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Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

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asked August 17th 2012

How to improve cake baking

Am new to baking cakes. But I would love to learn how to bake soft and spongy cakes. So far the more I tried the more deflated my cakes are. I don’t know if I am over beating the eggs. Can someone please please share any tips that will help to bake Victoria sponge without having to wish or a miracle? Ive noticed if I just add everything and mix I get a better result. But I want to bake the cake so the texture is softer/smother if you understand what I mean? Please help a novice baker in need to help.

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Hi

The best thing to do is follow the recipe to the letter. When making a cake, you should have all of the ingredients at room temp. Then mix the butter and sugar until really light and fluffy. You will notice it changes colour and goes and goes almost White. Then add the eggs a little at a time incorporating well. You can’t really over mix at this stage. Then fold in the flour gently, but be careful here as you can over mix. I think that may be where you are going wrong. Over mixing the flour means you activate the gluten which will give your cake a heavy texture. Also, do not open the oven door while baking your cake, especially during the first half of the cooking time, as this can cause the cake to deflate too. God luck and happy baking!

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Hi sai-innocent,

sorry you are having problems, i use stork margarine at room temperature & whisk till fluffy,then add the sugar then the eggs 1 at a time with a spoon of flour to stop it curdling, continue adding the flour until it’s all mixed together, you should then get a smooth batter.

Hope it works for you, you should get a nice soft sponge. let us know how you get on.

 

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Hi sai-innocent

You’ve had some very good advice from Kirkiechick, I would just like to add a little something about the butter. Although the butter should be at room temperature, don’t allow it to be over soft. It should still be firm when you start beating it as the friction from the beater makes the butter soft. If it is too soft to begin with, the butter will become greasy as it is being beaten and it will prevent your batter from rising properly, the end result (the cake ) can become grainy and lacking in volume. Start with recipes you can manage and get your confidence with, you can then start experimenting with something a bit more challenging, but always make smaller recipes at first, then progress to larger ones once you have mastered them. Don’t be put off by ‘failures’, we’ve all been there, but it does gradually come good. We are all here to help, happy baking.

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Thank you for all your informative advice. Just to add to some more information on my part of what I do to prepare for baking.  Ive always ensured my eggs and margarine are at a room temperature. (I will try with the Storke Margarine next) Due to recent weather condition I guess my margarine was over soft. So I stuck the margarine in the fridge this morning ….. just long enough to make it less soft. After patiently waiting for the cake to bake out came a better result to my previous cake. However I would like to add more volume to the cake slightly more. Does anyone use a method where you can time the process to achieve more air in the batter without over beating it? Sorry dont want to sound annoying but it would help me.

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Hi sai_innocent

This is a very late reply to your last question. To add volume to your batter beat the sugar and butter for at least five minutes, (that’s why it is important to have the butter just at room temperature so it doesn’t get greasy during mixing). This allows the mixture to trap lots of air. Add the eggs a little at a time, if the mix starts to split add a tablespoon of the sifted flour after each egg and this time keep the mixer on medium speed. A split/curdled batter will not rise as much but the baked cake will taste just as good. Once the eggs have been incorporated sift in the remaining flour and use a large metal spoon to gently fold it in. Get the tin into the oven as quickly as possible and close the oven door without causing too much of a draught. I hope this helps, again sorry for the late reply.

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I saw a demo at the cake and bake show and also attended a course. Both ladies advised using Stork cake margarine not butter (it’s what I always use for sponges anyway) but they beat the Stork for about 10 mins, then added the sugar and beat for another 10 mins. My cupcakes made this way were great. I had never thought this much beating was needed but it worked. Give it a try

The Mrs Jones tutorial is good.

J x