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Scratch cupcake recipe failure

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone. This is my first time posting, but I really nead help. I'm not good with technology and I haven't spent a great deal of time on this site, so I'm sorry if I have silly questions. I've spent years and years wanting make decorated sugar cookies and I am finally able to make them well. Now, I'm determined to make delicious, bakery-style cupcakes. At first it didn't matter to me if they were from a box or from scratch, but I've have had no luck with either.

 

I've researched and tried numerous recipes from cookbooks and online. I've tried the WASC and other doctored box recipes, and scratch recipes from many bloggers and websites and they're still not what I'm looking for.,.Here's what I am looking for in a cupcake (I can make delicious frostings) but in the cake I want It: moist, dense, sweet - and gourmet I guess. I want it to taste like the ones I've had from cupcake shops. On my birthday last year, I went to five different cupcakeries (if there is a such thing) and I tried thier cupcakes - more than one from each. And I realized that even though they all tasted different, thier texture was the same, and not like what I've found using a box mix or doctored box mix, thus making me want to bake them from scratch.

 

About a week ago, I found a recipe from scractch that has the texture that I've been looking for and they come out very pretty with a nice dome every time.The problem is that they don't taste good!!! The flavor is bland, kind of like cornbread. So I tried adding vanilla bean and butter flavoring to add to the taste, but it didn't help. So my question is, what can I add, substitute, or change to make them more flavorful???  I was going for a base yellow cupcake- that I could modify to make other flavors. When I modified the recipe myself changing the all purpose flour to half ap flour and half cake flour and adding a pudding to mix, the batter was so good, but when the cupcakes baked, they were flat and didn't have the dome or the density. Please help, any and all suggestions are welcomed. Oh, and I've made sure that all ingredients were at room temp, and flour sifted once. These are the ingredients that I use:

 

*all purpose flour

*baking powder

*salt

*large egg

*granulated sugar

*butter-unsalted

*pure vanilla extract

*whole milk

*and cream cheese

 

I was also wondering if anyone uses King Arthur Unbleached cake flour? And could it be that I won't get the desired results unless I have a KitchenAid Stand Mixer? I have an offbrand- from Walmart that I've had for years. Thanks again!!

post #2 of 40

no, it's not your mixer--and for what it's worth--i never have my ingredients at room temp anymore either--but don't change on my account--you're fine--

 

i know that some cupcakeries use mixes that their own (franchise) brand makes--they might even get batters shipped in already made into batter--they might make the batters a day in advance of baking -- so there's that possible difference--

 

unbleached flour would give a denser product but it would not make my favorite cupcake--

 

i admire your tenacity to keep trying and trying--

 

i think maybe you are looking for a product like an italian cream cake for density -- uses buttermilk* -- so i recommend that you try that and see if that's where you wanna go--then you can use that as a base to add in whatever different flavors etc. you might like for future --

 

there are tons of recipes available in online search

 

*yes you can make your own buttermilk with vinegar and milk but if you decide to try this recipe--find the nice thick full fat stuff--i think this might be what you're looking for

my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

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my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

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post #3 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanayla_treats View Post

 

I was also wondering if anyone uses King Arthur Unbleached cake flour? And could it be that I won't get the desired results unless I have a KitchenAid Stand Mixer? I have an offbrand- from Walmart that I've had for years. Thanks again!!

 

 

but wait--if you need a good excuse to get another mixer--one can never have too many mixers--oh yeah you'll make superior cuppies with a new kitchen aid

 

:lol:  oh, santa...

my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

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my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

Reply
post #4 of 40
Thread Starter 
Thank you k8memphis! I'll try the buttermilk! And, oh yes, I hope Santa is listening!!!
post #5 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanayla_treats View Post
 

At first it didn't matter to me if they were from a box or from scratch, but I've have had no luck with either. That doesn't make sense. A child can make a cake from a mix. The only variables are the brand of mix and if you doctor the mix or not. If your using doctored mixes that are highly recommended by others it's got to work or there's something wrong with you (sorry).

 

Here's what I am looking for in a cupcake (I can make delicious frostings) but in the cake I want It: moist, dense, sweet - and gourmet I guess. I want it to taste like the ones I've had from cupcake shops. Freezing a cake will increase it's moisture and density. Make sure you seal it tightly before freezing. Most places use mixes.....so your probably liking a commercial cake mix. Cupcake shops add simple syrups and other add-on's like caramel to increase the moisture level and sweetness of the cake.

 

 

On my birthday last year, I went to five different cupcakeries (if there is a such thing) and I tried thier cupcakes - more than one from each. And I realized that even though they all tasted different, thier texture was the same, and not like what I've found using a box mix or doctored box mix, thus making me want to bake them from scratch. A consistent texture like you described earlier is usually achieved using a cake mix and not something you're going to get in multiple scratch bakeries. Scratch baking varies wildly from baker to baker and you're not going to be able to go to multiple stores and get consistent results...that ONLY happens with cake mixes.

 

About a week ago, I found a recipe from scractch that has the texture that I've been looking for and they come out very pretty with a nice dome every time.The problem is that they don't taste good!!! The flavor is bland, kind of like cornbread. So I tried adding vanilla bean and butter flavoring to add to the taste, but it didn't help. So my question is, what can I add, substitute, or change to make them more flavorful??? Don't create your own recipes until you're a very advanced baker! It takes professional bakers years and years before the are ready to create their own recipes. Instead, find GOOD recipes by finding the best baking books to learn from.

 

 I was going for a base yellow cupcake- that I could modify to make other flavors. That can't be done with a scratch cake batter. NO ONE can achieve that, because when you add other flavors it changes the science of the recipe. That's why there are different recipes for different flavors. If you want something that works like this, you MUST stick to cake mixes they will let you make changes with a lower failure rate.

 

 When I modified the recipe myself changing the all purpose flour to half ap flour and half cake flour and adding a pudding to mix, the batter was so good, but when the cupcakes baked, they were flat and didn't have the dome or the density. Again, unless your a scientist or a very experienced baker don't attempt that. Do you mix up different chemicals and stick them into your cars gas tank and think you're car will run on any fuel? NO.....you gotta understand science and respect it before you can begin to modify it yourself.

 

Please help, any and all suggestions are welcomed. Oh, and I've made sure that all ingredients were at room temp, and flour sifted once. These are the ingredients that I use:

 

*all purpose flour

*baking powder

*salt

*large egg

*granulated sugar

*butter-unsalted

*pure vanilla extract

*whole milk

*and cream cheese

 

I was also wondering if anyone uses King Arthur Unbleached cake flour? Yes, it's good flour but it's not Cake Flour. Follow what the recipe calls for.

 

And could it be that I won't get the desired results unless I have a KitchenAid Stand Mixer? No, not even a little logical.

 

Bottom line answer:

Do you mix up different chemicals and stick them into your cars gas tank and think you're car will run on ANY fuel? NO.....you've got to understand science and respect it before you can begin to modify it yourself.

 

Instead, learn by reading and following recipes from baking books written by well respected authors.

post #6 of 40
Stitches for the win! Great info.
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
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"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
post #7 of 40
OP, I searched forever for a dense, moist vanilla cupcake. I wanted one that wasn't fluffy and airy. I finally thought to search for a vanilla pound cake cupcake and tried two different recipes. THIS! This was what I had been looking for the whole time! Maybe look for a different recipe? I tried so many vanilla cupcakes and wasn't happy with any until I tried the pound cake! Hth!
post #8 of 40

I completely agree except my base recipe I convert into at least 30 other flavors by changing this or that - and it's 100% scratch and I sell commercially both cupcakes all the way up to tiered wedding cakes - all using the same recipe. My preferred cake is yellow cake, meaning make with all egg yolks.  If you Google from scratch white cake with recipe you'll find it.

 

Best of luck!

post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF View Post
 

I completely agree except my base recipe I convert into at least 30 other flavors by changing this or that - and it's 100% scratch and I sell commercially both cupcakes all the way up to tiered wedding cakes - all using the same recipe. My preferred cake is yellow cake, meaning make with all egg yolks.  If you Google from scratch white cake with recipe you'll find it.

 

Best of luck!

 

Unless you're talking about adding some lemon or orange zest or chocolate chips simple type adjustments I find it impossible to believe you can use one base scratch recipe and make it into 30 other flavored cakes with-out effecting the texture/chemistry of your cake. If you can do so, than you've found the one miracle recipe no one else has found.

 

A "yellow cake" does not mean made with all egg yolks! Where did you learn that definition?

 

I did google "from scratch cake with recipe" and several recipes come up. Please share which recipe your using that allows so many adjustments.

 

It's a white cake recipe than is it your favorite yellow cake? Huh?

post #10 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitches View Post
 

Unless you're talking about adding some lemon or orange zest or chocolate chips simple type adjustments I find it impossible to believe you can use one base scratch recipe and make it into 30 other flavored cakes with-out effecting the texture/chemistry of your cake. If you can do so, than you've found the one miracle recipe no one else has found.

 

A "yellow cake" does not mean made with all egg yolks! Where did you learn that definition?

 

I did google "from scratch cake with recipe" and several recipes come up. Please share which recipe your using that allows so many adjustments.

 

It's a white cake recipe than is it your favorite yellow cake? Huh?

 

OK, I appreciate debate, but due to my recent medical condition I probably shouldn't debate too much because I go zero to witch in no time. 

 

I posted this recipe, man, almost 3 years ago? on my blog and have had nothing but praise and success with it from readers and bakeries around the world.  I worked very hard on this recipe and have had more then just a few thoughts on taking it down because it's been plagiarized like crazy.  But like an idiot, it IS the recipe I use at my bakery and posted it online way before I ever had any notoriety or, well, fame? I guess you could say..  Once posted, over the several years my readers have made more variations on it then I could have ever thought of.  I actually started making a list and gave up because I didn't have the time to do it.

 

Also, I use "white cake" and "yellow cake" definitions based on the Cake Bible.  If that is incorrect then I don't give a hoot - it is my definition and the easiest way to define the difference between a cake made with all egg yolks and one made with all egg whites.  I never went to pastry school and have never taken a baking class so if you'd like to educate whatever would be helpful to the OP - but the definition I've been giving to my pastry school staff and millions of others then ha ha on me, I've been acting a fool to millions of people.  Literally millions.  But whatever, that's not the 1st or last time I'm a fool.

 

Maybe I did come up with a magic recipe or maybe this isn't what you meant, but whatever.  This is my recipe made with but  a butter base reverse creamed, feel free to pick it apart as you see fit.  

 

http://fromscratchsf.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/white-cake-part-3-with-recipe/

post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF View Post
 

 

OK, I appreciate debate, but due to my recent medical condition I probably shouldn't debate too much because I go zero to witch in no time. 

 

I posted this recipe, man, almost 3 years ago? on my blog and have had nothing but praise and success with it from readers and bakeries around the world.  I worked very hard on this recipe and have had more then just a few thoughts on taking it down because it's been plagiarized like crazy.  But like an idiot, it IS the recipe I use at my bakery and posted it online way before I ever had any notoriety or, well, fame? I guess you could say..  Once posted, over the several years my readers have made more variations on it then I could have ever thought of.  I actually started making a list and gave up because I didn't have the time to do it.

 

Also, I use "white cake" and "yellow cake" definitions based on the Cake Bible.  If that is incorrect then I don't give a hoot - it is my definition and the easiest way to define the difference between a cake made with all egg yolks and one made with all egg whites.  I never went to pastry school and have never taken a baking class so if you'd like to educate whatever would be helpful to the OP - but the definition I've been giving to my pastry school staff and millions of others then ha ha on me, I've been acting a fool to millions of people.  Literally millions.  But whatever, that's not the 1st or last time I'm a fool.

 

Maybe I did come up with a magic recipe or maybe this isn't what you meant, but whatever.  This is my recipe made with but  a butter base reverse creamed, feel free to pick it apart as you see fit.  

 

http://fromscratchsf.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/white-cake-part-3-with-recipe/


God Bless You, I will cherish this recipe!

post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF View Post
 

 

OK, I appreciate debate, but due to my recent medical condition I probably shouldn't debate too much because I go zero to witch in no time. 

 

I posted this recipe, man, almost 3 years ago? on my blog and have had nothing but praise and success with it from readers and bakeries around the world.  I worked very hard on this recipe and have had more then just a few thoughts on taking it down because it's been plagiarized like crazy.  But like an idiot, it IS the recipe I use at my bakery and posted it online way before I ever had any notoriety or, well, fame? I guess you could say..  Once posted, over the several years my readers have made more variations on it then I could have ever thought of.  I actually started making a list and gave up because I didn't have the time to do it.

 

Also, I use "white cake" and "yellow cake" definitions based on the Cake Bible.  If that is incorrect then I don't give a hoot - it is my definition and the easiest way to define the difference between a cake made with all egg yolks and one made with all egg whites.  I never went to pastry school and have never taken a baking class so if you'd like to educate whatever would be helpful to the OP - but the definition I've been giving to my pastry school staff and millions of others then ha ha on me, I've been acting a fool to millions of people.  Literally millions.  But whatever, that's not the 1st or last time I'm a fool.

 

Maybe I did come up with a magic recipe or maybe this isn't what you meant, but whatever.  This is my recipe made with but  a butter base reverse creamed, feel free to pick it apart as you see fit.  

 

http://fromscratchsf.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/white-cake-part-3-with-recipe/

 

Stitches, I can attest that this is a FABULOUS recipe, and I mean those caps!!  I've made it in vanilla, coconut, lemon, orange, raspberry.  I've made the all egg white, version, the all egg yolk version, and an ecru whole egg version.  It is the bomb!  Thank you so much fromscratchsf - it truly is fabulous.  Stitches, not only are the ratios perfect, the method is what really makes it work.  Try it!

 

Liz

Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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post #13 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF View Post
 

 

OK, I appreciate debate, but due to my recent medical condition I probably shouldn't debate too much because I go zero to witch in no time.

 

I posted this recipe, man, almost 3 years ago? on my blog and have had nothing but praise and success with it from readers and bakeries around the world.  I worked very hard on this recipe and have had more then just a few thoughts on taking it down because it's been plagiarized like crazy.  But like an idiot, it IS the recipe I use at my bakery and posted it online way before I ever had any notoriety or, well, fame? I guess you could say..  Once posted, over the several years my readers have made more variations on it then I could have ever thought of.  I actually started making a list and gave up because I didn't have the time to do it.

 

Also, I use "white cake" and "yellow cake" definitions based on the Cake Bible.  If that is incorrect then I don't give a hoot - it is my definition and the easiest way to define the difference between a cake made with all egg yolks and one made with all egg whites.  I never went to pastry school and have never taken a baking class so if you'd like to educate whatever would be helpful to the OP - but the definition I've been giving to my pastry school staff and millions of others then ha ha on me, I've been acting a fool to millions of people.  Literally millions.  But whatever, that's not the 1st or last time I'm a fool.

 

Maybe I did come up with a magic recipe or maybe this isn't what you meant, but whatever.  This is my recipe made with but  a butter base reverse creamed, feel free to pick it apart as you see fit.  

 

http://fromscratchsf.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/white-cake-part-3-with-recipe/

Thank-you, sincerely! That's exactly what I was hoping you'd do, put up or shut up. And I do believe you now because you did "put up".....so rarely does this happen, I'm truly surprised!!

 

Also, I'm sorry, sincerely! I just get so sick of people making claims that are nonsense and when pressed they run or get crazy fighting. I'd be surprised if most of us here haven't seen this dozens of times......so it's really cool that you are for real and sharing.

 

I'm not a school trained chef, but I am a second generation pastry chef who's actually been there and done that....no bs. So I call people out when I read crap, actually hoping it does educate and help others whom believe everything they read.

 

You're take on white cake verses yellow cake thing isn't correct. It's VERY rare for a yellow cake to be only yolks, most have whole eggs and some add additional yolks to the whole eggs. White cakes can have some whole eggs too....but that's VERY rare too....but it you have only one or two yolks it can be light enough to pass for a white cake. The egg yolks really do make all the difference in a white cake. I do greatly appreciate the incredible amount of work and science Rose Levy has done for the baking world but personally I'm not crazy about her recipes as a whole. I say that based on having made a lot of her recipes and doing group testing comparing her recipes to other recipe.

 

Just before you posted your original post I was looking through Shirley O. Corriher's books "BakeWise" and "CookWise" (looking for something fun to make for Christmas. And had just read her writing about how you can't just make changes to recipes with-out making further adjustments to re-balance the base recipe.

 

Anyway, thanks for posting your recipe I will definitely give it a try.

post #14 of 40

P.S. after looking at your recipe I find great delight that it's based on an older recipe. I have an extensive collection of older baking books I've inherited and collected over my life time. I find some of the best recipes in those older books!!!

 

P.S.S. I'd like to drop an additional thought out there that I've never posted online before. For good tasting cakes that are sort of dry.........add whipped cream to the batter. It's the way to add fat with-out adding more butter or oil.

 

Have a Merry Christmas!

post #15 of 40
Thanks for that tip stitches, is that whipped cream from the can or whipping cream that you whip yourself? Roughly how much whipped cream would you add to batter for an 8 inch cake? Thank you 👍
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