"Hey, I can do that!"

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Scratch It: All-Occasion Downy Yellow Cake

"All-Occasion Downy Yellow Cake"
from Cake Bible

My first attempt at scratch baking is the Cake Bible's All-Occasion Downy Yellow Cake.  I'm pretty convinced I screwed this one up.  The recipe called for baking powder, but I accidentally started off with baking soda.  I managed to recover a lot of the soda off of my dry ingredients, but still ... that was definitely not going to help.  Also, I'm not quite sure how old my baking powder was.  It hadn't expired, but I think it was approaching a year old. 

Besides the baking powder incident, the batter seemed very thick to me.  The recipe warned about over-mixing, and I could swear I didn't.  I tried to follow directions, but it's not like I had a stop watch on me to make sure I was mixing for exactly 20 seconds after step X, Y, and Z.

The cakes seemed to bake up nicely and on time.  I cut off the top to see what was under the hood and was not very pleased.  I was hoping for a tight, delicate crumb ... but I got something bordering on dense and with some big holes.

Waste not, want not.  I used the left-over egg whites from the recipe to make coffee-flavored Swiss Meringue Buttercream for the filling and icing. 

This is what I call the poor man's petal effect.  Instead of using a spatula to smear each icing blog, I just dragged my tip down into it and stroked the icing away.

Things I like about the petal effect technique are:
  1. It requires about the same amount of icing that you would normally use as a crumb + finish coat for a cake.
  2. It is fast to do, especially if you do it my lazy way.
  3. It looks a heck of a lot better than me trying to get perfectly smooth sides, corners, and top.

This is definitely going to be my go-to, no-stress cake finishing technique.

The taste was fine, but like I said earlier, the texture was not ideal.  If someone could show me a picture of how it is supposed to look, I could be more sure.  I'll give this cake another try later.

My co-workers didn't seem to mind eating it all up!


  1. Wow......... I have found one of delicious cake information from this source. As the source discloses the great way of tutorial to make this yellow cake. I am truly surprised to see this one. It's truly one of the extreme information to make the same designed and tasted cake. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I love the petal techinique for covering the cake. It is so effective. I haven't made one of these before, so I'm not sure what the ideal texture should be but I'm glad to hear that it tasted good!

  3. Hello! I use your cakulator all the time and just popped onto your blog and saw this... I'm a scratch baker... By looking at your photos I can tell that yes, the baking soda caused the worm holes and your cake looks very over baked. I encourage you to try it again, I also have a great recipe posted on my blog that I adapted and simplified. Give it a try!


    Thank you again for your cakulator! It's the BEST. EVER.

  4. the petal effect is very nice! I did not think of that before. But I'm sure it was tedious to do the whole cake!


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