What's wrong with my cake recipe???

Joined Apr 20, 2004
I made this recipe yesterday. It will rise in the oven but will fall as it nears the end of baking. The texture is rather compacted. It tastes great, but a little "flour-y". Could someone analyze this and tell me if the recipe is off? Thanks

Lemon Butter Cake

5 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups butter
4 cups sugar
6 eggs
zest of 4 lemons
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sour cream.

I've tried beating in the whole eggs (one by one) into the creamed butter-sugar mixture. I've tried separating the eggs and whipping the whites and adding the sugar towards the end of the whipping (as Cape Chef suggested)...it still fell. Could it be that there is too much flour? Thanks again. :( Myra


Joined May 2, 2004
Hi Myra,
Sorry for your frustration; I read both of your posts.
I compared your recipe to some I use, and found one (pretty close) for individual pineapple upside-down cakes. Your recipe differs slightly in that you use whole eggs instead of just yolks, twice the sugar, no baking soda and all-purpose, not cake fllour. No big deal.
You didn't say whether you are using a Kitchen-aid mixer or a hand mixer.
When you describe the bottom half of your cake as being compacted, it reminds me of a classic sponge cake that has separated after the butter was folded-in and during baking. I am not sure what you mean when you say a half baked cake. If the top half was wet, the cake was not quite done. Also, this seems like a lot of batter for 2 pans, and might require a longer bake-time. Another possibility is your oven temperature. If it is out of calibration, you could be baking too hot.
The truth is, I can only guess. Some internet recipes don't work. Having said that, here is the one I use that issimiliar to yours; you are welcome to try it.

Mix together:

12 egg yolks
1/2 C sour cream
1T, 1t vanilla

Sift, and stir into this mixture:

6 C cake flour (a/p is fine)
1 C sugar
1T baking powder
1t baking soda
1t salt

Stir together 2C + 2T butter (melted and cooled) and
1 1/2C sour cream (room temperature). Add your zest and juice, here.
Add to batter.
Fill pans halfway.

No one is to say you can't whip your egg whites and fold them into
the finished batter.

Hope this helps.
Joined Apr 28, 2003
Basically meaning, the middle of the cake has collapsed into itself making an "M" shape if you cut it in half.
This typically means it lacks structure, it can't hold itself up (not enough flour, not enough eggs, too short of mixing time, to name a few explinations). Try baking at a higher temperature, 325F sounds pretty low to me. Your ratios in your recipe seem fine to me but this is with out having my reference took with me.

Another thing you can try is to make another cake, something totally different, and see if you get the same results. If you do then your issues could be a result of faulty equipment.
Joined Feb 21, 2001
There is something way out of whack with that cake in the first post. Too much butter, too much sugar. I don't know the mathematical basis for cake formula balancing, but there is one. Ingredients need to be in certain ratios to each other. Think of a pound cake, equal parts of sugar, flour, eggs, and butter. This cake has more sugar than fat, 28 oz to 16 oz, and only 12 oz of eggs and 25 oz of flour. I think I'd find another recipe. Off all the things that could be making it come out crummy, I'd say it was way too much sugar.
Joined Apr 20, 2004
To the four wonderful professionals who took the time to repsond...gracias!! I appreciate your feedback and will definitely let you know what changes I made and how it resulted. Again, thank you! :)

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