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Oil vs Butter

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
So, I just HAVE to pose this question to you guys... When making a light and fluffy cake, I tend to shy away from butter... I feel like using oil instead keeps my cake moist and fluffy... When making a rich or dense cake, I use butter... does anyone agree with this, or am I a looney... and if someone knows how to keep a fluffy cake moist using butter... please tell me, because I LOVE the flavour!
post #2 of 8
I too usually use oil in a lighter batter. I find delicate flavors require oil over butter. One way to have a lighter cake with butter is to melt the butter and add to the whipped up eggs and sugar instead of the creaming method. This is how I make my chocolate cupcakes and they are super moist. That's been in my experience.
There's always an occasion for cake.
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There's always an occasion for cake.
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
It's funny, I have to tell you, I have the best recipe EVER for a chocolate cake.... and (sorry to say) it's off the back of the Hershey's cocoa Can! I just substitute hot coffee for the boiling water... but I get a super moist chocolate cake every time... I always wondered why I didn't have to cream the sugar and oil and then eggs (like I do for my carrot cake) but instead add all the dry ingredients and sugar to the mixer bowl, and add in the eggs oil milk and vanilla... at the end just stir in the hot coffee... this cake is always very moist.... but dense... I'm going to have to try whipping the eggs up and seeing if it's a little lighter... One question... I feel like I have done this before, and wind up with a globby dry sugar egg thing in my mixer.... is there a trick to avoiding that, or will it just smooth itself out when you add the melted butter? Thanks for the tip btw! icon_biggrin.gif
post #4 of 8
Hershey's is a good recipe. I usually start mine off with the eggs and sugar in the mixer and then slowly add the melted butter then dry ingredients and liquid alternatively. As for the glob you may have either too much sugar or you are just not giving it enough time. I whip mine at a fairly medium high speed until light in color and fluffy. It does take some time especially if the eggs are straight out of the fridge. You can help this by having your eggs at room temperature. You can quickly bring them to room temp by placing in a bowl covered in hot from the tap water for a few minutes. The air you are adding to the eggs by mixing it this way will help make a lighter cake. Good luck!
There's always an occasion for cake.
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There's always an occasion for cake.
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post #5 of 8
You MUST use a recipe developed for oil if you want to use oil. You will not succeed by simply replacing one with the other.

Oil cannot be "creamed" with sugar because there is no water present (FYI butter is 20% water) to keep the sugar suspended. Beating oil with sugar and eggs will give a very light texture.

If you want a moist cake, try one that uses a large amount of whipping cream or sour cream in place of oil or butter. Delicious and very moist (but not the lightest kind of cake).
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
BakingIrene,
You are most definitely right about not being able to "cream" oil, it doesn't get light and fluffy like butter... but I use the same process when making my carrot cake... I start with the oil and sugar in the mixer, give them a few go arounds and then add in my eggs... etc...so maybe "cream" wasn't the right terminology... apologies icon_smile.gif
post #7 of 8
I wasn't trying to pick on terminology. I have seen posts elsewhere where people replace butter with oil and then whine and yell because their cake fell...

If you want a fine textured light tasting cake, try a chiffon cake which bakes just fine in layer pans. Figure out some way to hold the pans when the cake is inverted for cooling (easy if your pans have "ears") but a tube pan is NOT the only way to bake this cake.

I bake a sour cream poppyseed cake that is kids play to put together, and it is moist. It has neither butter nor eggs, just enough sour cream to make a good cup of butter if churned...
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
well, here's what I came up with... I've been trying to make a fluffy moist white cake that had some flavour... which is why I posted this question... I took your method of beating the eggs with the sugar, and just did it with the whites first so they got a bit of body to them first...

4 Egg Whites (cold)
1/2 tsp salt
2 C Sugar
1 3/4 C Cake Flour (handmade... I don't buy that stuff at $4 a box)
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 C Buttermilk
3/4 C Oil
1 Tbs Mexican Vanilla

I sifted the flour (all purpose plus cornstarch) soda and powder together about 5 times to ensure it was fluffy and well incorporated and set it aside. I also put the buttermilk, oil and vanilla in a separate bowl and set it aside. I then took cold egg whites and began to beat them in the stand mixer on high with the paddle attachment with the salt until they were just shy of soft peaks. I then lowered the mixer to medium / low and slowly added the sugar. Once the sugar was mixed in (it kind of had the consistency of marshmallow fluff, but not nearly as sticky) I lowered the mixer to stir, and in 3 sections, added the dry mix and buttermilk mix alternately starting and ending with the dry. I then scraped the bowl down to incorporate anything that may have stuck to the side (surprisingly, not much) and gave it one good fold in.

I made cupcakes out of it, and baked on 325 and they puffed up like magic! I don't know if beating the egg whites did anything, since I probably deflated them with all the mixing... but it worked... and it kept the moisture too! Any tricks on how to improve this one?
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