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36 votes

How can I make a last-minute birthday cake without using artificial flavor or color?

The options are very wide. You are not telling us what kind of cake you have in mind, so I'll be making a few assumptions here. But once you start thinking outside the box that equals "birthday cake" ...
  • 56.3k
25 votes

Hitting specific color of orange in a sponge cake

You cannot just use random ingredients and have the cake "become" their color. Even if you used 100% carrot, the color would change during baking. So you really have to use a colorant. The best way ...
  • 131k
24 votes
Accepted

Does it make sense for a cake icing recipe to call for vinegar but not baking soda?

It's fine as written. Combining vinegar with baking soda (or any acid with any base) is usually done in baking to produce gas, which can lighten the finished product. This is an icing, which is ...
  • 14.8k
24 votes

How can I move from subscription boxes to recipes successfully?

What you will find helpful is the concept of "mise en place" Mise en place (MEEZ ahn plahs) is a French term for having all your ingredients measured, cut, peeled, sliced, grated, etc. before you ...
  • 16.2k
23 votes

What can I do to fix/improve a dry cake?

No matter what kind of cake you've made, if it turns out too dry, you can moisten it with an appropriately flavored liqueur or syrup. Use a skewer to poke holes every inch and a half or so, then use a ...
  • 58.2k
22 votes

What is the physical effect of sifting dry ingredients for a cake?

Originally, before flour was as processed as it is now, sifting helped remove things like twigs and other contaminants. Sifting just helps remove clumped up dried ingredients (flour, powered sugar, ...
  • 20.2k
21 votes

Why did my rum cake turn black?

This is an interesting question. Personally I would throw it out, the discoloration and resulting taste are the result of a chemical reaction with the pan. The brownish discoloration is a sign that ...
  • 12.1k
19 votes
Accepted

What to do with a failed cake?

...mix into ice cream...dry in low oven or dehydrator and use as "breadcrumbs"...use as struesel topping on another cake....??
  • 68.7k
19 votes

Angel Food Cake: crushed pineapple instead of sugar?

Sugar is not used as a sweetener in cakes, it is a major component which creates the needed texture. As such, it is very difficult to impossible to replace. In angel food cake, you absolutely cannot ...
  • 131k
19 votes

What is the physical effect of sifting dry ingredients for a cake?

Besides the other answers that hold true for sifting individual ingredients, it will also help make the ingredients more evenly distributed if you sift them together. If I'm sifting, I'll typically ...
  • 76.7k
18 votes

Why did my rum cake turn black?

Aluminum cookware is "reactive", as opposed to "non-reactive" cookware like glass or stainless steel. When cooking acidic ingredients, a reaction occurs that can discolor food and sometimes leave a ...
  • 68.7k
18 votes

Does milk make cakes lighter or tougher?

Some people say that it gives a lighter texture, while others say it gives a more rubbery/tougher texture (due to more gluten being developed). I would challenge the notion that these two aspects ...
  • 31.8k
18 votes

Letting batter with baking soda wait before adding into the oven

I doubt the raw batter will survive 35-70 minutes out of the oven. Many times when I made homemade cake, things like forgetting to preheat the oven taking too long to scrape all the batter into the ...
18 votes
Accepted

Leaving cake's dry ingredients together for later quicker preparation?

There's no issue with doing this, as you are no doubt aware ready-made cake mixes are sold boxed in stores and they aren't much different than you describe. Boxed mixes will often have anti-caking ...
  • 71.8k
16 votes

How can I make a last-minute birthday cake without using artificial flavor or color?

Since it's last-minute, I'm guessing it'll be tough to work out natural colorings, so I'd avoid doing color-based decorations altogether. You can use chocolate chips or shavings, nuts, fruit (fresh ...
  • 57.8k
16 votes

Right way to make cake batter that asks for butter and oil

You probably won't like this answer, but: Do what your recipe tells you to do. There are various methods to combine a set of ingredients and each will lead to a slightly different outcome. Drier ...
  • 56.3k
16 votes

What makes cake a Sponge Cake? And what doesn't?

You are asking for a firm definition where none exists. Baking is not mathematics, and it does not have a heap of literature where everybody has formally agreed to use the same terminology. Thus ...
  • 131k
15 votes

Fudge as a cake layer?

Fudge icing is actually not made with fudge believe it or not, often it's a chocolate buttercream but there are other recipes. There are a few problems I can see with using traditional cooked fudge as ...
  • 71.8k
15 votes

Fully submerged water bath for stove top baking?

Unlikely. Without even getting into the mechanics of how it would work, simple physics dictates that you can't get the temperature of this "immersion oven" above 100 degrees Celsius. Most cakes and ...
  • 10.5k
14 votes

What to do with a failed cake?

In Denmark (and in other countries around the world), we have this wonderful thing called rum balls. It's basically old cake leftovers mixed with cocoa and, depending on the recipe, something sticky, ...
13 votes

How can I move from subscription boxes to recipes successfully?

Another thing that you'll have to do besides the mise en place aspect is actual food shopping. This might be the more difficult part, especially for baking, as you're going to run into strange ...
  • 76.7k
13 votes
Accepted

Letting batter with baking soda wait before adding into the oven

The last layer will likely be pretty flat, especially if you're using a recipe with whisked eggs for some structure. Any air bubbles and structure you whisk into the eggs will be gone by the time it's ...
  • 10.5k
13 votes

Cake flour weight

Who’s right? In a way, all of them are. The weight equivalent of volumetric measurements will depend on the packing, which in turn will depend on the baker. The probably lowest value you will get if ...
  • 56.3k
12 votes
Accepted

Chiffon cake constantly has an unfilled bottom

This will happen if you grease your cake pan or if the cake isn't allowed to fully cool before being removed from the pan. Another possible culprit is overbeating your egg whites. Egg foam cakes, ...
  • 47.3k
12 votes

What makes cake a Sponge Cake? And what doesn't?

As an English person who moved to the USA as an adult. I thought I might give my side of what I have seen here to explain the difference in wording. Firstly I would highly recommend reading the ...
  • 253
12 votes
Accepted

Why is gluten-free baking possible?

Then the explanation for the flour is that the water and flour interact to produce gluten that then gives the cake its structure. Your confusion is well-founded, because gluten is required to form ...
  • 510
11 votes
Accepted

Is it better to use soft or hard ladyfingers when making tiramisu?

I always use the hard ones and they contribute to a good end result. I guess with the soft ones it can end up soggy. The hard ones will absorb the liquids and will get a little softer, so the end ...
11 votes

What does this chart mean when it says "lbs per round" or "lbs per sqare/rectangle"?

It is a scalable recipe. First, you decide in which pan you want to bake the cake. You take your pan and measure it. Let's say you have a 9" round pan. You go into the column "lbs per round" and find ...
  • 131k
11 votes

How can I make a last-minute birthday cake without using artificial flavor or color?

What you are seeking are natural food dyes (or natural food colorings). These are commercially available and you may find them at a local health or natural foods store or even a quality grocers. ...
  • 3,739
11 votes
Accepted

Preparing as much as possible of a cake in advance

If you look at how boxed cake mixes do it, you'll get the right idea. They combine the dry ingredients and you have to add the wet ingredients. There are a couple of good reasons for this: spoilage (...
  • 40.4k

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