Tortured my family and friends with white cakes this weekend. Now they are sorry they complained about the banana cakes! Detecting the differences between the white cakes was much more difficult (and tedious).
1. mkFradin’s cake from Dede Wilson’s “Wedding Cake” (as written)
2. mkFradin’s cake from Dede Wilson’s “Wedding Cake” (with addition of ½ tsp. salt)
3. Delicious White Cake from “Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book”, First Edition, Fifth Printing, 1950 (recipe uses whipped egg whites)
4. TrishCT’s Snow White Cake (substituted 1 cup and 2 Tbsp cake flour for each cup of AP flour, omitted the almond extract and used an equal amount of additional vanilla)
5. Rich White Cake adapted from recipe in “Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book”, First Edition, Fifth Printing, 1950 (recipe at end of post)
All the cakes were unfrosted.
Did not include almond extract in any of the recipes because, IMO, it seemed like comparing apples and oranges.
Points based on :
1st place vote = 5 points
2nd place vote = 4 points
3rd place vote = 3 points
4th place vote = 2 points
5th place vote = 1 point
(The differences in cake heights are due to different pan sizes)
1. mkFradin’s cake (as written, without salt)
6 Points – One 4th place vote and four 5th place votes. While definitely a good cake, tasters felt it tasted a little flat and one even said that it was not sweet enough(!).
2. mkFradin’s cake (with addition of ½ tsp. salt)
(This picture is of a slice taken from the layer that was a bit underdone – note the dark streak near the top. However, the fully cooked layer was the one tasted.)
15 Points -- Two 2nd place votes, one 3rd place vote and two 4th place votes. This recipe was liked much better with the addition of salt. However, both of the cakes using this recipe (with and without salt) came out a bit more dense than I expected and closer in texture to pound cake. Some tasters really liked the texture, while others did not.
3. Delicious White Cake from “Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book"
16 Points – One 2nd place vote, and four 3rd place votes. This cake was very similar in both taste and texture to TrishCT’s cake and most of the tasters had a difficult time telling the difference between them. This makes sense since the recipes are almost identical (except this recipe called for less butter).
4. TrishCT’s Snow White Cake (made with cake flour and no almond ext.)
14 Points -- One 1st place vote, one 2nd place vote, two 4th place votes and one 5th place vote. Also a good cake. Like the above cake, it came down more to if the tasters liked a lighter cake or a more dense cake.
5. Rich White Cake adapted from a recipe in “Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book”
24 Points – Four 1st place votes and one 2nd place vote. This cake had a texture somewhat between the whipped egg white cakes and mkFradin’s cake. What really set it apart was its flavor. Not quite sure why it tasted better… the biggest difference is that this recipe uses ½ milk and ½ water for the liquid. It also has the most salt (1 tsp.) of any of the recipes.
As the person making the cakes, I liked the ease of the cakes that do not require whipping the egg whites. Less bowls to wash.
of the cakes were excellent. Fine crumb, moist and tender without rubberiness. My initial impression on tasting the cakes was that they were all surprisingly similar. With the addition of frosting and/or filling, I’m not sure one could easily tell them apart. I also prefer a touch of almond flavor in my cakes, but I feel that preference is quite subjective (in fact, my one taster hates the flavor of almonds).
There are two more recipes for white cake in my old Betty Crocker cookbook that I have yet to try out, but I’ve been threatened with dire consequences
if I make another cake for at least a month!
Rich White Cake Recipe:
250 g (2½ cups) sifted cake flour
(340 g) 1½ cups sugar
¾ tsp. salt
3½ tsp. baking powder
175 g (¾ cup) unsalted butter
130 g (½ cup, 4 fl. oz.) milk
115 g (½ cup, 4 fl. oz.) water
1½ tsp. vanilla
128 g (½ cup or 4 large) egg whites
Mix together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix in butter. Pour in water, milk and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg whites and beat for 2 minutes. Pour into two 8” round pans or one 9” square pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until done. ( If anyone is interested, I also have the amounts for two 9” rounds, but only the volume measurements.)