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This is a follow-up to my first question about this bundt cake recipe.

I baked that bundt cake again with some changes from a blog post that @Stephie's answer linked to. Specifically:

  • reduce 2.75 cups sugar to 1.5 cups
  • use 4 whole eggs instead of 3 whole and 3 yolks
  • use 1/3 cup cream instead of 3/4 cup

Revised bundt cake

The consistency and crumb are now excellent. It looks like a pound cake (see photo). But things are a little dry and no longer sweet enough so I'm looking for advice on next steps to head back towards the original while still making the dough work. It seems like the only way to increase sweetness is to add some sugar back. For dryness, would you

  • increase cream
  • increase yolks
  • decrease cooking time
  • other?
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My suggestion would be to just go with the sugar increase, it might be sufficient to increase moisture. You can combine it with less baking time, if you want to - try using a thermometer and bake to 94 C, maybe 96 if it gets out underbaked.

If it still feels dry, you should add fat, not water. Increase the butter, and maybe add one more yolk.

You can also use an artificial sweetener instead of sugar, but it will again increase your dryness problem. An interesting option would be to use another form of sugar - replace part of the original sugar with some molasses or a syrup (corn syrup, agave syrup, whatever you find). It will make a moister, heavier cake, but also change the flavor profile.

I must also say that people rarely find pound cake to not be moist enough. If you don't like it that way, you might be the kind of person who likes cakes extra moist, so it might be worth looking into cakes soaked in syrup after baking. You will find most recipes for that from Middle Eastern sources. If that's what you like, you might want to try syruping this one too, it will solve both your moisture and your sweetness problems.

  • Thanks, @rumtscho. I tried this edition on a few other people who all shared the same feedback re dryness without me prompting them. FWIW, it's not crumbly dry -- a cut piece doesn't fall apart -- but it's no longer nicely moist either. I agree with adding fat instead of water but I would have thought cream and yolks are both good forms of fat to use too? Or does the butter you suggest have a higher ratio of fat to water than those other two? – DaveBurns Apr 11 '16 at 18:48
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    Butter is 83% fat, 17% water. Cream is 30% fat, 60% water. Yolks are 25% fat, 55% water and contain emulsifiers, which give an overall silkier feel. – rumtscho Apr 11 '16 at 18:51
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    You could also add a bit of oil instead of some of the butter. Since oil is liquid at room temperature, it gives a greater perceived moisture than solid fats. – SourDoh Apr 12 '16 at 15:02
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Many cakes in bakeries are brushed or drizzled with simple syrup once they've cooled. This helps to add moisture to the cake, and the hygroscopic nature of the syrup also helps to prevent staling. It sounds like this would be the perfect solution for you as it would be adding both moisture and a bit more sugar, but without having an effect on the crumb.

For layer cakes, the syrup is often brushed on, but you might need a bit more so that it could soak further into a bundt cake. There are also bottles with "shower head" nozzles to evenly distribute syrup onto a cake.

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    You can also stab the cake with a skewer or similar, so that the syrup will soak in deeper and not just make the top soggy. – Joe Apr 12 '16 at 12:48

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