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"Original" Recipe Generation

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello fellow CC'ers,

 

I have quite the dilemma on my hands (or at least it appears that way): I am looking to enter a local baking competition (cupcakes) and one of the requirements is that the recipe accompany the cupcakes (no brainer) and that the entry be the sole work of the entrant (also, a no-brainer).

 

Perhaps I am overthinking this too much but how do you generate an "original" recipe? I am still a novice baker/decorator and when I do bake I tend to use tried and true recipes for the base of whatever kind of cake I am going with. 

 

My thing is if I am entering a competition and need to generate an "original" recipe (the theme this year is chocolate), how do I go about making that happen? I guess I am asking how do I go about making an "original" chocolate cake recipe without stepping on the toes of someone else that made a chocolate cake recipe? 

 

For example, if I use a recipe that I have found online, I always say, "Well, I found this great recipe at..." and the design process is all me. But, I have yet to wake up and go, "For this chocolate cake, I will need X amount of eggs, Y amout of sugar..." right off the top of my head. 

 

Am I overcomplicating things? 

 

Someone tell me how do I make a cake recipe of my own that hasn't been made before? I am a scratch baker but, like I said, I usually bake cakes that are based on recipes that provide a solid foundation and go from there. Is that considered grounds for disqualification? This is my first competition and I am so lost, lol.

 

:( 

To each his own
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To each his own
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post #2 of 7
I think you'd better run it by the organizers. The way I've always understood it is that the work (from baking to decorating) is solely your original work. I've never heard of having to come up with an original recipe in order to compete.
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea View Post

I think you'd better run it by the organizers. The way I've always understood it is that the work (from baking to decorating) is solely your original work. I've never heard of having to come up with an original recipe in order to compete.I
I agree with this. I can't believe that they require everyone to come up with an original recipe. Just about anything you come up with has most likely been done by someone before. There are only so many ingredients you can use in a chocolate cake! Better check the contest rules.
post #4 of 7

Every competition or show I have been in doesn't care about who created the recipe, just the baking and decorating. I've never been asked to provide a recipe, I wouldn't enter if I had to, to be honest. lol

 

I would definitely ask the organizers!

 

As far as developing recipes, you just have to hunker down and start researching what makes a cake a cake! How do leaveners work, what roles do different flours, acids and sugar play. I suggest getting a copy of the Cake Bible, and reading through everything she has to say. Even the tips on every recipe, also from scratch has a white cake recipe that she explains very well. Things like that really help.

Without understanding what each ingredient does though, it's pure luck.

post #5 of 7

My experience with baking/tasting competitions has been like the OP's. The rules stated that the "recipe must be original, made from scratch using no mixes or premade frosting" and the recipes must be provided. You can't take the cake recipe from the Hershey's cocoa can and enter it into a competition.

 

That being said, there's only so much that can be original. Here's an example of what I've done. I "created" Peachy Keen Cupcakes, which were Gingered Peach Cupcakes with Peachy Cream Cheese Frosting to enter into my state fair. My recipe for the cupcakes was a basic cupcake recipe but I played with the fruit, liquid, and ginger add-ins until I was happy with it. Same with the frosting. I didn't Google peach cream cheese frosting, I made a basic recipe with a few modifications.

 

Quote:

I guess I am asking how do I go about making an "original" chocolate cake recipe without stepping on the toes of someone else that made a chocolate cake recipe? 

So, I guess my answer to this question is to take a good chocolate cake recipe and change it enough to make it great. I will say that most tasting entries are about the flavor, so you see a lot of "Peachy Keen Cupcakes" and Chocolate Cherry Bomb" cakes and "Pickled Walnut Spice" cakes (OK, I made that one up). But you get the picture, they are all doing like I did, took their favorite cake recipe and changed the flavor.

 

If you look at my recipes, while I created them, there's nothing truly original or out of the ordinary about them.

http://beautifullyembellishedcakes.blogspot.com/2011/09/peachy-keen-cupcakes-gingered-peach.html

 

Good luck in your competition!

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcee View Post
 

My experience with baking/tasting competitions has been like the OP's. The rules stated that the "recipe must be original, made from scratch using no mixes or premade frosting" and the recipes must be provided. You can't take the cake recipe from the Hershey's cocoa can and enter it into a competition.

That's really interesting, it makes sense, it's just never happened to me. Although, I rarely do ones where taste is involved.

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcee View Post
 

So, I guess my answer to this question is to take a good chocolate cake recipe and change it enough to make it great. I will say that most tasting entries are about the flavor, so you see a lot of "Peachy Keen Cupcakes" and Chocolate Cherry Bomb" cakes and "Pickled Walnut Spice" cakes (OK, I made that one up). But you get the picture, they are all doing like I did, took their favorite cake recipe and changed the flavor.

 

If you look at my recipes, while I created them, there's nothing truly original or out of the ordinary about them.

http://beautifullyembellishedcakes.blogspot.com/2011/09/peachy-keen-cupcakes-gingered-peach.html

 

Good luck in your competition!

I've been studying baking for aprox. 25 years now and have a very, VERY large collection of baking books. That's exactly what happens.........when you change up a recipe your creating your own recipe.

 

For example, take cinnamon rolls. Standard recipe has cinnamon sugar filling and cream cheese type frosting. Add pistachio paste to the raw dough, change out the cinnamon and put in custard, poached pears and chopped pistachios, frost it with a caramel glaze and you've made it your own recipe. If you kept everything the same and just changed the spice from cinnamon to nutmeg, that's probably not enough change.

 

There are people like me who study recipes and will recognize a recipe if you only make a tiny change like subbing out buttermilk for sour cream. They might disqualify you for something like that. I've seen chefs use older recipes thinking no one knows it and called it their own, when it wasn't. So actually make some changes before you tell someone you created it.............

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