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Horrible Cake.... what did I do???

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone.... My mother does lunch everyday for our family, so to help her out, I made a cake to use as desert. Well... it was HORRIBLE! I didn't get the recipe from this site, but copied it from another.

The cake was dry, very tough!! My family put strawberry juice on it, so it we could eat it! I am so disappointed!! I copied the recipe down, so you all could look at it...to see if you could figure out what I did.

Strawberries and Creme Cake
For the cake:
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lightly packed lemon zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

For the filling:
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream

For the frosting:
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 cups heavy cream


For the cake:
Heat oven to 350°F and arrange rack in upper third. Butter and flour two (8-inch) cake pans. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a mixing bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, combine vegetable oil, water, lemon zest, vanilla extract, egg yolks, and 1 1/4 cups of the sugar. Whip on medium speed, until mixture is airy and light in color, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl; add dry ingredients and whip until smooth, about 1 minute more.
In a clean bowl, whip egg whites to medium peaks. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute more. Using a rubber spatula, fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the cake batter until evenly incorporated; gently fold in remaining egg whites until just combined.
Divide batter between prepared cake pans. Bake until surface of cakes springs back when pressed and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Remove cakes from the oven, and let cool 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of each, and turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the filling and the frosting.

For the filling:
Combine mascarpone cheese and heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the frosting:
Place the cleaned bowl of the stand mixer and the whip attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes. Combine vanilla extract, sugar, and heavy cream in the chilled bowl and whip at medium speed until medium peaks form, about 2 minutes.
Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least one hour. (The frosting can be prepared up to 12 hours ahead.)

Thanks!!
post #2 of 30
Just at first glance...looks like you need more liquid (water, juice, sour cream...etc.).
post #3 of 30
Could be a lack of liquids in the recipe or maybe too long in the over??
post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by hsmomma

Just at first glance...looks like you need more liquid (water, juice, sour cream...etc.).




I agree. 1/4 cup liquid is not that much.
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Check out my cake blog at: http://adventuresofacakediva.com
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post #5 of 30
OK, this recipe is full of Fail, I am so sorry to tell you. Maybe you missed typing some of the ingredients? But as posted it's a disaster and no wonder it didn't work!

You asked, so Imma tell you some of what is wrong with this failboat....

Where is your baking powder? Even cakes that rely on meringue (which this one calls for) have some baking powder in it - your recipe has none. No wonder you cake didn't rise - it probably came out like a chewy biscuit especially since it has liquid oil and no shortening or dairy at all (buter, milk, buttermilk, cream). I find that cakes that rely on meringue for the levening are chewy and don't rise very much as they are, but all the recipes I've ever seen have at least some baking powder.

This also has no baking soda, but this calls for lemon zest, which is full of acid (acid makes cakes NOT rise). Baking soda neutralizes acid.

Where are the strawberries in your Strawberries and Cream cake???? I don't see that in your ingredient list.

Your sugar is WAY low. You have 2 cups flour, but only 1 1/2 cup sugar. Most successful white/yellow cakes have at least equal ratios of sugar, but besides making cakes sweet, sugar also makes cakes tender. Being this far off would make your cake a biscuit.

Where are the strawberries in your Strawberries and Cream cake? Several have posted the lack of liquid, but if you are supposed to be adding fresh strawberries, which are mostly water, then it makes perfect sense because you'll get lots of water from the fruit and some sugar - but still not enough to compensate for the lack of sugar in the ingredients list.

I'm sure I could find some other flaws but these are major. It's jacked recipes like this that people randomly post online that make me the most upset because people like you try them and they fail, leading you to believe YOU are the problem and not the recipe, therefore you'll forgo scratch cakes in favor of boxed. But it's not you!!!

My advice is if you want to make a scratch recipe in the future stick to recipes by famous people like Rose Levi Bernbaum, Dorie Greenspan, Toba Garrett or Martha Stewart. Martha actually has a great strawberry cake recipe posted on her website that I've used more then a few times.

Sorry you waisted your time/money, but better luck next time!

Jen
post #6 of 30
CORRECTION: I just realized you posted 2 tsp. baking SODA. I'd bet my right arm that is supposed to be baking POWDER. BIG difference. And IMHO even with the meringue it's not enough.

It should have some soda, but probably more like 1/4 tsp to counter the acid.
post #7 of 30
Are we all looking at the same recipe?? I see baking powder, not soda.....
post #8 of 30
i calls for two tsp baking powder.....

i would say first not enough liquid....
second a problem with meringue cakes is that they are very easy to over mix, leading to a dense cake....
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeandDazzle

i calls for two tsp baking powder.....

i would say first not enough liquid....
second a problem with meringue cakes is that they are very easy to over mix, leading to a dense cake....



I swear it said soda when I looked at it, OP did you correct that?
post #10 of 30
I agree with the sugar/flour ratio. You don't have enough sugar. Between the oil and the water, it's not enough liquid. The water should be about half of the flour/sugar, depending on the other ingredients that would add moisture, such as strawberries or anything else that holds moisture (or IS moisture, like coffee, whiskey, rum, etc). The total liquids should almost match the amount of flour you put in. My most successful recipe has 2 cups flour, sugar and all liquids, each. I also think you have too many eggs.

Your filling has no sugar. Heavy cream and mascapone? Both are pretty bland by themselves and offer nothing of a flavor boost together. Here is where the strawberries would have been great!

How was your frosting? The recipe on here sounds close to what I would use for making whipped cream, which would become runny as soon as the temperature raised.

If you are a novice baker, I would suggest using recipes from professional bakers until you are comfortable modifying recipes to your own tastes. When you've been baking for a while, you'll start to recognize ratios in recipes. You'll be able to look at a recipe and know if it is good or not without reading reviews (although the reviews are helpful because sometimes you'll see modifications that would make the recipe better in them).
"No tool is more beneficial than intelligence. No enemy is more harmful than ignorance."

Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Harithi al-Baghdadi al-Mufid
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"No tool is more beneficial than intelligence. No enemy is more harmful than ignorance."

Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Harithi al-Baghdadi al-Mufid
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post #11 of 30
i dont think the sugar/flour is off... my cake is 2.25 c flour 1.76 sugar. its a amazing... but yeah i missed the eggs way too many... 3 whole or 6 whites would have been better
post #12 of 30
"my cake is 2.25 c flour 1.76 sugar."

Come to think of it, I do have recipes like this too and they are fantastic. My cinnamon whiskey cake is my most requested cake though so I tend to think along those lines! Everything is like 2 cups each so it's an easy recipe to memorize! icon_smile.gif

Rhonda - I forgot to mention that I think the baking soda suggestion is a good one, especially when using citrus in a recipe. This recipe also needs to actually cut back on the baking powder, in my opinion. Maybe to one tsp.

After seeing all these posts, I would just throw away the recipe and find another one! icon_smile.gif

Good luck with your future endeavors!
"No tool is more beneficial than intelligence. No enemy is more harmful than ignorance."

Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Harithi al-Baghdadi al-Mufid
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"No tool is more beneficial than intelligence. No enemy is more harmful than ignorance."

Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Harithi al-Baghdadi al-Mufid
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post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone!!! I truly thpught I'd done something wrong. First let me say, that this recipe was posted online and I got it off a very reputable woman's magazine website. Everyone that made it, said it rose very well, very light.... and mine? tasted like bread.

Second, I'm not a novice baker, I have a little more experience, I usually use WASC but really wanted to try a scratch cake. If I had been more about myself, I may have noticed the recipe was off.

Not to make excuses, but you see... My husband passed away 8 months ago, unexpectedly ( he was only 50 ) and I'm staying with my parents. I was going to help her with lunches... and ??

Thanks everyone
post #14 of 30
So sorry for your loss, sending you warm thoughts.
post #15 of 30
Oh goodness, so very sorry for your loss!

Don't stop baking from scratch though just because this recipe didn't work out. I find that a combination of butter and oil produces the most tender and moist yellow cakes. Also since this is an oil based cake, it's just as important how you mix it, as with a creaming method with a butter cake. Oil and sugar always get mixed together first, then the egg yolks one at a time. The eggs also need to be at room temp in order to properly emulsify with the fats of the oil. The egg whites should be whipped to stiff but not dry peaks and then carefully folded into the batter by hand. You also need enough sugar to help tenderize the cake crumb. All of those small details make a big difference in the end result of the cake.

HTH!
Three Little Blackbirds (TLBCakes)
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Three Little Blackbirds (TLBCakes)
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