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Doctoring scratch cake recipes...

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I see so many recipes for doctored box mixes that sound really yummy. But I really love baking from scratch! I have a great yellow cake recipe & a really great chocolate one. I would love to use those as a base maybe to build on.

I've never experimented with this before. Does anyone use a base scratch recipe that they use for other flavors? If so, do you have a specific formula that you follow as far as what to replace, etc?

Or if anyone knows of a great online resource/thread that maybe covers this?

TIA icon_smile.gif
post #2 of 26
Maria, THAT is a great question, I'm so scared to use anything other than different flavorings in my vanilla cake, I'd love to know how much room (generally) one has to play around with a scratch cake!
post #3 of 26
Girl I know what you mean! Watching cake wars makes me want to adventure out there and play with all the possiblities out there! Hope someone can offer a good website!
post #4 of 26
Sure. My white cake becomes: strawberry, lemon, orange, almond, chai, even carrot and Italian Creme with the addition of ingredients, flavorings and extracts and icing fruit.

My chocolate becomes chocolate raspberry, chocolate orange and chocolate almond.

You don't need a recipe. Just throw stuff in there.

It's the only way I can possibly offer 31 flavors of cake.
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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post #5 of 26
Leah, I have started to "just throw stuff in there" BUT then I read all these threads with how scratch baking is so scientific and you have to know what you're doing and then I get scared! Have you ever had any flops?
post #6 of 26
I, too, am glad you asked this question. I have a cake recipe that I really like but I'm not sure how to safely alter it so that it bakes up properly. It started as a cinnamon bundt and I've made it into chocolate chip and spice cake but that's all the further I've taken it. i'd like to figure out more ways to use it because the base cake is so delicious and light!
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Leah I'm so glad you posted. I know you offer ALOT of flavors and I know you are a scratch baker. I wondered if you had THAT many different recipes or if they were mostly variations of the same few ones. That's what I was hoping and am hoping I can figure out some good ones for myself icon_smile.gif

I'm curious as another poster put it...if you had a number of "flops" along the way or if you basically got it to down to a pretty good science.
post #8 of 26
There are a few basic rules that I follow and keep in mind. Generally speaking the two "flavoring" things that can throw off a stable cake is acidity and moisture. As long as you account for moisture (and lessen the liquid) or the acidity of some fruits (which means you may need some soda etc. like in buttermilk cakes) it should be fine! The structure is coming from flour and eggs, the tenderness from fat and sugar- if you have a solid cake from the balance of these elements and are getting enough air into it, the room for experimentation is endless!!! HTH a bit icon_smile.gif
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Sosasha...so it sounds like I can safely "experiment" by keeping the liquid measurements the same. So if it calls for 1 cup of milk and 2 TBL of vanilla, I could substitute liquors & other flavorings as long as I keep the measurement the same? At least that's how I'm understanding you.

Man I really need to get the BakeWise book. They have it at my library but it's currently checked out! I have a feeling that might help me out a bit.
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maria925

Sosasha...so it sounds like I can safely "experiment" by keeping the liquid measurements the same. So if it calls for 1 cup of milk and 2 TBL of vanilla, I could substitute liquors & other flavorings as long as I keep the measurement the same? At least that's how I'm understanding you.

Man I really need to get the BakeWise book. They have it at my library but it's currently checked out! I have a feeling that might help me out a bit.



I will not answer for Sosasha hopefully just piggyback. I'll give you can example from one of my experiments recently. I wanted to make a strawberry cake so I started with my white cake recipe and subbed some of the milk in the recipe for strawberry puree. Here was the problem I did not account for the acidity of the strawberry puree. While the flavor was good, and it rose well, the texture was a bit gummy. The reason: the added acid from the strawberry puree. To counter this I needed to add a bit of baking soda and next time it was perfect. So you have to think not just the amount of liquid but the kind of liquid.

Another example: I made a "dreamsicle" cake. I began with yellow cake and subbed half of the vanilla for orange extract and added some orange zest. A nice vanilla buttercream and voila--dreamsicle. In this instance the zest was not going to upset the balance of the cake and the orange extract was just flavor. Planning to try this to get a lemon cake but have not done it yet. In this instance altering the kind of flavoring was not going to impact the other elements in the cake.

Hope this helps.
post #11 of 26
cakeprof, how much is "a bit"
post #12 of 26
this document is from the gourmet recipes thread which is mostly doctored mix recipes, but there are some scratch recipes for doctoring too.

https://docs.google.com/Doc?id=df4f9hbq_46cs9f28fs

HTH
Where the heart is willing, it will find a thousand ways. Where it is unwilling, it will find a thousand excuses.
-----------------------------------------------------
"I did then what I knew then, when I knew better, I did better." Maya Angelou
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Where the heart is willing, it will find a thousand ways. Where it is unwilling, it will find a thousand excuses.
-----------------------------------------------------
"I did then what I knew then, when I knew better, I did better." Maya Angelou
Reply
post #13 of 26
There is a thread stating," finally a scratch wasc cake recipe,etc.There is a lot of info in this thread. I hope you can find it. I have tried some of them. hth
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellis12

cakeprof, how much is "a bit"



Was the zest of one orange.
post #15 of 26
Exactly cakeprof! Now I'm getting excited lol- I love the science of baking. Spending a week perfecting a random recipe is the best therapy for me icon_smile.gif

Maria925- In response to your example. When you add liquor (in place of liquid) to flavor cakes I think that you should probably "cook" it first to get rid of excess alcohol and reduce the flavors because the actual alcohol part will evaporate during baking. I don't think this would matter with extracts (such a negligible amount) but if you were going to, for example, on a whim replace water with something tasty from the liquor cabinet, I think this would matter?

I better stop theorizing or I'll end up staying up all night over a stack of old "cooks illustrated" icon_wink.gif
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