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HELP scratch bakers!! Dede Wilson cake was ALL WRONG!! - Page 3

post #31 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!



Thank you for your compliment. Scratch baking is fun and not as hard as one may think. For me learning to make a cake from scratch was such a huge accomplishment. It made me feel like there was nothing I couldn't make. It will empower you, go for it. thumbs_up.gif
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post #32 of 54
Thread Starter 
Okay, first let me say I have been helped SO much! Thanks!! icon_smile.gif
Addressing some previous comments:
No, I am *not* in any way slamming Dede Wilson. I found her book last year at the library, and after reading it through twice I decided I needed to have that book, so I bought it. I love it. It's helpful in so many ways that I would have never gotten as far scratch baking without it. I've been using it very successfully for both yellow and white cakes now (I use something else for a chocolate cake that is completely amazing so I have never wavered from it); this was the only time I've had issues, and I posted the "Help" because I realized I hadn't tasted one of my own *larger* cakes yet, so I thought that *I* must be doing something wrong, or perhaps the ratios were off in the larger recipe.

I should have said which book of hers I have been using, since she has a few out. It's called Wedding Cakes You Can Make, and yes, the recipe posted is EXACTLY what she has written in that book, except for the things noted with an asterisk. I've never seen her easy yellow cake recipe that includes melted butter. The recipe I use just says "room temp cut into tablespoon size pieces".

As for the confusion about which recipes I'm talking about comparing - the first time I posted the ingredients, it was for the 10 inch cake. The second time I posted a list of ingredients, it was for the 5 inch (actually it's for a 6 inch but I used a 5 inch pan plus a few cupcakes).

Sorry for any confusion or misunderstanding about my intention. I'm just trying to get HELP, nothing else. I'll read through the other posts in a while to see if there are other questions. I'm writing this quickly in a commercial break. icon_smile.gif
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post #33 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyfull4444




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.

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.



Okay, here's why it didn't match up. I just looked up my Wedding Cakes You Can Make book, and what you just listed above is for her 2- 9 inch layer cakes. This is NOT what I posted. I did say in the post that it was her recipe for 2 - 10 inch layers that I made. I've often made the 9 inch recipe with no issues.
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post #34 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyCakes1966

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.



I have. The first several times I made the cakes strictly as written, and I was happy enough with them that I decided to buy the book since the library so cruelly wanted their copy back. icon_wink.gif

I have used the yellow cake recipe to carve it a couple times. You can see the photos on my page - one is a number 2 shaped cake, and the other, recently I made an OSU Stadium cake. I didn't do a LOT of carving with these, but with the number 2 I cut up a couple different cakes, and with the Stadium, I made two Wilton horseshoe cakes and a mini loaf, and then carved away the top of the top horseshoe to make the sloping of the stadium.
And the cakes both held together without cracking or crumbling apart, or spliting. So yeah, I think it worked out good.
After carving the Horseshoe before crumb coating, I did douse the whole thing in (Dede Wilson's recipe) for a vanilla simple sugar, though, just because it felt a little crumbly. I didnt't taste a big bite of the cake, but the person who ordered the cake DID become my facebook fan afterwards, so I'm *assumming* she liked it well enough. icon_smile.gif

I say go for it.
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post #35 of 54
Thread Starter 
Oh, and like I mentioned previously, the book I've used is called Wedding Cakes You Can Make.
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post #36 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144



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.



JoyFull posted both the 9 inch recipe for Dede Wilson's yellow cake, which I've always had great success with, and another recipe called "quick and easy" which looks to be another cake altogether, since it has melted butter.

I did post the recipe I used today for my smaller cake. So now you can see all three - the 6 inch recipe, the 9 inch recipe (that Joyfull posted), and the 10 inch recipe. Just ignore the Quick and Easy, since it would make the comparison apples to oranges. (I like apples better, anyway.)
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post #37 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144

Scratch baking is fun and not as hard as one may think. For me learning to make a cake from scratch was such a huge accomplishment. It made me feel like there was nothing I couldn't make. It will empower you, go for it. thumbs_up.gif



Agreed. Frustrating at times, like this weekend, but so worth it to be able to say "this cake is made with only ingredients that I can pronounce". icon_wink.gif
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post #38 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144

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.



Its true, we all have our own way of interpreting the written word. I may have be hasty in reading the title the way I did, but to me it seemed to say Dede Wilson's recipe did not work.

The recipes I posted are the originals as written in the book. The ingredients are posted twice as there is two recipes for yellow cake. One is Yellow Cake, made with the creaming method. The other is Quick n Easy Yellow Cake, made by combining the wet with the dry, then melted butter added last. No creaming involved.

Both recipes make 2 nine inch layers.

I realize the OP is trying to alter the recipe so she will have more batter. But I think some of the alterations made are too much or too little, and that is why the recipe is not working for her.

Both recipes in the book call for 1 1/2 cups sugar, yet the OPs sugar has been decreased to 1 1/4 cups. The OP has increased the flour by 3/4 cup & added an extra 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder which is too much BP for that 3/4 cup flour.

I'm truly not much of an experienced scratch baker. I've had more failures than successes I'm sure. I do know from past experiences if you start altering an original recipe, increasing this ingredient or decreasing that ingredient, nine times out of ten your cake is going to fail.

Thats what I was trying to explain to the OP.
post #39 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyfull4444



I realize the OP is trying to alter the recipe so she will have more batter. But I think some of the alterations made are too much or too little, and that is why the recipe is not working for her.

Both recipes in the book call for 1 1/2 cups sugar, yet the OPs sugar has been decreased to 1 1/4 cups. The OP has increased the flour by 3/4 cup & added an extra 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder which is too much BP for that 3/4 cup flour.

I'm truly not much of an experienced scratch baker. I've had more failures than successes I'm sure. I do know from past experiences if you start altering an original recipe, increasing this ingredient or decreasing that ingredient, nine times out of ten your cake is going to fail.

Thats what I was trying to explain to the OP.



Okay, seriously? Are you kidding me? Really, are you joking? I hate that I know that 'tone' can come across compeltely wrong via the written word, so I want to give you the benefit of the doubt, but really -- did you NOT read the above, like, two pages of posts before once again posting that I tried to modify the recpe you posted?
In case it's still not clear, I will try one more time to make this as clear as possible:

I did NOT change the recipe as posted except for the asterisks I noted, for the 10 INCH CAKE. I found the recipe, just to be crystal clear, on ***page 62*** of the book by Dede Wilson called "Wedding Cakes You Can Make". The 9 inch recipe you posted, which you repeatedly say I am trying to modify all on my own and then wonder why it doesn't work, is the recipe right before the 10 inch one. There is a recipe listed in the book for a 6 inch cake, an 8 inch cake, a 9 inch cake, a 10 inch cake, a 12 inch cake, and a 14 inch cake. This particular book of hers was bought by me FOR THIS REASON. The exact same cake, different sizes with the different amounts listed per ingredient.

Like I've now said about six times, the ONLY modications I made to the 10 INCH RECIPE ON PAGE 62 OF THE BOOK WEDDING CAKES YOU CAN MAKE are the items I noted with an asterisk.

I did not take the 9 inch recipe and guess to make the bigger cake size.
I did not change the flour, nor the sugar, nor the butter, nor anything else in the essential ingredients for the 10 INCH CAKE listed.

I hope this is understandable. I really hate any form of confrontation; growing up as the middle kid I really just want people to get along, icon_wink.gif but I hate feeling like I'm being attacked and patronized even more than I dislike having to stand up for myself. (Like I said, I know this might not be your intent, but it is completely how it came across on email: "the OP doesn't know what she's doing and then wonders why it didn't work".)

Finally, I need to say something in regards to why I titled this post the way I did.
No, it was never to slam Dede Wilson.
The short answer is, I ran out of character room. I couldn't make it any longer.

I shortened it to the words I did for a specific reason.
First, I wanted to attract attention of other scratch bakers, because I really needed help from people who have more experience than I do with baking from scratch. I did not want this topic to evolve into a discussion of "oh just go get a box mix like I do and you'll never have this issue again". I specifically wanted to discuss this with scratch bakers. And from the response I got, this was sucessful. (Again, thank you SO MUCH ladies for your help in the chemistry. I'm still amazed at you. <3 )

Secondly, I added Dede Wilson's name, not to drag her through the mud, but so that those who are familar with her recipes would see the post and not skip over it as one of the hundreds that come through this site a day. One of the first responses was from someone familar with the reputation of her recipes, so again, this also was successful. Anyone can do a google search and see posts all over the internet about how "dry" Dede Wilson's cakes are. Dede Wilson herself, in the book I have, states several times that her cakes are typically not the mouth feel moistness of most American palates, so she says to douse every layer in a sugar syrup. In the year that I've been exclusively scratch baking, I have used her recipes hundreds of times and have always had really amazing results, so I *like* her recipes, obviously. And I want to continue using them if I can get this large cake problem solved.

Which is why I added the words "ALL WRONG" to the title. Perhaps it would have been better had I written "First time of many that my Dede Wilson recipe cake came out ALL WRONG", but I didn't have enough room. I'm sorry if someone read that and thought I was saying ALL her cakes are "all wrong". But I think if you read just my first post alone, you could quickly ascertain that I have had GREAT success with her recipes, and I just needed help with the larger sizes because something was just off and I didn't know what it was.

I hope this answers your questions.

I really posted this topic because I needed some help finding out why the large cake recipe didn't work when the smaller ones I've made are amazingly yummy. (I'm still surprised every time I drop off a cake that *I* actually made this thing...)

Hoping that these questions are now answered and we can go back to the topic, will someone please take a look at the ingredients I listed for the small cake (which was so good yesterday), and compare it to the ingredients I listed for the 10 inch cake (which turned out ALL WRONG) and let me know if there is something intrinsically wrong with the larger recipe? I'm wondering if perhaps there is even maybe a misprint in the book for the larger recipe amounts, or if they are, ratio-wise, equal and correct, then let me know that as well. If it's the latter, then I'm going to suspect that this weekend's cake disaster was simply a matter of either smaller egg yolks than I normally add, or just cooking it too long (even though I used flower nails, and it tested goopy just four minutes before I ended up taking it out of the oven.)
Just so it's all in one place (and because this post isn't QUITE long enough yet - haha), here are the recipes "side by side":

6 inch (I used a 5 inch pan plus a couple cupcakes)
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
pinch salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 t vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk

(**added the extra sour creme and veg oil to the milks. Also added 1/4 t of baking soda, thanks to the tips received above.)

10 inch
3 3/4 cups cake flour
1 T plus 1 3/4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 1/2 sticks butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 t vanilla
5 large eggs
1 1/4 cups whole milk

(**added extra sour creme to the measured milk, lowering the amount of milk itself. This may have been one issue.Also added in 2 T of veg oil to the final batter. For the small cake, instead I added it in along with the milks.)

Just looking at the recipes as specifically stated in the books, even if it looks like too much egg or not enough sugar, mathmatically, are the ratios off so much that you think it might be misprinted?

Thank you all SO much for your help. I feel like I could just hug you all.
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post #40 of 54
Thread Starter 
Also, you are comparing the recipe I'm using, the "Essential Yellow Cake", to the "quick and easy" cake that has melted butter. The first recipe you posted is the 9 inch recipe that I've used from my book, not the "quick and easy"; however, in my book (Wedding Cakes You Can Make), the sugar called for in the 9 inch recipe is listed as 1 cup, not 1 1/2 as you stated. Which means, it is either a mistype by Joyfull, or indeed we HAVE found either a misprint in a book or perhaps an update by Dede herself. I don't know which book Joyfull is looking at or uses, so I don't know.

Joyfull said:
Both recipes in the book call for 1 1/2 cups sugar, yet the OPs sugar has been decreased to 1 1/4 cups. The OP has increased the flour by 3/4 cup & added an extra 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder which is too much BP for that 3/4 cup flour.
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post #41 of 54
I have enjoyed reading about the chemistry of baking in this post. Do any of you have suggestions of good websites or other resources where I can learn more about it?
post #42 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by saffronica

I have enjoyed reading about the chemistry of baking in this post. Do any of you have suggestions of good websites or other resources where I can learn more about it?



Yeah, I'm telling ya - this has been better than watching Alton Brown! icon_smile.gif
I've heard several times over recent months that The Cake Bible is a great resource for learning about this, but I haven't seen it yet personally. I'm sure others can give better suggestions.
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post #43 of 54
I haven't had much success with the Cake Bible either. Bummer since it won "Cookbook of the Year" from Intl Assoc of Culinary Professionals. I've tried her yellow cake and genoise which were dry and her stabilized whipped cream - ended up with pieces of gelatin in it. I try to go slowly to get all directions just right. but maybe i slipped up. Open to suggestions as to which of her recipes are moist and delicious....
post #44 of 54
Quote:
Quote:

Anyone can do a google search and see posts all over the internet about how "dry" Dede Wilson's cakes are. Dede Wilson herself, in the book I have, states several times that her cakes are typically not the mouth feel moistness of most American palates, so she says to douse every layer in a sugar syrup.



Okay, this explains a lot. Like why her sugar is so low and not equal to the flour. She has written the recipe as such so by adding the syrup it sweetends it up. And I guess it moisturizes it too. I have never put a simple syrup on a cake (on my list to try), but I thought I read here somewhere that a simply syrup will not make a dry cake moist, but make a moist cake moister. If I find the link where it said that, I'll post it.

I would definitely up that sugar based on what I wrote in a previous post, edspecially if you are not using a simple syrup. You want the weight to be at least the weight of the flour. Sugar will tenderize the cake and make it moister. I'll recheck everything else in the recipe tonight. I can see why you want to keep this recipe because she gives it for the different size pans. I'm thinking that if you put back in the cake the sugar and liquid that is taken out by the assumption of a simple syrup, it will be more tender and moister.

Are you using a weight scale or measuring? Because without using a weight scale you will get a slight variation every time. Does Dede give weights for her recipes? Hopefully she should. If I try a recipe without weights, I measure it out the conventional way and then weigh it. If it works out I then remake using the weights and not volume.

I'm clear now on which recipes you are using too. I hope this is helping you. Now you have me curious about this book. I'll have to look for it my local library.
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post #45 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144



Are you using a weight scale or measuring? Because without using a weight scale you will get a slight variation every time. Does Dede give weights for her recipes? Hopefully she should. If I try a recipe without weights, I measure it out the conventional way and then weigh it. If it works out I then remake using the weights and not volume.

I'm clear now on which recipes you are using too. I hope this is helping you. Now you have me curious about this book. I'll have to look for it my local library.



Unfortunately she does not list weights in the book. It would be very helpful, yes. icon_smile.gif I do have a kitchen scale that I use whenever possible, so maybe next time I have some time when making a cake, I'll measure the ingredients, throw it on the scale and note what the weight is.

I have another 10 inch square vanilla ("yellow", I suppose it's called, but it's not really THAT yellow!) cake as part of a wedding cake this weekend, so maybe I'll try upping the sugar on it. How much sugar addition would you suggest, not knowing the weight yet?

And yes, this is so incredibly helpful. You have no idea how much. I've been dedicated to being a scratch baker ever since I discovered how many ingredients are in box mixes that are foriegn to our bodies, but after this weekend, I was in tears and starting to doubt myself, thinking I was going to have to go back on my stance on hydrogenated oil, HFCS and the like just to get a decent large cake. I even panicked and bought four boxes of white cake mx on Monday. My daughter is really sensitive to hydrogenated oil (makes her vomit, actually), so the thought of making a cake with it again was so disheartening, but I was really upset about what happened. (Which is funny, BTW - yesterday after I had the amazingly yummy 5 inch cake for the wedding tasting, I callled my aunt to apologize for the terrible cake and I offered to bring her the remaining cake from the testing. She had no idea. She LIKED the cake! I don't know if she was really just being nice or what, but she said when I explained about the dryness, "well, ignorance is bliss, I guess, since I've never had your cake before, but I thought it waw good!" Ha, ha..eh.....
Well, *I* know it was terrible and dry. icon_smile.gif
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