Butter Cake = fail

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by senorpartagas, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. senorpartagas

    senorpartagas

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    Ugghhh, help pleaseSo my butetr cake came out with an edge that you could seriously hurt someone with. The taste is fantastic but I would have to saw off a half inch all around the cake.It was baked at 350 for about 68 minutes in a shiny 9" springform pan. I don't know what I did wrong, all measuremnts were exact I think. Dry and milk were added alternately to creamed mix stirred in by hand. The batter was quite thick now that I think back, could that be part of the problem? I need to get this cake recipe sorted out and quick! Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    Señor Partagas,
    Please post your recipe and techniques,
    That way we all could better assist you
     
  3. senorpartagas

    senorpartagas

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    Sorry yes I should have done that. I used the standard Wilton recipe :Ingredients:1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature2 1/2 cups granulated sugar 5 eggs 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Easy-Add pure vanilla extract Add to shopping list pure vanilla extract 3/4 teaspoon No Color Almond Extract Easy-Add No Color Almond Extract Add to shopping list No Color Almond Extract 3 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup milk Makes:About 7 1/2 cups cake batter.Instructions:Step 1Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray pans with vegetable pan spray, (I rubbed with butter) or use Cake Release.Step 2In mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla and almond flavor. Mix flour with baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, starting with the flour; mix well. (I did this mixing by hand) Pour into prepared pans.Step 3Refer to baking chart, for baking times and temperatures for specific pans.Step 4Cool 10 minutes in pan. Loosen sides and remove. Cool completely before decorating.Sorry I should also mentioned I halved this recipe as it was a trial cake. Every measurement was exactly half except the eggs. I used 2 instead of 2.5
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012
  4. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    SenorPartagas,

    You will find a no-fail recipe in this thread that I posted awhile back if you would like to try it.

    cakes dont rise

    As for your recipe, 68 minutes is a Long time for a cake to bake. I think that is your problem.

    Petals.
     
  5. senorpartagas

    senorpartagas

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    Petals thanks for your reply. I agree 68 minutes seems long but I was testing it every 10 minutes and it was still sticky in the centre up until the 68 minute mark.I will def check out your no fail link :)
     
  6. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    I would start testing the cake only after the time limit was up on the cake.

    By opening the door that many times, the oven temp must readjust to 350 everytime. No steady heat for your cake to bake and rise.

    If you get a chance to try that recipe let me know, I have never had a problem with it ....yet.

    Petals.
     
  7. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    It sounds to me that three possible problems could be happening:

    1. Your oven might be running hot. Use an oven thermometer to test the accuracy of your thermostat. 

    2. You may have used too much flour due to measuring by volume. Do not scoop flour-that compacts it and adds more into the mix than you really need. You should sift the flour into the measuring cup, then level off by scraping the excess off with a knife

    3. Using fewer eggs than the recipe called for. One large egg is about 1/4 cup. Removing 2 tablespoons of texturizing, lifting liquid from a small quantity of batter can make a huge difference in the end result. 

    One other thing-

    Using unbleached all purpose flour will make for a drier, denser cake as the flour grains are more round, uniform and absorb more liquid. Try bleached AP flour for more tender cakes. The bleaching process roughs up the surface of the grains leading to a softer, finer crumb.
     
  8. senorpartagas

    senorpartagas

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    This is all great info, thanks:petals: I started testing the cake after the inition 30 minutes, should have mentioned :)Food: I will check my oven, it could be off. Good info on the flour, I never even considered it really. I think it is unbleached AP. What about cake flour?
     
  9. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    Another question for you SeñorPartagas: are you pour the entire batch of batter into that one, and I mean to say singular, 9 inch spring form pan? 

    That sounds like alot of batter for one pan, no?  Was there a reason as to not using multiple, standard 9 inch cake pans? 

    I am no baker by any stretch, but you got me thinking.
     
  10. senorpartagas

    senorpartagas

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    Yes it was all in one pan but the recipe I posted is for a full batch.....I only made a half batch
     
  11. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    let me ask you another question than:the recipe you were following,

    did it say to pour the entire batch of batter into one 9 inch spring form pan? 

    That's not normally how a cake goes ... just wondering? 

    The recipes that I have call for 2-3 nine inch cake pans

    and then my next thought in regards to your comment on how your cake came out

    with an edge that you could seriously hurt someone with ".

    Again, I do not claim to be a baker, but how much butter did you use to prep the pan with?
     
  12. senorpartagas

    senorpartagas

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    The recipe said to put in pans as per Wilton chart, didnt seem like too much batter for a 9" pan but it may very well have been. As the pan wasn't "non-stick" I did use butter liberally.

    Today I bought some thermal bands to wrap around the pan and help dissipate heat.
     
  13. Iceman

    Iceman

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    I think it sounds good. I like "edgy" cake. 
     
  14. senorpartagas

    senorpartagas

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    Yikes ice-man, I do too but not for a wedding cake. Its REALLY crusty, also as I decided today after a good cooling it is just a little too dense for my liking
     
  15. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    Using butter instead of shortening or the baking spray can make the sides brown a bit too much, too, especially for a cake that is in the oven for that long. Butter browns more than shortening or baking spray.
     
  16. siduri

    siduri

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    • I think that since you halved a recipe for two 9 inch pans, using one 9-inch pan should be perfectly fine
    • If it's a standard recipe that lots of people use and have success with (i presume wilton would have every interest in making such a recipe so they can sell their products) then i think the small variations of ways of measuring flour and size of eggs is completely irrelevant.  I have 40 years of home baking experience and i can say that this small variation in quantities is not relevant, unless you have a particular kind of recipe, one not tested very well, one that you find on internet, randomly, one that says that it's particularly delicate
    • the thing that does make for crispiness is sugar, and if there is a lot of sugar in the recipe you may have to be careful, but as i say, a good recipe would not have too much sugar. 
    • I always use butter to grease my pan and i never have any strong browning - i would notice because i don;t like my cakes to brown too much around the edge and anyway, brown edges are not hard edges.
    • i've cooked things at friends' houses where they have a fan oven.  I notice everything comes out dry in these ovens, though i would think the fan would affect the top surface rather than the sides that are protected by the metal.  But this might change the cooking time and the temperature required.  I have too little experience with these to know.
    • finally, i think the real culprit comes from the baking.  You may not have preheated your oven long enough, your oven may not hold its temperature well enough, you may have opened the door too often, but that seems unlikely because at 30 minutes at most you'd need another 10 to cook it inside and opening it once should not affect it that much unless you leave it open while you look for a stick to test it with etc).  Dry (hard) crust comes from too long baking at a low temperature, and the low temperature would prevent the kind of rising you would want and would keep the inside more damp.   Preheat your oven well, if it;s electric it may be even slower than mine is, but at least ten minutes for sure, with the oven door closed.  A too high temperature would cook it to a crisp all the way through in 60 minutes, so that is not the problem.  But a too low temperature (below 350F) would make it not get cooked inside while it dries out the outside
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012
  17. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Lots of great info above.

    I do have one thing to add.

    7.5 cups of batter seems a lot for a single 9in layer.

    Get thyself to a supply house (or borrow!) the pans you will need for the final product!

    Another tip.... check for done with a wooden skewer or toothpick in the middle of cake layer at the lower time of recipe. (most recipe times have a range)

    You are looking for some dense crumbs, not wet batter.

    You can pull your cake and the carry over will finish the bake while maintaining a moist interior.

    Get the layers out of the pans and onto a cooling rack ASAP (10 min is my usual) to ensure the carry over heat does not get too carried away, lol.

    I have made this recipe without problems, recommend you scoop the flour into measuring cup with a big spoon (scooping from the canister is a major baking faux pas) and then level with the back of a knife.

    We are watching you, senor :)

    OBTW... if you have not opened those pan thermals, take them back. If you follow good baking habits you will not need crutches!
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012
  18. senorpartagas

    senorpartagas

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    Thanks for all the great info everyone, this is the most informative forum I have ever belonged to. I will be trying the "no-fail" recipe today and see how that works out. Trying to borrow pans as well. The local place wants $5 per pan per day to rent them....ridiculous. I would rather just buy them at that price. Also today going to be making some gum paste to start experimenting with decorations, made some buttercream last night and will also be practicing at roses.

    One thing I didnt mention that may very well have been part of my previous cake problems is that I have a pizza stone in the oven. Could that have made a difference? I will pull it out today maybe. 
     
  19. senorpartagas

    senorpartagas

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    well the "no-fail" recipe is in the oven. The batter looked perfect! Much lighter than the previous one I had tried. I did 2 small 4" tester cakes and put  leftover batter into an 8" tin. The tester cakes will be split and filled (one with lemon curd, one with buttercream) and sent over the the B&G for approval. so far so good, these look wonderful.
     
  20. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    This statement is patently false.

    Read the recipe and Senor's post carefully. The fact that he halved it, AND that the batter was too thick would lead anyone with professional and seasoned baking experience to question how the flour is measured. With 40 years of professional pastry baking, recipe development/testing and food styling experience I can assuredly tell you that the difference in weight of 1 1/2 cups of scooped flour compared to 1 1/2 cups of sifted flour is probably about 2-3 ounces. That would make a huge difference in the thickness of the batter, the texture of the cake, the sufficiency of 3/8  teaspoon of baking powder to leaven it, and the time it would take to bake it until the center is done. In addition, decreasing the egg volume by 2 tablespoons (or 1 ounce) would have an impact too.

    The first thing any experienced pro learns about baking cakes is to sift the flour before measuring it and to measure accurately. Small changes to a recipe have big impacts on the end result.