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How do you get a scratch cake to be light and moist?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I always use box mixes because I haven't been able to find a scratch recipe that doesn't have the texture of homemade bread. How do they get cake mixes to be so light and airy and moist? Any good recipes you can suggest for me to try?
post #2 of 25
That depens what recipe you have., but try putting them in the freezer. They get very moist.
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post #3 of 25
Watch the scratch recipe for oil, sour cream, etc,... anything that will add to the moisture. Alton Brown's book, "I'm Just Here For More Food", gives valuable information on which ingredients contribute what to the final product.
post #4 of 25
I use cake flour and sour cream and my scratch cakes are always moist & light & fluffy.

For my yellow I use Slyvia Weinstock's original. You can google it and find the recipe...best yellow cake recipe ever!!!

I also have started freezing my cakes and that definitely will make your cake moist!!!
post #5 of 25
I am absolutely new to 'proper' baking, basically, so please excuse my ignorance, but doesn't having a moist cake make it difficult to stack? Does using dowels *completely* avoid a lovely yummy moist cake collapsing?

Nothing worse than a dry cake but I am worried about stacking moist cakes, and surely it's better for the cake to be sturdy than collapsing. And you can make it moister with the filling.

Any advice/clarification?

TIA icon_smile.gif
post #6 of 25
I use the scratch WASC, of which there are a million or so versions here on CC, although I substitute plain low-fat yogurt for the sour cream. They always turn out moist and tender. I also wrap each layer well and freeze it before doing anything else with it, which works wonders for not letting whatever moisture the cake has escape.

Could you be overbaking them? Maybe your oven is hotter than the temperature control says it is (I've had to put an oven thermometer in mine to uncover its lying ways!). I hope you can find something that makes you happy!

And a note to VaNella: you need a certain degree of moisture or the cake becomes inedible. For stacking, what you need, more than a dry cake, is one that is dense enough to withstand stacking (think of pound cake as opposed to a sponge cake!). A dense cake can be quite moist without having a weak structure.
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Marianna
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post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maria925

I use cake flour and sour cream and my scratch cakes are always moist & light & fluffy.

For my yellow I use Slyvia Weinstock's original. You can google it and find the recipe...best yellow cake recipe ever!!!

I also have started freezing my cakes and that definitely will make your cake moist!!!



Hello Maria
Do you have the recipe of Sylvia? I'm trying to find it but I can't.
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post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cenell


Hello Maria
Do you have the recipe of Sylvia? I'm trying to find it but I can't.



Yes...I found it here:
http://homecooking.about.com/od/cakerecipes/r/blc13.htm

The baking time was way too long for me, but I use an 8x2 pan so that may be why. I also made cupcakes the other day out of some left over batter and they were light & moist also & held together very well.

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post #9 of 25
Really important not to overbake -- there should be a few crumbs on a tester in the center of the cake.
Vanella -- moist cakes stack fine if you use proper internal support. Read the thread on the SPS system. It works like a charm. Moistness in the cake also prevents it from cracking as you press the support columns into the cake.
post #10 of 25
AWESOME!!!!! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif Thank you I'm going to try it.

You know that since I saw your post of freezing cakes I'm doing the same now. Thanks for that too. I was sceptic. thumbs_up.gif
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post #11 of 25
I use recipe with sour cream for white and yellow cake and with pudding for chocolate. And I freeze my cakes for a few hours.
post #12 of 25
Nothing against freezing but really should not need to freeze a scratch cake to make it moist. I only make scratch cakes, never freeze and never have a problem with them being moist.

Will second what someone else said about overbaking, I was surprised to learn how quickly a cake can become overbaked.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
I already put a thermometer in my oven so i know the temperatures are correct. I purchased a new oven and had nothing but problems with it. It would spike to 500 degrees but would say 325 so I had to watch my cakes all the time until they finally fixed it. I was just curious because some of my co workers were eating cupcakes the other day and they were complaining that they were extremely dry and didn't like them. Another co worker brought in cupcakes a couple of days later and everyone raved about how good they were compared to the scratch cupcakes a couple days earlier. What magic ingredient do they add to box mix that makes them so light in texture not dense. Most of the people were complaining about the texture being dense and bread like. I would love a recipe like a box mix.
post #14 of 25
Cupcakes can be very quickly overbaked also and become dry.

And scratch cupcakes can be light and moist. Unfortunately the coworker that made the scratch cupcakes probably left the in the oven too long. It doesn't take long to do from moist to dry in the oven.

There is no magic ingredient in scratch baking. And I'm talking totally scratch, not doctored mix. It takes practice, practice and practice. I have never gotten a scratch cake that is the texture of bread, so I can't relate to this problem. Sorry.

Have you made a scratch cake in the past, or are you asking because of this experience? If you have made a cake from scratch, post your recipe and process. Then we can see where we can help you find the "magic".
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post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by VaNellaCakes

I am absolutely new to 'proper' baking, basically, so please excuse my ignorance, but doesn't having a moist cake make it difficult to stack? Does using dowels *completely* avoid a lovely yummy moist cake collapsing?

Nothing worse than a dry cake but I am worried about stacking moist cakes, and surely it's better for the cake to be sturdy than collapsing. And you can make it moister with the filling.

Any advice/clarification?

TIA icon_smile.gif



A cake doesn't have to be "sturdy" for stacking icon_confused.gif You can stack jello if you have the proper support system. Cake doesn't support cake. It's the support system that keeps everything from collapsing so NO "having a moist cake" doesn't make it difficult to stack.
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