Common Causes of Failure in Layer Cakes

There are several things that may cause a layer cake to not be all that it should be. Some of the more common ones are:

  • Hard crust- temperature was too high
  • Sticky top crust- too much sugar, too short a baking time
  • Cracked top – too much flour, over-mixing
  • One side higher- oven heats unevenly, batter was put in pan unevenly and not smoothed out.
  • Soggy on the bottom- too much liquid, under-beaten eggs, under-mixing, too short of a baking time
  • Fallen-too much sugar, to little flour, too short of a baking time, cake was jarred during baking
  • Coarse- insufficient creaming of butter and sugar, all purpose flour was used rather than cake flour
  • Tough- too much flour, over-mixing, too many eggs
  • Heavy texture- too many eggs, over-mixing, too little leavening
  • Crumbly- under-mixing, too much flour, too much sugar, not enough butter, pan was not greased properly

Like anything else, making a good cake consistantly takes time and practice. Be patient, keep trying, and before long you will be turning out better than bakery quality cakes that you will be proud to serve.

Once you have the basic method down try other, more complex recipes to keep challenging yourself and to hone your skills.

Amount Of Water In Various Bakeshop Ingredients!

Strawberries 92%
Lemon juice 91%
Orange juice 88%
Milk, whole 88%
Eggs, whole 75%
Banana 74%
Sour cream 71%
Cream cheese 54%
Jellies and jams 30%
Butter 18%
Honey 17%
Raisins 15%

Cake Filling Ideas!

Remember to make the flavors stronger and bolder than you think.  A bright flavor will make the cake stand out and be memorable.

Buttercream – Mocha, Orange, Lemon. Raspberry, extra Almond extract, Chocolate.

Jam of just about any variety.

Mocha buttercream with a sprinkling of finely chopped up Heath Bars  Buttercream with caramel ice cream sauce dribbled over it and sprinkled with finely chopped peanuts.

Chocolate Mousse, Vanilla Custard, Whipped cream.

A liqueur can be brushed on the cake for the added flavor boost.  Try Almond, Coffee, Lemon Juice, Hazelnut, Orange, or Raspberry.

Test your eggs freshness!!

To test the freshness of an egg without breaking it, place it in enough water to cover it well. If it sinks and lies on its side, it is fresh. If it sinks but stands on end, it is not very fresh. If it floats, don’t use it.

Chocolate tips!

How to Melt Chocolate.
Tips for successful melting: follow directions carefully. Do not overheat; these products scorch easily. Microwave directions have been tested with microwave ovens ranging from 500 to 700 watts (output). Times given are to be considered guidelines; microwave ovens differ in timing and heating patterns. Stirring frequently is important whether using rangetop directions or microwave directions. In the microwave oven, chocolate and other chips will keep their shape and may not appear melted after heating, but will become fluid after stirring. Handle glass microwave dishes with a hot pad after melting; the container may be hotter than the contents. Wash and dry the melting utensil thoroughly after each use. Any residue will affect the taste of the chocolate. Do not allow chocolate to come in contact with moisture during melting since this can cause lumping, tightening or “seizing.” if this occurs, add one or two tablespoons shortening, such as crisco, for every six ounces chocolate; stir until fluid. Do not use butter or margarine since these may contain water. Do not use oil since this may prevent the mixture from setting up which is especially important if it is being used for a glaze. Break baking chocolate or candy bars into pieces to speed the melting process.

Cheesecake tip!

About Cheesecakes.
When using a cookie crust recipe in the springform pan, bake the bottom crust first, then add the side crust and filling and bake the whole cake. An easy way to pat the dough up the sides of the pan is to remove the bottom of the pan. After removing a cheesecake from the oven, keep it away from drafts and cold places while it cools. Too sudden a temperature change can cause the top of the cheesecake to crack.

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