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Best Of: Butter Cake


Wendy DeBord
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And, I do love the idea of the topping you made for it. Do share your recipe. I'd love to try it! YUM! YUM! :wink:

I never use a recipe when I make crumble! Just some flour, approx. twice the amount of oatmeal, a scoop of sugar, and cut in maybe 1/4 cup of butter. Then I just mix in the fruit and sprinkle a generous layer over the cake.

My favourite is when I leave out the fruit, add chopped nuts and brown sugar and cinnamon though. :smile:

Edited by Ling (log)
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And, I do love the idea of the topping you made for it. Do share your recipe. I'd love to try it! YUM! YUM! :wink:

I never use a recipe when I make crumble! Just some flour, approx. twice the amount of oatmeal, a scoop of sugar, and cut in maybe 1/4 cup of butter. Then I just mix in the fruit and sprinkle a generous layer over the cake.

My favourite is when I leave out the fruit, add chopped nuts and brown sugar and cinnamon though. :smile:

Lorna, do you use fresh or dried fruit in your topping? and about how much in relaltion to the other ingredients? I've just got a job providing food for 75 at a mid-morning celebration and that sounds like it might be a nice option.

Edited by CanadianBakin' (log)

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

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And, I do love the idea of the topping you made for it. Do share your recipe. I'd love to try it! YUM! YUM! :wink:

I never use a recipe when I make crumble! Just some flour, approx. twice the amount of oatmeal, a scoop of sugar, and cut in maybe 1/4 cup of butter. Then I just mix in the fruit and sprinkle a generous layer over the cake.

My favourite is when I leave out the fruit, add chopped nuts and brown sugar and cinnamon though. :smile:

Lorna, do you use fresh or dried fruit in your topping? and about how much in relaltion to the other ingredients? I've just got a job providing food for 75 at a mid-morning celebration and that sounds like it might be a nice option.

Ling aka Lorna??!!

I want to know, too because I want to try my Ultimate Butter Cake Recipe with your delicious sounding topping!

So, I take it you fill the cake pans with batter and then sprinkle the topping evenly over it. And, then bake the cake layers for an extra 15 minutes as you wrote in post # 45 (the usual baking time is for 40 to 45 minutes -- see post #40) -- so, I'll bake the cake layers for a total of 55 to 60 minutes?!

How do you unmold the cake layers from the pan? -- the usual way or does the topping fall out all over the place if you invert the layers before you place them upright, again ???? So, do you cool the cake layers in their pans??? Let me know...

I am anxious to try your really great-sounding Ultimate Butter Cake Recipe innovation!

Edited by Sarah Phillips (log)

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

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On the spur of the moment today, I baked Sara's recipe. I first spooned the flour into a one cup measure, then put it on the scale to see what it weighed & it came to 4.5 oz. I decided to use 4 oz, (x 4), seeing as how that weight seemed to be the consensus.

When I took them out of the pan, one layer started to crumble, so I got to sample. The cake tastes great, much like shortbread, which I assume is because of the large amount of butter. I'm thinking maybe I should have used the one cup measurement, instead of weight. By the way, my KA is 260 Watt, but I still used the times posted for the more powerful one.

I'm going to use the one intact layer tomorrow....splitting & layering with whipped cream & fresh nectarines for a friend's birthday party. I'm sure it'll be a hit!

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And, I do love the idea of the topping you made for it. Do share your recipe. I'd love to try it! YUM! YUM! :wink:

I never use a recipe when I make crumble! Just some flour, approx. twice the amount of oatmeal, a scoop of sugar, and cut in maybe 1/4 cup of butter. Then I just mix in the fruit and sprinkle a generous layer over the cake.

My favourite is when I leave out the fruit, add chopped nuts and brown sugar and cinnamon though. :smile:

Lorna, do you use fresh or dried fruit in your topping? and about how much in relaltion to the other ingredients? I've just got a job providing food for 75 at a mid-morning celebration and that sounds like it might be a nice option.

Ling aka Lorna??!!

I want to know, too because I want to try my Ultimate Butter Cake Recipe with your delicious sounding topping!

So, I take it you fill the cake pans with batter and then sprinkle the topping evenly over it. And, then bake the cake layers for an extra 15 minutes as you wrote in post # 45 (the usual baking time is for 40 to 45 minutes -- see post #40) -- so, I'll bake the cake layers for a total of 55 to 60 minutes?!

How do you unmold the cake layers from the pan? -- the usual way or does the topping fall out all over the place if you invert the layers before you place them upright, again ???? So, do you cool the cake layers in their pans??? Let me know...

I am anxious to try your really great-sounding Ultimate Butter Cake Recipe innovation!

"Ling" is part of my Chinese name and my Egullet name...my name is Lorna. :smile:

CanadianBakin': I use fresh fruit. The quantity doesn't matter much...it's really how much fruit you prefer. I usually use a few small handfuls of blueberries (my preferred fruit crumble topping).

Sarah: For the first butter cake I made, I chopped up 5 apricots, but I felt that was a bit too much fruit so I only used 3 apricots for the second cake. It doesn't really matter though. I mix it in with a few handfuls of crumble topping (if I were to guess, I'd say 1/3 cup flour, 2/3 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar--white sugar also works or sometimes I use some of both, 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans and enough butter to make it clump together--maybe 5 tbsp? This is for one cake.)

I cool the cake in the pan, run a knife around the edge, and invert it. The crumble doesn't fall off the cake--the fruit has enough moisture to make it adhere very nicely to the cake. The crumble topping and the cake kind of become one in the oven. :wink:

Edited by Ling (log)
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On the spur of the moment today, I baked Sara's recipe.  I first spooned the flour into a one cup measure, then put it on the scale to see what it weighed & it came to 4.5 oz.  I decided to use 4 oz, (x 4), seeing as how that weight seemed to be the consensus.

When I took them out of the pan, one layer started to crumble, so I got to sample.  The cake tastes great, much like shortbread, which I assume is because of the large amount of butter.  I'm thinking maybe I should have used the one cup measurement, instead of  weight.  By the way, my KA is 260 Watt, but I still used the times posted for the more powerful one.

I'm going to use the one intact layer tomorrow....splitting & layering with whipped cream & fresh nectarines for a friend's birthday party.  I'm sure it'll be a hit!

Hi jayhay,

Now that I have a new digital scale, I reweighed my all-purpose flour, by fluffing it up in the cannister and spooning it into the dry measuring cup and levelling it to top. (A digital scale is more accurate than the first type of scale I weighed the flour with.) I have seen recipes using weights from 4 ounces to Rose Levy Beranbaum's in her book, The Cake Bible, where she uses 4.25 ounces and above.

I weighed the flour a couple of times and came up with weight measurements closer to what you had. In my recipe, I would use 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (spoon into measuring cup and level to top) = 4.41 ounces or 125 grams (125 grams = 4.4092452 ounces)

I am sorry for any inconvenience that I may have caused you! :wacko:

Also, do you want me to help trouble shoot what may have caused the one cake layer to crumble? Let me know....I don't mean to offend anyone when I give "what may have gone wrong" advice -- it's what I do.....If the second layer came out ok, it was not because of the difference in measuring the flour...... :biggrin:

Edited by Sarah Phillips (log)

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

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"Ling" is part of my Chinese name and my Egullet name...my name is Lorna.  :smile:

CanadianBakin': I use fresh fruit. The quantity doesn't matter much...it's really how much fruit you prefer. I usually use a few small handfuls of blueberries (my preferred fruit crumble topping).

Sarah: For the first butter cake I made, I chopped up 5 apricots, but I felt that was a bit too much fruit so I only used 3 apricots for the second cake. It doesn't really matter though. I mix it in with a few handfuls of crumble topping (if I were to guess, I'd say 1/3 cup flour, 2/3 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar--white sugar also works or sometimes I use some of both, 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans and enough butter to make it clump together--maybe 5 tbsp? This is for one cake.)

I cool the cake in the pan, run a knife around the edge, and invert it. The crumble doesn't fall off the cake--the fruit has enough moisture to make it adhere very nicely to the cake. The crumble topping and the cake kind of become one in the oven.  :wink:

Thanks! I'm going to try the cake with your topping -- for the oatmeal, I'll use quick-cooking oats (not instant), which are typically used in these types of applications...ok?!

I'll let you know how mine turns out! :cool:

Edited by Sarah Phillips (log)

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

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"Ling" is part of my Chinese name and my Egullet name...my name is Lorna.  :smile:

CanadianBakin': I use fresh fruit. The quantity doesn't matter much...it's really how much fruit you prefer. I usually use a few small handfuls of blueberries (my preferred fruit crumble topping).

Sarah: For the first butter cake I made, I chopped up 5 apricots, but I felt that was a bit too much fruit so I only used 3 apricots for the second cake. It doesn't really matter though. I mix it in with a few handfuls of crumble topping (if I were to guess, I'd say 1/3 cup flour, 2/3 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar--white sugar also works or sometimes I use some of both, 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans and enough butter to make it clump together--maybe 5 tbsp? This is for one cake.)

I cool the cake in the pan, run a knife around the edge, and invert it. The crumble doesn't fall off the cake--the fruit has enough moisture to make it adhere very nicely to the cake. The crumble topping and the cake kind of become one in the oven.  :wink:

Thanks! I'm going to try the cake with your topping -- for the oatmeal, I'll use quick-cooking oats (not instant), which are typically used in these types of applications...ok?!

I'll let you know how mine turns out! :cool:

Lorna,

WOWIE! :wub: HELP! I can't stop eating this cake.....

I made the Ultimate Butter Cake Recipe with your W*O*N*D*E*R*F*U*L topping recipe idea and WOW....it's so delicious....I can't stop eating it and my family is raving about it!

PhotoDraw90.jpg

The single 9-inch layer cake served on a platter.

PhotoDraw89.jpg

A delicious cake slice!

I mixed the dry ingredients of your recipe (1/3 cup flour, 2/3 cup quick-cooking oatmeal, 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon). I then "cut-in" 5 tablespoons of cold butter (Post #59), until the mixture resembled fine crumbs with pea-size pieces of butter remaining. (You don't want to leave large chunks of butter throughout). I then gingerly tossed the mixture with 2 heaping tablespoons of fresh blueberries. (Thanks CanadianBakin' for your fresh berry idea!)

I filled the baking pan with batter (I made 1/2 of the Ultimate Butter Cake Recipe or enough for 1, 9-inch pan, see Post #51) and then sprinkled to top with your recipe for the topping mixture and baked it in a 350 degree preheated oven!

PhotoDraw94.jpg

The cake layer sprinkled all over with the topping mixture, right before it gets baked! Do not delay....Get the cake right into a well-preheated oven to bake.

The recipe baked for 55 minutes or until lightly browned. I inserted a toothpick in the center of the cake and removed it, and it had a few moist crumbs attached, but not batter -- so, it was done. I cooled the cake in the pan for 15 minutes on a wire cake rack and then unmolded it onto the rack to cool completely. (Yes, the topping did not fall off!)

PhotoDraw92.jpg

Unmolded cake cooling on cooling rack.

<<NOTE: When making 1 layer, the mixing times are much shorter, so watch your butter/sugar mixture and final batter very carefully so you don't overmix them....The mixer mixes the ingredients in a short amount of time because you have less ingredients in the bowl! >>

The cake is simply, absolutely tender, moist and buttery and the topping lends a nice toasted oat-crunch with a ground cinnamon/fresh blueberry flavor! This cake will be delicious served with coffee or iced tea and I'm going to serve it as a luncheon dessert or a coffee cake and play around with the toppings! It simply smelled wonderful while it baked, too!

Simply brilliant Lorna! (Now only if I can only stop slicing off tiny pieces of this cake and eating it tonight, I'll be ok....good thing for pj's with elastic waists!) :rolleyes: YUMMY!

Edited by Sarah Phillips (log)

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

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I mixed the dry ingredients of your recipe (1/3 cup flour, 2/3 cup quick-cooking oatmeal, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar,  1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon) and then "cut-in" 5 tablespoons of cold butter to make a crumble topping (Post #59). I then mixed in 2 heaping tablespoons of fresh blueberries. I filled the baking pan with batter (I made 1/2 of the Ultimate Butter Cake Recipe or enough for 1, 9-inch pan, see Post #51) and then topped it with your recipe for the topping mixture and baked it in a 350 degree preheated oven! The recipe baked for 55 minutes or until lightly browned. I inserted a toothpick in the center of the cake and removed it, and it had a few moist crumbs attached, but not batter -- so, it was done. I cooled the cake in the pan for 15 minutes on a wire cake rack and then unmolded it onto the rack to cool completely. (Yes, the topping did not fall off!)

Hey, this is something I might actually be able to do in my miserable little oven!

And we're going to friends' house for dinner tomorrow; I said I'd bring dessert and I know they're quite fond of cherries. I was originally thinking pie, but we're helping a different friend move into her house tomorrow and the less hands-on work I need to do for the dessert, the better. I think I'll give a crumble variation a try instead, using some of the sour cherries (last of the season) we pitted and froze yesterday. I've generally had pretty good luck using the sour cherries I've frozen if I measure them while they're still solid, but let them thaw before use. Maybe I'll also try replacing the regular flour with almond flour, since I like how almond combines with cherry. I might also try replacing or omitting the cinnamon, since I don't want to overwhelm the fruit.

(Then again, maybe I'll start by making the piecrust dough, so in case the cake doesn't work or looks ugly I'll have a backup. The cake can bake while the dough chills, and I have plenty of cherries.)

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Lorna,

WOWIE!  :wub: HELP! I can't stop eating this cake.....

I made the Ultimate Butter Cake Recipe with your W*O*N*D*E*R*F*U*L topping recipe idea and WOW....it's so delicious....I can't stop eating it and my family is raving about it!

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! (And I'm so glad my estimates worked out--the topping on your cake looks just like mine, except for the choice of fruit.) :biggrin: Makes me smile that I could (in a way) repay you for your excellent butter cake recipe. :wub:

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Hey, this is something I might actually be able to do in my miserable little oven!

I think I'll give a crumble variation a try instead, using some of the sour cherries (last of the season) we pitted and froze yesterday. I've generally had pretty good luck using the sour cherries I've frozen if I measure them while they're still solid, but let them thaw before use. Maybe I'll also try replacing the regular flour with almond flour, since I like how almond combines with cherry. I might also try replacing or omitting the cinnamon, since I don't want to overwhelm the fruit.

MelissaH

YUMMY! Let us know how it turns out! Just a suggestion -- (For one cake layer...) I would keep in the 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, and then blend in 1/3 cup almond flour. Mix it in with 1/2 cup white sugar instead of dark brown. And, add in 1/3 cup quick-cooking oatmeal. And, don't forget to cut in the 5 TBSPS butter! Chop the cherries into smaller pieces....Add in no more than 2 to 3 tablespoons of chopped cherries because they are baking on top of the cake and will have a tendency to burn. Toss the cherry bits in a little vegetable oil so they won't (make sure they aren't dripping in oil-- just a very very light coating).....Maybe toss in 1/4 cup almond slices, too. Add almond and vanilla extract to the cake (it's in the recipe)..... Just a thought :wacko:

Edited by Sarah Phillips (log)

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

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Lorna,

WOWIE!  :wub: HELP! I can't stop eating this cake.....

I made the Ultimate Butter Cake Recipe with your W*O*N*D*E*R*F*U*L topping recipe idea and WOW....it's so delicious....I can't stop eating it and my family is raving about it!

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! (And I'm so glad my estimates worked out--the topping on your cake looks just like mine, except for the choice of fruit.) :biggrin: Makes me smile that I could (in a way) repay you for your excellent butter cake recipe. :wub:

AAWWWW! :wub::wub::wub::wub::wub::wub::wub:

My teens got into the cake last night and it is almost gone, except for a small piece which I had for breakfast with a cup of cafe latte. (I feel like a blimp, but a happy blimp!) The cake is almost better the second day -- nice and moist and buttery...The cinnamon-oat topping tasted delish!....Thanks goodness it's summer so I can wear my "tent" dress today.........I can enjoy my day feeling like a beached whale, filled with the most wonderful homemade cake....And, thanks again! :wub:

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

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YUMMY! Let us know how it turns out! Just a suggestion -- perhaps you may want to keep in the flour and increase the amount to 1/2 cup and add in 1/4 cup almond flour and white sugar instead of brown. And, don't forget the butter ! Chop the cherries into smaller pieces....Add in no more than 3 tablespoons of chopped cherries because they are baking on top of the cake and will have a tendency to burn. Toss the cherry bits in a little vegetable oil so they won't (make sure they aren't dripping in oil-- just a very very light coating).....Maybe add in 1/4 cup almond slices, too.  Add almond and vanilla extract to the cake (it's in the recipe)..... Just a thought  :wacko:

Too late; the cake's been in the oven for about 50 minutes already, and should be ready to come out before too much longer. I used all almond flour, and whole cherries, and BUTTER. I would have used flour and almond pieces if I'd had any almonds in the house that aren't in flour form. Brown sugar and no cinnamon; vanilla and almond extracts in the batter.

And because the only milk I had in the house was skim and the recipe specifies something other than that, I killed two birds with one stone by whisking the dregs of a container of sour cream into enough skim milk to reach the appropriate volume, and also by emptying the sour cream container so my husband could take it to the dump in this morning's trip (we can't recycle #5 plastics here). Next time if I had to do this last kludge, I'd probably try to measure the sour cream and replace a little of the baking powder with baking soda, to neutralize the extra acidity.

In my oven, you don't usually need to worry about things burning on top, because it can be hard to get things to brown properly. I know the element on top gets hot enough to burn an errant potholder when the oven's on, but I don't think it actually generates heat itself on the "bake" setting. (It definitely turns on when the oven's set to "broil" so I know it's not broken.)

Might have to try this one sooner rather than later. And if it's not good enough to share with company, we're in luck because we've postponed that get-together until tomorrow evening so I have time to try again...and between now and then I can get some milk with fat in it already, and maybe some almonds too. Hey, I already have half an egg waiting in the fridge! :cool:

MelissaH

Edited to add:

The cake just came out of the oven. It smells divine, and is now on the cooling rack for its pre-turnout rest. The edge of the cake is maybe a touch darker than I would have liked, probably because I wasn't as diligent as I could have been about getting the crumble topping out there. The crumble and fruit both look nicely embedded in the cake, although I think chopping the fruit would probably be a good idea next time to cover more surface with the same amount of fruit. The cherries definitely didn't burn, either because my oven doesn't generate heat from above or because the cherries themselves were still pretty cold when they went in (although they were completely thawed, not hard and crunchy). In about fifteen minutes, we'll see if it comes out of the pan.

Edited by MelissaH (log)

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Too late; the cake's been in the oven for about 50 minutes already, and should be ready to come out before too much longer. I used all almond flour, and whole cherries, and BUTTER. I would have used flour and almond pieces if I'd had any almonds in the house that aren't in flour form. Brown sugar and no cinnamon; vanilla and almond extracts in the batter.

And because the only milk I had in the house was skim and the recipe specifies something other than that, I killed two birds with one stone by whisking the dregs of a container of sour cream into enough skim milk to reach the appropriate volume. Next time if I had to do this last kludge, I'd probably try to measure the sour cream and replace a little of the baking powder with baking soda, to neutralize the extra acidity.

In my oven, you don't usually need to worry about things burning on top, because it can be hard to get things to brown properly. I know the element on top gets hot enough to burn an errant potholder when the oven's on, but I don't think it actually generates heat itself on the "bake" setting. (It definitely turns on when the oven's set to "broil".)

Might have to try this one sooner rather than later. And if it's not good enough to share with company, we're in luck because we've postponed that get-together until tomorrow evening so I have time to try again...and between now and then I can get some milk with fat in it already, and maybe some almonds too. Hey, I already have half an egg waiting in the fridge! :cool:

MelissaH

Well, there's a million ways to do things...I am anxious to hear how the cake turns out and how it tastes! Do let all of us know!

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

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Well, there's a million ways to do things...I am anxious to hear how the cake turns out and how it tastes! Do let all of us know!

Well...the cake didn't come out of the pan nicely. Around the edges, the batter started to come slightly over the top like a muffin top, where the rolled edge of the pan supported it. And the muffin top of the cake was no longer protected by the pan, and got much darker and crunchier than the rest of the cake top. (My cake pan is one of these Chicago Metallic commercial pans.) I ran a knife around the inside of the pan, but due to the muffin top effect, I goofed and didn't stay as tight around the inside of the pan rim as I should have. End result: at that spot, the cake tore free as it came plopping out of the pan onto the cooling rack surface, and it cracked across a chord of the circumference, right at that spot.

My cake also took close to 65 minutes. I attribute my longer baking time to the fact that I had to open the oven to rotate the cake so it cooked evenly.

The scraps taste good, even though it's not a beautiful cake to behold.

And I have another day to try again. I think next time I'm going to use a Magicake strip on the pan, to try and keep the edges from cooking as quickly. Or maybe if I'm just more diligent about sprinkling the crumble topping out at the edges, they might help weight them down and avoid the dread muffin top effect.

Any other suggestions, besides getting a new oven?

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Any other suggestions, besides getting a new oven?

MelissaH

Hi, Melissa...

Well, that would be my main and biggest suggestion....

And, second, when you substituted part of the milk with sour cream, an acidic ingredient, you started to throw off the balance of the cake, even as you even suggested....Bake-from-scratch cake recipes are the hardest to bake (that's why foolproof cake mixes are so popular)...Substitutions, mismeasuring, oven tempratures being off, mixing methods not being followed properly will throw off a cake recipe......So, when you play recipe "chemist" and try new things, which is lots of fun to do, expect mishaps and cake mistakes!

I still think you need some all-purpose flour mixed in with the almond flour in the topping. It's because ap flour has gluten-forming proteins while almond flour does not.

The cake does not need magic cake strips...It bakes up flat....Muffin tops or peaked, cracked cake tops come from oven temperatures that are too hot among other things. (P.S. I use the same pans you do, too!)

But, the biggest problem is that your oven is broken...Other pastries may bake fine in in, but cakes rely upon consistent hot air so they can rise against gravity and set properly! Think of fluid cake batter as filled with tiny hot air balloons that need to be fueled with a heat source so they can rise and expand....if the heat source is too hot or inconsistent, the tiny "air balloons" will fall all over the place, be misshapen, rise sideways, rise too fast in groups, burst, deflate, and when the cake sets, freezing them in their place as they are, the cake's shape will be misshapen, too! :smile:

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

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Any other suggestions, besides getting a new oven?

MelissaH

Hi, Melissa...

Well, that would be my main and biggest suggestion....

And, second, when you substituted part of the milk with sour cream, an acidic ingredient, you started to throw off the balance of the cake, even as you even suggested....Bake-from-scratch cake recipes are the hardest to bake (that's why foolproof cake mixes are so popular)...Substitutions, mismeasuring, oven tempratures being off, mixing methods not being followed properly will throw off a cake recipe......So, when you play recipe "chemist" and try new things, which is lots of fun to do, expect mishaps and cake mistakes!

Actually, I am a chemist. :smile: It's way more fun to experiment with things you can eat, though!

I still think you need some all-purpose flour mixed in with the almond flour in the topping. It's because ap flour has gluten-forming proteins while almond flour does not.

My topping baked up crunchy and delicious, if very flat and sweet. My MIL's apple crisp topping recipe ingredients are very similar to Lorna's: a cup of flour, a cup of oatmeal, a cup of brown sugar, and a stick of butter (melted), all mixed together. On top of apples, it just kind of oozes into the nooks and crannies, but the liquid from the apples keeps it from hardening too much. On my cake, it flattened out and sank into the batter, although I suspect the sinking is more due to my oven than due to my flour swap. I like the almost candylike coating I got on top, in contrast to the softness of the cake. With AP flour, a little gluten structure might have kept the topping together in crunchy chunks a little more, rather than having it spread out and sink down into the cake. Then again, smaller cherry pieces might have also helped keep the topping on top...as would an oven that bakes properly.

The cake does not need magic cake strips...It bakes up flat....Muffin tops or peaked, cracked cake tops come from oven temperatures that are too hot among other things. (P.S. I use the same pans you do, too!)

In this oven, I tend to use Magicake strips even on cake mix cakes. They work about half the time.

But, the biggest problem is that your oven is broken...Other pastries may bake fine in in, but cakes rely upon consistent hot air so they can rise against gravity and set properly! Think of fluid cake batter as filled with tiny hot air balloons that need to be fueled with a heat source so they can rise and expand....if the heat source is too hot or inconsistent, the tiny "air balloons" will fall all over the place, be misshapen, rise sideways, rise too fast in groups, burst, deflate, and when the cake sets, freezing them in their place as they are, the cake's shape will be misshapen, too!  :smile:

That's why we're in the process of planning a kitchen renovation. I haven't baked many cakes since moving here two years ago. I've even had issues here with cake mixes not working, and I know those have been extensively tested to be idiot-proof, even for idiots like me. I just don't know what to do with this oven, because even though thermometers tell me that it's calibrated properly, things don't bake right. There's the unevenness issue which necessitates rotating everything, which means the door gets opened, and I know this oven's not great about coming back up to temperature quickly. I baked this cake in the coolest part of my oven, the front right corner. Of course, since it was in the front, it was affected more by my need to open the door. But other than the muffin top, the cake was amazingly even. I've baked slanted cakes in this oven, because the racks sag in the middle, after 40 years.

Fun aside, I think I may continue to experiment further with acidic dairy products, and accompanying adjustments in leavening, in your cake recipe (unless you've done that already?). The texture of the scraps I've eaten isn't too far from what I'd expect, once you get away from the muffin top and into the body of the cake. And especially with a very sweet topping like the crumble, or I suppose most frostings out there, I like to taste a little tang. However, given the oven issues, I'm thinking I will just go out to get some milk with fat, bake another single cake (but without the topping so I know more about what's going on with the recipe), and then say uncle until next year after the new kitchen (whatever it is) arrives. :sad:

Unless any of you want to send me your oven? :biggrin:

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Unless any of you want to send me your oven? :biggrin:

MelissaH

Do you accept C.O.D.???

Anyway, I forgot to tell you...I love your "blog"...my teenaged kids had to explain what it was.....(I'm a little behind the times or perhaps all of the flour in the air from my recipe inventions have done something to my brain cells....Or, when you are really a "housewife in the suburbs", as I am, it takes awhile to get up to speed on this modern lingo"-stuff....teenagers are great for translating things like "lol" and what other web lingo-abbreviations mean, as well......)

I love to read about your experiments...and I know you are a chemist from your signature! I think it's great that you are experimenting...that's how some of the greatest, classic American recipe inventionshave been created.....where would we be without chocolate chip cookies, for example...just think!

Anyway, let me know how things progress! It's fun to read about "your adventures in the kitchen with the ultimate butter cake recipe!" or "Adventures in the Kitchen with Melissa" (It could be a Food TV show...just imagine....it would be hilarious....I don't dare ask you what the "hired gun" thing in your signature means.....Perhaps, hat could be a whole other show....)! :wub:

Edited by Sarah Phillips (log)

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

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I tried again, with another single layer of butter cake this morning, in part to use up the half-egg from yesterday and also to come up with something presentable to bring for dessert tonight. This time I decided to leave off the crumble topping, to see if that made any difference.

My result: somewhat better. This time I had 2% milk in the house, so I didn't need to do any monkeying. (I know, a great scientific experiment with multiple variables.) :wink: The edges are still somewhat muffin-top-ish, but this time the cake came out of the pan without protesting or ripping. The top is barely golden, except for right at the one edge that was pointed at the hot spot because I didn't open the oven midway through to turn the pan, and the sides and bottom are about the color I'd expect. The bottom also feels a little coarse, sort of like a slice of bread that's been slightly toasted. It slants, but I knew that was going to happen. Definitely presentable. :smile:

Because I promised cherries, I'm going to thaw some of my frozen stash of sour cherries, maybe cut them a little smaller, toss them with sugar and thickener like I would for inside a pie, and cook them on the stovetop to make a sauce to spoon over. And on the way to our friends' house we'll pick up some ice cream, maybe some slivered almonds too. Yum!

HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY HOW MUCH I HATE MY OVEN?

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Melissa, there is something you can do with your stove to prevent the slanting. Most stoves have self-leveling devices on the bottom. If yours is too old for that, you can use thin strips of wood--or cardboard or whatever--under the front or back and use a level to tell when the oven shelf is even. Set the level right on the cool oven shelf itself to be sure.

As a temporary means, I bought a 30-inch, 4 burner stove for under $200 because it was a floor model and dented. Surely it's worth the cost of a cheap stove to spare you grief and cost of ruined ingredients until your kitchen is remodeled. You can probably sell it used for about the same as you pay, if you buy it right.

Or do you need more material for your book? :smile:

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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Melissa, there is something you can do with your stove to prevent the slanting.  Most stoves have self-leveling devices on the bottom.  If yours is too old for that, you can use thin strips of wood--or cardboard or whatever--under the front or back and use a level to tell when the oven shelf is even.  Set the level right on the cool oven shelf itself to be sure.

Wish I could, but it's a wall oven, and not a normal-sized one at that and definitely not the same size I'd want to replace it with, ever! It's at the far end of this picture on the right side, visible in this pic behind the fridge.

gallery_23869_1329_13304.jpg

The top oven's the one that gets used for most normal baking tasks. The bottom one's a killer broiler that gets very very hot, much hotter than any other broiler I've ever had at my disposal, but not really useful for anything other than broiling. Its days are numbered, but I don't have an exact number to start counting down yet.

If the cooktop starts to go fritzy between now and then, we'll probably either look into getting the stove for the new kitchen sooner rather than later, or we'll look for an interim model cheap. Last time we had to open the thing up to clean it out after inadvertently putting too much water in the "pasta pot" and having it splooge out when we added the potatoes, my husband got a bit of an electrical poke. It seems to do fine if you don't mess with the burners if you have any water in the area, fortunately (or unfortunately?).

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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I tried again, with another single layer of butter cake this morning, in part to use up the half-egg from yesterday and also to come up with something presentable to bring for dessert tonight. This time I decided to leave off the crumble topping, to see if that made any difference.

My result: somewhat better. This time I had 2% milk in the house, so I didn't need to do any monkeying. (I know, a great scientific experiment with multiple variables.) :wink: The edges are still somewhat muffin-top-ish, but this time the cake came out of the pan without protesting or ripping. The top is barely golden, except for right at the one edge that was pointed at the hot spot because I didn't open the oven midway through to turn the pan, and the sides and bottom are about the color I'd expect. The bottom also feels a little coarse, sort of like a slice of bread that's been slightly toasted. It slants, but I knew that was going to happen. Definitely presentable. :smile:

Because I promised cherries, I'm going to thaw some of my frozen stash of sour cherries, maybe cut them a little smaller, toss them with sugar and thickener like I would for inside a pie, and cook them on the stovetop to make a sauce to spoon over. And on the way to our friends' house we'll pick up some ice cream, maybe some slivered almonds too. Yum!

HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY HOW MUCH I HATE MY OVEN?

MelissaH

MelissaH,

Getting back to cake business, how did your luscious-sounding cake-dessert turn out? I'm very curious! :raz:

Happy Baking! Sarah Phillips, President and Founder, http://www.baking911.com

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Getting back to cake business, how did your luscious-sounding cake-dessert turn out? I'm very curious!  :raz:

Nobody complained. :laugh:

The cake's texture inside was quite acceptable. Nobody said anything about the muffin-top texture of the top edge. The flavor went nicely with either the vanilla or the butter pecan ice cream (hey, I had to: Breyer's was BOGO at the supermarket we stopped at on the way over!). The cherries tasted good: I took a couple of cups of sour cherries from the freezer, let them thaw in a saucepan, added a glug of kirsch, about 1/3 cup of sugar, and a tablespoon and a half of instant tapioca whirled in a spice grinder to them, let it sit for about 15 minutes, and then brought it up to a boil. That got them thicker than I'd intended so they were more "goop" than "sauce." My next thought was to split the cake layer in half and pile the cherries between, since (duh! like any good pie filling would!) they would have held up nicely in the slicing process. But I didn't because I wasn't sure how the layered result would have traveled the five miles there. So instead I put the cake on a foil-covered piece of cardboard and wrapped the whole shebang with plastic wrap for transport, and transferred the cherry goop into a Gladware container. Then when it was time for dessert, we each got a slice of cake and a scoop of whichever ice cream, and we did the cherry goop on top by courteous self-service. We have tons of ice cream in our freezer now, but we left the cake behind. (Too bad: the leftovers would have smashed into nice crumbs to absorb fruit juices in a galette, especially after a couple of days!) There were no cherries left over to worry about. :smile:

I'd do it again that way, with maybe a little less thickener in the cherries to get sauce rather than goop. If we were serving at my house, I'd definitely try stuffing the cake with the cherry goop, and maybe really going over the top with a dark chocolate glaze?

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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