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How do you make a moist cake made from scratch?

My biggest fear is that when I make a cake from scratch that it's going to be dry. I saw others suggest the simple syrup technique but How can make the batter....I guess lighter?

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Comment by Shirley J. Graham on July 30, 2011 at 11:00pm

Using buttermilk, or sour cream in place of regular milk will make your cake moist.

Comment by Daisy Brown on July 3, 2010 at 8:10pm
Thanks for the tip jagdish :)
Comment by jagdish tiwari on July 3, 2010 at 5:43am
please reduce 15% of fat from your recipe and substitute it with glycerine which will retain the moisture in your cake and add it at the last stage of mixing.
Comment by Daisy Brown on June 14, 2010 at 10:22pm
Thanks Serious Cakes I will check it out and you always put a smile on my :).
Comment by SeriousCakes on June 14, 2010 at 10:11pm
lol-that should say that 'no crumbs stick to a toothpick when inserted into the cake' :D
Comment by SeriousCakes on June 14, 2010 at 10:07pm
I like to stir my flour, I put in almost the amount I need into my measuring cup, then stir it with a fork to get some air incorporated and break up any lumps. Usually once I've stirred it I don't need to add any more. Some recipes also call for taking a cake out when no crumbs stick to it. In my experience this means the cake is done at that point, but then it continues to bake when you take it out of the oven! I take mine out when a few crumbs are still sticking :)
I have a recipe posted in the 'Recipes' section if you'd like to try it, found it about 4 years ago and have never looked back ;D
Comment by Daisy Brown on June 12, 2010 at 9:35am
Jeanne that information is going to be helpful. Making a cake from scratch can be so intimidating but with support like yours and others here I can do it :). Thank you!
Comment by Jeanne on June 11, 2010 at 1:47pm
Adding a pudding mix to a scratch recipe can throw it off big time. You can get away with adding it to a mix because they have stabilizers in them that allow them to take some abuse and still turn out, but scratch recipes don't have teh chemical stabilizers in them so they can't always handle the extra sugar and stuff that is in a pudding mix.

If you want a nice moist scratch cake you have to be sure that you practice the techniques needed and have an understanding of what ingredients do in a recipe. Like why you would use baking powder as opposed to baking soda in a recipe or what happens if you add too much leavener or too much sugar or too much flour?

I think the biggest problem lies in measuring your dry ingredients. If you use a scale you will get much better results. Flour can compact big time so one person's 1 cup can equal the equivalent of almost 1.5 cups if it's really packed in. Too much flour is a bad thing... makes your cake dry and corn bread-like. You can try it yourself with a scale... a cup of flour will almost never weigh the same amount.

Simple syrup is okay, but if you have an actual dry cake, it won't save it. The key is to not get the dry cake. Proper mixing... cream that butter and sugar a good long while, mix in those eggs until they are smooth, adding the dry and wet ingredients until they are incorporated but not over mixing so you don't over develop the gluten in the flour and make for a tough cake... all of these things are important.

It's not hard... it just takes a willingness to fail and learn. =]
Comment by Jenifer T on June 9, 2010 at 11:12pm
Hmm, I actually don't have a specific answer. I NEVER use box mixes, I feel like I'm ripping people off somehow, I mean anyone can do a box mix, right?!(no offense to anyone who uses them of course, just the way I grew up watching grandma I guess.) I usually try a recipe, see how I like it and decide if I want to use it again. Obviously overcooking any cake will probably dry it out some. There might be a n easier way, but mine is trial and error. Find one I like and keep it! I found a WONDERFUL and moist Devils Food Cake that I love and apparently so does everyone else. Do why change it? Nothing beats the taste of scratch made! Try it, whats the worst that can happen. lol :)
Comment by Daisy Brown on June 9, 2010 at 5:17pm
You know Windy I thought about doing that with the last cake I made. I was afraid of messing up the recipe lol! It can't hurt, box mix has it as a main ingredient :).

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