Monday, June 8, 2009

The Great Scratch Off - June 2009 - Yellow Cake

One of my favorite web sites CAKE CENTRAL is having "The Great Scratch-Off" baking event. Every month a different category of scratch cake is chosen and several recipes are selected for testing. Each participant bakes one or more of the entries and then submits their results/opinions/ratings. At the end of the month the results are tabulated and a winner is announced.

The June 2009 Cake Central Scratch-Off Category is (ta da) YELLOW CAKE .

Not very exciting I know, but where would the world be without Yellow Cake?

14 different yellow cake recipes were submitted for testing. The contenders are:

Great American Cakes by Barbara Kafka
Lita's Yellow Cake Recipe
Sylvia Weinstock's Classic Yellow Cake Recipe
Not So Lemon Lemon Cake from Magnolia Bakery
Paula Deen's 1234 cake
Whimsical Bakehouse Gold Cake
All-Purpose Buttery Yellow Cake from America's Test Kitchen
Vanilla Buttermilk Recipe from Sky High
White on White Buttermilk Cake
The All-Occasion Downy Yellow Cake
Cakeman Raven's Modified Red Velvet
Doubleday White Wedding Cake
Serious Cakes' Yellow Cake
Toba Garett's Ultimate Yellow Cake

To see all the recipes click here. The recipes are on the 9th post of page 3.

Each cake is to be critiqued on texture, moistness, and flavor.

My first test was Serious Cakes' Yellow Cake.

Texture: The cake had a fine crumb. It was tender but not crumbly. The mouth feel was dense, almost velvety. It held together nicely when cut, so it would probably be a good cake to carve.

Moistness: Very moist, but not wet or gooey tasting. Top and bottom of the freshly baked cakes were sticky, but the sides were crunchy. The cake was cut on the second day after baking. On the third day I brought the leftovers (individual slices that had been stored under a cake dome) to work and everyone commented positively on the moistness and flavor of the cake.

Flavor: A little lacking in depth, but I paired it with chocolate frosting which made the cake perfect. I think the cake needs more vanilla and also some butter extract (especially since it uses shortening instead of butter).

Ease of preparation: Medium. Creaming of fats, and whipping of egg whites.

Cost: Average. I used supermarket brands of flour, vanilla and shortening.

Other comments: The top domed during baking and then sank to near flat after removing from the oven. I over baked it (oops) to the point where the sides pulled away from the pan and no crumbs came out on the toothpick. I removed the cakes from the pans after three minutes of cooling and after an hour I wrapped in plastic wrap for overnight storage on the counter. I frosted the next morning and served the cake late in the afternoon. Everyone thought the cake tasted great, but a few cake aficionados remarked that most of the flavor excitement came from the frosting.

Overall Rating: 8 out of 10. I liked the cake and plan to bake it again, but next time I'll add more vanilla and include butter extract.

At the end of the month, I will post the results of The Great Scratch-Off June 2009 - Yellow Cakes. Till then here is another look at the cake....


  1. lol-I almost never make it anymore with just vanilla and when I do I usually add an extra tsp. or two :D I tend to use it like sayhellojana does, it's my base cake for a million different flavors! I used it last weekend as an almond sour cream cake (almond extract and replaced half the milk with sour cream)-very yummy!

  2. Thanks for the update, SeriousCakes. I'll have to try the almond sour cream version. How about a chocolate version? Would you just add cocoa or melted chocolate?

  3. I have not attempted chocolate yet, I've been using the Hershey's chocolate cake recipe for the last few years. I think I would probably just swap out some of the flour for cocoa though, if I try it I'll let you know :D