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How do you make a cake from scratch moist?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
icon_smile.gif I have been baking cakes from scratch for about 3 months now..I would like to know if the cake is suppose to be heavy, they taste good, but kinda heavy..

how do i get it moist and light say for ex basic cake..white , yellow, choco..

Thanks..

Eddie
post #2 of 22
Basically, you are probably wanting it to be just like a box mix with it's oily moistness, right?
post #3 of 22
There really isn't any way to get a scratch cake to have the same qualitites that a box cake has. They are two different things. Most scratch cakes have a heavier crumb. Most of us grew up on box cakes, and don't prefer that texture....and then some prefer it.

I know there are some scratch bakers that add a sugar syrup or liquor to their cakes to help it. You can flavor the syrups to add another "layer of flavor" to it. they will either pour or brush it on the already baked cake. I hope this helps!
Knowledge is a candle that when shared, doubles the light, but the insecure person believes knowledge is a candle that is diminished when it is split between two wicks.
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Knowledge is a candle that when shared, doubles the light, but the insecure person believes knowledge is a candle that is diminished when it is split between two wicks.
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post #4 of 22
I am by no means an expert but have been scratch baking since birth practically icon_wink.gif

Look for recipes with oil..butter based adds richness; oil, moistness..

general rule of thumb..

Try out some recipes..it's all about trial and error icon_smile.gif
post #5 of 22
First, moistness, as most people think of it, is actually an oily-ness. Oil makes your mouth think moist.

Scratch cakes don't have to be denser. They can be, and some people prefer that, but they can also have a very fine crumb and be very light and fluffy.

It's about the technique more than the recipe. Get yourself a book on baking science and technique and start there if you haven't already.

Are you using the creaming method? Are you creaming the sugar and butter for no less than 5 minutes til it doubles in volume and is almost white? How are you adding in the dry/wet ingredients? How long are you mixing?

On the other hand, you might consider other mixing techniques, such as the one that begins with all dry in the bowl, add the butter, mix til like sand grains, slowly add some liquid, and so forth. That makes an even finer crumb.

I use both denser cakes and light fluffy cakes, all from scratch. Learn the techniques first and then try out recipes to see which you like the best. Just starting with the recipes is harder because you may not be making them the way they author intended.
post #6 of 22
Larkin121 said it nicely. try her suggestions. there is a thread on this site. stated. finally , scratch wasc. they dump everything in the mixing bowl and mix. i thought that was strange. i tried some of the recipes. they tasted good . texture was good, etc. so we learn it all , here on c/c don,t we.
post #7 of 22
Came across this article that explains why mix cakes will always be perceived as more moist than scratch cakes.

It appears that cake mix cakes should only be compared to other cake mix cakes (brands); and scratch cakes only to other scratch cakes (recipes).

Seems we have been trying to compare apples to oranges.....

(Scroll down just past "Answer")

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Desserts-747/BROWNIES.htm

I highly recommend www.joyofbaking.com for learning basic cake making techniques. icon_smile.gif

One of the most basic techniques is how to properly measure your ingredients, especially flour.

When measuring flour, do you use the "scoop and drag" method and then shake to level.... You should be aerating the flour prior to gently spooning it into the measuring cup and using a straight edge to level.

Additionally, sifting flour or cake mix will remove any lumps that are almost impossible to "beat" out (which will only result in developing the gluten - resulting in a tough cake).

Handy cake problems troubleshooting charts:

http://tinyurl.com/2p5bdu

http://tinyurl.com/32goqe

http://tinyurl.com/6c745g

http://tinyurl.com/6lpjww

http://tinyurl.com/yay22w

HTH
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JanH

Came across this article that explains why mix cakes will always be perceived as more moist than scratch cakes.

It appears that cake mix cakes should only be compared to other cake mix cakes (brands); and scratch cakes only to other scratch cakes (recipes).




Right, and if someone wants a cake to be just like a box mix cake, then they should use box mix. There IS a texture/taste preference at work. I scratch bake because I think it taste and feels better way better than box mix. But if someone is dead set on box cake taste and texture, even after trying a very well done scratch cake, they're just not gonna be able to recreate it in scratch (and why bother then, right?)
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

There really isn't any way to get a scratch cake to have the same qualitites that a box cake has. They are two different things. Most scratch cakes have a heavier crumb. Most of us grew up on box cakes, and don't prefer that texture....and then some prefer it.

I know there are some scratch bakers that add a sugar syrup or liquor to their cakes to help it. You can flavor the syrups to add another "layer of flavor" to it. they will either pour or brush it on the already baked cake. I hope this helps!



Maybe not what you intended, but I find this comment a bit offensive because of what it implies. I am a scratch baker and yes, my cakes are very moist and not dense. I don't drown my cakes in oil or use "tricks" like syrups or soaks or freezing warm cakes...and my cakes are also vegan. I agree it's all technique and recipe. I'm sorry, but there is no way to even know if "most people" grew up on box mixes so that statement is misleading to those who may be interested in learning how to bake from scratch. Scratch baking is an exact science and requires certain "know how". If you don't know what you are doing or use a bad recipe, your results will be horrific.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

I know there are some scratch bakers that add a sugar syrup or liquor to their cakes to help it. You can flavor the syrups to add another "layer of flavor" to it. they will either pour or brush it on the already baked cake. I hope this helps!



This is only when making a sponge-type cake, which are designed to require the addition of a liquid/syrup after baking.

Butter cakes, which are the most common scratch cake made in the US, when properly made, do not require the addition of a liquid/syrup after baking.

OP - Without seeing the exact recipe and method you are using, it's impossible to analyze. It really depends on the recipe and method as to how the cake turns out. Some cakes, like pound cake, tend to be "heavier" and "denser" whereas other cakes, like Angle Food are "light and airy" but "dry".
post #11 of 22
For me, it's all in the method, as a previous posted mentioned. I beat that butter and sugar all to death, but then when it's time to add the flour mixture and the milk/cream (which you should always do seperately, in batches starting with the dry and alternating with the wet, finishing with the dry), I ONLY mix until each step is just incorporated. I scrape down a few times (more or less, depending on the size of the recipe), but always mix it very *gently* at this point and as soon as the last of the dry is incorporated, STOP MIXING.
Hope that helps! I'm a scratch baker all the way, who did grow up on mix cakes but is now reformed. icon_wink.gif
I homeschool because I don't believe in the mass production of human beings.
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I homeschool because I don't believe in the mass production of human beings.
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post #12 of 22
Hey listen up peeps... if you have the right scratch recipe and know how to wield your mixer and add in the ingredients in the right way- scratch comes out way better then a box and I mean orgasmic-ly good. I just made a to die for double chocolate cake from scratch( no I am not handing the recipe outicon_wink.gif ) and in a side by side comparison the BC mix cake lost double big time even with my add ins. The BC was moist from oil= oily...
and the scratch was like cosmic heavenly manna- can I say that? Oh well I just did.
And anyhow, any recipe in the world is only as good as the cook who makes it. And I can flub some things with the best of them, but that's not a reason to say that those recipes I flubbed or just don't understand are all bad... different things entirely just like scratch cake and boxed cake. And I can make a pretty amazing boxed cake too. So don't give up on scratch, make certain you are following the recipe verbatim and you have the same tools used in the recipe. thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif - how many of those can I stick in here??? LOL
¢¾Sarah
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¢¾Sarah
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post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

There really isn't any way to get a scratch cake to have the same qualitites that a box cake has. They are two different things. Most scratch cakes have a heavier crumb. Most of us grew up on box cakes, and don't prefer that texture....and then some prefer it.

I know there are some scratch bakers that add a sugar syrup or liquor to their cakes to help it. You can flavor the syrups to add another "layer of flavor" to it. they will either pour or brush it on the already baked cake. I hope this helps!


I have to disagree with you on this one. I don't use any "syrup" and my scratch cakes aren't dry and don't have a heavy crumb. I did grow up on box mixes but there is no comparisson to a box red velvet and my scratch red velvet. The only dry, heavy crumb cake I have made was when I tried the "extender" on a box mix.
A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands!
Glenda
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A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands!
Glenda
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post #14 of 22
I agree with everyone's advice (except adding sugar syrup...I've never done that but I know that some bakers use it) but I think that larkin said it best. She was dead on. Take her advice...that is how I learned (not saying that I'm baker extraordinair but people rave about my cakes and they are all from scratch).
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 #15 of 22
I like the "Yellow Cake" recipe on www.wrenscottage.com .They have a lot of great recipes and Ideals on the site. Click down at the bottom "From Karen's Kitchen" Any cake that uses Buttermilk is always good to me.
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