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I followed a new recipe for a sponge cake (Sour Cream Sponge Cake) by James Peterson.

The only tweak I made was to include some lemon zest in with the sour cream. When I combined the yolk mixture with the whites, I attempted to pipe the batter into ring as he suggested. However, the batter was too runny and I ended up baking it in a pie round, and the rise wasn't what I had hoped for (assuming because the batter was runny).

Has anyone made this type of cake which was runny, and found a solution? Would the minimal moisture from the zest make the cake runny?

  • Does the method call for piping the mixture, or does the recipe state it should be pipeable? – GdD Aug 4 '16 at 11:37
  • For making the cake, it says that the mixture can be piped into rings on a sheet pan, instead of baked in a cake tin. When I tried to pipe, it was too runny to be manageable in the piping bag, and what little I got onto the sheet pan did not maintain its shape. – Jeff M Aug 4 '16 at 12:33
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    You need to post the recipe and method. Your link goes to the book's ebook sales page, and I don't think anyone is going to spend money to be able to answer your question. – GdD Aug 4 '16 at 14:00
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    @JeffM : that was just a possible problem, from looking at the pictures. (the recipe's actually on page 18, which I can't see, so was looking at the step-by-step pictures.) It's possible something else went wrong ... a bad measurement is another common problem when baking. (I assume it used volumetric rather than mass/weight for the flour, as they do in the other recipes that I can see ... which can lead to significant variation depending on how you measure it.) – Joe Aug 4 '16 at 15:16
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    I googled the author and recipe name directly and was able to view the recipe. The measurements are volumetric and egg size is not specified either. I can see a few potential areas for problems - eggs were not stiff enough, eggs were "folded" too aggressively, variance in amount of egg (large vs medium etc), variance in flour used - this could either be the amount or the type. – djmadscribbler Aug 4 '16 at 17:10
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Making stiff not dry egg whites is very important in any chiffon/angel food cake that is counting on the expanding hot air to give lift to the cake. I worked as a professional baker for 18 years. When making egg whites for chiffon and other such cakes we used a combination of salt sugar and cream of tarter using a planetary mixer. At home now I use 1/8 tsp cream of tarter 2tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp salt per two egg whites but do not exceed 1tsp salt at any time unless you cut back in the batter so as not have a too salty cake. Be very careful that the bowl is perfectly clean. Any type of oils will prevent your egg whites from whipping satisfactory Using a cold bowl and allowing your egg whites to be very cold also helps as the natural friction will break them down (like whipped cream). Also be careful with how aggressive you are with the folding. If you knock it down to much it will not come back. Hope this was of some help.

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