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Wendy DeBord

Yellow and white cakes

236 posts in this topic

Ruth, I had a couple of cups of whites left over from making canneles, so I tried the white cake recipe tonight. I admit, I'm pretty impressed with it. I'll post some pictures soon, but here my initial observations.

1. The cake is very sweet. Not too sweet for my taste, though.

2. The cake baked out very flat. I baked it in a 10x14" pan, and it looks like a used magi-strips, though I didn't.

3. The cake is springy, and cuts cleanly, as you said it would.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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I had an order for 12 cupcakes, so I asked my assistant to make them for me at night. When I came in the next day the order had changed to 24, when I looked at the pan of cupcakes she made I saw she had made more than 12 so I figured she knew about the change in number, so I went about making the decorations to go on top. Later when I was ready to ice and decorate the I pulled the pan out and discovered there were only 20 cupcakes, so obviously she just baked off the batter she made and wasn't aware of the change. Anyhow I needed 4 cupcakes quick. I remembered the two recipes from Ruth, so I decided to make the yellow cake because it looked so quick. Within less than 10 minutes I had the cake mixed and the pan in the oven. I wasn't sure what they would look like, but figured I could camoflage any wierdness. The cakes came out great. Nice dome, soft and fluffy. I had to eat one to see how they tasted. Very good and buttery. Thanks for the recipes, I'll use them a lot.


check out my baking and pastry books at the Pastrymama1 shop on www.Half.ebay.com

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White Cake

6 oz unsalted butter

2.5 cups sugar (divided)

1.5 tsp salt

3 1/3 cups cake flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp cream of tartar

1.25 cups milk

3/4 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup egg whites (from 6-8 large eggs)

Cream the butter and 2 cups sugar with the salt.  Whisk flour, baking powder & cream of tartar together in a large bowl and add them to the butter mixture alternately with the milk and vanilla.  In separate bowl, beat egg whites until foamy, add remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.  Fold egg whites into cake batter until just blended.  Bake at 350* for 20-35 minutes, depending on the pan size and how full the pans are.

For reference, below are 3 pictures of the white cake I made using this recipe. I followed the recipe in all respects, except that I put the cream of tartar in the egg whites rather than with the flour. I just made it to test the recipe, so I didn't bother to frost the cake.

The batter just after folding in the whites.

gallery_23736_355_499.jpg

The cake -- remarkably flat.

gallery_23736_355_8445.jpg

The crumb --poor shot, not enough light.

gallery_23736_355_1059.jpg


Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Ruth, I had a couple of cups of whites left over from making canneles, so I tried the white cake recipe tonight.  I admit, I'm pretty impressed with it.  I'll post some pictures soon, but here my initial observations.

1. The cake is very sweet. Not too sweet for my taste, though.

2. The cake baked out very flat. I baked it in a 10x14" pan, and it looks like a used magi-strips, though I didn't.

3. The cake is springy, and cuts cleanly, as you said it would.

Hi Patrick,

Glad you had a chance to try it -- thanks for the report. I agree, it is a sweet cake. I tend to instinctually short-measure my sugar, so I probably use less than the recipe calls for. Tis definitely sweet, though. It is a good use of leftover whites. I've been chasing the perfect macaroon with my extra whites; so far, no glory there.

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Hmmm... I have always been a RLB fan, but I also have this recipe book so maybe I should have these two added on my "To Try" list..... thanks, Ruth!

Let me know what you think, Diva. Until I bought this book I was a complete devotee of RLB, to the exclusion of all others.

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The cakes came out great.  Nice dome, soft and fluffy.  I had to eat one to see how they tasted.  Very good and buttery.  Thanks for the recipes, I'll use them a lot.

That's great to here, Pastry Mama! Glad that it worked well for you!

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If you want to convert volume to weight measurements, how much does 1 cup of cake flour weigh in ounces?

scordelia, please post the James Beard buttermilk white cake recipe. I'd be very interested in trying it.

CaliPoutine, I used to have the same problem you do with buttermilk. But there's a couple of options you can try:

1. Freeze remaining buttermilk for use in future recipes like pancakes & waffles.

2. Use buttermilk powder in cake recipes. I find that using Saco Foods buttermilk powder produces a lighter textured cake than using liquid buttermilk(which produces a denser cake texture). I like this brand because it's made from true buttermilk cultures and it makes a moist cake. Plus, it's waaaaaaayyyy cheaper when buying it by the case directly from Saco Foods (you get 12- 16 ounce containers). The company told me that it lasts indefinitely, but must be refrigerated when the container is opened. http://www.sacofoods.com


Edited by Kris (log)

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If you want to convert volume to weight measurements, how much does 1 cup of cake flour weigh in ounces?

4.5


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Patrick, have you now tried white cakse from both the Whimsical Bakehouse and KA? If so, how did they compare?

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Patrick, have you now tried white cakse from both the Whimsical Bakehouse and KA?  If so, how did they compare?

I haven't made the King Arthur cake. But I don't have anything on the agenda for this evening, so I may try it tonight.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Patrick, have you now tried white cakse from both the Whimsical Bakehouse and KA?  If so, how did they compare?

Okay, I took the KA cake out of the oven about an hour ago. Initial impression is that I prefer the WB cake, though my daughter says that she likes the KA cake "the same" as the WB cake, and my wife says she actually likes the KA cake better. On the positive side, the KA cake is more leavened and fluffy, and the almond extract gives it a more complex flavor. On the negative side, the KA cake seems slightly drier and could be slightly sweeter in my opinion.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Wow! Thanks for the update. I am going to have to give these a try. I have already tried the WBH white cake and love it. The KA white cake has been on my "to try" list for since it's been posted here. Hmmmm, I am going to have to bake the two side by side to see which one I prefer.

Thanks for the feedback!!! :biggrin:

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I baked the KA white cake today. I tasted it while it was still cooling on the counter...it has a lighter, fluffier texture than my yellow cake. I suppose that's due to the use of cake flour vs. all purpose flour. It also has a nice white color and was moist.

Notes: I used King Arthur's brand of Guinevere cake flour and I weighed out out my ingredients on a digital kitchen scale. I mixed everything in a 6 qt. Professional kitchenAid mixer and baked them in 2" high, 8" circumference round layer cake pans for 32 minutes at 300 degrees. I bake all of my layer cakes at 300 so they'll rise more evenly and level without domed tops.

I also added crumbed Oreo cookies to one pan for the cookies N cream variation. That one tasted great too.

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Forgot to follow up on this...I tasted the KA cake when it was still warm out of the oven.

Once cooled/cold, the taste of the cake was excellent but I found the texture slightly powdery & dry. Not chalkdust dry, but drier than what I'm used to.

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Forgot to follow up on this...I tasted the KA cake when it was still warm out of the oven.

Once cooled/cold, the taste of the cake was excellent but I found the texture slightly powdery & dry.  Not chalkdust dry, but drier than what I'm used to.

The thread you posted this question into has a whole bunch of recipes and test results, have you read through it? Or were you looking for more, or different, information than is here? Just curious.


It's not the destination, but the journey!

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Wow, this thread goes way back, but I feel compelled to post to it. I'm only a novice cake baker, BUT one of the very best white cakes I've ever had is from the recipe for Lane Cake in the book "The Gift of Southern Cooking" by Scott Peacock and Edna Lewis.

Not sure I can post it without violating copyright, but it uses LOTS of butter (no oil) cake flour and 8 egg whites...

While I love the cake, I felt that in this recipe, it is merely a vehicle for the frosting, which is outrageously good.

It will be one of the last things I eat before I die. No kidding.


Born Free, Now Expensive

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^Ingredients can't be copyrighted, so those can be posted. Directions can be posted as long as they're in your own words.  :smile:

Ah, ok then.

Here they are:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

2 cups sugar

3 1/2 cups cake flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup milk

8 egg whites

cream butter & sugar till fluffy, sift together bkg pwdr and salt and flour, combine milk and vanilla, alternate ingreds while mixing, whip egg whites till peaks form, carefully blend into batter, bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes (in three 9 inch pans).

Voila!

Here is it in RecipeGullet


Edited by malarkey (log)

Born Free, Now Expensive

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^Thanks for your recipe, Malarkey!

I baked both the "Gift of Southern Cooking" cake Malarkey suggested, and the KA white cake just now. Before baking, I scaled the two recipes on paper to compare them, and they are not too different. The KA cake contains more fat and is more moist.

Here are the two cakes side-by-side. Malarkey's cake is on left, and the KA cake is on the right.

Right out of the oven, I liked Malarky's cake more. It was softer and more tender than the KA cake. However, after cooling for 10 minutes, the KA cake tasted better to me. It was definitely richer, and I really like the flavour of the almond extract. By this time, the "Gift of Southern Cooking" cake had dried out a bit, though I suspect it would be wonderful with a rich filling and frosting (like in a Lane cake recipe, as it is intended to be used.) The GoSC cake has a tighter crumb. (I took pictures of the interior of both cakes, but they aren't very clear b/c I can't figure out how to turn off the flash, so I decided not to post them.)

My brother and two of his friends were home, so I got them to taste the two cakes too. We all prefer the KA cake, but agree that both cakes are good.

whi.jpg

whcake.jpg

I've never made a white cake mix cake, but I've tasted them in grocery store cakes. To me, there's no comparison--the scratch cakes are a hundred times better.

ETA: I got a few more people to taste the cakes--my sister finds the GoSC too dry, and my mom thinks both cakes are a bit too sweet. One of my students prefers the GoSC cake because she likes the drier texture.


Edited by Ling (log)

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Soooooooooo to update what I've been baking........

First, I thought we had a best of yellow cake thread, but I can't locate it. Personally, I've been seeking the best yellow cake recipe to match or beat the crumb that a yellow cake mix produces. My ideal crumb description: moist, med. to fine crumb texture, light not heavy.

So far I've baked: (I had about 15 tasters, both male and female, professional chefs and not)

Sarahs Buttercake: this got good reviews from my tasters.......but it's dense as buttercakes are. Can't label this a yellow cake.

High ratio yellow cake recipe from P,A & D (by Glenn and Laura Rinsky): this cake was horrible. It has way too much leavening so the whole thing colapses on itself. Everyone hated this sample.

SueB yellow cake by CookieMonster: I loved how simple this mixing method is. It placed second by my tasters. Again, it's a butter cake in texture......can't be called a yellow cake.

Cake mix from Dawn: I thru this sample in to play with my tasters. Everyone loved it's texture but only two people liked it for it's taste. It came in second to last.

Cupcake Cafe Vanilla Cake, posted by Mean Chef: This was very light.......actually too light with not enough structure. It seemed over leavened as it colapses on itself. BUT.........it sort of had potential........need to rework it's leavening.

CI's Rich and Tender Yellow Layer Cake: This wasn't very good. It's not moist, lacks flavor and sticks in the pan.

Moist Yellow Cake, from Martha Stewarts website: It wasn't bad........it's similar to other cakes I label as butter cakes, but it's not a yellow cake. It bakes well in shallow amounts but with deeper batter in the pan it folds in upon itself like it's over leavened.

Soooooooomy results: still looking! Cupcake Cafes cake had the most posiblity as being a yellow cake texturally, but it needs to be worked on.

*edited to note that thanks to momlovestocook I've moved this post and others into this, the correct thread on white and yellow cakes.

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HI,

Here is a recipe I use for yellow cake if anyone wants to try. I wouldn't call it perfect, but it is pretty good. I have made half of the recipe before and the results were fine.

4 1/2 c. sifted cake flour

5 t. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened

3 c. sugar

6 large eggs at room temperature

1 1/2 c. milk

2 t. vanilla extract

Into a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter; add sugar gradually, beating, and beat the mixture until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Stir in the flour mixture and the milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with dry ingredients, add the vanilla, and beat the batter until it is smooth.

Divide the batter between 2 lightly greased and floured 8" x 1 1/2" round cake pans, smoothing the top and rap each pan on a hard surface twice to expel any air bubbles.

Bake the layers in the middle of a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-35 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the layers pull away slightly from the sides of the pans. Let the layers cool in the pans on a rack for 8 minutes, run a thin knife around the edge of each pan, and invert the layers onto the racks. Let the layers cool completely.

Jane

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what about RBL's yellow downey cake? i made it again last weekend and it was so moist and delicious with the perfect crumb, at least for me anyways. i've been doing alot of experimenting with my scratch cakes lately, i've been adding some veg. oil( in addition to all the butter it calls for) to my cakes to achieve a moist cake that will stay moist for several days at room temperture. :biggrin:

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Has anyone tried Shirley Corriher's yellow cake from Cookwise? It's one I've always wanted to try.


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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Thanks for posting your results, Wendy! I tried 4 different recipes lately and wasn't totally thrilled with any of them.

CI's yellow cake like you tried - I actually liked this one best, mine was moist and didn't stick at all although I found it a bit sweet. It has a higher ratio of sugar to flour than the others I tried.

Rlb's All-Occasion Downy Cake - my husband and I liked this second

Marcy Goldman's yellow cake

Flo Braker's yellow cake

We both found Marcy's and Flo's a bit dry and "dusty". It could be I over baked them slightly.

Funny thing is, I made a 3-layer cake with CI's, Flo's and RLB's and asked them to tell me which they liked best. All the layers got about the same amount of votes. Not much help! I did have someone comment they really didn't like Flo's and one person really liked RLB's as it was more like pound cake.

I have tried Sarah's recipe and it totally didn't turn out for me. It was heavy and greasy.

I'm going to try the Whimsical Bakehouse recipe next.

I'm also really tempted to try the doctored up cakemix one that is on here somewhere. I think I would feel embarrassed about buying a cakemix but I guess I can get over it.


Edited by CanadianBakin' (log)

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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I agree that the CI recipe is too sugary. It almost forms a sugar crust on top.

The doctored cake mix doesn't get rid of the artificial cake mix taste.

I tried all of RBL's cakes (the major ones) a long time ago against the recipe in The Bakers Dozen. I like all the recipes in the bakers dozen far more.

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