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Need advice on Cake Bible cakes.

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I have just started baking my own cakes and for my little girl's birthday I tried the downy yellow butter cake and the buttercream icing. The cake was very dense, so I 'm not sure if I did something wrong or that was how it was supposed to be. Also the icing tasted great and had a very silky texture, but at last minute I decided not to use it- I was worried it would not stay on the cake when I started decorating with different colors. Did I do something wrong or do you think I'm on the right track? Any advice from more experienced baker would be much appreciated.

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  1. I have not used any recipes out of the Cake Bible but I have used several recipes out of the Bread Bible (same author). Beranbaum's recipes can be very intimidating to start off but once you work through a couple of them you will understand the techniques and processes she uses.

    I guess I can't comment specifically on your cake but I do encourage you to continue using her recipes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jpc8015

      Oh I definitely won't give up, I love her cookbook and really want to learn to bake good cakes. I just don't have anyone in my group of friends and family who bake much beyond the basic box cakes. I will definitely keep plugging away at it though.

    2. It might be heat in the oven. You might check yours with a thermometer. Ovens vary a lot and it doesn't matter for most things but for baking (esp cakes) cooking at too low a heat can be deadly. My oven runs cool so I nudge up the dial to get the right temp.

      1. I've made her Downy Yellow Butter Cake a couple of times, most recently as cupcakes. I certainly wouldn't have described the texture as "dense." In fact, I find it quite wonderfully light and soft, as she says it should be. Assuming you followed the directions as written, the only thing I can think of is that perhaps your baking powder was too old.

        And it sounds to me as though your buttercream was spot on. Not sure I understand why you thought it wouldn't "stay on." It doesn't sound to me as though you would have had a problem with it.

        1. I wouldn't describe any of the cakes I've made from The Cake Bible as "very dense"--even the pound cake. Did you use cake flour? I would try again, measuring carefully and checking the oven temperature. I find Rose's recipes well worth the effort.

          I can't comment on the buttercream, as I made it only once, many years ago. I just can't afford those calories!

          1. I haven't found it to be dense either. Did you sift the cake flour before you measured it? Also, I think her recipes call for a stand mixer so if you were using a hand mixer, you'd need to beat longer to get the same consistency.

            1. Hi all-- I agree-- not dense at all. Another possibility might be over beating-- I use the paddle attachment on my stand mixer and watch it like a hawk. And were your ingredients at room temp? Cakes are finicky, but it's certainly worth another try!

              1. The very first cake I ever made, was the White Velvet butter cake on page 46, with white chocolate Classic butter cream, page 228. That was 15 years ago.

                Follow the instructions to the T, weigh every thing and be sure to use Swans down cake flour.