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New at baking, need some advice plz

(41 Posts)
Alpies Sat 11-Mar-17 21:31:04

So I've started 'trying' to bake. But every cake has ended in the bin so far. I'm trying to make a simple birthday cake with buttercream frosting. The thing is I find all the sponge cake recipes too sweet. So I've been halving the sugar amount in the recipe.

I'm using a recipe from Pinterest:
Flour, cornflour, butter, sugar, baking soda, 4 eggs and sour cream.

Where am I going wrong? Is the cake not rising properly because I'm reducing sugar?

Or can someone point me to a nice fool proof recipe for a sponge cake on which I can layer buttercream frosting plz.

Many thanks

foresttrees2 Sat 11-Mar-17 21:34:20

For sponge I do equal measures of flour, butter, sugar and 1 egg per 100g of flour. Then a flat teaspoon of baking powder. Too much baking powder it will sink. Don't open the oven till it's done or it will sink. Make sure you pre heat the oven.

foresttrees2 Sat 11-Mar-17 21:35:51

Note that I'm not a great baker so hopefully someone with more Experian e has a better recipe?

lifeisaconundrumattimes Sat 11-Mar-17 21:39:20

That is an odd recipe. A standard sponge is equal weights of flour, butter, sugar and eggs. Easy. Cream together butter and sugar, gradually add egg then fold in the flour. Don't have the sugar. If you want it less sweet then use less icing. You can't generally just miss out ingredients from a recipe without some sort of consequences.

Knifegrinder Sat 11-Mar-17 21:40:02

Any fool can post on Pinterest, though. Try a reputable source. And why not try an ordinary Victoria sponge recipe and see how you go? Halving the sugar in many cases wrecks the chemistry, which is what baking essentially is.

PolterGoose Sat 11-Mar-17 21:44:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Sat 11-Mar-17 21:44:17

baking cakes is more a science than an art, so don't bugger about with the quantities.

look for a victoria sponge recipe, or maybe a madeira cake, they are easy going enough not to give you too much bother.

and make sure you have the right sized tin....again an incorrect volume of mix in the wrong sized tin will be a disaster.

delia or mary berry have very many classic simple recipes to follow, so have a google.

FlouncingInAWinterWonderland Sat 11-Mar-17 21:46:49

Are you using ingredients from the fridge? Ideally things should be at room temp before going in the oven. Or part of the cooking time is spent bringing things up to temperature.

humblebumble Sat 11-Mar-17 21:47:04

The Mary Berry all in one recipe is pretty fail safe.

Alpies Sat 11-Mar-17 21:51:30

Thank you! Going to try the simple sponge with equal measures n will report back! Didn't realise how hard baking is! It's like I'm back in a chemistry lab!

FormerlyFrikadela01 Sat 11-Mar-17 21:52:08

Agree with everyone that a bog standard Victoria sponge is easiest. Forget messing about with fancy Pinterest recipes and get the basics down first.

miwelaisjacydo Sat 11-Mar-17 21:53:20

Watch Delia smith make cakes she has good easy to follow videos on her website

TittyGolightly Sat 11-Mar-17 21:53:33

I use 20% less sugar than the recipe in my cakes. 50% would change the chemical balance too much.

Adding cornflour to flour lightens it, and the bicarbonate and sour cream would react to lift it too. No baking powder though?

amistillsexy Sat 11-Mar-17 21:58:15

I often use the recipe above, where you use same weights of eggs, SR flour, sugar and butter but I use demorara sugar and add a handful of sultanas. This gives a more chewy cake, with a more malty flavour. In fact, you might have just inspired me to bake one in the morning 😁

Alpies Sat 11-Mar-17 22:16:27

What is SR flour?

The taste of the cake is nice but so dense. I guess it's because I've reduced the sugar so much.

All this so I can bake a cake for my little girl! DP thinks it would have been simpler to just buy a cake!

Wigeon Sat 11-Mar-17 22:20:57

SR = self raising.

Agree with others - you are making this far too complicated by trying a fancy weird recipe from Pinterest.

Do a classic Victoria sponge and follow the receipe to the letter. Don't mess about with the sugar until you've mastered the basic recipe. You are running before you can walk!

BBC Food is often very good for receipes: sponge here

HeadDreamer Sat 11-Mar-17 22:21:17

I would trust the recipes on Pinterest. DH always failed in his baking because he just googles for random recipes. I think if you are good at it, then you can spot the errors. Just pick something from say BBC good food, especially ones from Delia Smith or Mary Berry. That sad I almost exclusively bake from Nigellas Domestic Goddess. If you follow the instructions exactly from a reliable recipe, it works. It's very simple.

HeadDreamer Sat 11-Mar-17 22:21:37

I mea I wouldn't trust Pinterest.

Wigeon Sat 11-Mar-17 22:22:31

It's not better just to buy a cake! I can make a sponge in less time than it would take me to go to the shops and back (and I live near two big supermarkets). You can do it!

Alpies Sat 11-Mar-17 22:33:32

I'm determined Wigeon! Just got sidetracked by the fancy photos in Pinterest!

Like someone said upthread time to learn to crawl before I can run!

Quick question: what's best to use in terms of sugar? I see some recipes mention granulated sugar some caster some golden caster ...Does that matter too?

PickAChew Sat 11-Mar-17 22:40:03

Caster sugar is often better, but granulated still works and is cheaper. Some recipes use demerara, which is coarser than granulated, anyhow.

If you want a not too sweet recipe for your DD, why not try some siple muffins?

I'll root around for some recipes I've tried and had good results with - I tend to do them off the top of my head, these days, since the general proportions are quite simple.

PickAChew Sat 11-Mar-17 22:52:47

SiMple muffins!

This one is my go to proportions and the flavourings can be varied. The mixture makes 12 if you use "cupcake" cases.

You can't go wrong with delia, though she must have a new book out because she's changed the topping form my version!

The blueberry one really isn't over sweet at all, though and if you use frozen blueberries, you might actually wish you'd added more sugar!

Alpies Sun 12-Mar-17 13:12:13

Thank you PickAChew!

Really appreciate the advice. I am preparing some blueberry muffins ATM. Fingers crossed!

Alpies Sun 12-Mar-17 19:57:27

So I baked blueberry muffins today. Only had a mini cupcake tray but taste ok.

Have ordered some proper trays for the sponge cake and bought all the ingredients today. More baking tomorrow!

PollytheDolly Sun 12-Mar-17 20:00:39

Looking goood!

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