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Jun 6, 2010 06:20 PM

How did I screw up this cake?

I made this epicurious cake today and it came out a bit heavy and rubbery. I thought the recipe looked like it had too much sugar in it but I always like to make a recipe exactly the way the recipe says the first time.

I just read through the reviews and many people said they reduced the sugar and loved it. But it also has 6 eggs! That seems almost pound cakeish... doesn't it? Any suggestions on how I can fix this? Or am I better for find another recipe.

The cream frosting was fantastic!! I'd do that again as a fruit dip too!

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  1. i think the buttermilk and baking powder would make for a tender crumb....and i'm not food scientist, so i'm not sure how sugar would affect the texture. did you perhaps over-mix?

    1. i don't recall the food science behind it, but any baked good with an acid like buttermilk also should include some baking soda in addition to the baking powder. I would add half to a tsp of baking soda and i think it will help lighten and balance.

      3 Replies
      1. re: cocktailhour

        Agreed. It should have some baking soda in it. Also, did you have the eggs at room temperature before you beat them? The sugar-egg mixture that you beat for four minutes is supposed to be very light in color and fluffy in texture -- did it get this way?

        1. re: visciole

          Disagree ... there is enough baking powder in the baking soda to provide the initial leavening power you might expect from a baking soda/buttermilk combination. Furthermore, buttermilk is frequently added as a flavoring ingredient without regard to its reaction with soda.
          Frankly, because this recipe uses all purpose flour and not cake flour, I suspect you over-mixed your batter and developed an undesirable gluten structure.
          But I do agree with the suggestions re: the eggs.
          Try reading "Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 4 additions alternately with buttermilk in 3 additions" as "fold in the dry ingredients ...." and treat the batter very gently. I think you'll do fine next time.

          1. re: todao

            "there is enough baking powder in the baking soda "

            I think you got that backwards ....

      2. I can bake a good banana bread— but, never banana cake; the results are always a disappointment; too heavy, too dense. I'd question the egg-sugar ratio in this recipe as the culprit.
        Surely, someone has a tried-and-true banana cake recipe to share?

        3 Replies
        1. re: Cynsa

          I leave the chocolate out of this one:

          it is delicious, a banana upside down cake.

          1. re: Cynsa

            These are from Giada De Laurentiis, called "muffins", but I'd say "banana cake". With wonderful mascarpone frosting too.


            1. My eggs were at room temp and I beat the heck out of them with the sugar. They were very light. I was also very careful adding the dry ingred. and buttermilk in batches and stopped right after the last addition and carefully stirred the rest of the way with a spatula so as not to over mix. It was a fairly stiff dough though. Folding in the egg took some patience.

              3 Replies
              1. re: julesincoq

                i'm gonna ask the dumb question - you measured correctly right? :)

                also, how old is your baking powder? any chance it's done?

                1. re: Emme

                  Yes measured very carefully. It's probably 4 or 5 months old. That's not old is it?

                  1. re: julesincoq

                    depends upon storage, but best way to find out is to test it :) can't hurt, if that's the problem, the fix is simple...

              2. I agree with the above poster that you over-mixed when you incorporate the flour and buttermilk into the butter sugar mixture. Overmixing activate the gluten in the flour causing the cake to be rubbery. The recipe should say to mix at lowest speed until the flour is just moisten. This is the same for muffins and banana bread.
                From the ingredients, this cake should have the texture of a bundt or a light pound cake. Firm but not rubbery. The 1 tablespoon of baking powder called for is enough leavenig to give it rise and also beating the eggs (the large number is needed for the large amount of ingredients) to thick ribbon stage will also keep the cake from being heavy. With buttermilk, one does not need any baking soda.

                3 Replies
                1. re: PBSF

                  You know you might be right. I tried to add the dry ingred. and milk quickly but the batter seemed like it had been over mixed. It was still a bit lumpy but it had the gluey feel that it gets when over mixed. I can't see how it could be since I was so quick with my additions but maybe my mixer goes to fast around (the super low setting doesn't work any more so if have to do it on level 2 of six instead of 1)

                  1. re: julesincoq

                    You might not have necessarily over mixed when you incorporate the flour mixture with the buttermilk. The recipe calls for an additional folding of the beaten eggs into a very thick batter which will further activate the gluten. This step might have make the finished cake a little lighter but also more rubbery because of the extra mixing.
                    I frequently make a light pound cake by separating the eggs and beat the whites separately and folding them in to the batter at the end. To prevent from over mixing, I don't need not to be too thorough with incorporating the dry ingredients with the buttermilk since I will be folding the egg whites at the end. The cake turns out light and not rubbery at all.

                    1. re: julesincoq

                      Did you sift the dry ingredients before adding them? If this was omitted, is seems likely it led to the lumpiness.