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HELP scratch bakers!! Dede Wilson cake was ALL WRONG!! - Page 2

post #16 of 54
I just plugged this into the excel spreadsheet I made. Your liquid is 185% of the sugar which means you should be getting a very tender cake.

Take this with a grain of salt and not the end all be all. But because I like to tinker and test, I would try these things with this recipe.

2.5 cups of sugar (puts the weight at 17.5 ounces and 117% of flour0
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp baking powder (some recipes have more of these 2 ingredients. It would help to check those. Again this is to tenderize a cake. But too much bs and you get a soapy taste. I don't know how much is too much. My last chocolate cake had 2 tsp of baking soda and it tasted fine. BUT chocolate cocoa is a toughener and that much BS was needed to tenderize and moisturize the cake. This not being a chocolate cake I doubt you need 2 tsp. But hey you never know)
4 eggs instead of 5 and weigh them if you can. Taking a 5th egg out will lower the liquid content, but you are at 185% of the flour so one egg will not make a difference.)
Leave out the oil and sour cream for the first test to see if you get the moisture back by doing the other tweaks first.

Also in checking my notes someone posted on here that if you put in 1/2 tsp of glycerin for each egg you get a moister cake. I have NOT tried this myself yet to see if it actually works.

If you tired of tweaking, take said recipe, rip to shreds, throw it in the garbage and find another one. It is not the only one out there and we are lucky for that! thumbs_up.gif
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post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DebbyJG

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheatize

When a recipe says sifted flour, you sift, then measure? I've wondered about this the last few times I've used sifted flour.



I've been doing it as I read about in Dede Wilson's book, which is sift it, then scoop and level.



Ooops.. I didn't see this. I believe the weight of sifted then measured cake flour is 3.5 ounces. The flour would weight 13.125. The sugar is still not equal, so you could go up to only 2 cups of sugar instead of 2.5.
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post #18 of 54
Thread Starter 
Wow. Thanks for all the information. I feel like I've been listening to Alton Brown. I'm really math and chemistry challenged (hey, I was an English major in college - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!) so therefore I'm pretty strict about keeping to the recipe....um...with the couple tweaks I made in my quest for more moistness. Apparently not so perfectly tweaked. icon_smile.gif
That's the major reason why I bought the Dede Wilson book, too -- it has a section where it lists out how much of every ingredient for several different size cakes - from 6 inches all the way up to 14 inches for both the yellow and white cakes. I found that SO helpful so I didn't have to do the guesswork... I mean, the "math".

I will keep you updated. I'm going to figure this out!!
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post #19 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DetailsByDawn

Quote:
Quote:

Yeah, I've been meaning to get that Agabay....once I can afford it! The last time I tried torting with my Wilton it was a disaster, and I just can't seem to get the knack of the knife and toothpick method. icon_smile.gif




Hi Debbie,
Oooh, I can't afford the Agbay either!
Quote:
Quote:





I read a post a little while ago about taking a Wilton leveller and adding a new blade from Home Depot or Lowes. It is supposed to make the Wilton level a million times better.
post #20 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DebbyJG

Wow. Thanks for all the information. I feel like I've been listening to Alton Brown. I'm really math and chemistry challenged (hey, I was an English major in college - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!) so therefore I'm pretty strict about keeping to the recipe....um...with the couple tweaks I made in my quest for more moistness. Apparently not so perfectly tweaked. icon_smile.gif
That's the major reason why I bought the Dede Wilson book, too -- it has a section where it lists out how much of every ingredient for several different size cakes - from 6 inches all the way up to 14 inches for both the yellow and white cakes. I found that SO helpful so I didn't have to do the guesswork... I mean, the "math".

I will keep you updated. I'm going to figure this out!!



Good luck. One of the wierd things I have discovered is that adding more liquid does not necessarily make it a moister cake. icon_razz.gif But sugar and baking soda are tenderizers. And strangely a tender cake equates to a moister cake. Or at least it tastes that way. So quite possibly what you are getting is not a dry cake, but a tough cake. So by adding more sugar and some baking soda with the sour cream, you may get the moisture taste that you are looking for.

On my aforementioned cake gone wrong because of the baking soda, when I made it the second time and added the right amount of baking soda, it tasted much more moister than the first one. And don't forget to add 1/3 cup milk for each cup of sour cream, that will help with the moisture too.

Can't wait to hear about your results. It is always a great feeling when we get to triumph over the written word of the recipe!
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post #21 of 54
Linda, I agree about the sugar making a cake taste more moist. Some people have suggested reducing the sugar by 1/4 cup or so if you find a cake too sweet or want to reduce the calories, so I tried it, but the cake came out dry tasting. I added the sugar back in and the cake was much better.
post #22 of 54
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to update: I had a wedding tasting this afternoon so I made a little 5 inch sample cake. I "tweaked" my recipe via some of these suggestions; first, I added the sour cream on top of the measured amount of milk instead of putting it in first and then measuring in the milk to the needed level. Secondly, I mixed up and added the oil along with the milks instead of at the end, and finally, I added 1/4 tsp of baking soda. (This was a small 5 inch cake, remember.) I didn't adjust the eggs yet, and these are still the same "batch" that I used last week of the smaller size eggs.

Now, I've had pretty good results with ALL my smaller cakes, so this is not the best way to compare to last weekend's disaster, but THIS CAKE WAS INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!! I mean, it was the best tasting, most moist, perfect crumb cake that I've ever made.

Here's the ingredients for my smaller cake today. I've starred my tweaks from Dede Wilson's recipe. Math people, please let me know if the measurements for the 10 inch cake that I had posted previously are proportionate to this:

1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda **
Pinch salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp real vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk + about 1 T sour cream **
1 T veg oil, mixed with milks **

Cooked for 26 minutes at 350.

This cake was CRAZY good. Now to just replicate it larger...
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post #23 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheatize

When a recipe says sifted flour, you sift, then measure? I've wondered about this the last few times I've used sifted flour.



If a recipe says "sifted flour" then you sift first and measure second.
If a recipe says "flour, sifted" then you measure first and sift second.

OP - the baking powder I have always used is also aluminum-free (you said soda once in your post and then powder, so I'm assuming you meant powder both times), you still only need 1 tsp per cup. Too much baking powder can actually cause a cake to fall and come out heavy and too dense.

Too much egg can result in an overly dense cake with an eggy taste, especially if they have larger than normal yolks. This is one of the reasons recipes with weights instead of measurements are more accurate.
post #24 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DebbyJG


Now, I've had pretty good results with ALL my smaller cakes, so this is not the best way to compare to last weekend's disaster, but THIS CAKE WAS INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!! I mean, it was the best tasting, most moist, perfect crumb cake that I've ever made.

This cake was CRAZY good. Now to just replicate it larger...



YAY!
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post #25 of 54
Wow, Prterrell and LindaF144, you both are very knowledgeable and I have learned a lot from this forum. Thank you both for answering the OP's questions and also some of mine. I've been wanting to go from doing mostly boxed cakes to all scratch cakes, but it seems like the majority of my customers are so accustomed to the mixes. Now, I can tweak and try different recipes from what I learned here today. I really appreciate this. I love this site! LOL!
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post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DebbyJG

Okay, here's what I used for my 2- 10 inch square layers last weekend. I've noted an asterisk next to the modifications that I've made to Dede Wilson's recipe:

3 3/4 cup cake flour
1 TBS plus 1 3/4 tsp baking powder (I use non-aluminum kind)
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 tsp real vanilla extract
5 large eggs, room temp
1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temp *

*I add a few tablespoons of full-fat sour cream prior to measuring out the milk, so the milks in total equal the amount needed.
*4 TBS vegetable oil (added at the end, stirring in gently after milks and dry ingredients have been alternatly added in..I just add this for the aforementioned "mouth feel" that people like. Usually I do 2 T for 2 9 inch layers...maybe I needed more than 4 to make my 10 inches?)

I use the method of creaming the butter and sugar together and beat it until it's almost white, then I slow the mixer and gently add in the alternate milks and sifted dry ingredients.

I'd love ANY suggestions on where I've gone wrong! Like I said, I've had GREAT success with the smaller cakes...I know, I've sampled many of them (haha). But this was the first time I'd actually eaten one of the larger cakes using the recipe.



I have Dede Wilsons book. You say you added an asterisk next to your modifictions. But, it seems you've modified most of the ingredients when comparing your measurments to Ms Wilson's.


Dede Wilsons yellow cake

Flour is - 3 cups sifted cake flour.
The baking powder is 1 Tablespoon.
Salt 1/4 teaspoon
Butter 2 sticks unsalted
Sugar is 1 1/2 cups
Vanilla 1 teaspoon
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk.

Ingredients for Dede Wilson's quick and easy yellow cake

3 Cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to warm
1 teaspoon vanilla

My thoughts only but I think you've modified the ingredients a bit to much and thats why your cake is not baking up nicely.

I also think it was a bit unfair to slam Dede Wilson the way you did in the title of your post. There's nicer ways of finding out what went wrong with a recipe.
post #27 of 54
DebbyJG - Glad the 5" turned out so delicious!! Would that recipe hold up to carving?

I made a cake a few days ago...playing around with my grandma's amazing pound cake recipe....trying to give it a lighter crumb and tweak it for cupcakes. It was THE BEST tasting cake I've ever tasted....but it totally broke apart on me when I turned it out. icon_lol.gificon_rolleyes.gif I'm hoping I just turned it out too soon because it was SO good and would definitely become my go-to yellow cake!! Anyway, I saved it and had some friends over. They were literally grabbing chunks of it and shoving it into their mouths! It wasn't even frosted! thumbs_up.gif Come to think of it, there's a little bit left in the kitchen.... icon_razz.gifthumbs_up.gif
post #28 of 54
What book is Dede's yellow cake recipe in? Now that I have the ingredients, I'd like to know the method suggested for mixing it. Have any of you tried her recipe as written, and do you recommend it for taste/texture? Carving? Thanks.
post #29 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyfull4444

Quote:
Originally Posted by DebbyJG

Okay, here's what I used for my 2- 10 inch square layers last weekend. I've noted an asterisk next to the modifications that I've made to Dede Wilson's recipe:

3 3/4 cup cake flour
1 TBS plus 1 3/4 tsp baking powder (I use non-aluminum kind)
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 tsp real vanilla extract
5 large eggs, room temp
1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temp *

*I add a few tablespoons of full-fat sour cream prior to measuring out the milk, so the milks in total equal the amount needed.
*4 TBS vegetable oil (added at the end, stirring in gently after milks and dry ingredients have been alternatly added in..I just add this for the aforementioned "mouth feel" that people like. Usually I do 2 T for 2 9 inch layers...maybe I needed more than 4 to make my 10 inches?)

I use the method of creaming the butter and sugar together and beat it until it's almost white, then I slow the mixer and gently add in the alternate milks and sifted dry ingredients.

I'd love ANY suggestions on where I've gone wrong! Like I said, I've had GREAT success with the smaller cakes...I know, I've sampled many of them (haha). But this was the first time I'd actually eaten one of the larger cakes using the recipe.



I have Dede Wilsons book. You say you added an asterisk next to your modifictions. But, it seems you've modified most of the ingredients when comparing your measurments to Ms Wilson's.


Dede Wilsons yellow cake

Flour is - 3 cups sifted cake flour.
The baking powder is 1 Tablespoon.
Salt 1/4 teaspoon
Butter 2 sticks unsalted
Sugar is 1 1/2 cups
Vanilla 1 teaspoon
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk.

Ingredients for Dede Wilson's quick and easy yellow cake

3 Cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to warm
1 teaspoon vanilla

My thoughts only but I think you've modified the ingredients a bit to much and thats why your cake is not baking up nicely.

I also think it was a bit unfair to slam Dede Wilson the way you did in the title of your post. There's nicer ways of finding out what went wrong with a recipe.



I didn't read her title as a slam to Dede Wilson, but rather it didn't work for her. What will work for one person, won't work for another. There are those out there that love the cakes from The Cake Bible, but I have tried twice and have obviously done something wrong. And I think this is what is happening with this OP also. But we all have our own way of interpreting the written word. I didn't see it as that, I'm just trying to help this person. Obviously the cake recipe works, otherwise there would have been adjustments or other comments made a long time before this.

I'm confused - are the amounts you put in here for the exact size that the OP was talking about - 10"? Or is this the original recipe and then there are tweaks for the different size pans. Your flour amount is different than the original and makes the recipe back into balance with the formula. But the ingredients are posted twice so I'm a little confused as to what I should be looking at for comparison.
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post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupcake_cutie

Wow, Prterrell and LindaF144, you both are very knowledgeable and I have learned a lot from this forum. Thank you both for answering the OP's questions and also some of mine. I've been wanting to go from doing mostly boxed cakes to all scratch cakes, but it seems like the majority of my customers are so accustomed to the mixes. Now, I can tweak and try different recipes from what I learned here today. I really appreciate this. I love this site! LOL!



You're welcome. Remember, scratch baking is 1/4 recipe, 1/4 quality of ingredients, and 1/2 using the right technique/procedure!
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