Somewhat disappointing in that sense. 

Ease of preparation: Average. Creaming method

Cost: This recipe would probably benefit from premium ingredients like fine Madagascar vanilla extract and European butter. It can be economical or costly depending on quality of ingredients used 
Other comments: Very pleased with this cake on the first day but my enthusiasm faded after a couple of days. It baked evenly although the edges did get a bit crunchy. I baked it in a 6 pan. Good but not exceptional. 7 out of 10


3. Cakeman Raven

Texture: Smooth and dense. Crumbs are coarse but tender
Moistness: Very moist almost to the point of being oily. Remains moist even after 2 days at room temp
Flavor: DH commented it tastes like cupcakes. A tad bit sweet. Predominant flavor is the tanginess of the buttermilk but well balanced by the vanilla. Its a yummy cake
Ease of preparation: Very easy. One bowl method. Can mix by hand.
Cost: Average. Does not require special ingredients
Other comments: This feels the most moist and tender because it uses oil. However flavor suffers somewhat. Eaten on its own there is a slight oily aftertaste. The buttermilk and vinegar balance the oil but doesnt completely mask the taste. Predominant flavor is buttermilk. This recipe seems to use far less vanilla than the other cakes which is surprising as the other ingredients are not very flavorful. After 3 days I filled and frosted this cake and the slices came out beautifully moist, tender and cohesive. Paired wonderfully with frosting, aftertaste was imperceptible with frosting. This would be great for fillings and frosting that have to be refrigerated because since it's oil based, the layers will remain tender even when cold. Got rave reviews from friends who tried it. Definitely a keeper. 9 out of 10
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Formerly The Casual Kitchen. Just here for cake
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post #103 of 423
Casual Kitchen -
Thanks for the help troubleshooting. I am going to try again with eggs at room temp and sifting before I measure. I am convinced that I didn't overbake since the cake was very moist, did not spring from the sides or the pan, and left a finger indent when I pulled it, but I will watch it like a hawk nonetheless. I checked the recipe again, and I did follow it correctly. I'm thinking that my cold eggs must have been the problem. I normally bring butter and milk to room temp but always forget about the eggs, and with Serious_Cake's recipe it doesn't make a difference, which is what I'm used to.
I am sorry your SeriousCake turned out moist and crunchy on the outsides. I've never had that problem. Yes, the cake is very pale. I actually call it "vanilla cake" and not yellow cake, and I use more vanilla than called for, as well as a hint of lemon and almond.
The cakeman raven looks and is described just like when I make it as red velvet, and I am deffinantly going to try this version as a yellow cake. The texture as red velvet is so wonderful and moist, and I happen to love the buttermilk flavor in cakes. I'm looking forward to it icon_smile.gif
post #104 of 423
I really need to thank the person that started this thread. See, for me I tend to look at the science behind things. We are all cooking the same in some cases - recipes and all yielding totally differnt results- now, this is fascinating.
Normally when I try recipes, I tend to get for the most part great results. What I am realizing is that we all cook at different oven temperatures, different climates - home, humidity level.
It really amazes... and now I know why so many people tend to tweak recipes. That explains to me why so many people rave about certain recipes and some people can't get it to work.

Does that make any sense?
I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!
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I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!
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post #105 of 423
just saving the thread. I am going to try some of these for sure!
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