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So far I have tired four different carrot cakes recipes, everything ended up too oily (The oil drips from the cake when pressed). I was wondering and found all of these recipes calls for "whisking sugar with oil until the sugar dissolves" as the very first step. I am sure, I am missing some basics here, since I don't know what is the consistency needed.

Can anyone shed light on what happens when you whisk sugar with oil? Like creaming sugar and butter to incorporate air into the mixture. What is the concept behind it? How the consistency should look?

I am using 135g white caster sugar and 100ml sunflower oil, if this information is of any help.

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How much oil and sugar? Also, oil doesn't really "dissolve" sugar. The best you're going to get is an even-density sludge. –  Josh Caswell Dec 7 '12 at 20:57
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I would suggest that if your cake is too oily then you might need to add more flour. The absorptivity of flour can vary by brand and even batch within a brand, so it is often the case that the amount given in a recipe may be slightly off. In my experience, for example, American recipes always need more flour than stated to achieve suggested consistencies. –  ElendilTheTall Dec 7 '12 at 21:48
    
So are there eggs and liquid in the recipe? If so, I would beat the eggs, dissolve the sugar into the eggs, slowly incorporate the oil (as if making a salad dressing) and then add the liquid. Note:I'm adding this as comment since it doesn't really answer the question) –  Chris Dec 7 '12 at 22:05
    
are you trying to scale the recipe at all? sometimes recipes can't be a 1:1 scaling –  Brendan Dec 8 '12 at 0:17
    
@ElendilTheTall: American recipes usually specify the amount of flour by volume, which is usually the major problem: As you imply, measuring flour by volume is very inaccurate. –  ESultanik Jan 7 '13 at 13:31
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1 Answer 1

Oil doesn't really dissolve sugar. The main purpose for the mixing is that in many recipe techniques, especially the muffin method, sugar is treated as a wet ingredient. By premixing the wet ingredients, and premixing the dry ingredients, when the two are combined, you require much less additional mixing to get a homogeneous total batter.

Creaming sugar into butter or shortening helps leavening because the sharp edges of the sugar crystals cut air into the solid fat medium, essentially creating a foam. This then serves as seed air bubbles for the chemical leavening to expand. This effect cannot occur with liquid oils.

Many carrot cakes are pretty dense and oily, although I don't think they should drip when pressed. You might have something else going on in your recipes or technique.

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